Read More
STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

By Diana Simmonds Review Posted on December 18 2014

Strange Bedfellows, The Vanguard, Newtown, December 16 and 17 - both sold out, returning January 3 and 4, 2015; Melbourne and Brisbane dates to follow, check www.thestrangebedfellows.com.au for details.

Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen have been two of Opera Australia’s most popular, as well as most versatile and thrilling employees of the past decade with more awards between them than is polite. Recently the company moved to “more flexible employment arrangements” which translated as “on yer bike” for a number of top performers, Dark and Breen among them. 

The silver lining to this particular cloud is the impetus for these two uniquely bold and quirky performers to get off their operatic arses and try something new. Strange Bedfellows had its first outing as a ten minute entry at Short and Sweet Cabaret festival at New Theatre at the beginning of 2014. They didn’t win but made a huge splash and it was obvious that the baby had legs. 

 
Continue reading →


Read More
SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS NOMINATIONS 2014!

SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS NOMINATIONS 2014!

By Diana Simmonds News Posted on December 16 2014

NOMINATIONS are announced today in the Sydney Theatre Awards 2014, to be held on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 6pm at the Paddo RSL (if you don’t have your invitation yet, let me know). 

The Sydney Theatre Awards are presented annually to celebrate the strength, quality and diversity of theatre in Sydney. The Sydney Theatre Reviewers are, in A-Z order: Elissa Blake (Sun-Herald), Jason Blake (Sydney Morning Herald), Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jo Litson (The Sunday Telegraph), John McCallum (The Australian), Ben Neutze (Crikey/Daily Review), John Shand (Sydney Morning Herald), Diana Simmonds (Stagenoise website), Polly Simons (Daily Telegraph) and Cassie Tongue (Aussietheatre website).   

It’s been one hell of a year in which to have to make choices - so much wonderful theatre and so many wonderful performances. But the voting was as amicable and interesting as usual and the nominees and winners are deserving. What’s particularly thrilling is the strong representation from independent theatre - what an amazing mob!

Continue reading →

Read More
THE CRUCIBLE

THE CRUCIBLE

By Diana Simmonds Review Posted on December 15 2014

THE CRUCIBLE, Sport for Jove at Bella Vista Farm (then Leura Everglades); 13 December 2014 to 25 January 2015. Photography by Seiya Taguchi; above: Anthony Gooley, Jonathan Mill, Christopher Tomkinson and Philip Dodd; right: Matilda Ridgway.

Arthur Miller’s grand yet deeply personal tragedy gets the Sport for Jove treatment, which basically means you can be sure it’s unlike any production of The Crucible you’ve ever seen before. Played out in the round in the picturesque, rough-hewn interior of Mrs Elizabeth MacArthur’s historic barn in the outer north-west of Sydney, the villagers of 1690s Salem, Massachusetts are brought to immediate and vivid life. 

Seated close around a layered timber platform on benches, bleachers and folding chairs, the audience is neck-deep in the drama with the company of twenty fine actors. Candlelight and a minimal lighting rig and the scabrous monotone fabrics of their Puritan garb bring home both the hardship and the beauty of life in pioneer America - and Australia -where dust and mud are part of the decor and life was as easily snuffed out as the flickering flames. (A beautifully imagined and executed lighting design by Sian James-Holland; equally excellent stage and costume design by Anna Gardiner.)

Continues…

Continue reading →


Read More
ABSENT FRIENDS

ABSENT FRIENDS

By Diana Simmonds Review Posted on December 12 2014

ABSENT FRIENDS, Ensemble Theatre, 10 December-24 January 2014. Photography by Katy Green Loughrey: above - Queenie van de Zandt, Darren Gilshenan and Michelle Doake; right: Darren Gilshenan.

It’s only unreconstructed snobs who can’t acknowledge the place of Alan Ayckbourn in contemporary English-speaking theatre (he’s also been translated into 30+ languages). Uniquely honoured by both the West End and Broadway (Olivier and Tony lifetime achievement awards) and knighted in 1997, the modest 75-year-old playmaker celebrated the opening night of Roundelay, his 78th stage work, just three months ago!

But wait, there's more...

Continue reading →

Read More
LUNATICS NOT TAKING OVER ASYLUM - OFFICIAL

LUNATICS NOT TAKING OVER ASYLUM - OFFICIAL

By Diana Simmonds Feature Posted on December 10 2014

Noon today, it’s announced that former Sydney Theatre Company producer Jo Dyer is the next boss of the Sydney Writers Festival. Her title is Executive Director (Gemma Birrell continues as Artistic Director) and Dyer’s background is such that it makes current arguments about artist V non-artist less than black and white and a lot more interesting.

Sydneysiders will be aware of the recent series of hissy fits provoked by Ralph Myers, outgoing artistic director of Belvoir, when he delivered the annual Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture at the theatre in Surry Hills. Among the many pertinent things he said (and the full text is available to read on stagenoise.com) there were, of course, a few that got up some illustrious noses…

Continue reading →


Read More
HEY FOLKS - I NEED YOU!

HEY FOLKS - I NEED YOU!

By Diana Simmonds News Posted on December 8 2014

A REQUEST FROM ME TO YOU - WITH LOVE AND APPRECIATION

As 2014 comes to an end I figured it was time for a bit of renewal. So the sharp-eyed will have noticed a bit of renovation at stagenoise.com. The idea is make it easier to navigate and read and better to look at. Well, I like it anyway…

Most important, from your point of view, is a call to action from me - please It costs nothing but a minute of your time (see handy click button) and means you’ll get a weekly reminder of what’s happened and what you may have missed in the always enthralling story of Sydney theatre and, occasionally, elsewhere.

 
Continue reading →

Subscribe

Subscribe

Get all the content of the week delivered directly to your inbox.