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Plays

Jun 4, 2010

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REVIEW: Bromance | CarriageWorks, Sydney

Performance Space at CarriageWorks, like Magoo, has done it again. One of Sydney's principal bastions of all that's new, fresh and edgy in performance, art and performance art, now brings us, direct from Melbourne's Next Wave festival, Bromance, a celebration of homosociality. Boys will be boys and men will be boys too, given half a chance and an empathic hombre.

Performance Space at CarriageWorks, like Magoo, has done it again. One of Sydney’s principal bastions of all that’s new, fresh and edgy in performance, art and performance art, now brings us, direct from Melbourne’s Next Wave festival, Bromance, a celebration of homosociality. Boys will be boys and men will be boys too, given half a chance and an empathic hombre.

In case you haven’t previously stumbled upon this too-cute portmanteau, this euphemism for a mutually requited man-crush, suffice to say it’s been kicking ’round for a couple of decades and has been attributed to second wave feminism. It seems the burgeoning threat of gender equality has been too much for mere males, and we’ve been thrust into each other’s muscular arms, to become best bosom (well, buff biceptual) buddies.

Alisdair Macindoe, Jay Robinson, Lee Serle and Adam Synnott document this with an incredible lightness of being, creating a veritable Swan Lake on steroids. A good-natured, humourous, affectionate, disarming, unpretentious segue of vignettes, primarily built around dance, but as with much dance these days, very much aligned with collateral aspects of theatre. It is highly reliant, too, on sound and lighting design, which fuse to become an integral and inseparable part of this exceptionally cohesive production. All aspects of craft exude excellence and expertise.

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Plays

Jun 1, 2010

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You are forgiven for not knowing that Next Wave — Melbourne’s biennial festival of new and edgy performance/art — has just finished. Chances are, you didn’t attend any of the shows. In all truth, it doesn’t matter. You didn’t miss anything.

Look, the emperor has no clothes, and yet the press keeps quiet, and regurgitates the same PR paroles over and over: ‘its great theme is risk’, ‘300 artists’, all incredible diverse/talented/accomplished/brave. In truth, I have been seeing, over and over, theatre shows underdone, underdeveloped, under-accomplished, and at times even, how to say… unnecessary. Shows where I wonder if anyone couldn’t have just stayed at home, doing their washing or some other more worthwhile pursuit. (I will refrain from naming names here; I don’t see the point.)

Some shows I have seen had a good initial idea, but looked like they had neither the time nor the creative input to develop them into meaningful theatre. (Here I ought to mention My Darling Patricia’s Hole in the Wall, which left me with a rare feeling of exuberant irritation: brilliant staging ideas were camouflaging a theatre that had nothing to say.)

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