October 01, 1987

The State of Play

John Gaden, Artistic Director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, reflects in midseason.

I first met John Gaden in October last year when the State Theatre Company was announcing his appointment as its new AD. 1985 had been a troubled year for State with a number of productions in succession hitting the wall as the local press grew more toxic and audiences more disheartened .

So Gaden’s appointment was greeted warmly from all sides. As a popular actor …

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A Sporting Chance

A Sporting Chance
by Katherine Thomson
Magpie Theatre Company SA
Directed by Chris Johnson
Design: Ken Wilby and Mark Thompson
Music: Ian Farr, Movement: Belinda Saltmarsh
Cast: Sharon LeRay, Michael Habib, Annabel Giles,
Michael Kitschke.

Work for Magpie’s A Sporting Chance began in April this year when Sydney playwright and actor, Katherine Thomson began researching attitudes toward sport among thirteen and fourteen year olds. She spoke to numbers of high school students-in particular from Fremont High School in Adelaide’s northern …

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September 01, 1987

Blood Sports

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge – Patch Theatre Company
A Sporting Chance – Magpie Theatre Company
Blood Relations – Sydney Theatre Company/State Theatre Company

Having conjured up Possum Magic, South Australian writer Mem Fox and illustrator Julie Vivas followed with another highly successful picture book, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. It has now been adapted for the stage by Sheryn Dee and Mem Fox and presented by the Patch Theatre Company in the Festival Centre Space.

Wilfrid has played to …

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August 01, 1987

Telling Works

The Winter’s Tale
State Theatre Company

A Touchy Subject

There have been a number of productions of The Winters Tale lately. But the State Theatre Company has made glorious summer with a version that represents some of its finest work to date. The Winter‘s Tale forms part of a cluster of plays in Artistic Director, John Gaden’s 1987 programme. It began with his and Gale Edward’s Much Ado About Nothing back in February and links with …

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Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Christopher Hampton
State Theatre Company

By now everyone and their chien has heard about Les Liaisons Dangereuses. It has been cleaning up awards and bouquets ever since it first appeared in London in 1985 and umpteen productions have been performed world wide. Now, with the State Theatre Company’s production we at last have a chance to see what all the fuss has been about.

Playwright Christopher Hampton has taken bold liberties with Choderlos de Ladas’s …

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July 01, 1987

Moving but difficult targets

Metamorphosis and Bawky Play, Red Shed Company
ABC, Patch Theatre Company
Soft Targets, Troupe

The Red Shed Company continues to provide distinctive and committed theatre as indicated by their most recent double bill – Bawky Play by David Carlin and an adaptation of an adaptation of Berkoff’s Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

The story of Gregor Samsa, bureaucratic functionary, who wakes up to find he has become a giant insect is more than seventy years old. But …

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June 01, 1987

Patrick White and the Whited Sepulchres

Shepherd on the Rocks
By Patrick White
Playhouse, Festival Centre

In wanting to honour Patrick White on the occasion of his 75th birthday, the State Theatre Company did him little service by staging the world premiere of his recent play, Shepherd on the Rocks.

The story is based on the bizarre case from the Thirties of the Rector of Stifikey (pron. ‘Stookey ‘), the Rev Harold Davidson, an Anglican sky pilot with earthy ideas about his ministry. A former …

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May 01, 1987

The Responsibilities We Have

David Holman talks to Murray Bramwell.

In Adelaide in time for Come Out, David Holman might have been forgiven for thinking that his works were the main fare for the Festival. For a start, Magpie were doing two plays which Holman originated in Australia. No Worries, one of the great sleepers from the 1984 Adelaide Festival and The Small Poppies, one of the most keenly anticipated plays from the 1986 Festival. In addition, Frankie, the young people’s opera …

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I’m Not a Racist, but …

I’m Not a Racist, but …
by Richard Lawrance
Multicultural Youth Theatre, SA
Directed by Tessa Bremner
Cast: Vicki London, David Saddler, Aimee Thomas,
Nicolas Primaro, Raphael Nguyen, Peter Nguyen, Ha Tran.

On the face of it the flyers for the Multicultural Youth Theatre’s production were not promising. (Narelle is fifteen, alone and pregnant. Cong and Trinh are trying to hack it in this strange new country. Dog Track’s in debt and on the run and Petar’s caught between the …

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Song For the Navigator

Song For the Navigator
by Michael Cowell
Honolulu Theatre for Youth
Directed by John Kauffman
Set Design: Joseph Dodd
Costume Design: Laura Crow
Lighting: Lloyd S. Riford III

Amongst a mixed bag of Australian productions at the ASSITEJ Congress, the Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s play is a likeable piece but not one to put fear in the hearts of local theatre practitioners. Song For the Navigator by Michael Cowell was commissioned by the HTY, as they describe it, “to celebrate …

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