Do This

FAME’s “Do This” is where you can keep up to date with where FAME’s committee and members are going, as well as read reviews of theatre and exhibitions. Have a favourite new gallery you’d like to review? Or a show you can’t get enough of? Submit it to us via http://bit.ly/FAMEContent – we’d love to hear you’re doing!

Berlin: By Joanna Murray-Smith, Directed by Lain Sinclair, Starring Grace Cummings and Michael Wahr

Review by Matt Healy

A Tuesday night, after Uni, after Hours. Making your way to a mid-week show at the coveted south-bank theatre. Like most MTC shows, you run through the rain and push past the fossilising relics who are the regular audience on a Tuesday Night. Skipping inside the theatre doors just as the bell stops ringing to start the show. The lights come up and so begins the next starring performance by Grace Cummings in a German accent!

‘Berlin’ has to be one of the most intellectually engaging performances I have seen in the last three years. Whilst it is thankfully not attempting to be a Brecht or a Beckett, Joanna Murray-Smith simply places an incredibly important moral argument on a simple stage between two flirtatious youngsters.

Do the young German population still have to be held in the chokehold of their great great grandparents’ terrible crimes? Do young Jewish youths merely build their identity through the pain of their great great grandparents? The answer to these questions is not important. What was mesmerising was the way Grace Cummings and Michael Wahr work through these late-night chats in both volume and space. 

This show is not a slow burning deep and meaningful. It is 80 non-stop minutes of electricity, youthfulness, passion, sex, morality, philosophy and the memory of generations which is said to build peoples identify. Unfortunately, giving more of the content away than that may ruin the power of this piece.

Whilst the show only discusses incredibly specific contexts for building identify, it is amazing to watch people engage so very passionately about their history and what it means for them. As a bonus, we are back in the theatre.

Steaphan Paton

By Reetika Khanna

Featured works: Yours Faithfully the Sheriff, The Magistrate, The Officer in Charge (all 2016, paper, archival glue, oil pastel and synthetic polymer paint on canvas) Installation view, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. Photograph by Andrew Curtis (cropped). Image from ACCA.

Steaphan Paton (born 1985) is a Melbourne-based artist and member of the Gunai and Monero Nations. He works in the mediums of painting, sculpture, installation and video. I first came across his work at the Sovereignty exhibition at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in 2016-17, and I recall his installation of three cloaks often.

The cloaks are made of many paper documents pieced and sewn together – infringements, fines and letters of demand sent to the artist by different authorities, including sheriffs, magistrates and officers. By referencing the long-standing tradition of cloak-making, decorated with geometric designs from his Gunai and Monero heritage, Paton displays symbols of Indigenous identity in immediate confrontation with the exercise of disciplinary control by the government.

His work makes a powerful comment on the way Indigenous lives are bound by assertions of Commonwealth authority; confined by overwhelming piles of legal documents seeking to control and punish. His expression of culture and Indigenous sovereignty is both formed and curtailed by Western hegemony.

Check out more of Steaphan Paton’s work here.

Fleabag Live

Image Credit: National Theatre Live

By Peter Turner

Before there was Fleabag on our TV screens, it was a stage show. The show’s creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the Soho Theatre in London have recently made the original stage production that inspired the TV show available to watch for as little as four pounds (Please trust someone more professional than myself for a proper AUD conversion rate). On theme with this week, all proceeds from this initiative will be directly donated to organisations assisting those deeply affected by COVID-19.

Before we all started talking about Andrew Scott as the hot priest, it was simply a one-woman monologue where Waller-Bridge sits on a chair and tells the beautifully tragic and hilarious story. The capturing words to describe what you’ve got yourself in for are as follows: ‘Fleabag may seem oversexed, emotionally unfiltered and self-obsessed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose.’ – What’s not to love about that?

So if you’re feeling generous and want to engage in some awesome live theatre content, click here: https://ondemand.sohotheatre.com