‘Tilt – programme 2’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by September 9, 2016

‘Tilt – programme 2’ comprises four exciting pieces that have been newly created, directed and performed by WAAPA’s 3rd Year Performing Arts students, who are graduating in Performance Making. This annual festival of short works gives us a chance to meet the stars of the future.

These bold new creations are showing at The Blue Room Theatre, 53 James Street, Northbridge each evening – for two hours – commencing at 7.00. The season runs until Saturday 10th September, with a Saturday matinée at 2.00 pm.

The first week of ‘Tilt’ had five diverse pieces; this second series has four equally as exciting offerings.

 

The performance making course is one of the few that trains each student in so many aspects of stagecraft. The idea of the course is to encourage lateral thinking and originality, whilst making the student accept responsibility for their decisions.

The skills cover the full gamut, from the initial draft, actor guidance, through the direction process to the final production.  As can be seen in these brilliant plays, playing safe is not an option for these students, they must push the envelope. Their training covers from classical to contemporary, from book to cinema and all in between – there are no limits.

This collection of pieces mainly demonstrates contemporary movement.

 

The superb lighting and sound was designed and operated by Phoebe Pilcher. This called for numerous accurate cues in fast succession. Faultless.

 

‘Where the Giant Fell’ was written and devised by the cast – Jennah Bannear, Laura Cameron, Amy Murray, Reilly O’Byrne-Inglis and Gala Shevtsov, and their director Frieda Lee,  (40 minutes)

Drew Krapljanov composed the incidental music.

The set comprises a boat constructed with milk crates, filled with coloured beer bottles and night-lights. Around a body lying in the corner, are dozens of miniature (5 cms high) houses, with their room lights on. Handheld torches supplied much of the lighting.

 

      Several years ago, Joséphine’s (Jennah Bannear) father left home. Now she has decided to find him. She was told that he was living in ‘a shit hole at the edge of the earth’. So, adapting a boat, she sailed to a beautiful tropical bay only to find that Jack, the local pub owner, had disappeared. In fact, there were no men around.

     Joséphine spoke to the broken-hearted barmaid, Jen (Laura Cameron) and discovered that another girl, Bea (Reilly O’Byrne-Inglis) is pregnant and the child’s father has gone. A strange girl, Pete (Gala Shevtsov) is also searching for her father, but being a little simple could she be mixing facts with her favourite fairy-tale?

     The only stable person in this seaside village is Abagail (Amy Murray), or is she?

What appears at first to be a modest story, gradually unfolds to show several very clever story threads. The cast build up the tension perfectly, to a disturbing climax. Very good character development. Chilling. Congrats.

 

‘The Disposables’ was written and devised by the cast, Adam McDowell and Sam Stopforth. I can find no credit for the wonderful Spanish stagehand. (10 minutes)

        In a pink – sorry ‘peach’ – jacket, Ben (Adam ‘Dowey’ McDowell), a suave stagehand who is a legend in his own mind, has decided to grab his chance of 10 minutes of fame between Acts, to bring quality to the evening. With stunning prizes on offer, he tries to lure the audience to join his act.

This is a very funny, well-observed look at a typical, insincere personality of the game show host. He has all of the smoothness of an echidna’s bottom.

Not to lose out, his friend Jack (Sam Stopforth), who is sweeping the stage floor, decides that he too can bring culture to the audience by relating an ode in Shakespearean style. Very clever, and when delivered with a sincere, stiff upper lip it increased the humour. Great fun. Well done.

 

 ‘Hunting Beauty’ was written and devised by the performer, Sarah Pantlin. (15 minutes)

The musical accompaniment was by Kevin MacLeod.

       An immaculately dressed model, Lilith (Sarah Pantlin) enters – strutting in catwalk style. She stares superciliously at the audience, before entering her dressing room and placing her makeup suitcase in front of the mirror.

      Living up to being a ‘Storm Goddess’, the meaning of her Hebrew name, Lilith describes her wonderful makeup, what it has done for her skin and what it could do for others – if they only ‘buy, buy, buy! Her brand’.

      However, she seems to gloss over the origin and testing of the products involved in the making.

Very clever script. Sarah slowly draws you under her spell, first subtly and then blatantly pushing the sales of her goods. Wonderful performance.

 

‘Rocketman’ was written and devised by the cast, Sean Crofton, Phoebe Sullivan and Jessica Russell. (30 minutes)

      Two women, Alex (Jessica Russell) and Jane (Phoebe Sullivan) are dressed in spacesuits; along with fellow astronaut, Lewis (Sean Crofton) they are trembling from head to toe as their rocket ship hurtles through space.

      We flash back to their initiation course, and the various physical and psychological tests they undergo before selection. Are they really the calm, even-tempered people that base control thought they were?

A script with a great deal of depth. Well presented, with convincing action and excellent effects.

 

These short plays clearly demonstrate the immense talent of the students and the quality of their training. A wonderful night at the theatre.