Odd Socks – FRINGE REVIEWS

In a rehearsal room downstairs of the State Theatre Centre I was one of the last to enter and crossed the floor to my seat. There was a man sitting on a couch in the middle of the stage but he was already in character, and barely noticeable. It was a low-fi stage setting of a small apartment where all but blended pineapples would occur. Door frame, couch and packing boxes provided the hardware to this Megan Hollier and Gemma Hall project, that pits two opposing characters against each other for a night of introspection and cocktails.

Charles (George Ashworth) has just stopped packing his apartment to have dinner, unaware as to how his night was about to change, when Mia (Megan Hollier) bursts into what she thinks is her front door. The clash of characters is non-more apparent than at first impression although throughout the play this was a pairing that didn’t match. The dissonance created by the two allows for personal revelations and conversations that wouldn’t normally be had.

The ambitious introvert and the happy-go-lucky extrovert is always a favourite pairing of mine and it is no different on this occasion. Odd Socks is well-paced and Megan and George give great performances. It traps you in its awkwardness early and lets the actors open it up toward the end and they deliver a great climatic scene.

4/5 Stars

Odd Socks is on tonight and tomorrow (Sat 4th) at the The Flaming Locomotive Engine Room, State Theatre Centre. 

See the Fringeworld website for tickets and showtimes.

Sammy J & Randyland – FRINGE REVIEWS

The tall and impossibly lanky Sammy J is back in Perth with his purple felt comedic companion Randy to present to you their theme park dream.

The comedic duo have built up quite a following and the Perth Town Hall was completely sold out for a show in which one man and one puppet sing, dance and make us all laugh as they try to run their own carnival. Although, like infamous puppet musical Avenue Q, the word puppet doesn’t necessarily mean kid humour. Quite the opposite in fact.With multiple mentions of “puppet penis”, the humour was definitely more R-rated so no kids allowed!

The basic premise was a show in which the duo showed, through a series of flashbacks, the rise and fall of their (fake) dream carnival as man and puppet battle to take control over the theme park. This is a scripted play of sorts but you get to see everything from people getting eaten by orcas to a puppet inside a fake man costume. Trust me, it’ll make more sense once you’re there.

The show was technically impressive too with the duo pulling out all the stops to make their dream of a  theme park come to life. Think shadow puppetry, a few costume changes and a large juicebox container that housed Randy for part of the show. They say you should never work with children or animals but they never said anything about puppets? The multiple puppeteers bringing Randy to life were pretty seamless with their transitions as Randy appeared to move about the stage, play dead, emote and generally be an R-rated puppet to everyone’s enjoyment.

The best moments would have been the times they went completely off script. Whether that was when they were giggling at their own off-the-cuff jokes or asking the audience to name a local Perth reference they could include, things quickly spiralled away from the main comedy script but the majority of the audience was laughing more than ever.  A highlight would be the non-scripted revelation that they couldn’t use prop bowling balls on stage because last time they accidentally crushed a man’s foot in Melbourne yet still had to show them so they could be “tax deductible” balls.

All in all, this was one great show that did leave my face hurting afterwards because I was laughing almost non-stop. That’s how you know a Fringeworld show has left you happy and satisfied!

4.5/5 stars

Sammy J & Randyland is still playing until February the 5th at the Perth Town Hall.

See the Fringeworld website for tickets and showtimes.

The unTrue Detective – FRINGE REVIEWS

Lets start the Fringe season with a classic theatrical comedy. Nothing whets the appetite for what’s to come more than a blend of quiet chuckles and thoughtful intrigue. The show ‘The unTrue Detective” does not disappoint.

Now spurred on to see every show under the sun, it was great to see something at the award winning venue “Noodle Palace” in Northbridge. A few drinks and some noodles pre-show certainly doesn’t hurt.

“The unTrue Detective” had the intimate crowd on the edge of their seats (although that could have been the uncomfortable seating). While not filling the room with screaming laughter, the subtle digs and ‘red herrings’ left the audience with a constant ear-to-ear grin.

Effective lighting and a small venue really added to the shows appeal. Without revealing too much, a sense of direct communication and internal monologue from star character ‘McNab’ was the real highlight.

If you are after layers of complicated story, this show is not for you. But if what you seek is an evening of cheeky comments, laughs and a good time, this is the show for you.

Recommendation:

          Enjoy a pre-show feed and drink to add a bit more to your night.

          For $16 tickets, you do get your money’s worth in the 40-minute show.

Tickets available at: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/event/untrue_detective/7a5b6dbf-bf4a-4228-a3b0-c91e65b61077/

The Quenda Files: A Quiet Week

After we were bragging last week about how much better podcasters we had become, somehow we activated Siri mid discussion and stuffed up the file export to lose the last 5 minutes of the podcast, which is probably for the best because we were padding for time after a super uneventful week of politics.

The Quenda Files: Fireworks and Racism

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iTunes and other subscription services coming when we design a logo.

Troy and Roland ramble on about yesterday’s news including the Fremantle firework ban, systemic racism, staff strikes and fossil fuel divestment. Practice makes perfect as most of last week’s technical blips are ironed out and the volume tends to be more even too! We even wrote a few notes down to plan what were going to say but quickly lost them.

What do you want us to talk about? Do you want to come on the show and tell us we’re wrong? Leave a comment below.

Show Notes

The Quenda Files: Episode 1

1


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Welcome to our first attempt at a weekly podcast discussing the last week of news and politics. Troy and I sat down to ramble on but both of us had been watching too much Olympics to provide any well thought out opinions. Next week will be better researched we promise. Also apologies over the sound quality, expect a few glitches, we’re very new to this.

Leave feedback and suggestions, positive and negative, in the comments. Anyone who wants to design a Quenda Files logo is welcome to do so.

iTunes subscription coming soon. But for those of you who are more tech savvy, the RSS link is here.

Show notes

Circle- Theatre Review

 

Five friends plan together to take a road trip despite it being quite difficult since they have different schedules. Having been friends since High school, they’ve continued to keep in touch even though they no longer hang out like they did back in High school. Several events that happened in the flashbacks were relatable. Hanging out with friends playing video games, watching tv, going to parties, seeing movies or just chilling.

The script was well written and the circumstances of the events had very concise timing.
The dialogue was clever and often humourous. Sean Wcislo’s writing style has developed exponentially since Roommates live which was produced in . There was a fascinating twist to the genre of tragicomedy in Circle, beginning in the end. The play catered towards high school and university styled issues and themes. The events were enriched by the common history between the friends. Their friendship became very realistic through the various flashbacks and believable for the audience.

On stage the set was minimal, a couch and camping gear. The set was used very effectively. Projected on the screen, was a date, 13/05/2016 for the flashbacks it changed several times during the play. The actors and technicians did well with creating smooth transitions between flashbacks. They made them obvious by using the couch on the left (right stage). The sound and lighting were suitably designed and complemented the play’s action brilliantly.

The play was about friends and being challenged by life but still supporting each other. It was very funny, but near the end it was touching and somewhat sombre. It’s worth watching as people might find that it can be quite cathartic. Please be aware of strong language and supposed alcohol consumption.

Highly recommended, Rating 7/10

Circle is still showing tonight and Saturday at 7pm 29th, 30th July, Studio 411 is located on South Street, Murdoch University campus. Carpark 4 is the best place for parking.

Play- Circle
Presented by Modicum Theatre Perth Inc. Written by Sean Wcislo and directed by Leigh Fitzpatrick, Photography by Beck Thorman

Links
Circle- FB event
Modicum Theatre Perth Inc.
Trybooking Tickets

Frankenstein- Theatre Review

 

Going into the foyer, people cluster in groups, excitedly anticipating the beginning of the play. At around 7pm, the doors open and people begin to enter the theatre in droves. Sitting at the back row,I was ready to see Frankenstein performed on stage. Preparing myself, I eagerly wait for the opening scene, my eyes straining in the dark to take notes.

It was a marvellous show, very in depth on the events surrounding Victor’s life and the creature’s journey since his creation. I was conflicted between whether I should sympathise with Victor or the creature, as both of them were morally divided, carrying guilt and loss. Victor Frankenstein, the main protagonist, uses such stark and eloquent language. Amongst all the gore, humorous scenes are scattered in between the main action. A story weaved on stage before an enraptured audience.

There were two acts, the first was about one and a half hours and then the second act was about an hour. This was still surprising considering most of the main events from the novel were included so timing could’ve been longer. It was quite succinct. With a cast of twenty-one actors, there was always something happening on stage. It was highly engaging and everyone gave splendid performances. Besides Victor Frankenstein and the creature, the landlord, Henry and the captain stood out to me.

The play begins on a boat in the middle of the Arctic Sea. The crew and captain have caught a stowaway and demand he be watched. It’s highly suspicious to be out here. Victor Frankenstein, played by Scott McArdle, tells the captain his life story, flashing back 15 years to when he grew up in a Swiss family. His father, mother, brother William, friend Henry and adopted sister Elizabeth. His mother’s death during his childhood wasa turning point. His father avenges her death and the family never fully recovered. To escape the solemn household, Victor decides he was to be a doctor. He travels to Germany in hope of studying to become a physician. In search of lodgings, his misfortune leads him to renting the attic and having to put up with his crazed landlord. In his growing, morbid fascination with life and death, he ignores that he has a responsibility as a doctor. In the present, Victor chases after his own memories, haunted by his decisions and his guilt. In the second act, the creature goes through its life of suffering, starting when Victor abandoned him.

Written by Mary Shelley, the script was adapted for the theatre by Scott McArdle. Frankenstein was originally a novel and considered literature. McArdle managed somehow to write the script, direct and act in the same play. Originally Aaron Jay was going to be Victor Frankenstein, though something happened last minute that prevented him from continuing. Scott was able to take on the role within 6 weeks. Being experienced in adapting to the demand  is a distinguishing ability for an actor to have.

The production was able to find a way to have wolves and a horse on stage, with enough fine detail to provoke the imagination. The smoke machine was frequently used  for storms, fires and foggy streets, allowing for a realistic atmosphere. The costumes were very practical and precise. The sound was effective in application and enhanced the impact of the action on stage. The lighting was elaborate and complemented the sound-scape.

The same set as Dracula and The Mummy was used, adapted specifically for this performance. It suited well in the differing settings but the set was installed with a ‘fold out’ bed and I noticed that it was already stained before the action began. This is most likely from one of the rehearsals or the preview on Wednesday. The bed itself was a great addition to the set, it just slightly disrupted the illusion.

This production of Frankenstein retains the potent horror and mystery of Mary Shelley’s novel. With a creative production team and a skilled cast of 21 people collaborating, the production was remarkable. It was both shocking and delightfully gruesome, yet not overly violent. I highly recommend seeing Frankenstein at Nexus Theatre, rating, 8/1013815001_1131536043573986_1478498729_n

Murdoch Open Day
Check out the Nexus Theatre and learn more about Murdoch Theatre at the Murdoch Open Day on Sunday. There will be a presentation and several performances throughout the day at the South Street Campus. 10am-4pm

Upcoming Plays at Murdoch University

Circle, July 28th-30th, Studio 411 Written by Sean Wcislo and directed by Leigh Fitzpatrick. A group of friends take a roadtrip, going on a journey physically and emotionally. Their friendships are severely tested when they get lost. 6;30pm open, 7pm start

In August
2084- Presented by Murdoch University PHD candidates, starting August 18th. Nexus Theatre. A musical, inspired by the novel of George Orwell- 1984. The original script for the production is the product of Sarah Courtis’ and Ellin Sear’s PhD theses. = More information will come some. Have a look at the description on the FB event. 

Links
Frankenstein- FB Page
Second Chance Theatre
Circle-FB Event
2084-FB Event
Murdoch Open Day

An Interview with Circle’s Director and Writer

One Hell of a Show. The Road to Success. A Modicum of Inspiration.

Play: Circle

Company: Modicum Theatre (Perth Inc)
Director: Leigh Fitzpatrick
Writer: Sean Wcislo
Venue: Studio 411, 90 South Street (Murdoch University)
Showings: Thursday Opening night: July 28th, 29th & 30th

Leigh Fitzpatrick (Director)
Sean Wcislo (Writer, Assistant director)

Ariana: How did you find the actors for Circle?
Leigh: We found the actors through networking. It was mainly people who knew Sean and his play ‘Roommates Live from Apartment 19’ who showed interest and went to auditions. (on March 4th)

Ariana: What inspired you to write Circle?
Sean: I liked the idea that people go on road trips and things happen. Where these friends get lost and the only source of action/tension was each other. I was also interested in the course their relationships took when they were tested.

Ariana: What was it like working with Modicum Theatre?
Leigh: They have a different viewpoint when it comes to theatre. As the current vice president, I’m very involved in the theatre’s committee. We’re about learning, you’ll never find out if someone’s a born leading performer if they’re stuck playing minor roles.

Sean: I’m glad it happened

Ariana: How long did it take you to write the script for Circle?
Sean: The idea was a few years old. I’ve been adding to it slowly for awhile. At the beginning of this year I really got down to writing the rough draft. I nearly wrote 25% of it in one night.The first draft of the script took me about a month to write.

Leigh: Sean took the script to one of the Roommate Live rehearsals. As I had plenty of time offstage, I was able to read through and I knew then that I wanted to direct it. .

Ariana: What was your artistic vision as director?
Leigh: “I’ve always wondered about the subtlety , “the characters have history” Using minimalism to let the characters speak for themselves without anything distracting is important.

Ariana: What stood out the most during rehearsals?
Sean: I enjoyed how the actors have engaged with the script enough to take their experiences outside of rehearsals.

Ariana: What stood out during the rehearsal process/realising the script on stage?
Leigh: We’ve been having rehearsals for the last four months” There are certain moments in the script that are eminently relatable.” “The cast was great” “Having a five person ensemble made rehearsals more intense and allowed out to concentrate on making the characters ‘humanly real’ and multidimensional.”

Ariana: How were the characters in the script created/inspired?
Sean: the plot and events were planned before the characters. The characters were created based on their necessity, then were fleshed out from there.

Ariana: What was it like working with the production team?
Leigh: I was continually amazed at the quality of the work people were willing to put their efforts into. I am continually amazed as to their love of the arts.

Ariana: What did you do as an assistant director?
Sean: I helped the director with taking notes and filling in when necessary. When Leigh took notes on actors, I’d be supportive by taking notes on the production side and vice versa.

Ariana: How would you describe the play Circle, to an audience?
Leigh: It’s a tragicomedy it’s about the nature of friendship and the pointlessness of hiding from the inevitable. Also it’s about a road trip through hell. So that’s cool.

Links
Modicum Theatre
Circle Event
Tickets and Booking info
Modicum Rehearsals -Instagram