Tag: Seton Pollock


By Ross Larkin

When a show is preceded by its own reputation as an iconic, Oscar-winning film, one might be forgiven for having reservations about subsequent incarnations of any kind. Thankfully, Monster Media’s interpretation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest puts all reservations to rest in a production that succeeds at the highest level.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.jpg

When Randle McMurphy (Michael Robins) is committed to a psychiatric asylum, he unwittingly provokes the menacing Nurse Ratched (Catherine Glavicic), who controls the ward with an iron fist, while forging the most unlikely of friendships in the process.

With award winning director Carl J. Sorheim at the helm, the play by Dale Wasserman and based on the novel by Ken Kesey is executed with delicate precision and just the right amount of integrity, light and shade.

The casting, in particular, is of exceptional note with an ensemble cast that bring complete authenticity and charm to the stage from the outset, including Eddie Muliaumaseali’i, Natalie BondNicholas DentonJack Dixon-GunnJosh FutcherDavid GannonKostas Ilias, Troy Larkin, Stephanie LillisPaul MorrisSeton PollockAngela Scundi and Ben Sofowora.

Michael Robins provides a fresh take as the mischievous McMurphy; a complex and demanding role which, in the wrong hands, could easily fail to affect. However, Robins makes the character his own and does very well in the process.

Catherine Glavicic as the subtly twisted Nurse Ratched is chilling yet sincere, offering an excellent concoction of kindness, authority, manipulation and bite, while Troy Larkin as the troubled Dale Harding is outstanding in a portrayal laden with conviction, torment and tenderness.

Add to the brew an alluring lighting (Jason Crick) and sound design, and a pace and energy to match, and Monster Media’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is most definitely not to be missed.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is playing now until June 11, 2017 at Southbank Theatre, The Lawler, 140 Southbank Boulevard, Melbourne. Tickets available at www.mtc.com.au or by phone on (03) 8688 0800.

Image by GW Photography

Sly Rat Theatre Presents THE TEMPEST

An enchanting event

By Margaret Wieringa

A small boat is wrecked in a magical tempest leaving the survivors to wander an island, guided by spirits and controlled by an ousted Italian noble. Sit back in your camping chair or spread out on your picnic rug; it’s time to be enchanted with some Shakespeare in the park.

The Tempest.jpg

This is the second Shakespearean performance that Sly Rat Theatre Company have put on in Pipemakers Park in Maribrynong and it was again a thoroughly enjoyable evening. We are introduced to the island by Prospero (Brendan Ewing) as he shows the power of his magic, controlling everyone and everything including his daughter and the very spirits of the island. Ewing starts the performance loud and dominant, unfortunately leaving himself very little room to expand the performance. Consequently, we get a strong sense of the outrage and anger of Prospero, but it far more difficult to glean his softer and more complex side.

For this production, artistic directors Alan Chambers and Andy Harmsen have gender-swapped many of the characters (the original play has only one or, depending on the reading of Ariel, two females) and this leads to a completely different reading of some parts of the performance. The idea of women dominating the society that they have left through dishonesty and deceit, and of a man rising up to take his true place – it adds a new level. It also meant that the royals, all female, were young, angry warriors dressed in wild Mad-Max/steampunk costumes and dominating the stage. These costumes contrasted vastly from the island spirits in wispy veils with lots of softness. Unfortunately, many seemed to be wearing poorly-fitting dresses, and while it was clear that the actresses were wearing skin-coloured undergarments, the sense of wardrobe malfunction was somewhat distracting.

Possibly the most impressive costume would have had to have been Caliban, played by Seton Pollock in a beige lyrca suit with all kinds of mutations built in – a hunchback with a distorted spine, one very large thigh and, most obviously, elongated arms with heavy, stumped ends which gave him an animalistic gait perfect for his portrayal of this tragic character.

One thing the production needed to consider further was the sound design. There were some scenes that worked really beautifully, creating the sense of the island (especially at the start, matched with sporadic giggles from the island spirits), but some of the other soundscapes really dominated, detracting from the acting.

However, this is a performance that is being crafted for everyone to enjoy – right down to the kids. There are many standout comedy moments, most notably the slapstick antics of the sailors and the other stand-out clowns of the evening, the wonderful drunks played hilariously by Katherine Moss and Tara Houghton.

Really, though, the performance is the icing on the cake of a delightful night out. You can relax, open some wine, eat a picnic or grab some food from the food truck. Enjoy the warmth in the air, the sun through the trees, and as the day draws to a close, let Shakespeare’s Tempest take you away.

Venue: Pipemakers Park, Van Ness Avenue, Maribrynong

Season: Feb 17-19 +24-26, March 3-5, 6:30pm

Tickets: It’s all free – just come on down!