In a Dark, Dark House: Red Stitch Actors Theatre

artsHubPublished on artsHub, 4 August 2009

Red Stitch has a reputation as one of Melbourne’s eminent independent theatre companies, so it is disappointing that its latest production, Neil LaBute’s In a Dark, Dark House, is so riddled with faults.

Drew (Geordie Taylor) is a disbarred lawyer turned successful businessman whose love of the bottle has landed him in a psychiatric facility. He calls upon his older brother, Terry (Dion Mills), to substantiate Drew’s claim that he was sexually abused as a child.

The brothers share an awkward relationship, but it’s not nearly as awkward as the delivery of their lines. The play is set in the US even though it could just as easily be any wealthy western nation, and the use of American accents presents an unnecessary obstacle to fluent acting.

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ElbowSkin: Sparring Partners review (Arts Hub)

Published on Arts Hub, 11 April 2007Arts Hub logo

How do you celebrate ten years of friendship? A married couple might spend their ten-year anniversary enjoying an expensive dinner, or throwing crockery at each other’s heads. Ten years of service at work might get you a couple of months of long service leave, and possibly a shiny new badge. But there are no such traditions where friendship is concerned, so what to do?

Dave and Ern, also known as comedy duo ElbowSkin, have found one way to mark a decade of mateship – through their show, Sparring Partners, at this year’s Comedy Festival (their fifth). While the title might conjure images of the aforementioned married couple, Sparring Partners is all about the things Dave and Ern do to entertain themselves between (and sometime during) shifts at the local restaurant. Through stand up, videos and musical numbers, the boys give us an insight into the life of pranks, lost bets and failed relationships they’ve been through together since they first met at Eltham High in 1997.

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