“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.

Sydney Theatre – The Ge#204CB05

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond

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THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY – REIMAGINED

February 10, 2016
Oscar Wilde

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


GENESIAN THEATRE LAUNCHES 2016 PROGRAMME

January 18, 2016

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Sydney’s Genesian Theatre has been delighting theatre lovers since the opening night performance of their first production on 29 January 1945. One of Sydney’s most active companies, the Genesian Theatre Company provides a training ground for young theatre professionals and those who just love theatre. As well as presenting six stage productions each year, they also run classes and workshops. Operating from a historic church building at 420 Kent Street, the theatre’s alumni include many of Australian theatres most famous names such as Bryan Brown, John Bell and Baz Luhrmann.

The 2016 programme for their 72nd season, which the Company recently launched, promises to be an exciting mixture of plays that should appeal to both their loyal subscriber base as well as attract new patrons.

Australia’s master dramatist David Williamson has the honour of opening the season on 2 April with his play “Nothing Personal”, exploring the rivalry between two women in a publishing company.

Thomas Hardy’s popular novel “Far From the Madding Crowd” that has been adapted for the stage by Mark Healey opens on 21 May. No season would be complete without an Agatha Christie and opening on 9 July is “Appointment With Death” set in Petra.

The Olivier Award winning musical “Our House” has its Sydney premiere on 3 September. This not to be missed production, with a script by Tim Firth, one of Britain’s leading playwrights, features songs of super group Madness, such as “It Must Be Love” and “Wings of a Dove”.

Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” opens on 22 October and William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” opening 28 January 2017 concludes the season.

Sandra Tiltman     Photo: John Pond


GO BACK FOR MURDER by Agatha Christie

September 17, 2015

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Lovers of a good murder mystery are always keen to see any play by Agatha Christie, the master of mystery, and fans of this genre will not be disappointed with the Genesian Theatre’s current production of “Go Back For Murder”.

Directed by Michael Heming, with a clever set designed by Garry Bates that makes for quick and easy scene changes, the production manages to capture the moods portrayed in the play’s variety of the settings, from a legal office to a country home.

In this brilliant edge of your seat whodunnit, we follow Carla’s quest to obtain justice for her mother who was sent to gaol after being charged and found guilty of poisoning her philandering husband.

Carla’s mother died in jail, but left her daughter a letter insisting on her innocence.

GBFM 5With the assistance of solicitor Justin Fogg, who followed the case closely, Carla makes it her mission to clear her mother’s name and aims to interrogate the five other people present when the crime was committed twenty years previously, to learn the truth.

Tamryn Liddell and David Hopkins make a wonderful team as Carla Le Marchant and Justin Fogg.

I won’t spoil the surprise, you will have to see the play to find out if Carla’s mother was as innocent as she states.

Playing until 3 October 2015, with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. plus a matinee at 4.30 p.m. on Sunday.

Sandra Tiltman

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COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (Abridged)

July 29, 2015

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The brainchild of The Reduced Shakespeare Company, this incredibly funny play, written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield was first performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1987 and subsequently transferred to London’s West End where it ran for nine years.

Sydney’s Genesian Theatre is currently presenting their production of this entertaining show. Jessica Gray, Jamie Collette and Barry Nielsen make up the superb cast, bringing the characters to life with their excellent performances. In just 97 minutes, the show touches on all of Shakespeare’s works and presents every single one of the 1,122 roles, (the sonnets are thrown in as a DVD extra!). Hard to believe, that all these roles are performed by just three actors.

_GEN7675Directed by Tom Massey, this is one of the best shows I have seen presented in this charming intimate theatre.

The play is notable for holding the (self-proclaimed) world record for the shortest ever performance of Hamlet, clocking in at 43 seconds, as well as the fastest performance of Hamlet backwards, at 42 seconds! Unless you see it, you won’t believe it.

The season runs until 8 August 2015, with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. plus a matinee at 4.30 p.m. on Sunday.

Sandra Tiltman

Photos: Craig O’Regan


THE THREE MUSKETEERS – SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURE

May 22, 2015

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Alexander Dumas’ famous tale, “The Three Musketeers”, is the current production for Sydney’s Genesian Theatre in Kent Street. This adaptation by Ken Ludwig, commissioned by the Bristol Old Vic in England, is directed by Mark Banks with Roger Gimblett.

Featuring sword fights galore and of course that famous saying “All for one and one for all”, this exciting and sometimes comedic production highlights the adventures of d’Artagnan and his three compatriots, Aramis, Porthos and Athos as they uphold the honour of King Louis XIII and his Queen, against the evil Cardinal Richelieu.

Tim van Zuylen steals the show with his portrayal of King Louis XIII, especially when he is dressed in a gold satin suit, complete with shoulder length wig.

This tale of heroism, treachery, close escapes and sword fighting whenever the opportunity arises, with many laughs in between, will appeal to the entire family.

Playing until 27 June 2015, on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 4.30 p.m.

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond 

 

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“SIMPSON J. 202” – AN INSPIRATIONAL PLAY

April 23, 2015

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To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, the Genesian Theatre Company in Sydney’s Kent Street has selected “Simpson, J. 202” as its latest production.

An inspiring and deeply moving story about a larrikin lad who became an Australian icon, the play written by acclaimed Australian playwright Richard Beynon, is the extraordinary story of John Simpson, the man with the Donkey at Gallipoli.

Ryan Bown brings charm and passion to his emotional performance in the title role as Jack Simpson Kirkpatrick.

Julia Kennedy Scott as Jack’s mother, Sarah Kirkpatrick and Penelope Berkemeier as his sister Annie both convey the feelings of helplessness and worry that those left behind to keep the home fires burning experience.

DSC06442Robbie Robertson who plays Charles Cosgrove also gives the audience an emotional and gripping performance as the soldier who shares his tent with Jack Simpson. When they first meet, neither man knows of the horrors they are soon to experience when they reach the battlefront.

Rob White brings a spot of comic relief as Sergeant Hookway, the person tasked with trying to turn Jack Simpson into a soldier.

Directed by Mark Gerard Nagle, who is also the set designer. The action takes place on a split stage, with one half permanently set as the Kirkpatrick family’s kitchen/living room and the other side, a blank space with a white curtain where all the other action occurs, from life in the barracks to the battlefields of Gallipoli. This works very well.

On Saturday 25 April there is an Anzac Day matinée at 3.30 p.m.

Playing until 2 May on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 4.30 p.m. The performance runs for 2 hours 15 minutes, plus interval.

This is a must see for all Australians, both young and old.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond