Forget Fallout, the real Mission Impossible is happening right now inside the Reginald, the smallest space inside the Seymour Centre. The brief: take a famously dense novel that not only travels the high seas but the innermost depths of the human condition and condense it to an 80 minute black box theatre production that feels fresh, new and accessible. Who would ever choose to accept? Enter Sport for Jove, the popular Sydney independent company that specialises in classic texts through new eyes. Under the direction of Adam Cook, they’ve given it a good crack. The script is an existing one by Moby Dick obsessive Orson Welles, which he half-filmed but ended up abandoning when it didn’t live up to his expectations. Here, Sport for Jove take it through to its turbulent ends. It’s still the story you know, if abridged: the one about Ishmael (Tom Royce-Hampton) who boards the Pequod on a whaling voyage out of Nantucket. The captain is still Ahab (Danny Adcock), obsessed with that white whale Moby Dick, the one who tore off his leg. (There are, thankfully, no whale suits.) Welles riffs on Sport for Jove’s beloved Shakespeare by referencing Henry V in the script – inviting the audience to build the ocean in their imaginations. Welles’ script has been pared down from two hours to a run time of 80 minutes, excising its play-within-a-play premise, which saw actors preparing for a performance of King Lear until, under the behest of a tyrannical actor – the Ahab of the group – they a
The creative talents behind the UK's Sh!t Theatre are coming to Newtown's Old 505 Theatre to share their love for Dolly Parton as part of Sydney Fringe. In a slight departure from their explicitly political acts, Sh!t Theatre is coming in hot, to deliver a show celebrating the woman, the myth, the legend: Dolly Parton – and sometimes Dolly the sheep. The storyline follows their personal accounts from a very necessary excursion to ‘Dollywood’, the Parton-themed amusement park in Tennessee. The tale is recounted with the same kind of inventive and anarchic spirit you'd expect from two women who rock up on stage dressed as two giant boobs – which is exactly what happens. But it’s not all blonde wigs, diamontes, bare breasts and country music; the show is spiked with themes of immortality, plasticity, decay and even cloning. Read Time Out London's interview with Sh!t Theatre.
Breaking up is never easy, but it's particularly challenging when traced by a marathon piece of 'endurance theatre'. This piece from New Zealand outfit Binge Culture played Edinburgh Fringe last year to strong reviews and plenty of interest. It took place over five hours, and unlike most pieces of endurance theatre it's actually a semi-improvised comedy, tracing the creation and breakdown of a relationship in real time. There's no word yet on the running time for the Sydney shows, but you're welcome to drop in and out of the performance when you need a toilet break – if only you could do that in your own breakups.
New Zealand theatremaker Eleanor Bishop is behind this participatory theatre work, which poses big questions about rape culture. Performer Karin McCrackin leads the audience through a reading of a transcript from a real life case, interspersed with documentary footage interviewing young people about their experiences. Some audience members will be invited to read and others will send their responses in via text message. “It challenges you and asks: what is theatre? It can just be people reading a transcript," says Sydney Fringe director Kerri Glassock.
Daniel Keene is one of Australia's most successful international playwrights even if he's not super well known in Australia. In this production, the Sydney-based theatre collective Jetpack Theatre will combine two of his short plays into an immersive theatrical party featuring poetry and live music from Manor Ants. It's also one of Sydney Fringe artistic director Kerri Glasscock's picks of the program – which is a rather high honour in a festival with more than 400 events.
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A dose of culture doesn't have to bust your budget when you know the hacks and tricks to accessing cheap theatre ticket deals around Sydney.