‘A Little Piece of Earth’ is a collection of 19 short flashy plays presented over two nights by The Hayman Theatre, Building 102, Curtin University’s Bentley Campus. The shows start at 7.30 pm until 22nd October. There are ten plays on the odd dates and nine plays on the even dates. The tickets are $10.
Group A set of ten plays being performed on the 19th and 21st October.
‘The Philadelphia’ by David Ives. Directed by Briege Whitehead.
A young man (Nick Shaheen) is having a meal in a New York café, when his extremely distressed friend (Chris Hill) arrives. He is upset because today not a single thing has gone right for him. It is explained that this sounds like the Philadelphia Syndrome, where if you want anything you must request the opposite.
The men try out the theory on the waitress (Kaylee Martin) with success, but will this solution bring peace of mind to the two men?
I have seen this short play numerous times and never really enjoyed it, yet here I laughed out loud. It was brilliantly directed and played perfectly by the three characters. The first man played seriously, the friend absolutely over-the-top and the waitress, disinterested and pan-faced. Having the other occupied tables in the café was worth the effort, it certainly gave credibility to the scene. Great.
‘Stars’ by Romulus Linney. Directed by Brittany Young.
A man (Jesse Tucker) goes to a nightclub, leaving his wife at home. He meets a beautiful hostess (Catherine Bonny) and starts to tell her episodes from his life.
Jesse (a first year student) tried very hard, but with a few lengthy passages, and having to change characters regularly in each, I think that the play didn’t quite work. Sorry.
‘Flop Cop’ by Laura Shaine Cunningham. Directed by Jade Unwin.
It has been found necessary to send a police constable (Daniel O’Brien - very good) around to arrest a mad local writer (Emma O’Sullivan - amazing) guilty of diabolical writing. She battles him off with clever syntax and situation rewrites, but who will win?
A very funny piece, made special by the deadpan expression of the police officer in contrast to the zany, backcombed hair appearance of the bizarre writer. Slick acting and inventive direction. Well done.
‘Cocaine’ by Pendleston King. Directed by Holly Garvey.
In a disgusting flat, a man (Chris Hill) sleeping on a mattress on the floor is awoken by his girlfriend (Mary Soudi). She is returning from her unsuccessful night of ‘street work’.
Totally broke, they contemplate their future.
A powerful piece of acting which, in the few short minutes of the play, managed to conquer the mood of desperation and yet display the strong love between the partners. Very good direction.
‘It’s not you’ by Craig Pospisil. Directed by Amber Moore.
A group of four friends are travelling on the train, when one of the women (Sarah Goodchild) tells another (Rebecca Goodlet) that she is no longer her friend – in fact neither of the others, the husband (Conrad Lui) and the pregnant wife (August Knape), like her either!
The poor girl is devastated.
A very funny play, with a completely new theme. Well acted and directed. Good tech work and set.
‘There shall be no bottom’ by Mark O’Donnell. Directed by Lawson Reeves.
A stereotypical police inspector (Stephen East) calls at the home of a young couple (Meabh Walton, Josh Magee) with some vital questions that need urgent answers. Their male friend (Jasmine Holmes) and alibi, causes even further complications.
This play is written and delivered as though it was a first rehearsal. None of the props work properly - or they are missing - the dialogue is confused, and yet the actors blunder through the whole affair with finesse. The male friend is played by the stage manager, who woodenly reads from the script in her hand, before waving to a friend in the audience.
An extremely funny play, acted perfectly with some very comical actions added. Loved it.
‘The Tarantino Variation’ by Seth Kramer. Directed by Brooke Ewens.
Suddenly in a dark street, three gangsters (Madeline Currie, Laura Grigson, Emily Kingsley) meet and find themselves in a circle with their guns all pointed at each other. Who will put their gun down first – or die first?
A very funny play that demanded slick, fast action and powerfully spoken dialogue. The team worked extremely well.
‘Miss You’ by David Auburn. Directed by Charles Wu.
Today everyone seems to live on their mobile phones. When a woman (Cody Cianfagna) gets a call from her husband (Michael Collins), as he is about to board a plane on his way home from a conference, another call comes through – it is from her lover. She eventually gets back to her husband who has been held on the line, only to find that he too has another incoming call.
Love is complicated.
A tricky play to direct and act, as the two players have to enact several characters in different locations. A very worthy attempt at a most difficult play.
‘Marred Bliss’ by Mark O’Donnell. Directed by Matthew Randall.
A young couple (Megan Watson and David Cronin) are discussing their wedding plans, when an old boyfriend (Kevin Chan) arrives with a bunch of flowers and a kiss. Jealousy builds up as the husband-to-be faces the threat.
Then a beautiful blast from the husband’s past (Taylor Russert) arrives and now it is the wife’s turn to worry.
The whole script is written with hilarious malapropisms and typing errors. This must have been a total nightmare for the cast to learn their lines, but they did and their delivery was flawless. Congratulations.
‘New York Actor’ by John Guare. Directed by Shelby Shaw.
An actor (Andre Lissiman) arrives at the local café and starts bragging to his friends (Violette Ayad, Hannah Hugessen) about his part in an upcoming production. One of the friends (Rachel Foucar) sees a couple of theatre critics (Natalie Baggen, Ali McKellar) sitting at another table, so she decides to go and thank a reviewer for her kind write-up, whilst annoyingly ingratiating herself at the same time.
Then the actor’s friend (Waseem Parkar) arrives to announce to the gathering, that he has got the same part, but the original actor to be cast hasn’t yet been informed by the director that he has really been rejected.
How will the friends handle the situation?
The acting and direction went well, the story was a good insight of theatre life. Good fun, well presented.
The complete production was extremely well stage-managed by Megan Watson, who, with nine set changes had the cast well organised and the props (organised by Patrick Harvey) moved in and out flawlessly. The lighting (Rachel Granger) and sound (Farah Ainuddin) for each act was relatively simple, but over the evening presented quite a complex set-up, again professionally handled with some very good effects. The large selection of costumes were designed and organised by Clare Toonen.
There were two and a quarter hours of genuine fun for only $10. Often with short plays there might be a thirty percent success rate, this Group A collection is a good variety, most of them extremely enjoyable. Recommended as an end of week cheer up.
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