theatARGH

thoughts and frustrations on Melbourne theatre through bright young eyes

Archive for Peter Mumford

Review of The Winterling, Red Stitch Actors Theatre

Red Stitch are carving a niche for themselves in the theatre scene south of the river. Juggling their blue-rinse subscribers and St. Kilda yuppies, the company is developing something of a predisposition, a sadly predictable penchant, for choosing plays which appear edgy and confrontational on the surface, but are really stylistically, thematically and dramatically conventional. They’re also all written by American and British men. The latest of these is Jez Butterworth’s The Winterling – a very wordy, very old-fashioned drama sheathed in a cool, British mobster aesthetic, directed by Andrew Gray. But unlike the Guy Ritchie films, the McDonagh plays and Butterworth’s first work Mojo, which all helped inspire the resurgence of the gritty, blackly comic crim in the 90s, The Winterling, first performed in London in 2006, never warms.

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