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October 4, 2010 | by  | in Theatre |
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SCRAMBLED

SCRAMBLED is the second of two complications of six ten minute long scenes directed by this year’s THEA 304—Directing students. The design, most specifically the lights, are done by the THEA 220—Scenography students.

Attempts On Her Life

wri. Martin Crimp
dir. George Hirst

Martin Crimp’s work, with its rejection of a lot of modern theatrical form, is a challenge for even the most seasoned of directors and there is a sense here that Hirst running before he can walk. While there are some bold strokes made in this production, it lacks the coherence that the text so desperately demands. It doesn’t help that the cast seems to be having trouble committing to the work, either as a gesture or as a narrative.

Variations On The Death of Trotsky

wri. David Ives
dir. Emerald Naulder

Storming along with belly laughs and great gusto, Naulder has crafted a tight ten-minute piece. The performances may have been somewhat one note, but that was more than made up for by the sheer energy which the piece exuded. Naulder could refine her blocking—characters seem to dawdle aimlessly and audience members on either side of the thrust stage saw less than they should.

Fugue

wri. Laura Miller
dir. Samantha McLean

It is hard to judge McLean’s directorial nous based on this piece due to her bad choice of text. Fugue is at best mawkish, at worse offensive, in its exploration of the death of young children. The amateurish set also heavily distracts. McLean clearly has a good sense of the dramatic and creates some effective images; it’s just a pity she wasted them on such a poor choice of script.

HamletMachine

wri. Heiner Müller
dir. Stella Reid

Some would argue that HamletMachine is the definitive post-modern text. It is certainly quite hard to wrestle with textually, swimming as it does through a viscous syrup of references—both intellectual and otherwise—with no real motion towards any idea of plot or even character. That Stella Reid’s production seems so effortless, so seamless and yet still just as semiotically dense as the text from which it arises stands as only one of its many victories. A highlight.

Methusalem

wri. Yvan Goll
dir. Ian Harris

A brilliant central performance by Blair Everson is the standout in this piece. Increasingly obtuse and without respite, one cannot help but feel lost in the unfocused tangle of this work. There seems to be a narrative but Harris seems unconcerned with expressing it. There are many flashes of brilliance but one often feels they arise not from Harris working with the text but from a more arbitrary space. Perhaps a more literal or at least more lucid text would have served Harris better?

Let Us Go Out Into The Starry Night

wri. John Patrick Shanley
dir. Rachelle Fons

There is a really engaging exuberance and joy to Fons’ work. It bowls along like a jelly brick down a water slide made of smiles. She seems, however, to focus so heavily on the big picture, the wider scream of the work, that many nuances are lost and the piece as a whole tends to get a bit overly literal. For a piece about the connection between two people, the audience never really gets to experience or buy into it.

SCRAMBLED at Studio 77, 77 Fairlie Tce at 7pm on the 23rd and 25th of September 2010

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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