murraybramwell.com

November 01, 1998

Wild Thymes in Warwickshire

Filed under: Archive,Interstate,Theatre

1998

The Herbal Bed
Peter Whelan
Sydney Theatre Company
Optima Playhouse, October 1998.

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

Very little is known about Susanna Hall, nee Shakespeare, but playwright Peter Whelan has made every skerrick count. It is verifiable that in 1607 the elder daughter of the greatest dead white male in the history of the English language married John Hall, a successful physician with a flair for herbal remedies. It is also recorded that she brought defamation charges against John …

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October 01, 1998

Crimes and Misdemeanours

Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love
by Brad Fraser
State Theatre
Optima Playhouse

Speaking in Tongues
by Andrew Bovell
Griffin Theatre Company
Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

It is now ten years since Brad Fraser’s audacious play was first performed in his hometown in Edmonton, Alberta. But time has been good to this stylishly constructed account of the young and the restless. With almost instinctive flair Fraser captures the nerve and pulse of his characters, locating them …

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Crimes and Misdemeanours

Filed under: Archive,Interstate,Theatre

1998

Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love

by Brad Fraser

State Theatre

Optima Playhouse

Speaking in Tongues

by Andrew Bovell

Griffin Theatre Company

Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

It is now ten years since Brad Fraser’s audacious play was first performed in his hometown in Edmonton, Alberta. But time has been good to this stylishly constructed account of the young and the restless. With almost instinctive flair Fraser captures the nerve and pulse of his characters, locating …

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July 01, 1998

Journeys

Filed under: Archive,Interstate,Theatre

1998

Up the Road

John Harding

Company B Belvoir/Playbox

Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

It is very rarely that we go to the theatre and experience the immediacy of issues of the day. But that is what it was like to see Company B Belvoir’s production of John Harding’s Up the Road just three days after the Queensland election. Not that the play has been contrived for relevance or, even, that  anyone could have predicted, when it was listed for …

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February 01, 1998

Nein

Nine
Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston,
Book by Arthur Kopit.
Directed by John Diedrich
Festival Theatre

It is now twenty five years since Federico Fellini’s 81/2 was first released. A film about a filmmaker making a film, it is bizarre, narcissistic, sexist and cinematically fearless. 81/2 remains a classic not least for the performances by Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale and Anouk Aimee.

Nine is more than fractionally different from 81/2.

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November 01, 1997

Forced Landings

Filed under: Archive,Interstate,Theatre

The Tempest
William Shakespeare

Bell Shakespeare Company
Her Majesty’s

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

Just when I was beginning to think that the single-concept approach to Shakespeare had become a needlessly limited orthodoxy, along comes a production that is so giddy with signs and portents that it runs aground. The trouble with Jim Sharman’s reading of The Tempest is that it has at least four or five different brainstorms all tossed into the same teacup. When, in the program notes, dramaturg …

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October 01, 1997

Dead Reckonings

After the Ball
David Williamson

Queensland Theatre Company
Her Majesty’s

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

After the fiscal wars of Money and Friends and the gender wars of Brilliant Lies, after the media wars of Sanctuary and the culture wars of Dead White Males, after Heretic and Third World Blues. After all this comes After the Ball – and what might be called the family wars.

But David Williamson’s newest play is not about huge sundering feuds. Not your …

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September 01, 1997

Sea Change

The Mourning After
by Verity Laughton
Playbox
Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

Belle Doyle may be by herself on the beach on Christmas Day but she is not alone. Verity Laughton’s comic weepie The Mourning After, is a monodrama with a cast of dozens. The situation is emotionally raw. Belle’s husband Harry has unexpectedly gone blue and died on the morning of Christmas Eve. In fact he has died in the middle of an argument over whether Belle, a song …

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August 01, 1997

Transparency

The North
William Yang

Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

When he presented Sadness at the Institute Hall in Kintore Avenue William Yang gave us one of the unexpected highlights of the 1994 Adelaide Festival. Idiosyncratic, intimate and full of wry good humour, Yang’s slide show did much to draw together the otherwise inchoate strands of Christopher Hunt’s program. This modest one- person show provided a regional perspective and dealt with regional ethnicity. But, unlike much of the abstracted, ethnomusicological fare …

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July 01, 1997

Blood Simple

Wolf Lullaby
by Hilary Bell

Griffin Theatre Company
Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

A large white kitchen chair dominates the minimal set for Hilary Bell’s powerful new play, Wolf Lullaby. Denoting a child’s perspective of the adult world it dwarves the two normal sized chairs set next to it. And when Lizzie, aged nine, climbs into it clutching her dolly, it also amplifies the enormity of the emotions and anxieties this play manages to conjure.

Lizzie lives with her mother, …

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