Archive for November, 2013

Waiting for Godot | Sydney Theatre Company


It took me some time to write about “The Godot” currently playing at the Sydney Theatre, produced by the Sydney Theatre Company. I knew that the delighted opening night foyer, the thunderous applause and the casting of two of Australia’s most accomplished celebrity theatre actors in the lead roles of Di-di and Go-go was a recipe for success. The desire to peck out a rapid-fire review was diminished: after all this play is about Waiting. Ruminating.

So I thought I’d follow its lead. Read more

Sweet Nothings | atyp Under The Wharf, John Kachoyan & pantsguys productions

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We know what makes a romantic comedy. It’s the premise by which love conquers all obstacles – and in the current Hollywood model – this usually refers to the foolishness of the man. So what makes a romantic tragedy? Well that is when the will of love can not over come its circumstance or context – eg Romeo and Juliet. Sweet Nothings is a romantic tragedy and is billed as “A sexy, funny and daring new adaptation of Liebelei by Arthur Schnitzler (the writer who inspired Eyes Wide Shut and The Blue Room), Sweet Nothings explores the power of sexual longing, the cruelty of tradition and the vulnerability of those in love.”

However, I found nothing sexy nor funny nor daring nor particularly new in this adaptation or production. Read more

Romeo & Juliet | Sydney Theatre Company


Romeo and Juliet – you know the blurb “The greatest love story of all time? Certainly. But it’s also a prototype for some of culture’s other great narratives: the rebellion against generations past, and the need to escape from a predetermined future. One of the most thrilling things about young love is that often it is forbidden. And that very act of prohibition makes it all the more alluring.”

And so when we know the story so well – the star crossed lovers who end up destroying their lives (and the lives of those around them) – that in the production it becomes more about the journey than the destination. Read more

The Comedy of Errors | Bell Shakespeare


“Two sets of identical twins are separated at birth when they’re rescued from a shipwreck. And when they end up in the same shifty, transitory port-town of Ephesus fully grown, we join them on their bizarre journey of reconciliation. As they collide unknowingly with each other’s friends and family, it’s not long before this absurd tale of mistaken identity and far-fetched coincidence unfolds in chaotic hilarity.”

The strength of every comedy lies in its truth. And every truth needs comedy to help find its way into our hearts and minds. At the core of The Comedy of Errors is a story of identity, violence and reconciliation: we see the unfortunate disparity between master and servant, between the home-dwellers and the displaced visitors. The greatest tragedy in The Comedy of Errors is that everyone is honestly telling the truth, no-one is being underhanded nor deceptive and as such the injustice of the violence is amplified. It’s a really interesting play that looks to the idea of familial loyalty as the bedrock to patience and understanding. Read more

The Floating World | Griffin Theatre Company


We owe a lot to history. The record of events or opinions that shape our opinions in overt and covert ways. Australia’s history at it’s most prideful is our participation in War – the Aussie battlers who defended the mother country and her allies against “the other.” It is the one theme in our history that is told and re-told, glorified and marks two days on the calender for rememberence. We don’t find the same pride in our settlement – how can we with the vicious murder of the indigenous Australians. We don’t find same pride in our convict heritage. But war is something different. Read more

Hamlet | Belvoir


I can’t help but raise one eyebrow when looking at the Belvoir website.
Under the headline of “Hamlet” is the usual credits:

“By William Shakespeare Director Simon Stone. 12 October – 1 December. Upstairs Theatre”

And then a quote:

“The play’s the thing… “

Indeed it is the thing. Read more

Spoil Your Love Life | The Newsagency


It’s one of those confessions I need to make, that despite living down and around the road from The Newsagency in Marrickville, I had only heard, not seen of the venue that seems to be carving out a place for itself as a space for live performance. Sporting an obedient row of tiny green chairs and stools, and an impressive flock of LED lights The Newsagency is one of the Inner West’s one room wonders. Read more

A Murder Is Announced | Sydney Theatre


“In an English village, you turn over a stone and have no idea what will crawl out. The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn, including Miss Marple, are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: ‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 13th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30p.m.’ A childish practical joke or a hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out, a gun is fired and a body falls.”

As a teenager Friday nights were often spent with my father and an Agatha Christie or a PD James or a Ruth Rendell tele-movie. I’d watching a small village handle the threat of murder, or the realisation that not all were sweet and kindly church-goers, gardeners or local librarians – some people in the village were hiding nasty and difficult secrets. Coming from a small town myself I often wondered if my neighbours were equally likely to poison each other’s tea – and such is the tradition of the British murder mystery genre. A wise outsider – sometimes a Frenchman and sometimes an old maid – would outwit the police in understanding the situation faster and in more detail than the slow and sloppy law preservers. Read more

A Streetcar Named Desire | Liverpool Performing Arts Ensemble


A Streetcar Named Desire… a portrait of American working class life? A momentary glimpse of a life off the rails? An exploration of feminine and masculine role play? A poetic examination of power?

A classic play pumped up full of theatrical mythology – poking its head through the curtain of time and whispering in our post modern ears that it’s always “depended on the kindness of strangers” or screams out in hard and primal desperation “Stella!” The references to Williams’ play slide and slip across the world, across culture and into our back pockets. So well worn we can nearly take it for granted, that it is there.
Read more

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Augusta Supple

Sydney-based theatre director, producer and writer. This site is about my long, deep, bright-eyed, ever-hopeful, sometimes difficult, always invigorating, rambunctious, rebellious, dynamic and very personal relationship with Australian Arts and Culture... I reflect on shows, talks, essays, writing, artists that inspire me to say something, and you'll find out what I'm working on, who I'm working with and what inspires me.