thoughts and frustrations on Melbourne theatre through bright young eyes

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I blink and it’s already February. This is uncomfortable. And this poor blog, too, has been uncomfortable, patiently sitting in silence for the last few months while I’ve travelled the world and pondered its purpose. The good news is that I am salivating for theatre once again; furthermore, I’m burning to write about it (and have been writing it). The bad news is that, like the end of 2008 proved, it’s going to be difficult to get to see everything that I want to and cover it adequately. I’ve also got much of my own work happening this year, feasting on my spare moments between study and work, and I’m keen for theatARGH not to become a product of shameless self-promotion. But for now, lets let the blog go back to doing what it was best at – reviews. Thoughts on Malthouse’s Woyzeck by the end of the week.

The politics of the personal

In my first post on this blog, I said that “you won’t be hearing about projects that I am involved in or how my writing is going…but who’s to say where you draw the line between a personal and a more broadly cultural blog?” Alison Croggon rightly pointed out in the comments below that half the interest in reading a blog is in the personal, and I’m beginning to rethink my position on the issue.

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Edinburgh Festival Bites: Part 3

I arrived into dreary Tullamarine airport late last Tuesday evening to a crippling wind and lots and lots of rain. It wasn’t exactly the welcome home I had looked forward to from Melbourne. So it’s with a tinge of nostalgia that I conclude my writings on the Edinburgh Festival, although happily, with some of the best works that I was to experience.

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Review of The Country, Tabard Theatre

I was absolutely devastated to have missed Katie Mitchell directing Martin Crimp’s latest, The City, at the Royal Court Theatre. While I consoled myself with a copy of the script, subsequently drenching it in tears thereby making it almost entirely unreadable, I decided that having traveled halfway round the world I would have my Crimp from London yet. Luckily enough, the internet led me to Tabard Theatre, perched over a small bar and cobbled courtyard in Turnham Green, a thirty-minute tube ride away from the city centre. As one of only six in a theatre for about fifty (London too has suffered from a decline in numbers at their theatres, although the scale is hardly comparable to Australia) I was able to experience the companion play to The City, The Country.

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Review of The Ugly One, Royal Court Theatre

Debuted alongside the launch of the Royal Court’s 2007 international writer’s season, The Ugly One, by Marius von Mayenburg (and not directed by Benedict Andrews – would you believe?) received a two week remount in June this year in the Jerwood Downstairs Theatre, London. A world away from his darker and more dramatically experimental works, The Ugly One is a fifty-five minute farce and in the hands of Ramin Gray, it represents von Mayenburg at his most straightforward and simplistic. Unfortunately, it’s also his least exciting work, adding little to very well-trodden thematic terrain.

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theatARGH bites back!

Euro style. Yes, that’s right folks. After the flurry of writing and productions and events and exams which has dominated my life over the two months, theatARGH is ready to return to being the blog-ject of my affection. Attention, too. And for an exciting twist, while I am over in the UK and Europe for the next two months, I’ll be posting reviews and thoughts on as much theatre as I can afford, culminating in an extravaganza of bites, bitchslaps and blurbs fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Review of Cellblock Booty, Sisters Grimm

The factory of Sisters Grimm (although I’ve always imagined it more like a dank, sweaty, suburban cinema glistening with faux-gold trimmings, condoms hanging from the chandeliers and globs of lube in the hairy velvet carpet) never stops churning. Fresh from last year’s trash extravaganza musical Bum Town and a season of Mommie and the Minister at the Adelaide Fringe, Ash Flanders and Declan Greene have regrouped with a new cast, as well as some familiar faces, in the Collingwood Underground Arts Space for Cellblock Booty. It’s a furiously energetic, high-camp homage to the women in prison sexploitation films of the seventies and easily represents some of the most painfully, painfully, devastatingly funny work of the company to date.

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