2:00pm, Sat 26 Feb 2000
Short Review: Competent
Dark Love consisted of 2 plays by English playwright Harold Pinter, and were presented in a very “english” manner which suited both plays well. Billed as a “psycho-sexual voyage”, neither of the plays really approached that description, but proved to be entertaining nonetheless.
- The Lover
- This was the better of the two works, due in no small part to the great script – very clever writing. Martin Welsh is excellent, giving his character a great refinement and dignity. Kerry-Anne James is adequate, but appears less self assured in her delivery.
This piece is at its’ best when the characters allowed extended, pregnant pauses in between their lines. Though this had a very stoccato effect, it heightened the tensions present in the play.
- Ashes to Ashes
- The playbill cites this as being the “more cerebral” of the two plays, and it wasn’t far wrong. No pauses between delivery here – Kerry-Anne James (looking far more at home here) and director Glen Christie churned through the dialogue at a steady rate. Whilst a “deeper” piece of work, unfortunately there was no real tension generated between the characters.
Overall, this pair of plays provides an interesting introduction to Pinter’s work. Whilst not outstanding, this local production was competent and entertaining.
The Foreign Legion (Cartoons)
11:59pm, Fri 25 Feb 2000
Short Review: Enticing
The promo info tells all there is to know about this one-man show, but TJ Dawe’s delivery is incredible. Whilst the plot does appear to be both minimalistic, and indeed the performance peters out to a trite ending, it is the journey that Dawe takes you on that makes this show the first big show for this Fringe.
Dawe has the spectacular ability to turn the audience on a 10 cent piece – so while the majority of the performance is devoted to pure, gut-wrenching laughter, he occasionally reminds all present that there is sorrow to be found, too – for a second – then it’s back to the laughter. The manner in which Dawe controls this pacing of this show simply must be seen.
The Entire Contents of the Refrigerator
9:15pm, Fri 25 Feb 2000
Short Review: Captivating
20 characters? In an hour? Uni maths tells me that this is an average of 3 minutes each, but some characters get far more (and some, far less) of an opportunity to show themselves. Casey Stewart-Lindley does a great job of bringing all her persona – both minor and major – to life, using little more than a broom and a block of wood for props.
Whilst the only thread between the characters seemd to be a malaise or grief, this show shouldn’t be seen as a contiguous “story” – more as one major piece (the woman infatuated with the sax player upstairs) fragmented by a bunch of smaller monologues. This, however, does not detract from the spectacle – this is a great performance piece by Stewart-Lindley.
The Vagina Monologues
8:30pm, Wed 23 Feb 2000
Short Review: Vagina!
A gentle way to start FF2000. Colette Mann was in great form, waxing lyrical about the vagina, and dropping into a multitude of characters discussing their own vaginas. On the whole, this was quite an amusing piece, with a few small problems: one, it tended to be a little self-indulgent at times, and the “reclaiming” of the C-word was completely unnecessary; two, there were a few opening night nerves about which were, for the large part, ignored by the generally supportive audience; and finally, the script seemed a little uneven – the sole “serious” monologue stood out like a sore thumb in amongst the other, more amusing, characters.
In general, a fun enough evening – certainly worth a bash if you’ve got an interested SO and want the excuse to say “vagina” a lot, or yell out the C-word with a hundred or so other people (how cathartic!).