Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rust and Bone

Stories Like These and Griffin Independent present the World Premiere of RUST AND BONE by Caleb Lewis from the short stories by Craig Davidson at the SBW Stables Theatre.

Craig Davidson is a young Canadian writer, novelist, and short story writer. Caleb Lewis has adapted three of his short stories for the theatre. One about an over-sexed young man who becomes disabled by a whale. Another about a young man attempting to become a professional pugilist, who becomes involved with the son of his trainer, a little boy who builds 'erections' and who becomes disabled in a near drowning accident. And, the last, about a sexually 'disabled' man who has a penchant for preparing dogs for illegal pit fights.

Each actor, Wade Briggs (Ben, of the whale story), Sam Smith (Eddie of the boxing story) and Renato Musolino (James and the dogs) carry a responsibility for a story, and, then, join in interaction role playing tasks to assist in the staged telling of the other separate narratives. Am I sick and tired of the writing form of separate narratives and no character interaction/dialogue development in our theatre experiences? YES. Most of the writing of this kind that I have seen or read is not as good as the Irish play TERMINUS by Mark O'Rowe to justify it for me - write as well as that and I will excuse the lazy formula.

The actors are erudite in the balancing of the transformational skills to do this. It is a very committed team, the staging solutions well drilled and invented with classic 'theatre-in-education' (T. I. E.) formulas by the director, Corey McMahon. Mr Smith is the most impressive of the three. There is an appealing centredness in his work. Clean, modest and yet physically and vocally charismatic. Clear as a bell, mostly, and commanding to watch. Mr Briggs does not have quite the dimensional capacity for all of his tasks and Mr Musolino seems to be pushing with too much energy, perspiring and shining in the humidity of the Monday night stormy weather, and strains one's ability to empathise with the work, as it is filled with so much physical and vocal tension - in effect overwhelming one and shutting one down to the invitation to attend to his story.

The set by Michael Hankin, looking like an emptied concrete pool with its black wall surrounds, works well for the three stories - the whale 'pool', the boxing 'ring' and the dog 'fighting pit'. It is beautiful and could move into a Museum of Contemporary Art as an art installation, (probably, it would need an accompanying artist statement, in that case). The lighting by Teegan Lee is especially sensitive, detailed and attractive, while the Composition and Sound Design by Nate Edmondson seems, unusually for him, over done. I paid much too much attention to it (perhaps, the play material was not interesting enough?).

This 'exercise' in writing is capable but the 70 minutes of this performance was a very long 70 minutes. As an 'exercise' for the writer the finished work has many merits, probably - someone thinks so. The 'exercise' that the actors and director have explored to find the way to perform the piece is admirable. But as a night in the theatre,which took (takes) some effort to partake in, these exercises are not enough.

The content of the material confounds me. I cannot find any real advantage to my life experience after hearing them. I was, rather, kind of depressed and bewildered about the state of Australian playwriting.The stories are about human beings with disabilities, sure, but for me what I took away was the writer's propensity to dwell on his character's needs to exercise their sexual organs - and not much else (yes, true, not Eddie. ... well? ... at least, not consciously! I hope.) I found this boring, so did some of the other audience I subsequently had conversation with. What was there to care about in this experience?

Anthony Ackroyd, "an Australian comedian, speaker and writer" in the News Review section of the Sydney Morning Herald (January 19-20, 2013) asked "Where are Australia's contemporary artist-activists? .... In my own field of comedy where being outspoken is part of the job description the number of Australian comics who confront audiences with material on urgent social issues is low."

This is my second visit, in a row to the Griffin organised space, to come away from well written but, to me, irrelevant play content/material. HOLLYWOOD ENDINGS had a "Who Cares?" response from me as well, whatever its particular creative well-spring was. That work was more interested in the travails of making a film then the moral questions posed about the subject matter and the consequence of that film - INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS. Having just come back from Europe and the London theatre, the paltry social preoccupations of our Australian playwrights and their artistic gatekeepers, the theatre companies and writing organisations that encourage them, is startling. Martin Crimp's new play IN THE REPUBLIC OF HAPPINESS and Lucy Prebbles' (of the play ENRON fame) THE EFFECT, are wonderful contemporary pieces of confronting and relevant social concerns that made one feel part of a real world of urgent, necessary debate. The preoccupations of our writers and their encouragers seem more about maintaining our relaxed-and-comfortable comatosed position of antipodean safety in a "lucky country" than dealing with the urgent questions presented by our contemporary world. If our theatres are to be sustained as relevant sources of interest, then I believe our writers need to take an Ibsenite/Shavian/Hare-ish forensic look at the society we live in and translate it into vital must see and hear, 'plays' of intelligent (and researched) subject matters.

Mr Ackroyd went on: "We need a call to artistic arms. When the earth is burning there must be fiddlers who are prepared to produce strains that do not divert and reassure but instead awaken and inspire."

I concur wholeheartedly.

If I want to read some short stories to comfort my middle class needs I'll purchase a copy and read them. And, I would prefer that the limited schedules of our performing arts spaces had material that was much more plugged into the urgent issues of our world dilemmas. Enliven me, invigilate me to look beyond my sexual organs and a spoilt boy and a whale, a pugilist and his guilty mistakes, and an under performing husband who, perhaps as a compensatory 'thing', trains dogs to kill each other!

As Mr Ackroyd concluded, "Take a look around, creative people. It's time." I agree.

RUST AND BONE is a minor writing exercise, using as inspiration Mr Lewis' enthusiasm for the writing of Mr Davidson. In reality, not enough reason for the rest of us, necessarily, to brave the Australia Day Storm to get to see.

P.S. It is interesting to read the Caleb Lewis blog on the Griffin web site concerning adaptation. Please do. The quality of the writing of the source material of Mr Davidson is striking, especially when one remembers the experience of the adaptation in the theatre. I would rather like to read the original.
Though, certainly, I admit the first example of the adaptation in the blog (about the boxer's hand etc) is, also, striking, even compared to the original - it's just, perhaps, that the actor and director did not communicate it distinctively enough for me to admire it 'in action' in the theatre, I suppose? I missed the skill of the adaptor in the moments of watching. I may have wandered away too far by then? The hazards of performance and direction, I guess, for what was on the blog-page was arresting.

It is also a relief to read the statement from the new Artistic Director of the company, Lee Lewis, lamenting the terrible cultural destruction in Timbuktu, and the parallel responsibility of our theatre companies to the dramatic literature which we will leave for posterity, to understand us better.

P.S. to P.S. Just my usual protest to theatre companies that the writers are given space in the program to acknowledge their contribution. Craig Davidson the inspiration for this work is not introduced to us at all.

I guess the internet is available for those of us that are interested!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2001: A Space Odyssey

Sydney Festival and Sydney Opera House present a live presentation of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY with the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs in the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House.

When I was 20 I saw 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY at the Plaza Theatre in George Street in CINERAMA!

I saw it 5 or 6 times. I had not any idea what it was about. It was quite simply mesmerising. The images. The soundtrack. The scale of it in Cinerama was, in the correct sense, awesome.

The critical response at the time was mixed, but we didn't care. Really, our reaction may have been  part of the sixties cultural revolution, shucking off the staid conventions of our parents and our educational Catholic corsets that encouraged us to champion it. I remember when the Beatles' SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND and the WHITE ALBUM were revolutionary!
Boy, oh, boy, did my friends and I have so much to talk about?

Years later it became the cult 'druggie' experience... so, they tell me, so they tell me.
I even got to see it at a Drive-In. Remember the Drive-In? Remember at the Drive-In when .... well, let's not go there...
I own a DVD copy.
Last time, I watched it, it was on a screen on the plane from Abu Dhabi.
Never did the film become diminished. It maintained its effect and power.

Further years on, it became critically an appreciated Masterwork from a great genius: Stanley Kubrick. One among many. I love BARRY LYNDON and still fear A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. I reckon EYES WIDE SHUT will also grow into a Masterwork, following along the time trials, trails of the critical reception, say, of Hitchcock's VERTIGO: reviled and neglected. NOW, embraced and remarkable! Time will reveal the last Kubrick film as well, as greatness. I forecast. (Outrageous.)


The screening of the film in the Concert Hall was well done. The Soundtrack well balanced, at least to my ears, in my seat location.

The musical score of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is sourced from the classical music repertoire:
Kyrie from Requiem (revised version 1997) by Gyorgy Ligeti.
Lux aeterna by Ligeti.
Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss.
Adagio from the ballet Gayane by Aram Khachaturian.
Atmospheres by Ligeti.
Adventures by Ligeti.
By the Beautiful Blue Danube - Waltz by Johann Strauss II.

An extra large Sydney Symphony Orchestra and a fulsome Sydney Philarmonia Choir conducted  passionately by Andre De Ridder were alertly attentive and gave a thrilling dimensional contribution to the night. The thrill of the first time we heard Also sprach Zarathustra was hair raising and the end credit rendition of the By the Beautiful Blue Danube, deeply romantic and swept us into a maze of emotional glaze. The latter, so lush and familiar, I began to gather the raison d'etre of the popular following of Andre Rieu.

If only it had been screened in the Cinerama format. The Plaza cinema is still there, behind the McDonalds Restaurant, I think!!!

Clover (Moore), find it , save it, renovate it. It could be a new live theatre venue, could it not?!!!! Expensive, of course - but as a vision for this city. Remember Joe Cahill and his vision and courage. Sydney without the Opera House would be where in the world's consciousness?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 Looking Back

I am writing this in London after a couple of weeks in Berlin, Sweden (Stockholm and a friend's farm for Christmas!) and Brussels (Ghent, Bruge and Antwerp). Much to talk about.

However, here is my messy Look Back for 2012.

1. Let me start with some of the new AUSTRALIAN WRITING:

THYESTES by Thomas Henning, Chris Ryan, Simon Stone and Mark Winter. Presented by Belvoir Street. Truly daring and theatrically thrilling.

TRUCK STOP by Lachlan Philpott. Presented by The Q Theatre and the Seymour Centre.
Following on from SILENT DISCO (2011) this sociological examination of cultural behaviour in the suburbs of our cities is brave, raw and explicit. Not 'pretty' but powerful and challenging. Strangely neglected. It is, I reckon, an important new Australian play.

I also enjoyed: FOOD by Steve Rodgers (Downstairs Belvoir); PORN.CAKE by Vanessa Bates (Griffin Theatre); OLD MAN by Matthew Whittet) Downstairs Belvoir); I WANT TO SLEEP WITH TOM STOPPARD by Toby Schmitz (Bondi Pavilion for Tamarama Rock Surfers); PORK STILETTO by Warwick Allsopp and Tamlyn Henderson (Old Fitzroy for Tamarama Rock Surfers); BETWEEN TWO WAVES by Ian Meadows (Griffin Theatre).

I was encouraged to want to see more: BLOOD PRESSURE by Mark Rogers (Old Fitzroy for Tamarama Rock Surfers); THE HIDING PLACE by Kendall Feaver (atyp).

I was very excited about the workshop showing of CLOUDSTREET: THE OPERA by George Palmer, directed by Gale Edwards at Carriageworks.

2. PRODUCTIONS that I thought were outstanding:

THYESTES by Thomas Henning, Chris Ryan, Simon Stone and Mark Winter. Directed by Simon Stone for Belvoir at carriageworks as part of the Sydney Festival Season. Totally electrifying.

BEACH PARTY PSYCHO by Charles Busch. Directed by Stephen Nicolazzo for the Tamarama Rock Surfers at the Bondi Pavilion. A great disciplined cast in a crazy 'camp' escapade. Everybody and everything a 'stupid' delight.

THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES by Moliere and adapted by Justin Fleming. Directed by Lee Lewis for Bell Shakespeare in the Playhouse at the Sydney Opera House. It seemed to me have all of the theatrical elements engaged for a truly 'authentic' Australian adaption of a Classic play for an Australian audience. Moliere is not one of my favourite writers.

PUNK ROCK by Simon Stephens directed by Anthony Skuse. This was for Pants Guys and atyp at the atyp wharf space. Modest budget pulled off a frightening night in the theatre. The ensemble of actors were uniformly great. A play by one of the important writers in the UK - strangely neglected over here.

THE SEAFARER by Conor McPherson directed by Maeliosa Stafford. O'Punsky's Theatre at the Darlingurst Theatre. An Irish story of the banal world realities and the frightening spirit one. Well acted by all.

THE NEW ELECTRIC BALLROOM by Enda Walsh directed by Kate Gaul. This for Siren Theatre Company with the Griffin Independent. Another Irish bewitchement (writing) with a stellar cast.

PORN.CAKE by Vanessa Bates directed by Shannon Murphy. For Michael Sieders and Griffin Independent. The dangerous farce element mixed with its social comment was fairly well done. A kind of rarity in form in the Australian canon, at least, on Sydney stages.

I WANT TO SLEEP WITH TOM STOPPARD by Toby Schmitz directed by Leland Kean. For Tamarama Rock Surfers at the Bondi Pavilion. A well written 'bourgeois' comedy-of-manners with an excellent cast. (I just wished Mr Schmitz would get down to a tougher world sphere in his writing).

SYNCOPATION by Alan Knee directed by Stephen Lloyd Helper. Presented by A Critical Stage and The Follies at the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. A two-hander (Not my favourite kind of theatre), well handled by all. Great performances by the two actors.

3. PERFORMANCES I remember fondly, well:

JOSH McCONVILLE in THE BOYS. Truly frightening transformational acting. Gave his 'life' for that work - amazing.

THOMAS HENNING, CHRIS RYAN and MARK WINTER in THYESTES. Daring, scary, amazing. A trio of remarkable ensemble. Breath taking Mr Winter. Subtle artistry of Mr Ryan.

ANDREA DEMETRIADES as Eliza in PYGMALION. Thoughtful, with a beautifully scoped arc to the character's journey. A particularly moving last act 'debate' with her Henry Higgins.


KATE BOX, EMMA JACKSON and FAYASSAL BAZZI in FOOD. Another wonderful ensemble with a bewitching Ms Box taking the lead.


HENDRICK ELSTEIN in THE HIGHWAY CROSSING. Delicate and plotted well in its effects.

LEON FORD and ALISON BELL in OLD MAN. I saw Ms Bell at a vulnerable best - loved her.

JUSTIN STEWART COTTA in SYNCOPATION and THE SEA PROJECT. Mr Cotta always gives daring, dangerous performances - all, however finely judged.

EMMA PALMER in SYNCOPATION. A driven force of beautiful physicality and an accumulated emotional 'Cinderella' journey.

GLENNN HAZELDINE in PORN.CAKE and THE HOAX. Wonderfully true and costly performances. Consistent. Check out last year as well.

SHARI SEBBENS in THE HOAX. Making her professional city stage debut with clout.

WADE BRIGGS and ALEXANDER MILLWOOD in BLOOD PRESSURE. Two actors I do not know that gave their all for this production.


ANDREW McFARLANE and CAROLINE BRAZIER in I WANT TO SLEEP WITH TOM STOPPARD. Ms Brazier bold, outrageous with a particularly subtle and 'modest' foil given by Mr McFarlane.

WENDY STREHLOW in I WANT TO SLEEP WITH TOM STOPPARD and THE GREENING OF GRACE. Internal tensions resonating with her external choices. Always fascinating.

TOBY SCHMITZ in PRIVATE LIVES. Elan galore and a fine sense of the writer.Skills disciplined to serve the material.

PAUL BLENHEIM in WRECKING and BEACH PARTY PSYCHO. Paid attention to him in WRECKING and sort his name out in BEACH PARTY PSYCHO! Impressed.

JACQUELINE McKENZIE and RYAN CORR in SEX WITH STRANGERS. Ms McKenzie is always welcome on our stages, never disappoints. Mr Corr announcing his talent and potential wonderfully. A wonderful duo.

DAVID VALENCIA in THE CRIMINALS. New to our stages, and mesmerising in this small work.

ASH RICARDO in LES LIASIONS DANGEREUSES and BETWEEN TWO WAVES. Kapow energies and laser like accuracies - dangerous fun on stage.


GABRIEL FANCOURT in PUNK ROCK and FALLOUT. Consistent, modest performer - deserves a break!

TONY LLWELLYN-JONES in HOLLYWOOD ENDING. Wise, subtle character drawing. Almost too subtle in its giving - I loved the craft of it.

HEATHER MITCHELL in SIGNS OF LIFE by Tim Winton,magnificently concentrated and wholly engaged - the recognition and use of the writer's language 'poetry' an inspiration.

GENEVIEVE GIUFFRE in BEACH PARTY PSYCHO. A 'Melbourne' sorceress. Hilariously witty with all her choices.


DON REID and especially, MAGGIE BLINCO for the earned craft they brought to their 'big' tasks/art in THE GREENING OF GRACE.








THYESTES by Govin Reuben.


"ANYTHING" by Damien Cooper, but particularly, BE YOUR SELF.


BRENDAN WOITHE (colony nafi) for BE YOUR SELF. A truly amazing and complex sound score. Integrated detail.

NATE EDMUNDSON for so many productions this year but, for me, THE HIDING PLACE, THE SEAFARER and THE HIGHWAY CROSSING, especially. Prolific and amazingly detailed, both as a composer and sound designer.

NICK WALES for his composition and sound design for THE YARD.



7. Other performances I am glad I saw:

CESNA - Anne Teresade Keersmaeler and Rosas at carriageworks. Great to be treated to some European respect and sophistication as an audience. Taxing but rewarding.

THE YARD - SHAUN PARKER out at Riverside. This work with youth from the West Community was truly a blast and an inspired, disciplined gift.

BE YOUR SELF by Australian Dance Theatre - Gary Stewart at the Sydney Theatre. The BEST THEATRE COMPANY I saw in 2012! Technologically amazing, and dance wise, brilliant inside a work that attempts to look at our world complexly. A challenger to our complacency. Doesn't often happen with our Australian creators. One wishes that an investigation of philosophy was a required course for our artists.

THE MOUSETRAP by Agatha Christie at the Sydney Theatre. Principally, because I was sitting with an audience that, all, loved every minute of being in the theatre (a true rarity in Sydney) watching a 'grand' old play that they knew about so affectionately - treated with such resect by the producers. A 'happy' night in the delight of the audience!

20 GOLDEN GREATS with Bob Downe at the Sydney Theatre. Why, oh, why am I such a late convert/fan?

COPPER PROMISES - HINEMIKI HAKA by Victoria Hunt and Fiona Winning at Performance Space, carriageworks. One of the truly moving experiences in the theatre this year.

STEVE REICH IN RESIDENCE : A CELEBRATION in the Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House. A 'body' of work presented by completely enraptured and dedicated fans/artists of the composer. A gift of a kind of 'idolatory' from the artists for the audience. Magic.

THE AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (ACO) Magnificent every time. The JEWEL IN THE CROWN of the Sydney performing companies. Should not ever be missed.


DIE TOTE STADT (THE DEAD CITY) -An opera by Korngold, directed by Bruce Beresford for Opera Australia. Read my BLOG!!!!

EVERY BREATH written and directed by Benedict Andrews. Read my BLOG!!!!!!!!

FACE TO FACE adapted from the  Bergman film by Andrew Upton and Simon Stone, directed by Simon Stone. Read my BLOG!!

I forgot, maybe, best forgotten, I AM EORA at carriageworks as part of the Sydney Festival directed by Wesley Enoch. Please look at my blog!!!!!!!


A year when two close collaborators and two remarkable life influences of mine passed away:



(P.S. I directed five productions throughout the year, with community theatres and i would like to thank all my companies for their work and would like to mention some actors that I want to register for history's sake: DOUG HANSELL and DANIEL SCOTT in THE TEMPERAMENTALS.; SABRYNA T'EO and JOHN GRINSTON in SAINT JOAN).

Have a good 2013. I have begun it well here, in London.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Marriage Blanc

Sydney Theatre Company presents MARRIAGE BLANC by Tadeusz Rozewicz, adapted by Melissa Bubnic at Wharf 2.

The Sydney Theatre Company, this Production at least, has forgotten to tell us, in their program notes, anything about the actual originator of this material, the writer, Tadeusz Rozewicz. Everybody else, BUT, not the writer. The adaptor even, BUT, not the writer. This is not an unusual event in Sydney theatre going. The writer is often forgotten in the flowering of the enterprises on our stages. Respect is not always discernible. (The director has never been neglected in the program notes, as far as I can remember). Anyway from what I could Google: Mr Rozewicz was born in Poland, 1921 and is still alive, and a highly respected poet and playwright. In 2007 Mr Rozewicz won the European Prize for Literature.

This production of MARRIAGE BLANC was inspired by the delight of the Director, Sarah Giles, to the reading of the text, "not just because it has two excellent young, strong, funny female characters at its core, or because it appeared wildly challenging to stage, but because it posed questions that fascinate me: what is it to wrestle with your gender and body. Realising your gender, body and sexuality have repercussions for you is a huge moment in any one's life. You can't escape them. They aren't things, we can just neatly tuck into a pair of tight jeans and hopes no one notices. Beneath our clothes is our own very real nude suit - and we can't hide from it. But most of us try."

Some of the above was true for me: It is indeed true that Paige Gardiner as Bianca of the 'white marriage' and, especially, Katie McDonald as Pauline, her very sexually aware younger sister, give strong, funny performances. Delightfully so. It is also true that Ms Giles continued to impress with her acumen as a director in staging this very strange play.

I have no idea what was going on in Catholic-Communist Poland in 1975, to, and, or for, Mr Rozewicz that he felt the need to write this play, for a Polish audience. This production does not further enlighten one either. The play is set at the turn of the 20th century, with some very surreal imaginings, and, what, felt for me, a weird White Hall British sex farce tilt -especially with this production's costume (Renee Mulder) and set and props designs (David Fleischer).

 I think I would have preferred to see RUN FOR YOUR WIFE, the 1983, Ray Cooney farce - a straight forward sex romp of silly 'innocence" and innuendo - than this. (But then that would not be the kind of play that the STC might contemplate producing - better an esoteric Polish vehicle to get our 'jollies' off? Thinking again, perhaps, it is an STC attempt at a Christmas Panto gift for us long suffering audiences?). The work felt like a childish sex romp with extreme dildos - oddly dated, and a trifle tiresome in its length and efforts - the play, that is, not the dildos. The concern that Ms Giles expresses above, about one's coming of "age', sexually, does not seem theatrically explored with much depth in this production,  textually or production wise. Naughty laughs at the visual juxtapositions were the surprising principle target.  I kept, because of the period setting, reminiscently preferring, the challenge and grim humour of Frank Wedekind's SPRING AWAKENING. Why Ms Giles felt that this play could or should concern Secular Democratic Australia in 2012 is beyond my understanding. Clearly, Ms Giles thought, as did the STC, that this was a play that would interest and extend an audience. The dildo titillation was funnier in Sarah Ruhl's recent play IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY.

All the actors gave sterling and committed performances: Gig Young, Sacha Horler, Peter Kowitz, Lucia Mastrantone and Sean O'Shea, and, I thought the composition of the theatre music by David Heinrich, very arresting.

It was a strange night in the theatre. The play just failed to engage me in anyway. I did not 'dwell' in it, on any level. I sat, way, way outside it.

Beautiful One Day

Photo by Heidrun Lohr
Belvoir, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and version 1.0 present BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY, in the Upstairs Theatre at Belvoir St Theatre.

BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY is a collaboration with Belvoir (Devisor,Eamon Flack), ILBIJERRI Theatre Company (Devisor/Performer, Rachael Mazza) and version 1.0 (Devisor, David Williams). It is a verbatim exercise researching, organising and presenting interview and found materials concerning the now notorious, November 2004 death-in-custody incident of an aboriginal man on Palm Island and the long aftermath of a pursuit of justice. It is also "a show about the irrepressible life and times of Palm island."

This show began well. Visual images on four screens gave us some reference to the real Palm Island (Sean Bacon): palms, sea and sand (later the images take us back in time, through film and photographs). A moveable platform shaped like an island was wheeled centre stage and Magdalena Blackley (Devisor/Performer/Cultural Consultant) sat centre platform and with the aid of a micro-phoned voice began an introduction to the background of the incident.

There is great confidence and comfort radiating from the presence of Ms Blackley - an awesome authenticity of authority, innate wisdom, knowledge. Rachel Mazza, incandescent with vital attractiveness, energy and intelligence, introduces her role as devisor -, further authenticity. Quietly, almost modestly, Harry Ruben, although not a confident performer, but, a pleasant presence, inculcates us with an energy and attention grabbing focus adding another depth to the authentic voice of this story. The self deprecation, modesty, shyness of the threesome, is impressive. Later, Kylie Doomadgee, also from the island, makes an explosive and powerful and ironic entrance, and where the other performers have restraint, this young woman has expressive passion and a keen agenda about telling this story, a dreadful (dread filled) need to tell this story, in the theatre. There is from this group of people, who proceed to give an historic context for the major event of the play, a freshness and simple feeling of open honesty. Full of good will it seems, but masking an anger and frustration of decades of injustice.

Two regular members of version 1.0, Paul Dwyer and Jane Phegan, make up the numbers as devisors and performers, facilitating the representation of the white characters throughout the exploration of the history. It is with these two actors that the piece begins to lose its authenticity and its charm. The very familiar version 1.0 form of production came once again, boringly into play. It became a routine of structure/plot and role playing technique, which has come to characterize the work of version 1.0, and, for me stultifies the experience. It seems to me that for the version 1.0 company, that habit is everything. I no longer find the means with which they shape their work and present it, as at all interesting. (See, THE TABLE OF KNOWLEDGE). A friend who had never seen this company at work, had a "good time". Perhaps, familiarity with the company had bred my boredom.

Mr Bacon's visual material is full of repeated image and loses its potency with each repeat. It begins to pall in its effectiveness. This is true of the textual re-iterations of the play script. The production development stands still for much of the evening. Material is not able for legal reasons to be heard and so...??... !!!... What is the point? Visual interviews with other Palm Islanders are amateurish in their content gathering, charming, but uninformatively listless in galvanising the theatre as a political tool.

BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY, began well. Worthy and important material, but dull, in this production form as theatre, I am afraid. Distressingly so.

Eamon Flack and David Williams were two of the other devisors to this unhappy night in the theatre.