The winners of the 2017 PAWA Awards
Features, News, Performing arts, Theatre

And the winners are…

Seesaw warmly congratulates the winners of the 2017 Performing Arts WA Awards!

BEST NEWCOMER 2017
Georgina Cramond – Interrupting A Crisis, The Blue Room Theatre & Ribs

BEST NEW WORK 2017
Coma Land – Will O’Mahony

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (MALE) 2017
St John Cowcher – My Robot, Barking Gecko Theatre Company

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (FEMALE) 2017
Alison van Reeken – Let The Right One In, Black Swan State Theatre Company

BEST ACTOR (MALE) 2017
Brendan Ewing – The Eisteddfod, Black Swan State Theatre Company

BEST ACTOR (FEMALE) 2017
Adriane Daff – The Irresistible, Side Pony Productions & The Last Great Hunt

BEST DESIGN 2017
Jonathon Oxlade – Set & Costume – The Irresistible, Side Pony Productions & The Last Great Hunt

BEST MUSIC 2017
Rachael Dease – Composition & Sound Design – Let The Right One In, Black Swan State Theatre Company

BEST DIRECTOR
Jeffrey Jay Fowler – The Eisteddfod, Black Swan State Theatre Company

BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Laika: A Staged Radio Play – The Blue Room Theatre & Second Chance Theatre

BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
The Eisteddfod – Black Swan State Theatre Company

Want to know more about the PAWA Awards? Read Seesaw’s interview with PAWA secretary and Awards committee member Nick Maclaine here.

Pictured top: The 2017 PAWA Awards winners. Photo: Monica Defendi Photography.

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Josephine
Children, News, Performing arts, Reviews, Theatre

For kids only!

Fringe World review: Josephine by Second Chance Theatre ·
The Blue Room Theatre, 7 February ·
Review by Cass Runyon & Varnya Bromilow ·

Cass Runyon, aged 8.

The play was very, very good which is why I rated it ten out of ten.

It’s about a girl who was lost in the roof of her apartment. She was sad because her aunty had died. The girl went on many adventures to find a lost friend. There were pirates, ghosts and some spookiness. I liked the pilot bit best. In the end everything turned out fine, but there were some scary bits in the middle.  I clapped my hands off at the end.

Scary rating: 8/10

Varnya Bromilow, aged 44.

How can I argue with the impassioned praise above?  Josephine is a piece of theatre aimed squarely at children and unlike much of contemporary children’s theatre, it does not aim to please the adults in the audience.  There are no sly winks to grown-ups, no under-the-table jokes that pass innocently over the heads of juniors.  The work is an earnestly felt, jumbled, flight of fancy.

Josephine’s beloved aunt has died.  Left alone in the apartment, cut off from the world, the young girl escapes into the cozy confines of the air vents in the roof.  From this vantage point, she can listen into a myriad neighbourly conversations…surrounding herself with the comfort of chatter, while recovering from her loss.  In doing this, Josephine discovers William, a young violinist who becomes her friend.  Following an argument William disappears and Josephine is faced with a choice – does she come down from her vented hidey-hole to search for her new friend, or does she stay ensconced in her very small world?

Unfortunately for an adult viewer, this is where the plot becomes a little less compelling as our heroine embarks upon a series of unrelated and random adventures in her quest to find her friend.  We encounter a tyrannical pirate queen; a haunted circus-world (replete with forlorn ghost); and lastly a flight with Amelia Earhart.  The loose linking theme of these escapades is Josephine’s need to conquer her fears.  But the narrative thread is a slender one – whimsical enough to hold the attention of children but not so for anyone over ten.

Josephine is produced by Second Chance Theatre and directed and written by the prolific Scott McArdle, a regular at the Blue Room.  The performers (Rhianna Hall, Tristan McInnes, Jo Morris and Nick Maclaine) are confident and engaging.  Morris, who you may know from her work with Black Swan Theatre, has a remarkable stage presence and a perfect ear for accents.  Perhaps because this is McArdle’s first foray into children’s theatre, he makes the unusual directorial decision to have the actors execute their roles in a manner best described as Playschoolesque.  Wide eyed, slow-talking, overly expressive…it feels like the show is pitched at the 3-7 year-old set, rather than the advertised 9-18.  It’s very difficult to imagine a teenager enjoying what is essentially a play for small children.

It’s churlish to demand that a play for children be as captivating for adults.  We’ve been a little spoilt in recent years by the feast of spectacles that satisfy such disparate age groups.  For an adult, Josephine is a simply told, meandering affair but as evidenced by the eager applause from junior hands the night I went, it hits the spot squarely for young dreamers.

Josephine runs until February 17th.

Photo: Sean Smith

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Calendar, Children, February 18, Performing arts, Theatre

Fringe World: Josephine!

6 -17 February @ Blue Room Theatre •
Presented by Second Chance Theatre •

From the award winning team at Second Chance Theatre, Josephine! is a new work for the young at heart, kicking off as a part of The Blue Room Theatre’s 2018 Summer Nights program. Written and directed by Scott McArdle, Josephine! is a story of pirates, ghosts, haiku and the strength of children.

Website: http://blueroom.org.au

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