This is a re-posting of my original Blog Posting Events in Theatre Australia. I have chosen to republish this under Bulletin Boards as it is the most frequently read forum. We still have far too many entries submitted without an accurate tagging of key search items such as Location. 2011-09-22 Updated to cover a section on To Post New or Re-use
The name tells you nothing about the play. This is not a 'feelgood' or 'Pollyanna' story. Nor is it so much about political correctness (the 'new puritanism' as Barry Humphries calls it) as it is about psychological bullying.
The highlight of this production is undoubtably John Bell's central performance as Falstaff. It's a performance that grows and grows, full of humour and pathos. It stands with his other great character roles: Richard the Third and Malvolio. It's a joy to watch John Bell really enjoy himself, the jolly old man one moment, father figure the next, dirty jokes and tenderness alternating as well. And we should remember what a lean, urbane man he is in real life - not the chubby scruff-bag he is in this production of Henry the Fourth Parts One and Two at the WA State Theatre Centre by Bell Shakespeare Company. I must say that the Centre holds up as a wonderful venue for this epic style of theatre. Bell is well supported. Matthew Moore is extremely good and natural as Prince Hal. In fact the whole cast are absolutely committed. Sean O'Shea, (always good), shines in his various roles including a hilarious Justice Shallow as does Wendy Strehlow as a feisty Mistress Quickly. Credit must go to David Whitney, dignified as Henry 1V, the play carrying his name but forcing him to remain pained and stony faced while everyone else has all the fun.
"If it be now, tis not to come. If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. Let be" - this review comes so late,due to posting difficulties, that it has to be considered more a series of thoughts on the production at Subiaco Arts Centre, a co-production between Barking Gecko Theatre Company and WAAPA and on the great tragedy itself. I believe that the collective theatrical community of any major city must ensure that Hamlet is performed at least once every 3 - 4 years. Bell Shakespeare manages to get a Dane out every four years. Of course in London you can expect about 3 - 4 major attempts every year. Think back over Jude Law, David Tennent, Rory Kinnear or Michael Sheen in recent memory. But here in Perth we have waited too long since Raymond Omedei's commitment to the play at The Hole in the Wall which boasted Richard Dillane in the 80's and David Davies in the 90's as the melancholic prince before that wonderful Perth theatre company ceased to be.
Earnest Actor: I was reading some old programmes for the Storm The Stage talent competition over last weekend. I was lucky enough to be involved with the STS at its inception some years ago now. A young actor caught my attention then.
Musical with a Twist