Tag: Gabrielle Sing

REVIEW: Four Letter Word Theatre Presents THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE

A difficult play deftly and wittily presented

By Caitlin McGrane

Accents are tricky; in order to nail it, you have to really go for it. Similarly, playwright Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy can be tricky to pull off. The cast of Four Letter Word Theatre’s production of The Lieutenant on Inishmore hit nearly every mark. With the cast often rattling through the tight script so fast it’s barely comprehensible, it was like sitting in my grandmother’s living room when the whole family was round. The play is situated in the early 90s on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Times are troubled, and the gloomy stage was set well against the lightness of humour.

The Lieutenant of Inishmore

We begin with a dead cat. The cat belongs to a man considered too mad for the IRA, Padraic (Conor Mission), who has set up a splinter group of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), the other members of which are increasingly concerned with his behaviour. His father, Donny (Brendan Macdonald) and Davey (Leila Enright) hatch a clownish plan to protect Padraic from the truth about Wee Thomas. Their scheming is interrupted by Davey’s sister, the peculiar vegetarian Mairead (Gabrielle Sing), and the other splinter INLA members Christy (Kristen Cunningham), Joey (Harriet Wallace-Mead) and Brendan (Clancy Moore). All the cast were excellent, but particular mention must go to Macdonald and Enright who provided the bulk of the humour, and really got to the heart of their characters.

There’s a brilliantly twisted darkness to this play that the cast really bring to life on stage. I really enjoyed the inventive use of ‘The Patriot Game’, an old IRA ballad that was sung between scene changes. Director Kevin Turner has done a fantastic job of bringing this difficult text to the stage. Stage manager Jeannette Tong, set designer Francesca David and lighting designer James O’Donoghue have united in designing a smooth, innovative set.

This wonderful production is playing at The University of Melbourne Guild Theatre until Saturday 25 April. For tickets go to: http://umsu.unimelb.edu.au/events/the-lieutenant-of-inishmore/

REVIEW: Revolt Productions Presents KINDRED

Getting inside domestic violence

By Myron My

Every week in Australia a woman is killed by a current or former partner. It is an astonishingly frightening statistic and yet doesn’t seem to be reported by much of the media. Produced by Goldfish Creative, Rachael Blackwood’s new play Kindred brings this issue to the surface as she explores one woman’s struggle to escape from a violent relationship.

Kindred

We are introduced to this relationship between Princess (Aimee Sanderson) and Knight (Ben Ridgwell) through the eyes of Princess’ various “personalities”: the childlike Minnie (Jessica Martin), the sexual Selina (Madeleine Mackenzie), the motherly Faun (Gabrielle Sing), the wise June (Aisha Jakszewicz) and the aggressive Diana (Blackwood herself).
From the initial fairy-tale beginnings of meeting the charming knight, through the gradual abuse suffered by Princess, right up to the difficult-to-watch final moments, Blackwood’s script is brutal, honest and unflinching.

There were instances where scenes got repetitive however, such as arguments between Knight and Princess in which he would storm out only to return and demand that Princess rectify the situation. Whilst it showed the cycle of helplessness that Princess was feeling, some more overt variation to these scenes would have resulted in higher audience engagement.

I was extremely impressed by the five women in the “personality” roles, as they all seem to have grasped their personas thoroughly and successfully. From the individual ways they smiled and even the unique ways they looked at each other – they were the true embodiments of Princess’ inner turmoil. The interactions, dialogue and tone used between them highlights the combined skill of Blackwood, the actors and director Lisa Treloar.

However, their monologues directed at Knight seemed out of place with the rest of the natural dialogue. Having them engage in long-winded poetic speech to express their thoughts resulted in scenes not seeming as authentic as they could have been.

Sanderson does well with what is the most challenging performance in Kindred. She found the right balance of a hopelessly-in-love yet utterly petrified person and as Princess sunk deeper into fear and despair, Sanderson ensured the audience felt exactly what she felt. Unfortunately I was severely underwhelmed by Ridgwell’s Knight. He seemed to struggle playing the nuances of the character and his delivery felt flat and almost monotonous, except for the scenes when he was shouting at Princess.

Overall, Kindred is a strong production with an important message to spread. With some fine-tuning in scripting and performance, it will be even more effective in raising awareness and provoking discussion and action over violence against women.

Venue: Revolt, 12 Elizabeth St, Kensington

Season: Until 13 December| 7:30pm, Sat 2pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $19.50 Conc

Bookings: http://revoltproductions.com