The Coming and Going of Age [by Matt Baker]
As soon as I entered the TAPAC theatre I was struck the realisation that I had seen Beautiful Losers nearly 10 years earlier when it premiered at the Silo Theatre with Ian Hughes and Scott Wills. Wills is reprising his role as Neal Cassady… And 10 years is a long time. While this can bring additional depth to an actor, it inevitably ages them dramatically. An actors’ actual age is not important, but their playing age is, and sitting in the mid-30 to mid-40 decade range, as Paul Glover (Jack Kerouac) and Wills are, they are at the high end for these characters, and I would be more inclined to believe a younger cast who age within the play. The most significant difference this makes is the dynamic between the two men, who go from their textual lives as youths with hedonistic abandonment to (im)mature men clutching onto their fading youth. It’s slightly sad, and slightly creepy, and it also goes against the progress made by Wills’ character towards the end of the play.
That is not to say that Glover and Wills are not well cast in their roles. Wills has an incredible energy which he sustains with great stamina, and Glover brings a gravitas to his thoughts as only a struggling writer can. These are both talented actors, and they never once drop the ball. They do, however, sit in a certain rhythm, one which, while very specific and hits all the marks, seems to prevent these two actors from really listening to each other and working organically from moment to moment.
1,000 Reasons to see 1,000 Hills
[by Sharu Delilkan]
It is always a privilege and an honour to witness the premier of an original piece of theatre. But to be among the first to experience the personal sharing of a true story is even more significant. Naturally the foyer of the Herald Theatre was buzzing with eager anticipation when I arrived.
However given the subject matter I must admit I had the sinking feeling, in the back of my mind, that the work may be morbid, depressing and shocking in the spirit of the film Hotel Rwanda.
But those apprehensions were very soon cast aside as we were greeted by the pulsating sound of African drums when we entered the theatre. The music literally reverberated through our bodies and set the ambience for the evening. As others made their way to their seats I looked around me and noticed a number of regular theatregoers, who would ordinarily appear rather formal in their seats, moving to hypnotic beat of the drums. There was no denying the infectious music, both lively and joyous, had a definite impact on the audience – and was a sign of what was ahead.