'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

30 August 2015

King Lear, Blood Brothers, Cyrano De Bergerac

King Lear
heartBeast  Boutique Theatre
15th August 2015

Probably my favourite Shakespeare play has always been King Lear as it was one of the plays I studied at school and I have seen some wonderful recorded productions over the years. The grand family tragedy, the usual good and evil and the in between, the descent into madness, the majesty corrupted, the backstabbing. So many characters that are nasty and those that are innocent, disguised, faithful and compassionate. Last nights final performance at heartBeast Boutique Theatre had a surprise or two. It was my first female 'Fool' played so wonderfully and energetically by Adrienne Costello. It really worked for me. I have had huge problems in the past with female 'Pucks' but this made sense even if unusual. Costumed in a patchwork outfit that for me hinted at the Harlequin's costume it looked right and we discussed after the show that it fitted with the so close relationship that existed between King and Fool. The idea behind the setting was the division of a large estate in New South Wales in the 1800's that is prone to cyclones and rough terrain juxtaposed with the ornate, flamboyant and richness of the grand costuming. Also the chill of Brisbane at this time of year made me smile when 'Edgar/Poor Tom' came out in his underwear and mud crying "Poor Tom's a cold." a brave actor indeed. Outstanding for me was new actor Isaac Barnes. What a wonderful voice he has and this young man should be watched. He has the looks, the physique and the talent that I expect will propel him forward in great haste. I had to shake his hand after the show to congratulate him on a brilliant performance. One final, although irrelevant thought that crossed my mind was that the exceedingly good looking Patrick Bell would be so suitable in some Molière. Just an idea.

Blood Brothers
Qld Conservatorium Musical Theatre
1st August 2015
Blood Brothers at the Queensland Conservatorium - Musical Theatre is a moving, perfectly directed, absolutely brilliantly acted piece of theatre with exceptional singing. I have not seen or even heard of this piece but I can see why it ran for over 10,000 performances in London. Joyful, exuberant, playful, sincere, sad and eventually tragic it had me in tears. The talent emanating from this amazing training centre is quite overwhelming. I have seen graduates and even some not yet graduated in very major productions here and with more to come this year. Under the direction of Australian born (correction Newcastle UK born) International director Ian Good the attention to detail left me with not a moment that was not enhanced and true. It is basically a 3rd year production but it was pleasing to see the inclusion of 2nd year students that had impressed me in a couple of other shows I have seen this year. The multi talented and versatile Michael Boulus and the energetic and charming Isaac Lindley were just two. Matthew Semple was a great and loving father Mr Lyons as well as some other short roles, and the beaming voice of Narrator Jacqueline McLaren was a stand out as was Tash Walker the compassionate Mrs Johnstone. However the title stars were just brilliant. Tim Carroll as Eddie was outstanding. He was the nicest guy in the world, faithful, endearing and the audience just warmed to everything he did. They laughed with his awkwardness and felt for his loneliness. As the brother Mickey, Alex Woodward is a star who gave a performance of such commitment it was breathtaking. From the seven year old, full of life and wonder to the horrifying conclusion when he has fallen apart it was acting on a large canvas. He was in tears as he took his bows. It took a lot out of him and us as he threw himself into the exhausting role with nothing held back. Probably school policy that they only took one bow as they are still in training, but the audience just kept cheering and I just kept crying. Bravo all and anyone reading this should go. Great great singing, superb acting and thoroughly convincing

Cyrano De Bergerac
22 August 2014
I went to see the students at ACPA presenting a full on, intensely entertaining production of Cyreno de Bergerac. Sit in the front and get up close and personal with some truly wonderful talent. There are several young actors that have such assurance of success. Occasionally you see people who just overflow with that charismatic aura that glues an audience to them. ACPA is one of those institutions that is fostering, training and recognising talent that will enrich us in Australia. I know a few graduates who are stupendous and so much more is to come. I really had a great night as did the rest of the audience. It is about entertainment and it was there in bucket loads. Thanks to all. 
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