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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Geoffrey Rush's Pyjamas
Dancing Kitty
(This entry is out of sequence, I apologise. I will blog more about my days in NY and post some of the 300 pictures I've taken in the last three days soon!)

Tonight I went to see an Australian production of a French play at a theatre on Broadway in the city of New York! And oddly, I went with a Frenchman and another Aussie!

It was Exit the King, recently revived in English from a play by a Romanian/French playright called Eugene Ionesco, which first played in 1962.

And what a play - and what a production - it was. Geoffrey Rush was amazing, look for him to win several awards for this performance. The play concerns a dying king of a decreasing kingdom. The king is informed early in the play that he will die "in an hour and a half, at the end of the play". It's absurdist, remember? Susan Saradon plays one of his wives - has another, younger wife as well. Hey, he's a king!

Rush, as the King, flops all over the stage throughout the play. He really did quite an amazing job. I can't really relate too much about the plot without giving it away - although to say that six characters spend the whole play ranting at each other would be a good summary.

There was also another excellent character, credited only as "Guard", spends the entire play in a suit of armour, occasionally banging his staff and making pronouncements. Kind of like a narrator, but working in the short form, more like press releases.

The most amazing thing is the journey this play has been on. It looks like it was first revived at the Malthouse theatre, in other words a tram ride away from my place. This production is directed by Neil Schofield, who is actually from Company B at the Belvoir Theatre in Sydney. The same chap who turned Keating, the musical, into more of a musical that it started out as.

So the production, or at least it's lead actor and director and possibly its sets, seems to have been transplanted from Oz to Broadway, just in time for me to see it! I actually meant to try and see this thing in Australia earlier this year, but without success... So it had to wait till I was on holiday.

Hopefully it will make it back to Australia for a return visit...

Oh, one last thing I loved was the way this production used the entire theatre. The auditorium lights are used. At one stage the sound guy and the sole musician are drawn into the play and spotlighted. All very damn clever.

We weren't the only Aussies in the audience by any means. And damn we're a clever bunch. Amanda who I was with suggested we break out into a chorus of "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!" :-)