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Category: Reviews

Review: The Flu Season – Vena Cava

Take a simple set-up, a man and a woman are in a facility where they are being treated by a Doctor and a Nurse for unknown concerns. Add a dose of love – the man and the woman fall in love. Then sprinkle with old man cynicism – the love goes sour.

And what do you have? Well – The Flu Season is one of those plays that catches you unaware. Like you’re playing a game a friendly game of touch football, it’s fun, you’re running about, you get to touch girls, then suddenly someone kicks you in the bollocks. It was an accident of course, but the shear shock of it jolts you into a giddiness where you want to go and have a lie down for a while.

Fortunately for you, if you’re lucky enough to catch this play, when this kick comes, you wont be caught with you pants down.

Indeed The Flu Season is at times a fun ride with a wistful humour, and at others a dose of cough mixture. Such material is difficult to pull off. However the students at QUT have done well showing an alertness to the text atypical for such a youthful cast.

This production is not perfect by any stretch, however, it is some of the best student theatre one can expect to see. It is an opportunity to see young people being pulled and stretched, sometimes beyond their skills, sometimes rising to the challenge. And I, for one, had a great time.

Recommended for lovers and haters alike.

Show watched 25th May 2010. Playing at The Studio, Kelvin Grove Campus, QUT until Saturday 29th.

Review: Stockholm – Frantic Assembly @ La Boite Theatre

A couple, young and hip, the sort you’d be intensely jealous of were they not so sensuous and sexy (in equal doses) are planning a trip to Stockholm. But before they can get there they must first get past their own neuroses and jealousies.

This intense and deeply human two hander is a narration on love, neurosis, and co-dependency, all told through drama and dance – the text of the dance being that feeling you get when words escape you, and the only way you can express how you feel is to move – very appropriate when dealing with the subject of love.

It is a complex work, and yet at times very funny with a bawdy vitality more akin to a pub after everyone has had one too many drinks. I enjoyed this lowest common denominator humour and indeed for my mind it framed and humanised some of the seriousness that followed.

The production values are very high with a tangible design which reaches into the action forming and controlling the performers, almost capturing them in their roles.

Frantic Assembly in association with Sydney Theatre Company have devised a work of unabashed theatricality, a tipsy joy-ride into couple-dom.

Recommended for adults and couples.

Show watched 29th April, 2010. Playing until the 22nd of May

Stockholm @ La Boite

Review: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This French film from 2007 is despite its subject a celebration of life and living. Adapted from a memoir of the same name, the reality behind the drama gives it a haunting quality that stays with you for some time.

The hero of the movie, a journalist, wakes to find himself with locked-in syndrome. This rare medical condition has the victim paralysed from the neck down, unable to speak, vision and hearing impaired, he can only communicate through blinking. This slow and painful process doesn’t sound like the subject of film, yet through some expressive film making we get a window inside the life of this anti-hero.

We are introduced to the important people in his life, how their relationships change, and don’t. The landscape is both real and fiction, it is a place where history, future and imagination combine, with an ending as surprising as it is moving.

This is beautiful adult movie making. Recommended for lovers, romantics, and dates.

Watched 21 March 2010. Available at your local video store.