Thursday, 16 March 2017

Rain

We can enjoy splendid weather in Sydney but each year we can be guaranteed one or two wet spells that run for days. When that happens you wonder wether the sun will ever shine again. We're in one of those wet spells at the moment. Four days of rain so far with occasional very brief sunny moments and more rain forecast for the next four or so.

It is pelting down at the moment.

Raindrops keep falling.....

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A night at the festival

Some moments from Briefs: The Second Coming which we attended at the Sydney Festival earlier in the year.








Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Calamity Jane

(One Eyed Productions in association with Neglected Musicals and Hayes Theatre Company)
In the mining town of Deadwood City the tomboyish 'Calamity Jane' promises to persuade a famous star to travel from Chicago to perform for the miners at the local saloon. What ensues is a calamity of mistaken identities (deliberate and accidental) leading to the inevitable happy ending for three couples.

This musical derives from the 1953 Warner Brothers film of the same name which starred Doris Day as Calamity Jane and Howard Keel as her nemesis Wild Bill Hickok.

This Hayes Theatre presentation is brilliantly directed and performed. Cleverly involving the audience effectively as saloon patrons the musical is staged with great verve, humour and surprising freshness. A terrific example of how to bring new life to an old clunker.

✮✮✮✮

Monday, 13 March 2017

The Bleeding Tree

(Sydney Theatre Company)

In Angus Cerini's 'The Bleeding Tree' a mother and her daughters have just killed the violent abusive patriarch of the family. The location is remote and isolated and what community they have as neighbours is small and knowing.

The impact of the murder on the three women and on their neighbours is poetically narrated by the cast of three. Beautifully performed and, despite some gruesome subject matter, humorous at times.

✮✮✮1/2

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Logan


I'm going to be out of step with many people on this one. Despite what some close friends have described as my eccentrically eclectic taste in movies I haven't seen any of the previous Wolverine films.

Faced with the option of seeing 'Logan' or 'Kong: Skull Island' - having already seen all the other screenings at our favourite multiplex - we elected to see the former. 'Logan' had received the better reviews.

Perhaps the third option - see neither - would have been the best choice.

Logan (Hugh Jackman) is ageing and in declining health. He encounters a young 'she-wolverine'(?) and takes her into his care as he battles to reunite her with fellow 'junior wolverines'(?). Well, that is sort of the plot anyway. Technically it is all skilfully portrayed. Too skilful for my liking. The slick editing and sound design had me averting my eyes from the frequent decapitations and body guttering fights.

It was at least an hour too long for me. I don't know which hour, take your pick.

My relief at the film's eventual conclusion was tempered by the banality and complete irrelevance of the lyrics of the song performed over the end titles.

A thrill for the devotees apparently but count me out.

✮✮

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Mark Colvin's Kidney


(Belvoir Street Theatre)

Based on actual events, 'Mark Colvin's Kidney' tells what happens when Intellectual Property Manager Mary-Ellen Field is an unwitting victim of the News of the World phone hacking affair in Britain. Interviewed about her experience by Australian journalist Mark Colvin, Mrs Field subsequently engages in pen pal friendship with an ailing Mr Colvin leading eventually to her surprising decision to become his kidney donor.

The play relies in part on actual interview and social media transcripts and recordings. Surprisingly humorous and uplifting at times, the play also records a scandalous aspect of media practice.

✮✮✮1/2

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Alone in Berlin


A couple in Berlin receive news that their son has been killed in action. Grieving over their loss and angered by the lies they believe that the Nazi regime is inflicting on an unaware nation they take action in their own small way to combat the regime's propaganda by anonymously placing postcards with critical commentary in public places. A policeman is tasked with tracking down the perpetrators.

'Alone in Berlin' is a fictional work although it memorialises a German couple who was executed by the Nazi regime for activity portrayed in the film. Whilst the bulk of the cast, apart from the two leads is either German or European in origin, the dialogue is almost entirely in English.

Well acted. A rather sad film.

✮✮1/2