Archive for March, 2008
The last time that I saw Benedict Andrews and Marius von Mayenburg collaborate on a piece of theatre was El Dorado in 2006 at the Malthouse in the Merlyn Theatre. Aside from the slow-burning, epic narrative and the immediately striking aesthetic of the glass enclosure, what had a lasting impact on me, and what seared a still vivid imprint onto my mind, was the opening prologue: Robert Menzies, pressed against the glass, sweating, spitting and delivering a breathy monologue before disappearing into smoke. Few theatre beginnings, outside of a couple of MIAF shows, have commanded my attention in such a way since. Which leads me to ask: what, oh what, were von Mayenburg and Andrews thinking with the opening of Moving Target?
While, as Alison Croggon rightly pointed out, there are significant stigmas surrounding the creation and production of youth theatre in Melbourne, there are also constant reminders of what a captivating scene that it can be when given the chance. Platform Youth Theatre’s Tenderness is a fantastic example; a bold and unashamedly dark exploration of youth issues, it effectively challenges the assumption that young people are not emotionally mature enough to take part in, or respond to, a theatrical and highly stylised representation of gritty material. Furthermore, Tenderness is not just theatre for “youths”; it is theatre showing adults how theatre can be done.