‘Home Open: The Renovation! An Evening of Spring’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by November 1, 2014

‘Home Open: The Renovation! An Evening of Spring’ is the latest exciting presentation curated by Verity Softly for The Cutting Room Floor. The previous spring presentations have been in people’s homes, now they have taken the bold step of taking over the MosArts building of Camelot, 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park, with its free parking.

Camelot is the new home of Fremantle’s ‘Harbour Theatre’; I had only seen the beautiful theatre, but never seen around the building. There is a beautiful reception hall, a large conference room upstairs, an outdoor drinking garden / cinema and a comfortable lounge area; all of these areas are for hire at sensible prices, not like those heartlessly being squeezed out of the theatre groups by the ‘big boys’.

There are six performances of live art in every nook and cranny of this amazing art deco space. The last show is Saturday 1st November at 8.00 pm.

 

The audience are split into three groups, A, B and C, each with a guide. The groups moved around the theatre locations between the ten-minute acts.

 ‘Blue Orpheus’ written and directed by Alex Brittan

       Even as a theatre student it was obvious that Alex Brittan had that little extra, that stars need. I last saw him about a year ago and sure enough his singing, composing and musical performance were top class. Last night when I saw Alex, I was blown away. Here was a truly professional act, in the relaxed style of ‘Passenger’ (Mike Rosenberg) or for the older readers, crooners like Matt Munro. Playing his own accompaniment on an electric ukulele and on the screen in the background, quality AV Alex made with a friend; he is certainly a name to watch.

 

‘Jacinta’s Ball’ written by Tyler Jacob-Jones, directed by Scott Corbett.

       At the stage door, a red salon car screams to a halt in a parking spot. The engine dies, and the ambitious husband (Renato Fabretti) and insecure wife (Verity Softly) start to argue. We are watching ‘take 48’ of a new production by a couple who are household names on TV. In the back of their car is their small baby, who has been mentioned in dozens of media reports.

     When the car reverses for yet another retake, it hits a pedestrian (Geordie Crawley). As he stumbles back up from the ground, the man recognises the couple and tells them how very much he admires their performances – and what they should do to improve their act.

Scriptwriter Tyler, who has become famous for his remarkable musicals, shows here that he can also write a quality, poignant drama. There are several complex and interesting storylines skilfully interwoven. A marvellous piece powerfully acted and with a disturbing twist.

 

‘Nursery Rhymes’ devised by Zoe Hollyoak and Rian Howlett.

         A young man appears to be simply changing from his day clothes to his gardening outfit, however, is he actually changing his whole being to become part of the nursery garden vegetation?

         In a tale composed of semi-rhyming prose and great deal of energetic action, we have explained to us the strong link that our physiology has with plants and the environment.

 A novel idea that for most of the time worked well. The noise of the Halloween party across the oval was sadly a distraction on the precisely written, rich script.

 

‘Vintage Hot Air Balloon’ written by Michael Collins. Filmed by Katie Williams. Narrated by Charles Wu.

       This lovable little film shows the fascinating work of Katie Williams, who has created a doll’s house filled with paraphernalia. The idea was based on her aged parents’ home.

The tale is brought to life by the sensitive script and Charles Wu’s caring voice. Delightful.

 

‘Pix’ written by Jordan Nix and directed by Verity Softly.

       In the intimate environment of a young man’s bedroom, he (Sven Ironside) is sitting with his i-pad in his hand and a laptop at his side. The bedroom door opens and his distraught sister (Claire Thomas) enters. She has just meant to send some indelicate photos to her boyfriend and pressed the wrong computer address. She is hoping her brother will be able to help her.

A drama that I suspect has happened in many homes. Clever writing from one of Perth’s newest playwrights. The two actors have nailed the characters flawlessly, whilst building up the tension perfectly.

 

‘Symbiotica’ choreographed by Megan Watson

       In front of a fully mirrored wall, the six dancers (Jordan Bretherton, Esther McDonald, Kellie Golding, Zoe Morris, Logan Ringshaw, Megan Watson) are warming up. Then, to spoken prose and music, they split into three groups.

       The first couple show the first style of symbiosis, that of an overbearing husband and the downtrodden wife.

       The next demonstrates the couple moving as one, in perfect rhythm but not really achieving much from life.

       The last couple proved how their deep symbiosis and total love for each other has made them effectively one, almost saprophytic rather than symbiotic.

 This was contemporary ballet at its very best. The smooth, powerful dancing, gracefully interpreting the rhythm of the music perfectly. A stunning act from WAAPA graduates.