Arts & Culture

Borderline by Stumble at The Blue Room Theatre

Borderline-Blue-Room-Theatre
Borderline personality disorder (or BPD for short) ?

I had heard the termed mentioned once by a friend of a friend who had been diagnosed with BPD and said that it had been a relief to have finally received a diagnosis on what their condition was after considerable time and suffering.

But apart from that, I do not know much about BPD.

On waiting outside to enter The Blue Room Theatre, before the performance of Borderline by stumble began, we were offered a soft space to chill out (the soft toys eagerly awaited !) and a mental health counsellor on standby at any time through the performance, if we thought we needed a time out.

Whoa...that sounded heavy duty I thought.

The opening night performance of Borderline could be described as heavy duty but in a good way. It could also be described in many other positive ways.

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York by Black Swan State Theatre Co and WA Youth Theatre Co

 York-Black-Swan

As I write this review, Boorloo/Perth is pretty much free of COVID restrictions. But as I walked through the rain, past Yagan Square and into the State Theatre Centre to catch a performance of York (which had itself been delayed due to COVID) three other states were in lockdown, and I couldn’t help thinking, not only about how lucky I was to be out and about, but also how privileged I have been in so many ways throughout my life. And how not everyone gets to enjoy the things I take for granted.

York, written by Ian Michael and Chris Isaacs, is certainly ambitious – spanning two centuries of Western Australian history in two hour-long acts. We begin the play in the current day, with tree changing couple Emma and Rosy moving into the Old York Hospital, now a private residence. Emma, a lawyer, is soon called back to the city to defend one of her juvenile clients, leaving Rosy to unpack their boxes with the help of their new neighbour – who is clearly terrified of the house.

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Closing Night Gala - Perth International Cabaret Festival

Closing-Gala-Perth-Cabaret-Festival

After taking in a couple of shows at the Inaugural Perth International Cabaret Festival (Carlotta's The Party's Over and Dean Misdale's Life's a Drag, both terrific), my partner and I were looking forward to sampling a smattering of the performers on offer at the Closing Night Gala.

Hastily thrown together by Artistic Director Michael Griffiths when Covid-19 struck yet again and prevented Meow Meow and Lior from coming over to Perth, the Closing Night Gala featured an extraordinary lineup of local and interstate talent, and proved to be a fitting finale to a successful first foray for the festival.

Michael Griffiths and band kicked off proceedings and got things jumping, and he was quickly joined onstage by co-host Amelia Ryan, who was later to wow (and terrify) the crowd by coming down and selecting a male audience member to assist on-stage.

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Carlotta The Party's Over - Perth Cabaret Festival

Carlotta-The-Partys-Over-Perth-Cabaret-Festival

A bit saucy, a bit spicy, a bit naughty...Carlotta is a unique on stage presence who knows how to wow the crowds.

Not a surprise – since she has been entertaining the masses with her glittery presence, glamour and sharp wit over a career spanning more than 60 years.

She started as a teenage member of Les Girls in Sydney’s Kings Cross, after spending her early years growing up in the suburb of Balmain, alongside Olympic swimmer Dawn Fraser.

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Perfumes at Luna

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My partner and I were looking forward to our evening out at Windsor Luna in order to watch the French drama Perfumes.

Perfumes follows the story of Anne Walberg (Emmanuelle Devos) – a talented genius who specialises in using her nose to concoct amazing scents and who once had a famous career developing award winning perfumes till her sense of smell temporarily deserted her.

Now freelancing, her marketing agent sends Anne off on different assignments to continue to use the talents of her nose – though in somewhat more diverse projects which send her off the beaten track.

On one of her work projects, her path collides with Guillame Favre (Greg Montel), who is assigned to be her regular chauffeur – after she sacked her last 3 drivers.

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I and You by Theatre 180

I-and-You-Theatre-180

Upon heading to Perth's newest performing arts venue – Burt Hall on St Georges Terrace – I was struck by how intimate the setting is. Nestled in one of the rooms underneath the main hall, it is a perfect setting for giving the audience that real “fly on the wall” experience, since even the back row is only a few metres from the elevated stage.

This feeling of really being there works wonderfully well in Theatre 180's production of I and You, Lauren Gunderson's two-hand story of teenage angst, pain, hope and love. Set in 17 year old Caroline's bedroom, you really do feel that you are perched in a corner, watching the story unfold.

Caroline is currently sick at home, waiting and hoping for a desperately needed liver transplant. She is ill, tired and understandably bitter about her situation, isolated in her bedroom with only a mobile phone as a lifeline to the outside world. 

 

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The Children by Theatre 180

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We sat within the cosy interior of the Burt Hall on the Terrace awaiting a double act by Theatre 180 - the first act up being "The Children".

My partner and I were pleased to have an evening together at the theatre – it was a bit of a treat to be out for the night after the recent covid restrictions in Perth.

The story unfolds as we meet couple Hazel (Jenny Davis) and Robin (Andrew Lewis) – who have retired and settled into life in their British seaside cottage after surviving a serious nuclear power plant meltdown.

They receive an unexpected visit from old friend and ex-colleague Rose (Vivienne Garrett), and that is when sparks fly for a myriad of reasons as her arrival disrupts their peaceful retirement.

Regrets, sacrifices, a life well lived with or without children, the pursuit of careers, love and passionate affairs – satisfying lives, moral and ethical dilemmas. The characters explore many themes in the kitchen of their simple cottage, reflecting on their behaviours (past, present and the future) and weighing up their personal gains against the greater good of humanity.

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