On Saturday night, Colin and I went to see a play “We’ll Always Have Wagga” at the Newtown Theatre. Inspired to enjoy a little nostalgia on the play’s basic premise that everyone has a connection with Wagga Wagga, we made our way in the much welcome rain on Saturday night.
Synopsis: Bella had it all while attending Uni at Wagga: a promising acting career and the love of her life, Adrian. Ten years later she’s back in Sydney, single and working in a café. Her latest ex-boyfriend Sonny is stalking her, her heavily pregnant ex-best friend Gina won’t let her forget her woes and her co-worker Daria – an ex-cult member with serious mental problems – is no help at all! Her only salvation is her best friend Heath, who can’t seem to stop telling people exactly what he thinks of them! Bella’s life is ready to explode when Adrian walks into her café – and back into her life – with his ﬁancée, Josephine in-tow.
I don’t mean to be harsh, but we really shouldn’t have bothered, as we both thought the play was poorly scripted, poorly directed, and poorly acted. Enough said.
Last night, we also hit the town for something far more pleasant, a late night cabaret show at Statement Bar featuring Hayden Tee. As a performer, Hayden has come a long way since the regular late night spot at The Stables which we used to attend regularly. A little beefier than he used to be, he’s also grown as a performer: more confident, more rounded, more authentic, and with a wonderful voice. But most of all, more authentic, lacking some of the youthful nervousness evident in the days of “Muftee”. Hayden has grown into a really wonderful performer, and last night’s show was a joy to behold.
Tonight, I went to see a preview of “Clubland”, a new Australian film set in Western Sydney. The film stars Brenda Blethyn (the English actress probably best known for her role in Mike Leigh’s “Secrets and Lies”) as a formerly famous stand-up comedian, now working daytime in the canteen at Silverwater Prison, but spending her nights playing the RSL clubs, and dreaming of her “big break”. Although blessed with two wonderful sons, she’s deeply unhappy often hitting the bottle, and she maintains an unhealthy level of control over her son’s lives. The film is really terrific, genuinely warm and sad (and I cried a little towards the end), but also funny, though not in a “belly laugh” kind of way. Honestly, one of the loveliest Australian films I’ve seen in quite some time. It opens in May.
And then of course, I came home tonight to watch the Academy Awards. I mean, they’re basically the same each year, aren’t they? Some lame-arsed comedian delivering lame-arsed jokes and then, when they don’t get a laugh, they’re somehow being ironic. Lots of young actors and actresses I’ve never heard of, belated recognition for actors and directors previously ignored for most of their career, varying degrees of applause for the “death roll” of a bunch of people I’ve never heard of, and the occasional moment of honesty and sincerity, such as Forrest Whitaker’s acceptance speech. Sorry, I should stop, shouldn’t I?