Get thee to the theater…

Posted by on Sep 18, 2011 in Theater | 0 comments


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This afternoon (now yesterday afternoon) I saw a play that surprised me at the

Heidelberg Theater Company



As you may have noticed through my posts I love going to the theater. Amateur or professional I love disappearing into a world on stage and have been lucky to see two plays this weekend. Moi a Cultuarlite? Mai oui!

Heidelberg Theater Company

The first was at the MTC (that funny new building in Southbank). Clybourne Park was a well performed thought provoking look at the ongoing issues racial tension can bring across the ages. While I enjoyed it – it was exactly what it was. A well constructed play with a good script and strong cast.

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This afternoon I headed to the HTC (Heidelberg Theater Company) in Rosanna with Bean and Dino to see the 39 steps. This is amateur theater that was something, new, or perhaps something old but it was a really nice change. The script, an adaptation of Alfred Hitchocks mistaken spy thriller, has been delightfully hammed up. An incredibly strong cast of four ran us seamlessly and with great humor though a play with 37 (?) characters. What made it so charming was the way all of them invited the audiences involvement, laughter and empathy. I think sometimes we get so wound up in our flashy technology (guilty) or so set on delivering a raw, true, connected story that we miss opportunities to take advantage of simple techniques and tricks that have been around for ages.

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The cast used techniques such as switching hats, shadows puppets, on stage costume changes, flapping a coat to imply wind, rocking for movement and making the know mistake for humor that I loved it. Please don’t write this off as gimmicky – it was so well pulled off that it was intrinsic to the telling of the tale. I loved even more that some of the audience found it so funny that they kept bursting into giggles that then made me laugh again too.

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The play stared a cast I don’t think anyone could have ever cast better (and it’s rare for me not to want to switch out a few actors in most plays) Chris McLean took on the title character (the only one who didn’t switch roles) as though born to it. His accent was immaculate, his grasp on the ridiculous perfect and I think I would be devastated to see him out of chachter. He was Richard Hannay (or Richard Hannoying if you loved the gag). Adrian Carr and James Cutler took out the most role changes (including playing a sign holder, bog and other random roles) camping them up in such a warm and inviting manner that they had me in stitches. These guys reminded me of those amazing actors in the old black and white films that seemed to appear in everything and brought humor with ease. Will be keeping my eye out to see what they are in next. The cast was wrapped neatly up with Kate Bowers who took us from spy to Scottish Mrs to love interest with a natural ease that I almost missed it was the same actress at first.

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So get thee to Heidelberg Theater Company. I can’t recommend seeing this play more – it’s on until the 1st October and tickets are about $25.

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All the world's a stage...
Silence is golden...
Port Fairy Folk Festival 2012...

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