All the world’s a stage…

Posted by on Jun 26, 2011 in Theater | 2 comments

All the world’s a stage…

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There is something special about going to the theatre, it’s a chance to step into another world, fall into a well spun story and sometimes, just sometimes step away with a new take on the world.

About six months ago Dee introduced me to the world of community theatre, a world I must admit I may have previously wrinkled my nose at. I have since seen five plays and loved them all. I have stepped from the life of CS Lewis to London drawing rooms to country estates and post war Australia. Each play has been amazing. Well performed, great sets and all from a strong well written base. There is an added benefit to seeing these amateur plays – the price. Not one has cost more than $20 and they generally include a pre show sherry and tea or coffee with a biscuit during interval.

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Last night Dee, Bean and I headed to Malvern Theatre to see The Farnsworth Invention, a play by Aaron Sorkin, writer behind West Wing and The Facebook Movie. His style is fast paced, heavy dialogue that stretches you. I must admit it was his name on this play that has had it on my must see list for months now. I often find when watching his writing come to life that I am looking at things in a new way and am more excited about the possibilities. He has a way of doing that.

The Farnsworth Invention is a play about the turning point of the 20th century and the invention of television. “This electrifying drama from Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing, centres around the bitter conflict between Philo Farnsworth, a self-taught Idaho farm boy, and David Sarnoff, a ruthless media mogul. During the 1920s and separated by two thousand miles, each knows that if he stops working, even for a moment, the other will gain the edge. Who will unlock the key to one of the greatest innovations of the last century? In a race that would change humanity forever, the two men battle one another for honour, glory, and a place in the history books. A tragic example of legal and industrial force combining to crush a rightful patent owner”.

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The theater is set in an old church but has been remodeled beautifully into a professional yet intimate space. Upon arriving we were offered a choice of sweet or dry sherry or juice. I always want to try the sherry as I find something very romantic about sipping sherry pre show but the reality is I am not a fan so after a sip I settled on juice. The bell rang and we were ushered inside to take our seats.

The play opened with a video montage showing television highlights since the beginning of television and continued at a fast pace with an impressively large cast. The script in true Sorkin style was fast paced, tight and complex – full props to the impressive cast who handled it with panache. The two lead males were particularly impressive with their complex and detailed lines, smooth American accents and beautifully acted moments.

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We left on the following inspired quote (the below is taken from west wing but they rehashed it in the play);

Sam: [about why we should go to Mars] ‘Cause it’s next. ‘Cause we came out of the cave and we looked over the hill and we saw fire. And we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the West and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration, and this is what’s next.

I know I will see many more local plays in coming months (am addicted) but can’t recommend this play enough. It’s running until 9th July so there’s still time to see it!

THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION

by AARON SORKIN

Directed by SHANE RYAN

24th June to 9th July, 2011

Tuesdays to Saturdays 8.15 pm.
Saturday Matinee 25th June at 2.00 pm.
Sunday Matinee 3rd July at 2.00 pm.
Gala Night Saturday 2nd July at 8.15 pm.

Ticket Bookings Phone: 1300 131 552

$20.00 (Concession $18.00) – Groups (10 or more) $17.00 per person
Gala Night $25.00 (Concession $23.00)

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2 Comments

  1. I just finished watching the West Wing, I had no idea Aaron Sorkin wrote plays…

    • Me either – i am going to see if I can get a copy of the script and see if he has anything else out there. I love his style.

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