Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Travellin' Penguin went to the theatre this week.

Last week was such a busy week I could hardly find time to do much of anything. I did get a book read which I have already talked about, the book that James Baldwin wrote. Last week was a theatre week.
On the Friday, a week ago I went with my friend to see The Wharf Revue at the beautiful Theatre Royal. The Theatre Royal is Australia’s oldest theatre and has an extremely interesting history. I have seen many wonderful performances there including Ruth Cracknell, Jackie Weaver, John Waters, Gary McDonald and many others. Vivian Leigh and Laurence Olivier once performed there years ago.  The beautiful chandelier is from 1830 and is surrounded by photos of composers and poets.

The Wharf Revue is a series of political sketches and touched very much on both current and past political situations in Australia. The first skit featured our Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a Phantom of the Opera scene with Kevin Rudd. Kevin as many would know was originally elected Prime Minister and then Julia challenged him behind closed doors and won and entered Canberra as Prime Minister. Then Kevin just challenged her and lost and has been assigned to the back bench.

Who knows where they will all end up?

Tuesday saw me with a group of fellow “senior” friends at the Playhouse Theatre, also a lovely old Theatre, simpler than the Theatre Royal but nice to be in all the same. We saw The Flint Street School Nativity, a story of several seven year old children (portrayed by adult actors) putting together the Nativity play for their Christmas special at school. Each personality type was featured among the children. The shy girl who was manipulated by the bully, the boy with learning problems and a speech impediment as well as a little boy who knew much more than some of the others and was quite pedantic explaining it all. It was a light comedy and the amateur players did a fairly good job, I thought, though they were quite difficult to understand and the storyline was more boring than not. Oh well, will try again next time.

Chocolate bars are very cheap there too so that made up for the mediocre play.

Then this past Friday had us back at the Theatre Royal watching Charles Dickens’ Women with actor, Miriam Margolyes taking the audience through Dickens’ life and producing many scenes from his various books. The theatre was a full house and everyone completely enjoyed the presentation. I am always amazed by how much there is to learn for a production like this from memory.

I can barely remember what I bought at the supermarket yesterday much less remember such a lengthy script. She performed for one hour, then we had a 30 minute intermission with yet another full hour to follow. The woman was amazing.

It made me sad though that growing up next to the cornfields of the Midwest, our education never included anything by Charles Dickens. It made me want to go home and read everything he ever wrote. So I guess now those books are on my Things to Read list.... Does it ever end??? Like someone else wrote recently in another blog I read, just too many books, not enough time.

It is always a treat to spend time in these old Australian buildings.  (No remarks from you Europeans out there with your REALLY old buildings!!)

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