FIGARO AT THE GENESIAN

September 16, 2017

IMG_5845.jpgFast paced dialogue plus a convoluted story full of intrigue, keeps the audience alert and on the edge of their seats, while watching the Genesian Theatre’s latest production. Charles Morey’s “Figaro”, is an adaptation of “Le Mariage de Figaro”, based on the play written in 1778 by Beaumarchais, which was initially banned by the censors due to criticism of the French aristocracy and gave voice to the growing revolutionary thinking of the era.

Directed by Shane Bates and with costumes designed by Susan Carveth, “Figaro” is set in late 18th century Spain and highlights the difference in the class structure of the day. The action evolves around Figaro, Count Almaviva’s man servant, who is engaged to Suzanne, the maidservant to the Countess. The mayhem arises when the Count, who has been married for three years, will not sign the marriage contract allowing Figaro and Suzanne’s marriage to go ahead, as he has his own plans for Suzanne.

Suzanne and the Countess are dubious of the Figaro-ian scheme to persuade the Count of his love for the Countess and decide to take matters into their own hands. Mistaken identities and broken promises follow, along with a love sick page, a birthmark in the shape of a spatula and plenty of doors and letters.

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Ted Crosby as Figaro plays the role with a gifted comedic touch, while Yasmin Arkinstall as Suzanne is the perfect foil to carry off the madcap happenings.

“Figaro” is currently playing at the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney until 14 October 2017. Friday & Saturday nights at 7.30pm with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm.

Sandra Tiltman

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UNDER MILK WOOD – NOT YOUR USUAL VILLAGE

March 26, 2017

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In the opening play of the Genesian Theatre Company’s 73rd season, Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas introduces us to a range of deep and quirky characters in his masterpiece “Under Milk Wood”.

A day in the life of a Welsh seaside village sounds quite tame but the fictional Milk Wood is a village like no other. The inhabitants reflect the village’s name, “Llareggub”, which is “Bugger All” backwards. During one Spring day we learn of the desires and dreams of the residents plus their loves and regrets. Here we meet Lily Smalls, who stares at herself in a mirror, the blind sea captain who dreams of his love, plus a woman who lives with her two dead husbands.

The town’s rich history, along with its collection of surprising characters, allows us to see not only how strange life can be but shows us the joys and despairs of age and youth.

Combined with a set designed by Martin Searles and direction by Ylaria Rogers, the fine cast brings life to what could truly be described as a very unusual group of residents.

The play is closely associated with the late Welsh actor, Richard Burton.

“Under Milk Wood” is currently playing at the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney until 8 April 2017. Friday & Saturday nights at 7.30pm with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm.

Sandra Tiltman


GENESIAN THEATRE PRESENTS “OUR HOUSE”

September 11, 2016

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Sydney’s Genesian Theatre in Kent Street is known for staging a selection of quality dramas, but this time they have surprised us with a musicial, the Sydney premiere of “Our House”.

dsc09890-1This Olivier Award winning musical, written by Tim Firth, one of Britain’s leading playwrights, is a moving story that presents two paths which the 16 year old hero, Joe, (well played by Matt Clark) can take when dealing with the same set of circumstances and the consequences of each of the choices that he makes.

Music and lyrics, which give the show a happy vibe, are by British supergroup Madness and feature popular well known hit songs such as the title ‘Our House’, ‘It Must Be Love’, ‘Wings of a Dove’ and ‘Baggy Trousers’, all sung very professionally by the cast, who manage to do some great dance moves as well.

Director Roger Gimblett brings all the action to life in this amateur theatre production along with Musical Director Timothy Carter and choreographer Debbie Smith who draw splendid performances from the cast.

“Our House” is currently playing at The Genesian Theatre until 8 October 2016 on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm
with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm. The performance runs for two and a quarter hours with an interval.

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond


“APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH” AT GENESIAN THEATRE

July 19, 2016

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No season would be complete at Sydney’s Genesian Theatre in Kent Street without presenting one of Agatha Christie’s gripping tales. “Appointment With Death” is this year’s chosen production and it will have you guessing, right from the very start, which member of the cast is to be “killed off” and which one “did it”.

posterAll the action happens in the rose red city of Petra, where the characters or “suspects” are holidaying in an exotic hotel. Set in the hotel foyer, we meet each of the cast and immediately start looking for clues as we get to know their personalities. Mrs Boynton stands out as being particularly horrible, amongst a group of equally nasty characters, all with a motive to cause trouble. Once the murder has occurred, the clues all come to light, as the audience trys to play detective. Naturally every character seems to have a motive and with plenty of red herrings, we are left to the very end trying to guess who the guilty one is.

Directed by Barry Nielsen, with costumes designed by Susan Carveth and lighting by Michael Schell, the scene is set for the actors to draw the audience into the mystery. The set designed by Owen Gimblett gives the production a genuine atmosphere of being in the old mysterious Middle East. I loved the elevator in the hotel foyer, a clever touch.

“Appointment With Death” is currently playing at The Genesian Theatre until 20 August 2016 on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm
 with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm. The performance runs for two and a half hours with an interval.

Sandra Tiltman    


“FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD”

May 28, 2016

The Sydney premiere of “Far From the Madding Crowd”, based on Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel set in rural England, is currently being performed at the Genesian Theatre in Kent Street, Sydney.

For this production, The Genesian Theatre Company has obtained the rights to use Mark Healy’s recent stage adaptation of Hardy’s novel for the English Touring Theatre.

Directed by Debbie Smith, the story of Bathsheba Everdine, the owner of a large farm left to her by a relative, is brought to life by Nicole Harwood, starring as the headstrong heroine. Bathsheba is in the enviable position of having three suitors, all wanting to marry her.

DSC09099 (1)Louis Cummings is excellent as Sergeant Troy, the cad who steals Bathsheba’s affections, while Ben Dewstow tugs at our heartstrings as Farmer Gabriel Oak.

Clever use of the minimalist stage sets helps the audience believe they are watching the daily life of workers on a farm in rural South West England, at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

This production features original music for the folk songs, as well as original choreography for the country dances that are performed.

If you have read the book or seen either of the two movie versions, you are sure to enjoy this production.

“Far From the Madding Crowd” is playing until 25th June 2016, with performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm
 and a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm.

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond


“NOTHING PERSONAL” OPENS AT THE GENESIAN

April 12, 2016

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The Genesian Theatre’s 72nd Season has opened with “Nothing Personal” written by David Williamson, one of Australia’s master dramatists. This witty play set in a modern day publishing house focuses on the rivalry between two women, one from the older generation who wants to play it safe with the material published and the other, a younger vibrant woman with plenty of new ideas, wanting to take a few more risks. Naturally this leads to fireworks between the pair and the battle between “old and new” begins.

Adding a further spanner in the works is Kelvin, the head of the board and infamous womaniser, who is torn between his attraction to Naomi plus her ability to take the company forward and his loyalty to the experienced and capable Bea. Directed by Sahn Millington, the production stars Laurel McGowan as Bea, the older publisher and Alexis Hammerton as Naomi, her younger rival with Shane Bates as Roxanne, the one in the middle, trying to keep the peace. Kelvin is played by Patrick Costello.

DSC08596David Williamson always seems to have his finger on the pulse of what is happening in modern day Australia and this play is no exception. The characters are all a mixture of those whom we read about in today’s media.

“Nothing Personal” plays until 7 May 2016 on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm
 with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm. Theatre goers are advised that this production contains some adult language and themes.

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Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond


THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY – REIMAGINED

February 10, 2016
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Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s infamous play “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is currently playing at Sydney’s Genesian Theatre in Kent Steet. This “Reimagined” version is an original adaption by Nathan Farrow and a worldwide premiere for the Genesian Theatre.

Directed by Stephen Lloyd-Coombs, this production has all the wit associated with Oscar Wilde, but the story, originally written over a century ago, has been reimagined to bring it into line with modern times, complete with all the original narcissistic undertones.

To those who meet him, at first glance Dorian appears to be a beautiful, pristine and perfect idol and they look at him with adulation, but when they get close to him, they find he is something much more sinister.

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The production follows the journey of Dorian, who has sold his soul in a pact that enables him to stay forever young and beautiful, never ageing, while his portrait turns decrepit and those around him age and deteriorate.

Good looking actor Michael Yore is totally believable as the beautiful self-centered Dorian Gray.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” plays until 19 March 2016, with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and a Sunday matinée at 4.30p.m.

Sandra Tiltman