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Ballarat National Theatre

PERFORMANCE DATES

Saturday 5 July @ 8 pm
Sunday 6 July @ 2 pm
Then 9 to 12 July @ 8 pm

SYNOPSIS

This year being our 70th Anniversary we presented seven ‘Shorts’.

The Plays Directed & Designed by Julian Oldfield
 

OUTDOOR PLEASURES

CAROL HOFFMAN
MARGARET JARVIS

DOGGIES

ANE GAYLOR
SARAH KERNIGHAN

SEASCAPE

SANDY TAI & CHRIS LEBEN
MARY-ROSE McLAREN & HAYDN VINCENT

BOTTICELLI

LIAM MUDGE
MARK BONANNO

RESTING PLACE

LOREL OGLETHORPE
CHRIS BAULCH

DANCERS

MEGAN ALI
JANETTE BAXTER

A RESOUNDING TINKLE BY N.F. SIMPSON

PEPPA SINDAR
ROBERT KIELTY
LINDA OGIER

CREW

Stage-Manager - Sally Read
Lighting Design - Liam Mudge
Lighting Crew - Chris Sibbald, Warren Bohnke
Robert Selway - Hoskins
Sound recording - Michael Zala
Sound Operation -Lincoln Hunt

REVIEW

REVIEWER -

Sex, Death and an Elephant at Ballarat National Theatre

The tangle of relationships, old and new, amuse, inspire and challenge us in Ballarat National Theatre’s latest offering Tangled Tales, the company’s 2008 selection of short plays. This production is a “must see” in BNT’s 70th anniversary season.

Seven short pieces invite the audience to enter into enclosed worlds where seventeen very different characters present the complexities of defining, building and maintaining love and friendship. Director Julian Oldfield blends a range of talents, effective placement of strong, diverse themes and pacey scene changes to present a night of thoughtful entertainment.

The Australian premiere of Seascape by Tony Rushworth, sees young lovers Mary (Sandy Tai) and Hans (Chris Leben) struggling to find their way during internship on the Isle of Wight. Their burgeoning love is mirrored by a second chance love affair between Magda (Mary-Rose McLaren) and Kurt (Hayden Vincent). Sandy Tai’s expressive face and magical smile light up the stage. Chris Leben presents a nicely controlled portrayal of adolescence on the cusp of maturity. Mary-Rose McLaren brings to her character, a reformed prostitute, real depth and an internal sense of truth. Hayden Vincent is thoroughly convincing in his portrayal of an aging German Jew, seeking a new life away from Berlin in the 1930s.

In Botticelli by Terence McNally, two young soldiers (Liam Mudge and Mark Bonanno) play schoolboy pseudo-intellectual mind games while waiting to viciously kill an unsuspecting enemy. Mark Bonanno’s wonderfully expressive face ably complements Liam Mudge’s portrayal of growing paranoia.

Lorel Oglethorpe and Chris Baulch in Resting Place by David Compton, magically capture the repetitive bickering and the intense love of an old couple contemplating the missed opportunities of life and the desire to be together after death. Baulch’s debut performance with BNT is one that will be remembered.

Three short duologues by Jean McConnell balance the programme. Carol Hoffman and Margaret Jarvis convincingly bicker their way through an outdoor Shakespeare performance. Jane Gaylor and Sarah Kernighan successfully capture the social class distinction of dogs and their owners. Megan Ali and Janette Baxter are thrilling when they open the second half as two ballroom dancers on the lookout for a man but on their own terms.

The absurdist comedy A Resounding Tinkle (N. F. Simpson) completes the bill. The Paradox family is having trouble with an elephant. Uncle Ted has decided to become a woman and Mrs Stencil is on the warpath. Peppa Sindar and Robert Kielty deliver fast-paced paradoxical dialogue with finesse. They both manage successfully to build believable characters within the absurd construct of the play. Linda Ogier brings a sense of light joyousness to her portrayal of Uncle Ted, framing both the comedy and the absurdity of the piece.

Tangled Tales is funny, stimulating and challenging – don’t miss it..