|Poppy Lynch - Kate Walder - Damien Warren-Smith in "21 Forster St"
Directed by Kate Walder – Original music by John Shortis OAM
Costume Design by Stephanie Howe – Lighting Design by Benjamin Brockman -Sound
design by Clare Hennessy.
Kate Walder, Poppy Lynch, Damien Warren-Smith.
Steps & Holes Theatre Co. -The Q, Queanbeyan 26th May to 4th
on 28th May reviewed by Bill Stephens.
St.” is the address of an 1860’s heritage home in the village of Bungendore
NSW. It is the home which Kate Walder’s father lovingly restored and renovated
and which held many powerful memories for her.
Deeply moved while watching from across the road, as 21 Forster St. was being
prepared for sale following her father’s death, Walder was inspired to create
this multi-disciplinary theatrical reverie to the house and its history.
any particular story the work functions like a dreamscape as various incidents,
real and imagined, are enacted by Walder, Poppy Lynch and Damien Warren-Smith
who portray a variety of characters associated with the house throughout its
lives of the original owners who built the house, a macabre doctor who set up a
practice which inspired rumours, babies born to a contented couple, even
hippies who apparently took possession, all move through the dreamscape,
lovingly evoked using a variety of theatrical disciplines including mime,
tableau, voice-overs, projections and sound effects.
|Kate Walder in "21 Forster St"
The work is greatly
assisted by Stephanie Howe’s graceful multi-faceted design which allows the
actors to create a continuous stream of changing images by gently manoeuvring various
elements of the setting, introduce furniture and properties, and make simple costume
changes to denote the passage of time and changes of fashion over the years.
of bush birds, a magpie attack, the crackling of the fire in a pretty fireside
scene, the sounds of baby’s being born, chooks beheaded, happy children
playing, all feature in Clare Hennessy’s atmospheric sound design. Benjamin
Brockman takes advantage of the many opportunities offered by Howe’s setting to
create a series of lovely stage pictures for which John Shortis has provided a
clever pastiche of charming melodies to reflect and enhance each incident
portrayed by the hard-working actors.
has written a beautiful, very personal and affecting work, and while there is
much to admire, and the intention and passion behind its creation is clear, “21
Forster St” still looks very much like a work in progress.
Images by Photox - Canberra Photography Services
This review also published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW. www.artsreview.com.au