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September 27, 2010 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

FRIED—A little under done but still sunny side up

FRIED is the first of two complications of six ten minute long scenes directed by this years THEA 304 – Directing students. The design and lighting is done by the THEA 220—Scenography students.

The Chocolate Affair
wri. Stephanie Walker
dir. Daniel Emms

The Chocolate Affair is hamstrung by its rather weak and boring script. Beverly has stolen her daughter’s Halloween candy and then it starts talking to her. It goes nowhere quickly and manages to feel overlong at only ten minutes. Emms clearly has a talent for getting good comic performances out of his actors—though his tendency to over-milk jokes really begins to wear after a while. While a very strong attempt is made at the more serious passages of the work, ultimately a lack of build distracts from the attempted emotional gravity.

One Thousand Avant-Garde Plays
wri. Kenneth Koch
dir. Theo Taylor

Taylor has complied five or so entries from One Thousand Avant-Garde Plays into a mosaic of physical theatre. He has clearly gotten the cast—Owen Baxendale, Joel Baxendale, Rachel Baker and Clare Marcie Wilson—to really attach themselves to the work and they operate incredibly well as an ensemble. Taylor has a very good eye for effective stage imagery, though it did occasionally lack a cohesive sense of flow.

The Cripple of Inishmaan
wri. Martin McDonagh
dir. Sophie Sargent

That Martin McDonagh writes very specifically and directly for the Irish accent could easily have crippled (hiyoooooooooo) this scene due to student actors rarely having a non-parodic Irish accent in their tea chest of tricks. While the accents are hardly perfect, they surprisingly are good enough to not distract from some winning performances. Sargent shows a real talent for the basic shaping of the theatre—of these six pieces this sustains itself the best with a nice, seemingly natural build and release.

Angels in America
wri. Tony Kushner
dir. Jack O’Donnell

Angels in America is a big deal. A big skyscraper of a play casting a long homoerotic shadow over all really modern theatre. Definitive visions of it abound left and right like cats in a cat factory. The very fact that O’Donnell doesn’t (metaphorically) choke to death on what he has bitten off can be counted as a success. While the design elements—an inexplicable whiteboard dominating the stage—don’t necessarily match the text, O’Donnell clearly has a flair for stage imagery and it is simply letting them evolve naturally out of the text that he needs to work on.

Saving Grace
wri. Duncan Sarkies
dir. Alex Grady

This quirky and eerily local play about Gerald, a man who is pretty sure he’s actually Jesus, is played with good humour and interesting tension by Grady and his actors. The set is largely pointless but there are some great lighting gags. However, you can’t help but feel that there are better extracts from this text to perform. As strong as some of Grady’s work clearly is, this work doesn’t complete itself or have a definitive shape, making it feel somewhat unsatisfying.

Fando and Lis
wri. Fernando Arrabal
dir. Lisa Missen

Fando and Lis is sure to divide people. I, personally, had a really good time. Missen pitching the absurdism of this tale of four people very slowly on their way to nowhere in exactly the right place. While the cast lacked a little energy, I found lots to enjoy. However, people I attended with hated it. Ah well. Can’t please everyone.

dir. Daniel Emms, Theo Taylor, Sophie Sargent, Jack O’Donnell, Alex Gardy and Lisa Missen
at Studio 77, 77 Fairlie Tce at 7pm on the 22nd and 24th of September 2010


About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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  1. Your Name says:

    I thought the chemistry between Kirsty Bruce and Alex Greig was positively sizzling.

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