06 October 2010

Review: For Whom The Bell Tolls

For Whom The Bell Tolls
Poet Laureate Telia Nevile
5 October 2010
Son of Loft,  Fringe hub
to 9 October

Following the critical raves, award nominations and sold out houses of While I'm Away, Poet Laureate Telia Nevile takes us back to the genesis of her genius and the common hell of all artists. In For Whom The Bell Tolls, she goes back to high school.

In her rust red check uniform, teen Telia captures the soul of every angsty teen artist in poetic wonders like "You Can Ring My Bell Jar" and "Losing My Virgility"and her awkward confidence is an inspiration to anyone who remembers the Pure Evil and Puerile Embarrassment of a PE class where popularity is publicly ranked.

With the likes of Vegemite sandwiches and oral presentation notes, Telia continues to capture the often ignored details of daily life and disarmingly transforms them into something so charming and gorgeous that we'll see their gorgeousness for ever. Our poet can't gas herself in her electric oven, so she has to fight on and envision a beatnik future with crowds of loving fans.

With the guiding eye of director Lou Sanz, the disarming and dry humour of For Whom The Bell Tolls is a more structured and complex show that Away, and we're seeing a lot more of the longing-heart of our poet, even if she still tries to hide behind the seriousness of her delightfully not-quite-right words.

As I love nothing better than a "well structured, drawn out word fuck", the Poet Laureate is my favourite poet and my inner-depressed-arty-out-of-place teen has replaced her Emily Dickinson quotes with those from Telia Neville – and will keep the thank you letter she slipped me (and everyone else – just to be polite) in my diary for ever.

For Whom The Bell Tolls finishes on Saturday. It's a brilliant start to a night at the Fringe hub.

This review appeared on AussieTheatre.com

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