September 26, 2013 2
Theresa Rebeck's Seminar is a taut Big Apple drama that Sydney's Ensemble Theatre makes an excellent fist of. It's some of their best work.
July 30, 2013
Ensemble Theatre takes on Tennessee Williams' American classic with credible effort. But it falls short of recreating the stage magic of previous productions.
July 8, 2013
Paul Gilchrist's play is as much a poem, a soliloquy, a morality tale on love, language and the search for meaning. Written specifically for her, Sylvia Keays very much owns the role.
April 11, 2013 1
Nick Dear's Frankenstein is perhaps closest to Mary Shelly's original vision as anything else. And now Sydney audiences can see the National Theatre smash.
March 27, 2013
Joanna Murray-Smith's one-woman tour de force -- originally written for Caroline O'Connor -- is in safe hands with Sharon Millerchip at Ensemble Theatre. It's an extraordinary performance.
February 25, 2013
Mother and Son writer Geoffrey Atherden goes over old ground for his new free-wheeling play on our scared contemporary society. But a terrific cast makes it seem fresh.
February 14, 2013 1
A slice of small-town America comes to the Ensemble Theatre stage in Lee Blessing's 90-minute two-hander. A smart script is brought down by some bad design.
December 24, 2012
David Williams steers clear of heavy-handed, didactic temptations -- unlike more recent efforts -- with a new play about a cross-dressing footy player at Sydney's Ensemble Theatre.
November 8, 2012
A twisted play on relationships from a writer of Law and Order TV episodes is an impressive -- and recognisable -- affair at Sydney's Ensemble Theatre.
October 12, 2012
A Picasso is a study of a fascinating historical figure and an example of how good this little Sydney theatre company can be.
May 17, 2012
David Williamson seems to think Crikey has it in for him. But his latest play, When Dad Married Fury, shows sparks and flashes of the classic Williamson of old, his kiln fired by sociopolitical fury; yes, when David was married to fury. Not the white-haired, wilting Willo who has so much been in our midst […]
March 28, 2012
Being of Jewish descent myself, I’m a great fan of Jewish humour, not least the hybrid immigrant humour inextricably bound-up with Yiddish sensibilities, a specialty of the likes of Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Neil Simon to name but a very few. Of course, strictly speaking, I suppose, one mightn’t necessarily categorise Simon as a […]
December 13, 2011 4
“He just gets better and better! And he’s getting taller, too; I’m sure he’s grown.” If I eavesdropped correctly, that’s what Henri Szeps said to some fellow actors. Henri is known for being wry, so perhaps he was being ironic, while working the room. I’d have to assume so, for, with each new and passing […]
July 20, 2011 1
It must be said (thanks to reasonably robust criticism of recent plays on my own behalf, as well as my editor, which inspired a wordy response from the great man himself and much comment in the media at large), Crikey has something of a fraught and tenuous relationship with David Williamson. You’d think this would […]
March 28, 2011
Not so very long ago, as intrepid fans and foes of Curtain Call might remember, I put the boot fairly solidly into a production, starring no less a thespian than John Malkovich, that drew upon Casanova’s evocative memoir for its dramatic raison d’etre. And just as strange, me-too thematic coincidences occur, repeatedly, in Hollywood moviedom, […]
February 27, 2011
Somehow, the illustrious career of Amanda Muggleton has, ostensibly, passed me by. I’m the poorer for it. In Ensemble’s world premiere of Just The Ticket, by English writer Peter Quilter, she’s so astonishingly, enviably expert and effortless it’s eye-watering (for other actors, anyway). Directed by the irrepressible Sandra Bates, it presents yet another chapter in […]
February 21, 2011 1
I am someone for whom the book and film versions of Tuesdays with Morrie have wholly passed me by. I was aware of the name, certainly, and was also aware that it had received its fair share of critical acclaim over the last decade. But other than some vague notions that it was a true […]
December 20, 2010 1
By dint of what’s almost certainly his best-known role (as Robbie, in Geoffrey Atherden’s Mother & Son) some people though he was a dentist, which gave him ammo for an earlier play. This time, Henri Szeps, a little older, has a different focus. Even amidst his incurable penchant for gags, his intentions seem earnest, serious, […]
December 9, 2010 1
One of the most edifying and enjoyable aspects of a Neil Simon play, aside from his affinity with the failings and foibles of humanity at large, is his judgement as a writer. There’s never any obvious sense of contrivance. It’s never over-written, or written in an ‘aren’t I clever?!’ kind of way. If it has […]
October 13, 2010
It’s grand to see great writing hasn’t gone completely out of fashion. Perhaps it’s a case, to paraphrase Pierre Cardin (or was it Coco?), of style never going out of fashion. It’s also sobering to know murder’s still in. Not any old murder, of course. But justifiable homicide. Jeffrey Hatcher, who might just be the […]