Tag Archives: play

The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table @ Cremorne Theatre, QPAC 15th October 2010 – Theatre Review

  Review: Pepa Wolfe

It was a wet, windy night in Brisbane for the opening of Wesley Enoch’s The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table, directed by and starring Leah Purcell. Produced by the independent indigenous company Bungabura Productions and presented by QPAC, this is the story of Opening Night. It goes something like this.

The Cremorne had been transformed (the stage removed so that some of the audience was sitting amongst the set) into the simple dining room of a house on Stradbroke Island, sand strewn on the ground, with the backdrop arranged in pieces, working both as a broken barrier to the outside world and an obscure window into the past, the faces of time gone by etched into its panels. At its centre sat the table, Cookie’s Table.

Originally Cookie’s birth tree, it was cut down by the white man and turned into a table that was eventually passed down through four generations. This night the audience learnt the history of the table; its meaning, its power. Its mystery unravelling as estranged mother and son, Annie and Nathan, argued over its ownership, and in doing so challenged the meaning of family and the elusive nature of the truth.
Continue reading The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table @ Cremorne Theatre, QPAC 15th October 2010 – Theatre Review

The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table @ QPAC, Brisbane 14-30 October 2010

A powerful play about family and culture and the ways in which storytelling binds people together” – The Australian

Purcell delivers a startlingly powerful performance” – Daily Telegraph

Award-winning Queensland actor and director Leah Purcell (Box the Pony, King Lear, Black Chicks Talking) will direct and star in Bungabura Production’s new presentation of Wesley Enoch’s powerful drama The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table at Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Cremorne Theatre from 14 – 30 October 2010.

This powerful family saga spans four generations and is a moving testament to culture lived, lost and found and the strength of a family adapting and gathering together.

First produced by Griffin and Hothouse Theatre Company, this new production of The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table offers a compelling theatre experience that encapsulates themes of ownership, heritage, culture and sexuality.

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said that QPAC is very pleased to be presenting this work because of its cultural significance for Queensland and the Centre’s longstanding relationship with Bungabura Productions.

The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table is an immensely important piece of theatre –a story about families that transcends cultures,” said Kotzas.

In the 1870s a girl is born under a tree, which is cut down to become a kitchen table. Generations later, a young man and his mother fight for ownership of the table.

Winner of Patrick White Playwrights Award 2005 and short listed for both the New South Wales and Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table was written by renowned Queensland-born director and playwright, Wesley Enoch, who was recently appointed as the new Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company.

Wesley Enoch said the Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table has a mix between a strong naturalistic narrative of connection and a long imaginative storytelling about family and heritage. I was trying to write a piece about the emotional power of stories to bind a family together through hardship and adversity. Leah Purcell is one of the country’s best actors and she has created a character in a way that goes beyond what I could imagine as a writer,” said Enoch.

Director and lead actor Leah Purcell, whose portrayal of Annie has been described by reviewers as startlingly powerful, received a Helpmann Award for Best Actress in a Play in 2008.

“I am very proud of winning a Helpmann Award because I worked extremely hard to bring Annie to life, but being conscious of not making her character a cliché.

“This play is a universal story for all. It’s gutsy, it packs a punch or two, it’s laugh-out loud funny and takes you on an emotional journey as Annie and Nathan re-connect from being estranged for many years,” said Purcell.

“The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table is a great yarn and a theatre experience worth seeing, whether you are a regular to the Arts or if you are experiencing theatre for the first time, this is something worth seeing,” she said.

QPAC presents
Wesley Enoch’s
A Bungabura Production
Starring and directed by Leah Purcell

Winner Patrick White Playwrights Award 2005
Winner Helpmann Award Best Actress in a Play 2008

WHEN 14 to 30 October
Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, Cultural Centre, South Bank
Adult $49 Concession $39
Matinees – Adult $39/Concession $29
Schools $18
BOOKINGS 136 246 or www.qpac.com.au

*Ticket price includes GST and Booking Fee. Please note transaction fees may apply

Please note this performance contains strong language.

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Betrayal @ The Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane 10th September 2010 – Live Review

[Image courtesy Queensland Theatre Company]
  Review: Lana Harris

Silence, with its lack of apparent weightiness, is often the hiding place for what we don’t want to acknowledge. Guilt, fear and secrets hide in silence, and so it is fitting that silence plays a pivotal role in a tale which features these elements of duplicity.

Presented by the Queensland Theatre Company, Betrayal is Harold Pinter’s tale of a love triangle. The narrative reveals itself through scenes played out in a stream opposite to the usual: the end at the beginning, flowing through to the beginning at the end. Emma (Sibylla Budd) is married to Robert (Hugh Parker) but commits to an affair with Jerry (Paul Bishop), who is also Robert’s best friend. Emma’s betrayal of her husband is not the only disloyalty. At various points, each pair are pitted against the third person and in doing so, betray not just the others but themselves too.

While on the surface it reads like a tabloid scandal or a soap opera plot, Pinter’s treatment of this uncomfortable subject is both poignant and powerful. We are invited into intimate pivotal moments, witnesses to calculated weavings of pretended innocence and voyeurs of collapsing secrets, the awkward truth bursting illusions. The strength of the acting in these scenes forces the audience to forge emotional responses to these events – responses which seep out as nervous laughter or a sick feeling in the stomach. Parker, in particular, plays his character well, demonstrating a raw and believable portrayal of the cuckold’s agony coupled with a darkly amusing resilience.

Pinter leaves the why of affairs largely untouched, with no hints of moralising. Betrayal is more a sign-posted journey through the features of love, both illicit and sanctioned. Apparently, the play has echoes of Pinter’s own life in it (he was ‘Jerry’) and so it was with first hand experience that Pinter has clearly depicted the chase for devotion and satisfaction.

A great tension soaks Betrayal, with what’s not said often meaning just as much as what is uttered. It is in these moments that the silence of the theatre becomes the most important player on the stage. Realisations occur and each person in the room is aware of the silent roar of intense feeling. At such moments, it was so quiet you could hear the truth sink in. Betrayal’s surreptitiousness proves riveting.

Review: Lana Harris

Show: Betrayal
Venue: Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
Date: 10th September 2010

Betrayal By Harold Pinter @ Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane – 6 Sept-9 Oct 2010 – Press Release


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Gwen in Purgatory @ Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane 30 Sept-24 Oct 2010

  “I’ve used the oven manual for the air conditioner and I’m roasting myself alive!”

Tommy Murphy is one of Australia’s most impressive playwrights: canny, dangerous and very funny. His plays include Holding the Man, one of the great success stories of recent Australian theatre with a very successful season in London’s West End earlier this year.

We’re thrilled to be co-producing his terrific new play with the legendary Company B Belvoir, directed by Australia’s finest director, Neil Armfield. Neil is fresh from his Broadway triumph with Exit the King, which starred Queensland’s Geoffrey Rush.

Gwen is 90. She woke up to discover that purgatory is sitting in a new house in a new subdivision, trying to work out if the remote in her hand operates the TV, the air-con or the fan-forced oven. As she muddles her way through the baffling technology, her family gathers around to battle over what’s going to happen next. Father Ezekiel is on his way to bless the house, so things are looking up…

“Full of laughs but also extremely emotional, Gwen In Purgatory is the best play to hit a Sydney stage this year.” The Daily Telegraph

“9/10…Melissa Jaffer is hilarious as Gwen, a feisty senior citizen with selective hearing and prone to misunderstandings, both real and deliberate. The comedy is truly Australian, pitched close to vintage ABC sitcom Mother and Son…Highly recommended” Sun-Herald

“Gwen is the story, I suspect, of every family. Or is it just mine?…Funny, very funny…I can’t think of another playwright who’s a keener, more insightful observer of Australian suburban life, let alone one who can document it so redolently…Gwen In Purgatory is a play for and about all of us. It is warm, funny, sad, tragic, poignant, moving and unsettling. Just like our lives. Life on the page, or stage, doesn’t get any better than this. This is the (very) real deal. A+” – Curtain Call

“Neil Armfield’s production is just about perfect, and exceptionally well cast. Melissa Jaffer combines radiance and dodderiness as Gwen. The bemused and homesick Nigerian priest Ezekiel (Pacharo Mzembe) and Gwen’s knockabout grandson, Daniel (Nathaniel Dean), are warmly drawn. Grant Dodwell is spot-on appalling as Gwen’s son, Laurie, and Sue Ingleton exhibits brilliant timing as the self-flagellating Peg.” Sydney Morning Herald

Production Credits
Director | Neil Armfield
Set Designer | Stephen Curtis
Costume Designer | Bruce McKinven
Lighting Designer | David Walters
Sound Designer | Paul Charlier
Assistant Director | Cristabel Sved

With | Grant Dodwell, Nathaniel Dean, Sue Ingleton, Melissa Jaffer and Pacharo Mzembe

Roundhouse Theatre, 6 – 8 Musk Avenue,
Kelvin Grove Urban Village

Preview 29 September
Opening Night 30 September
Season 30 September – 24 October
After Show Discussion Night 8 October

Tuesday – Wednesday 6.30pm
Thursday – Saturday 7.30pm
Sunday 5pm
Matinees 11am 5, 12 & 19 October
2pm Saturday 23 October

1 hour 45 mins, no interval

Preview $25
Opening Night $63 (includes VIP party)
Full Price $46
Concession $39
30 years and under $26
Group discounts $40 for 5+ (excludes group booking fee)

Phone bookings (07) 3007 8600

For Full details, visit La Boite Theatre Company

Sylvia – at the Brisbane Arts Theatre from 11th September 2010

Sylvia By A.R. Gurney

  Greg, middle-aged and middle-class, returns to his Upper West Side apartment in the late afternoon accompanied by Sylvia, a beautiful, frisky young blonde he has just picked up in the park. Greg sits in his favourite chair, worried about how Kate, his wife, is going to respond to Sylvia.

Sylvia doesn’t make things easy. Too excited to settle down, she moves around the room checking out the furniture. She turns to Greg. She obediently collapses onto the floor, resting her chin on his knee, while staring up at him with blind adoration. What man could resist?

A street-smart mixture of Lab and Poodle, Sylvia becomes a major bone of contention between husband and wife.

Continue reading Sylvia – at the Brisbane Arts Theatre from 11th September 2010

Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig @ Bille Brown Studio, Brisbane 31 May – 26 June 2010

A stingingly witty romance tackling some weighty matters.

When Tom meets Helen in a crowded restaurant, their chance encounter soon develops into a full-blown romance.

Helen is beautiful, smart, funny and just a little on the large size. But to Tom’s self-obsessed work buddies, she’s just plain gross.

As office gossip about their relationship turns increasingly malicious, peer pressure leads to question whether his love for Helen outweighs the shallow stereotypes of his workmates. Continue reading Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig @ Bille Brown Studio, Brisbane 31 May – 26 June 2010

Theatre Review: Waiting for Godot – Theatre Performance, 29th April 2010

Review: Lana Harris

Waiting for Godot   A play about nothing? It sounds like a Seinfeld spin off, but Waiting for Godot was actually written almost sixty years ago. At the time, entertainment which focused on absolutely nothing was a revolutionary idea: post millennium we’ve been exposed to more than our fair share of popular media centred on not much more than ordinary people talking amongst themselves. But as tonight’s performance shows, nothing can still be a captivating, entertaining concept. Hosted by the Queensland Theatre Company in their Bille Brown Studio in West End, Waiting for Godot is delivered to a room packed with an appreciative audience.

Waiting for Godot opens with a man sitting on a log, trying to remove his shoe and blathering nonsense syllables as he does so, while the other stands with his back turned,

Continue reading Theatre Review: Waiting for Godot – Theatre Performance, 29th April 2010

Brisbane’s Waiting for Godot – 22 April – 7 May 2010

In a world of cyber-bulling, Facebook and consumerism can the constantly stimulated Gen Y handle a show about… waiting? Queensland Theatre Company presents an Education Performance of Waiting for Godot – Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett’s iconic play about life, the universe and patience.

Director Joseph Mitchell commented “Waiting for Godot is a show that everyone should see at least once in their life. It’s a play that skilfully balances philosophical questioning with outrageous comedy and, at its very heart, a search for hope and belonging. Continue reading Brisbane’s Waiting for Godot – 22 April – 7 May 2010


St Kilda Laughs Festival present 4 MINUTE WARNING

It is 1966. England is a derelict wasteland. The BBC’s Emergency Broadcast System is our only hope. Let’s see who’s on line 1.

Four Minute Warning takes a look at history and gets it wrong. Germany won WWII with nuclear weapons. England’s survivors are living in bunkers. Albert is defiant. Ted is bored. What happens when the stiff upper lip starts to quiver? The mindset is outdated. The situation is dire. Four Minute Warning is hilarious.

Written by and starring Neil Sinclair (Raw Comedy winner 2008, Comedy Zone at MICF2009) and Doug Pickering (McPony, Sainsburize Me!), Four Minute Warning has been performed monthly at The Butterfly Club, with sell out shows, and is developing a cult status.

Patrons under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult (18+)

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Fluff @ Cremorne Theatre, QPAC : 24-28 March 2009

Ever wondered what happens to lost toys? Come to Fluff at QPAC and you’ll find out!
Yes, the Gingham family is back to comfort lost toys and delight audiences in the captivating fantasy theatre production, Fluff.

On show at the Cremorne Theatre QPAC from 24-28 March, the whole family will enjoy this whimsical piece of theatre, which combines audience interaction, music, movement and a stunning visual design.

Presented by QPAC, Fluff was created by Christine Johnston, one of Queensland’s most celebrated performing artists, collaborating with acclaimed choreographer/dancer Lisa O’Neill and electronic musician, Peter Nelson.
Continue reading Fluff @ Cremorne Theatre, QPAC : 24-28 March 2009

Film.Arts.Comedy.Theatre (F.A.C.T) Brisbane – [Edition 090225]

The Brisbane 48 Hour Film Project 2009 – The 48 Hour Film Project will return to Brisbane in 2009, probably around October. Filmmakers from all over the Brisbane area will compete to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours. The winning film will go up against films from around the world for the title “Best 48 Hour Film of 2009”.

The Brisbane Arts Theatre is proud to open its 2009 main house season with John Patrick Shanley’s powerful play ‘Doubt’ – about innocence, guilt, and the grey space between the two. – Now Playing!

Brace yourselves for the first, the biggest, the best, LOL comedy festival Brisbane has ever seen. The inaugural Brisbane Comedy Festival takes over Brisbane Powerhouse Friday 6 – Sunday 29 March 2009 …that is just under a month of laugh-a-minute moments courtesy of some of the craziest talent from near and far!

Chicago – The Musical is one of the world’s most popular and thrilling smash-hit musicals. After a decade of decadence, CHICAGO is returning for its Australian Premiere at Lyric Theatre, QPAC from 19 March 2009 for a strictly limited season.

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival – Set Times for Brisbane – 31 Jan 2009

St Jerome’s Laneway Festival – Set Times for Brisbane 31 January 2009

Alexandria Street Stage
12:35 – 1:15 HOLLY THROSBY
1:45 – 2:25 YVES KLEIN BLUE
2:55 – 3:35 BORN RUFFIANS
4:05 – 4:45 NO AGE
5:15 – 6:00 JAY REATARD
6:30 – 7:15 CUT OFF YOUR HANDS
9:00 – 10:00 GIRL TALK

Car Park Stage

11:30 – 12:10 TAME IMPALA
12:30 – 1:10 STILL FLYIN’
1:30 – 2:10 PIVOT
2:30 – 3:10 SPIRAL STAIRS
3:30 – 4:10 PORT O’BRIEN
4:30 – 5:10 THE TEMPER TRAP
5:30 – 6:10 STEREOLAB
6:40 – 7:25 THE DRONES
7:55 – 8:40 THE HOLD STEADY
9:10 – 10:00 AUGIE MARCH

Red Bull Academy Stage
12:00 – 1:00 HERMITUDE
1:00 – 2:00 CANYONS
2:00 – 3:00 TIM FITE
4:00 – 5:00 DORIAN CONCEPT
5:00 – 6:00 HARMONIC 313
6:00 – 7:00 RUSKO
7:00 – 8:00 FOUR TET
8:00 – 9:00 EL GUINCHO