Archive | February, 2012

The Temperamentals

15 Feb

It’s not difficult to make theatre. After all, what is it? Just a bunch of people pretending to be other than they are. Easy. The audience wants it that way.

What is theatre? A seriously silly thing.

No, it’s not difficult to make theatre. What’s difficult is making a difference…. when there’s a bunch of people pretending to be other than they are, and the audience most definitely wants it that way.

Such is the story of The Temperamentals. Jon Marans’ play explores the challenge of political engagement when everyone would prefer that pretence continue.

The Temperamentals speaks of gay rights and responsibilities. It’s about coming out and being counted. It’s about not pretending. 

This is a political play, as all plays are; though some are more honest. Plays that suggest engagement can be avoided, that we can lead lives separate from each other, form a far too large sub-genre – best referred to as “political tragedy”.

Both moving and funny, The Temperamentals is the story of a very brave group of men, and director Kevin Jackson has elicited powerful performances from his entire ensemble.

And as the ensemble “pretend” to be these brave men, we might consider our pretence – that we are satisfied living in a society that does not yet share all rights with all of its citizens.

So what is theatre?

A serious silly thing.

 Veronica Kaye

The Temperamentals

 New Theatre til 3 March

Best We Forget

14 Feb

Memory, as the saying, goes.

We forget. Which is weird. But not as weird as the fact we remember anything at all.

Best We Forget created by isthisyours?  is fun and thought-provoking. In mock panel discussion style it explores memory and forgetting – with a focus on the latter.

To focus on forgetfulness is like being obsessed with death. Surely the miracle is life? It’s like being most interested in the moments when actors drop lines. “The best part was when he forgot his lines. You know, just after if he found out he’d killed his father and slept with his mother.”

So what is memory? Little unconscious representations of reality? But what is “reality”? And what can it mean to “represent” it?

Which are questions that spring to mind when I think of drama.

Memory as theatre? Theatre as memory?

We are told at the beginning of Best We Forget that tomorrow we will only remember 25% of the performance.

Or maybe it was 35%.


But I’m still thinking about the show.

Veronica Kaye

Best We Forget

Old Fitzroy Theatre   til 25 Feb