Tag Archives: Adam Cook

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

1 Mar

Due to the title, the more discerning theatre-goer might suspect this is not a piece of naturalism.

What it is, is a superb piece of nonsense.

Written by Charles Busch and directed by Samantha Young, this tale of two vampires whose rivalry spans the ages is seriously well performed silliness.

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It can be easy for these sorts of shows to become sloppy. One wink at the audience too many and suddenly you’re sitting in the studio audience of The Footy Show.

But the performances from this entire cast are tight. This is top class nonsense. Hilarious, high energy and terrific fun.

Eliza Reilly and Nicholas Gell as the two tussling vampires excel (in what are easily the most truthful performances of Sapphic blood lust I’ve seen for millennia.)

This cast and creative team has built upon the outrageous script, adding even more jokes and some clever musical numbers. (Busch’s classic piece is like a well made sandpit; the gifted and youthful at heart will build in it something wonderful, while the strays will use it for other purposes.)

Being insufferably self important, I always write about what a piece makes me think about.

So what is Vampire Lesbians of Sodom about?

Is it just a welcome pause from Life’s earnestness?

Or is nonsense like this actually subversive?

A Mardi Gras show, Vampire Lesbians has the exuberance of the medieval carnival. And exuberance is in itself subversive; a reminder that dull complacency should not be allowed to reduce our mysterious, miraculous world.

Veronica Kaye

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom by Charles Busch

Produced by Brevity Theatre

Kings Cross Hotel til March 7

http://www.brevitytheatre.com.au/vampire-lesbians-of-sodom.html

Daylight Saving

10 Nov

Sometimes I wish I was one of those writers who confuse mean-spiritedness with wit, and word games with truth. If I was, I could have begun my response like this:

“Daylight savings; it’s so confusing! Do you gain an hour? Or do you lose an hour? See this production for the definitive answer. You lose two hours twenty.”

What critics forget, when they write this sort of nonsense, is that these jokes have no doubt already been made in the rehearsal room.

Daylight Saving by Nick Enright is simply a good bit of fun. And Adam Cook’s production is deliberately and delightfully daggy.

Photo by Helen White

Photo by Helen White

At the end of the show you do have to put your watch forward 25 years – because the play’s sensibly been left in its late eighties setting.

A light weight meditation on fidelity, loneliness and lost time, it’s peppered with crazy characters. A celebrity chef, a Wimbledon champion, a Stanford professor, and a host of others sit down to dinner around a table in Pittwater.

The cast have appropriate larks with all this. Rachel Gordon and Christopher Stollery get both laughs and sympathy as the troubled couple. Ian Stenlake is suitably charming and repulsive at turns as the visiting Yank. Belinda Giblin is a wonderfully audacious lady who lunches. (Diana Simmonds deserves a special mention as the voice of the interviewer. The ungenerous might say her performance was such that she was hardly present, but my tip is watch for her name at the next Sydney Theatre Awards.)

Enright’s play is conservatively structured, but shot through with giggle lines. And he gets the last playful laugh. Sitting in the middle of this (now) nostalgic extended sitcom is a thought-provoking exchange:

‘The play’s a crock of shit isn’t it?’

‘Yes. It’s a national classic.’

Veronica Kaye

 

Daylight Saving by Nick Enright

A Darlinghurst Theatre Production

Eternity Playhouse til 30 Nov

http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/