Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'd hate you to think I was just being slack...

First up, Danny Episode has a pulse again, after seven months. He's posted a coupla typically feisty (if atypically gentle) reviews... more in, er, Zorro than in anger.

And the Bad Ass One has written a ripper review of Keating, the Musical. It's such a good review, I don't think I need to write one of my own.

As for my medically-induced coma, let me give you a taste of life in Boydland...

Last week:


16:00 Metadance by Chrissie Parrott and Jonathan Mustard at PICA
20:00 The National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch at the Perth Convention Centre

Monday, my "day off"...

00:30 "Red eye" flight back to Melbourne, arrives 05:55
19:00 Phone interview with David D'Or (counter-tenor, world music singer, Israel's Eurovision Song Contest entrant 2004, enormous spunk) in Tel Aviv. (Great fun.)


Keating!, the glorious musical.


Malthouse Theatre's Tartuffe


The Australian Ballet's fifth bodytorque season "to the pointe" at the Sydney Theatre. (Finding accommodation in Sydney in the lead-up to Mardi Gras was laughably difficult. I ended up at the Boardrider Backpacker and Budget Accommodation Hotel in Manly... only thing available under five hundred a night, for fux sake.)


David Hare's Vertical Hour at the Opera House Drama Theatre, an STC production directed by Julian Meyrick. (See Mr Pickard's blog for plenty of debate on it. Start here.)


Back in Melbourne for a first showing of the fruits of Frances d'Ath's residency at Swinburne.

The hit count? Four and a half big hits, two and a half big misses... (I'm such a tease.)


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Malthouse Theatre: Molière's Tartuffe

Molière's Tartuffe, adapted by Louise Fox. Directed by Matthew Lutton. Set and costume design by Anna Tregloan. Lighting design by Paul Jackson. Composed by Peter Farnan. A Malthouse Theatre production. At the Merlyn Theatre until March 8, 2008.

Molière's Tartuffe so outraged its audience when it premiered, it was immediately banned. The star of the show was a thief, a seducer and a hypocrite... and a man of the cloth!

The holy man, Tartuffe, gets his name from the French work for sanctimonious hypocrite. Tartufe -- with one 'f' -- is a little word with a big meaning.

But how can a modern production capture that sense of outrage? In a world that's survived Jim Jones and Jim Bakker -- you pray, you pay... big time! -- lies and hypocrisy are so commonplace that they no longer have the capacity to shock us.

Louise Fox's adaptation set in 21st century Melbourne doesn't even try. Her play is Tartuffe without tartufe. We watch stupid, wealthy people being conned out of their fortune and evicted from their fortress by a personal trainer with a crucifix.

I think we're supposed to get some ghoulish pleasure from watching the squatocracy getting fleeced. And, yes, they're a contemptible lot: bored, superior, mean, petty and entirely out of touch with the lot of the world. They're vampires in gorgeous white bathers, the lot of them.

But Fox has messed up the balance of the play. Molière's razor-edge satire is completely blunted. What's left is a fluffy and insipid piece of sketch comedy full of puny puns, sight gags (like Andrew Lloyd Webber's superstar Christ, Tartuffe walks on chlorinated water) and cute lines about being born again yesterday.
I'm all ears.
Not much in between it seems.
Marcus Graham plays Tartuffe as a cult-leading evangelist guru. Only two people fall for his commanding charisma -- Orgon and his mother (both of whom are played by a breathless and uncharacteristically one-dimensional Barry Otto) -- but Tartuffe chooses his victims carefully: the ones with the most money and the most power. Orgon promptly signs over both his wealth and his daughter.

Matthew Lutton's production is cute and entertaining with its outbreaks of rapping and singing. It's all quite gorgeous to look out with its snaking wrought iron at either end and a lap pool slashing across the middle of the space. And it's well served by its cast, especially Alison Whyte as this garden of Eden's Eve. But this is a garden with no snake in its carefully clipped grass.

This review was published in the Herald Sun on February 26, 2008.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

To whom it probably doesn't much concern...

I have no idea how being painted in gold would affect the human body. Ask Midas.

YES, Sizwe Banzi is dead

NO, Nick Cave did not play Bad Boy Bubby. It was Nicholas Hope.

Meow Meow is NOT a country performer.

NO, Julia Zemiro is -- regrettably -- not lesbian. I've met her boyf. He's gorgeous and talented. (What's that? Why "regrettably"? Well, if I can't have her, I don't want any other man getting his paws on her!)

NO, I do not have photographs of (opera singers) Antoinette Halloran or Sally Matthews nude. Nor do I have pics of (actors) Bojana Novakovic, Anita Hegh or Helen Christinson nude. Nor do I have pics of (ballet dancer) Amber Scott nude. (Why not ask for the Virgin Mary while you're at it?!) And I very much doubt I would post them if I had... as great as they might be for my stats!

Bojana did have some very hot profile pics on Facebook, but she (and they) disappeared without trace. To see Antoinette, you'll have to wait (probably a very long time) for a return season of Andre Previn's opera A Streetcar Named Desire. (You missed out badly!)

I do have nude pics of -- no, wait.

Please note, this is a new -- and unrelated -- paragraph. As I'm sure I've noted before, Anita Hegh is in huge demand in the middle east, particularly in Iran. (Also in France, Spain, Dubai, Norway, the Czech Republic and Canada.) (A searcher in Lisbon only wanted her astral chart. Bless!) (And, to be fair, the Czech's didn't specify nude as often as the rest.)

Someone in Viersen, Germany, wants pics of Chris Boyd nude. Ahem.

Well, here's a hint. I'm the only past or present staff member of The Big Issue to have appeared in the magazine with booty exposed. Anonymously, of course. Get rummaging! There are only 300-odd extant editions! There might be a prize involved.

YES, Reed Luplau is a spunk.

'Erotoc' is a piss-spelling. (And not one of mine!)

Desmond Richardson is pretty, but hardly gritty.

Peter Brook does direct.

Maxine McKew is NOT a c*nt. (Wash your mouth out, Melbourne Victoria.)

IT IS, indeed, "our duty not to surrender the world into the hands of fools".

NO, Tanja Liedtke didn't commit suicide.

And, take it from me, Mr Sibelius of Finland, whoever told you "In some parts of Australia Tie me Kangaroo down sport is considerd a love song" was yanking your tail.

YahooSan of Tokyo: "MARYANN FUCK" hardly rates as a sensible search.

Tewksbury of Massachusetts wonders: "david mcallister man of steel erotic". Since David used to go by the nickname Daisy, I'm guessing he's probably more the latter than the former.

How disappointing for my visitor from Canberra who was looking for "lesbian groin grinding" only to get me! (LOL) Ditto Sterling Heights of Michigan, who was looking for "sleaziest ebony women".

Anchorage, Alaska offers: "innocence is a form of laziness"... in which case I am guilty of great -- er -- vigour. (Help me out here, what's an antonym for laziness?)

To West Lafayette of Indianna, if "teenagers are getting pregnant every 31 seconds", it's not my fault.

Someone in Barbados thinks "Mark Cleary is a jerk". S/he may very well think that, I couldn't possibly comment.

Schenectady of New York: the parrot doesn't belong to Laurie Anderson, it belongs to her brother, Chris.

Hope Valley in Rhode Island wants to "sew your ass hole closed". Youch.

A more chilling enquiry comes from Serbia And Montenegro: "sleep adjustment prison euphemism". It is indeed.

Whereas Ljubljana in Slovenia plaintively typed "i miss him",

Deloitte of Ireland wants to know the meaning of smashed windows in a dream.

Did you know there's a Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina?! Or a Parsippany in New Jersey? Or a Bialystok (!!) in Poland? Or...

Am I boring you?