There is no doubt that Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is an Australian theatrical classic. Though at age 97, Ray Lawler claims this masterpiece could still do with some tweaks, for today’s audiences the themes of complex relationships, life changes and Aussie mateship are as spot on today as they were when Lawler himself played Roo back in 1955.
Black Swan State Theatre Company
A regular on the Perth theatre circuit, Maitland Schnaars will be making his debut for Black Swan Theatre Company in their upcoming production of Let the Right One In. Based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, which was then made into a film in its original Swedish and also as a US adaptation, it is a coming-of-age love story featuring vampires. I for one can’t wait to see how the poignant and haunting story is transferred to the stage when it shows at the State Theatre Centre from 11 November. Like myself, Maitland is a fan of the Swedish film and is thrilled to be a part of this production. We caught up to chat about the show and his career both on stage and behind the scenes. Claire.
Showing at the State Theatre Centre of WA from 12-29 October, I Am My Own Wife is a powerful play that examines the true life of German antiquarian Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. Born Lothar Berfelde, she killed her father when she was 12 years old, was sentenced to four years in juvenile prison and survived the Nazi regime and then in East Berlin the German Communist secret police, in plain sight as a transvestite.
The inimitable Brendan Hanson plays over 30 characters, and the ubiquitous Joe Lui fills the role of director, composer and sound designer. So you’ll believe us when we say that set and costume designer Cherish Marrington is in great company as she works with Black Swan for the first time for this production. Claire chatted with the WAAPA graduate, who gets her kicks from tackling design puzzles, to discuss her career and the upcoming show.
Now showing at Studio Underground at the State Theatre Centre of WA, the world premiere of Coma Land considers where we roam in a comatose state. It proffers a dreamlike world, all the while telling a deeper tale about fathers and daughters, about one failing the other and the devastating consequences that can have.
Under the direction of Jeffery Jay Fowler, Lally Katz’s warped story of parentless brother and sister Abalone (Brendan Ewing) and Gerture (Natalie Holmwood) raises questions about mental health and the inner workings of those living with it. Katz has taken the zeitgeist of our times, opened its veins and let it bleed out on the stage.
Endgame, while not Samuel Beckett’s most celebrated theatrical piece, is commonly considered his most important.
Black Swan Theatre Company has brought this timeless classic out of the archives, producing it with respect and delicacy.
Emerging designer and recent WAAPA graduate Tyler Hill is making a name for himself in the theatre world with not one but two upcoming productions with Black Swan State Theatre Company. Kicking off the partnership is Samuel Beckett’s absurdist comedy Endgame, showing until 11 June, and things follow on with Melbourne playwright Lally Katz’ play The Eisteddfod, which runs from 22 June to 9 July.
Claire caught up with Tyler to chat about the upcoming shows, and his transition from fine arts and architecture to a promising career in theatre design.
As Australians, we take great pride in the story of our ANZACs. Sadly, as there are no longer any WWI veterans to march on our most sacred national day, it is more important than ever to keep their stories alive and accessible for younger generations, Lest We Forget.
The Lighthouse Girl is one such story, regaling the true to life tale of lighthouse keeper’s daughter Fay Howe.
A role in the WA premiere of Molière’s Tartuffe – The Hypocrite marked a return to Perth for the Albany born WAAPA graduate James Sweeny, who currently lives in Sydney where he shares a house with Tartuffe co-star and WAAPA classmate Alex Williams.
Black Swan State Theatre Company’s upcoming production Clinton: The Musical will explore the duality of one of the USA’s most devisive presidents. Two actors will portray opposing sides of the one man: WJ Clinton, the sober, wise leader poised to make great strides to major socio-political change; and Billy, the reckless, fun, and decidedly unprofessional. A story about Bill Clinton would be nothing without ever-faithful wife Hillary who will be played by Lisa Adam.