11 December 2009

Review: 1989

St Martins
9 December 2009
Irene Mitchell Studio, St Martins Theatre Complex

In 1989, I used a hair dryer diffuser, a handful of mousse and a huge bow to do my hair; I wore stirrup pants everywhere and spent a lot of money on my first portable compact disc system. Some of The St Martin’s Performer’s Ensemble hadn’t been born yet and are now part of the generation who think that ra-ra skirts need to come back, but have used this far gone year to inspire their showcase performance.

St Martin’s Performer’s Ensemble is an audition-based program for 18 to 25 year olds, who spend an intense year collaborating and developing. For 1989 they worked closely with The Emerging Writers’ Studio, which gives four writers the chance to create a new work under the guidance of a professional dramaturge (Melanie Beddie).

Michelle Lee and Dan Giovannoni (who both stood out at the 2008 Short and Sweet festival) Samantha Hill, Christopher Summers (writer of theatargh blog) may not have captured the essence of 1989 (or needed to), but they showed us the originality of their voices. All need to trust that less can be more and to dig deep and trust that their personal stories will be the ones that audiences will love, but they shared a specific and at times revealing view of being 20-something today.

And they all wrote specifically and beautifully for the actors. Their scripts allowed each member of the ensemble to really show us what they are made of and why we will be seeing much more or Danielle Asciak , Danny Ball, Darcy Hegz , Juliet Hindmarsh , Melissa Kahraman, Douglas Lyons, Ruby Mathers ,Angelique Murray and Xavier O'Shannessy in the very near future.

The review appeared on AussieTheatre.com

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