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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Curbing my Enthusiasm

In Carlton this afternoon I walked into Readings Bookshop with neither intent nor interest. Walked out with a copy of Season 1 of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" which seemed a perfect, ironic contrast to my melancholic mood.

Monday, October 26, 2009

MTC's Kafka's Monkey

A Saturday autumn afternoon at MTC's Kafka's Monkey. But before we get in...a power failure. Power is back on after 45 minutes.

This one woman show from the Ypung Vic in London is a bravura performance by Kathryn Hunter.

She is absolutely Kafka's ape who has taken on human speech and clothing but still retains very ape-like mannerisms. A performance meant to test just where the ape/human line is. Does it work? Kinda! Not sure immediately what Kafka was trying to achieve. Therefore what you do walk away with is the memory of Kathryn's performance.

Monday, March 09, 2009

My Digital Life

A new blog from the ever entertaining duo of Andy Ihnatko and Scott Bourne

Monday, November 10, 2008

No Agenda - It Seems Not!

The "No Agenda" podcast labels itself as being..."A show about American politics with no agenda, by Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak.

I have been a subscriber to the podcasts of Adam Curry since the very early days of his Daily Source Code program. Since then I have lost a lot of interest in his shows as he moved from the very personal tech experience to being a corporate media player - clearly a role in which he is very successful.

I came to the joys of John C. Dvorak initially through Leo Laporte but came to enjoy the many manifestations of John (Cranky Geeks, TWIT) for their own sake.

I had heard of their No Agenda podcast and some 6 weeks or so ago thought I would add it to my subscription group.

Initially this was marginally interesting with lots of self indulgent talk of restaurants, wines etc. Self indulgence and self absorption are frequent travellers where Mr Curry is concerned.

But on show No 56 they lost me. During the recent US election, their tone became increasingly cynical with lots of populist assertions about the Obama campaign but little actual fact. Lots of insinuations about the Obama campaign being in the pocket of the media companies.

But now their cynicism has gone to the next level with often contradictory diatribes about the post election progress. They seemingly want the Obama team to include all new people (ie change) but ones who still have experience and can get the job done. Criticism is all ok but why not offer an alternative to action and/or decisions being taken. Don't just say what you don't like - say what you think should be done.

But am I expecting too much from (a) a successful, clearly bright but self absorbed DJ who is so fond of his beloved US that he lives in Europe, and (b) a good tech journo who clearly also knows something about food and wine?

Guys you have clearly strayed from the "no agenda" line.

MTC - The Hypocrite

I probably see 10-12 plays per year either at the Malthouse or the MTC. The problem is I actually remember very few - even when I enjoy the performance.

So I Saturday night I saw a modernized version of Moliere's play Tartuffe - this time renamed The Hypocrite. I had forgotten how long a Moliere play can be. This one ran just under three hours with a 20 minute interval.

So a bit long but entertainingly performed by a cast headed by Kim Gyngell as Tartuffe, Garry MacDonald as the feckless Orgon and the delicious Marina Prior as his wife. The text was still the rhyming style of Moliere but with updated language. The truth is I didn't notice the rhyming until the second half having struggled with the often overwhelming urge to sleep for most of the first half- a product of too many late nights.

A rating of 3.5. Saw Iris and Richard there again.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Melbourne Theatre Company's " Doubt"

This afternoon we had the unexpected pleasure of a performance of "Doubt" - the latest in the current MTC season.  My partner tells me this play is the first of a trilogy dealing with the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States.

Doubt takes place in the USA in 1964 and features a young parish priest and two nuns working in a school attached to the parish. The two nuns are a contrast - the older is the head of the nuns, worldly wise, having a previous married life before entering the convent - and the younger, idealistic, somewhat naive and hopeful.

The two nuns- especially the superior - become suspicious of a relationship the priest has with a young, negro alter boy.  But there is doubt all round.  Is there really a problem? is it all in the imagination of the older woman. There is enough to suggest not.

She challenges the priest and he tries every trick in the "male authority figure in the church" book to deflect her.

The mother of the young boy seems to accept that it might be happening but is more concerned that her son should graduate and get to a good high school and college.  In some wonderful tension filed scenes,  older nun confronts the priest and calls his bluff.  After seemingly backing down,  he phones his bishop. For what? To confess? To consult with a knowing superior?

But he is transferred to another parish and effectively given a promotion - one that puts him in direct control of children.

This play rings with the sad tale that has played out in real life in the Catholic Church in the US where abusing priests were protected and moved around.  Later the real horror of the  cover up was to cause great pain to the Church in the US and to the victims of these men.

I look forward to the next play in the trilogy but I think I know where it is headed.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ray's Tempest at the MTC

The Melbourne Theatre Company have a real hit on their hands in the form, of Ray's Tempest. With William McInnes as Ray, this is the best contemporary, Australian play for some time. Supported by a rich and everpresent cast of six other actors, this is a warm and engaging, if quirky play.

McInnes is simply wonderful as Ray. This guy must be l loved by both men and women - good looking, easy going, real, identifiable, relaxed. He is Ray - weak, strong, warm funny, troubled.

You must see it.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

MTC's "Dumb Show"

The opening play in the Melbourne Theatre Company's 2006 season is the "Dumb Show" that I am sorry to say doesn't rise much above its title.

A cast of Aaron Blabey, Anita Hegh and Richard Piper - 3 good and appealing actors - work very hard to make this piece work. But I found myself being irritated by a lack of pace (or content or purpose) very early on. English accents don't help either. Overheard lots of comments at the interval that suggested others were having the same problem. Things got marginally better in the second half - as they so often seem to - but in the end the play seem to be a commentary on the nihilism of "modern" tabloid journalism.

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