07 June 2012

The lost reviews: Seven Stories, The Heretic and Everynight Everynight

Some reviews fell into a black hole a few weeks ago. (Dull tale: sick ...)

But here are some quickies and links to some far-superior discussions.

Seven Stories
Written and performed by Vyom Sharma
11 May
Chapel off Chapel

Seven Stories leaves you believing in the magic of story.

Vyom Sharma is a magician. I don't know how he does is it and I've watched Breaking the Magicians Code on the telly. His sleight of hand and misdirection create genuine gasps of amazement, but he real magic is in his story telling.

Rejecting the sparklie jackets and ridiculous assistants of old school tricksters, Vyom's revelation is an intimate night of tales from his life and tellings of some that he never forgot. Each is connected to an impressive trick, but director Celeste Cody (Attic Erratic) ensures that the magic is enhanced by the way it's told and musican (Stephanie Spiers) develops the atmosphere and acts as a savvy help when needed.

Celeste has also directed Vyom in a  A Modern Deception (I finally go to see the trick I missed) and together they are re-creating stage magic and letting us see why it deception is so popular.

There were only four performances of Seven Stories at Chapel off Chapel, but it'll be back. It's a show that's still developing (I'd like to see Stephanie have a more active role) and it might pop up in the Fringe.

The Heretic
17 May
Sumner Theatre
to 17 June

MTC gives us another play about a middle aged academic who has problems with her gen Y offspring. This one has bonus with jokes about climate change politics because we don't want subscribers to think that all artists are lefty hippies.

Surely Mel Gibson is enough to prove the diversity.

The best thing about it was the wonderful Noni Hazlehurst. Watching Noni on stage is worth a dreary script. She's knows that the truth of a believable performance is all about those 'no-line' parts of the scene that show you react to those around you. Think about life. Do we judge people by what they say or by how they react to what we say?

Having a BA and having worked in the arts faculty of a couple of our big unis, I got the act 1 academic references and even had a giggle at the in-joke reality about how unis are changing.  If you love a staff-room-ready anecdote about Earth Science being the new Media Studies, which was the new Psychology, which was the new Sociology, you'll understand where the writer comes from. But jokes for those in the know do little for the story or make us care for the people in it.

Act 2 has a lot more action, but couldn't decide if it was a tense thriller or a luxury living room comedy. And there was a riveting scene of watching people look at computers.

For a much better read, here are Alison's and Richard's discussions.

Everynight Everynight
Frank Theatre Company
9 May

In 1978 Ray Mooney wrote about his experiences of the institutionalised violence Pentridge Prison. It's not one to see if you live in Pentridge today – the prison is now a posh housing estate – as you'll never sleep peacefully again.

With a terrific cast, and as a piece of our theatre and our social history, Everynight, Everynight was fascinating – and has more "cunts" than the comedy festival – but as a piece of contemporary storytelling, I felt distanced and kept tripping up on the script's inconsistencies and searching for something to help me understand the bigger picture.

But Mooney wasn't writing a piece of arty contemporary theatre; he was doing what he could to share the hell that he lived though.

Best discussion I read about it was Cameron's

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