05 September 2011

MELBOURNE FRINGE HINTS 7: Well Made Plays

With all the cutting edge, quirkiness and contemporary cliches applied to Fringe shows, there are still old school plays based on scripts that believe in structure.

Vicious Fish Theatre



A couple have a new bed and each will invite a stranger to inaugurate it.

Fourplay by Catalan-Spanish playwright Sergi Belbel is the fourth play in Vicious Fish's four-play Bebel Project and director Scott Gooding continues to bring us work that challenges traditional structures.

Like architects, writers who reject structure likely to fail. Those who experiment with it can soar above the throng or splat to earth when their story and characters get lost in the cleverness of the telling.

Fourplay has 38 scenes that alternate between advancing the action and taking it back, and each is played twice to force the audience to challenge their perceptions. It could be fascinating.


Since we're talking about structure, Ibsen has to come into the conversation about well-made plays.

If you haven't read Ibsen, what are you doing reading a theatre blog? Get ye to the library or the book section of any op shop now.

Director Daniel Schlusser is recreating this Dollhouse as a contemporary domestic horror and describes is as "a daring theatricalisation of Nora's mental landscape".

I've missed Schlusser's recent re-imaginings of classic plays, but reviewers I trust and respect have raved about them. That's enough to get me along.

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