Archive for the Theatre reviews Category

One For Robert or Five Go Mad at the Barbican

Posted in Theatre, Theatre reviews on 28 September, 2008 by sonal

A few months back, in the wee hours of the morning, sitting drunkenly at Mum’s dining table checking emails one night during the NZ Comedy Festival in Wellington, I received my regular email/advertisement from the Barbican about their upcoming Bite season. Usually the email gets sent to the bin, but for some reason (well, I know precisely what reason but I don’t want to get in trouble, again) I wanted to see what the world outside of Wellington held for me … and lo and behold, it was a new 9 hour work from Robert Lepage and his company Ex Machina.

Now first things first, I am NOT a fan of Lepage … I don’t hate the his work (I was bored by The Dragons Trilogy, which is far worse than hating it), I’m just not adoring of his work – all style, no content, all show and shoddy script.

But a nine hour show is too much for even me to resist (what? I sat through the 3 parts of Henry VI and Richard III in one weekend last year – I even timed the start of my visa in the UK to make sure I didn’t miss it!), so I booked the second cheapest seat I could find in the last weekend, boasted to poor Robert about it and marked it in my calendar before shuffling off to a drunken slumber.

When I arrived in the UK, I told every Victoria University theatre and film grad that I knew what I was planning and soon they booked tickets on the same day to join me – my friend James Hadley can give you more details about the show from his column, here.

The most important thing, was to keep fed and hydrated, so bossy lass that I am, I made the call that we would be doing a shared picnic. Thankfully they still haven’t figured out how to stand up to me, so dutifully arrived with all manner of goodies to keep us through the day (kudos to Beccs for bringing dolmades and a thermos of hot water to make tea). How smug were we when everyone on the water terrace went past us eyeing our delicious spread while they had to be content with sandwiches from at cardboard box that they had just queued 12 minutes for and now had 3 minutes to scoff before heading back inside for the next act?

That was a fantastic bit of planning – the intervals. We probably didn’t sit in the auditorium for anything longer than 90 minutes and so the whole day passed by quite quickly and, unlike the second Henriad, we didn’t come out feeling completely shattered.

Five, surprisingly sprightly, after nine hours in the Barbican ...

Five, surprisingly sprightly, after nine hours in the Barbican ...

Also good was the set. Oh how I loved the set! I loved it so much, I came out of the show wanting to learn how to weld and join so I can make me a set like that – multifunctional, metal, sliding panels and wheels. Better still, there wasn’t any masking of the stage, stage crew and everything in the wings were visible – most of the scene changes were mini performance pieces in their own right although sometimes the actual props were in themselves a bit gimmicky.

Which brings me to the script itself – *sigh* maybe they should try a silent play? You know, the sort without words. Admittedly that would just leave them with plot, but then with only one thing to concentrate on they may make a better go of it than usual. That’s the thing that frustrates me with all of Lepage’s work – it’s beautiful, the stage craft is always stunning but it is always, always, always let down by the dramaturgy (plot construction, character narrative, story arc etc.). He / they get too caught up in the playing, images and ideas to lay out solid through lines and interweave stories as tight as a company of that stature and experience should be … and that is why I won’t be converted to the temple of Lepage as I have been to Peter Brook.

Bloody good final image, though.

Nine Hills One Valley, Ratan Thiyam’s Chorus Repertory Theatre of Manipur

Posted in Theatre reviews on 2 May, 2007 by sonal

I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at the Barbican to see this. I saw the words Manipur dancers, puppets, play and booked. It certainly wasn’t what I expected, not that I was expecting anything in particular – perhaps a mixture of dance and story telling or something, but this, this was … oh, it just felt old.

Old how? Well somewhere between agit – prop and Brechtian, his was a very political piece and to me the metaphors and symbolism came like very large bricks being tossed at my head. That’s not to say it was a bad show, I could think of heaps of people who would love it … just not me. In fact, it’s taken me the best part of a week to write this review because, well, as vivid as the images were, I just didn’t engage with it.

What happened? Well there’s a chorus that calls out for the elders to awaken and save the land they have neglected; the wise men appear along the back of the stage (have to say, the lighting was very good, nice use of corridors of light to define the space) they’re sleeping until one jolts awake saying he’s had a nightmare (land being ravaged etc) but they laugh it off and go back to sleep; Manipuri dancers come out and begin a dance but are soon interrupted by a demon who chops their hands off. Actually that was one of the better images of the play as the dancers continue with red ribbons of blood from their stumps and a bag of hands also dancing. I won’t keep going with the play – I have a programme to remind me of it.

I feel bad, I should support political theatre and Indian playwrights and … oh, who am I kidding, the heavy handedness put me off. I’m really sorry, I’ve tried and tried, but I just didn’t like (or for that matter dislike) the play enough to give it a decent review. A political play that left little impact (on me anyway) – what have I learned? Polemics are a turn off.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dir. Tim Supple, The Roundhouse.

Posted in Theatre reviews on 21 April, 2007 by sonal

I think I’ve seen the best performance of a Shakespeare play ever! David Farr’s production of Coriolanus (with Greg Hicks as Caius) was pretty brilliant. Come to think of it, it’s a close call, very close.

I think what pushes this beyond Farr’s production is that the whole of Supple’s show was that excellent – concept, actors, tech – brilliant. With Farr, the concept was superb (samurai through the eyes of Kurosawa inspired concept) and so was Hicks – Greg Hicks was stunning! His electric performance in 2003 is still with me after all of these years (along with Ralph Fiennes’ brilliance in Brand). But Tim Supple and his Midsummer Night’s Dream is the new champ.

Disclaimer: Spoilers is not even a half accurate description about what I’m going to below. Again in the International Arts Festival I programme in my head, this has been programmed so that every Wellingtonian would get the opportunity to see it. Maybe the Festival will (could someone have a word to them?). If you’d like to live in the hope that you will one day see this production (and you should, this is a fantastic production) then please don’t read any further, but read Shakespeare’s play before you go. Just scroll up (or click off to another website if I haven’t got another post) and know that this is a must see production.

Have they gone yet? Yep? Ok …

I’ll start with the basics and see how far I get. I was a bit worried that the production would prove to be disappointing given the level of hype that accompanies it (to be favourably compared to Peter Brook’s Midsummer is as hyped up as you can get in terms of Shakespeare on stage) and I was also concerned that the adulation thrown at this production was more about exoticism then anything else. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There was nothing exotic about it, this was just very good theatre. And a very, very good production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I’ve seen more productions than I care to remember, some very good (Propeller’s production in 2003) some pretty bloody awful (oh Peter (no not Brook), you’re a nice guy but what were you thinking?). But I have never seen the women played as strongly as they were in this production. There was absolutely no messing with any of these women, they were brilliant. Hippolyta was as mad as hell with Theseus from the very beginning, Hermia is strong (but her father and Theseus are stronger) and as for Helena, her spaniel speech was from a woman who knew exactly what she wanted and was damn well determined to have her way. She didn’t plead, she reasoned. Titania was a force to be reckoned with, her fairies were violent (as they ripped apart the back of the set and fought Puck and Oberon with sticks) and she oozed sexuality, wrestling control over Oberon and leaving him with no other option than to use magic to enact his revenge. Again, brilliant!

The mechanicals didn’t steal the show, but they were very funny. Instead of the typical representation of Bottom as an over zealous amateur actor desperate to reveal his inner Olivier or Branagh, this Bottom reminded me of that uncle who insists that, no matter what the issue, he knows everything, how it works, where it is and there’s no need to call anyone else – so brilliant is his knowledge. I loved it when he found himself out of his depth as Titania turned her amorous gaze upon him. Of course, in a few seconds he’s an expert lover and fairy king. The actual mechanicals play was earnest and moving, while the nobles may have made light (and at times thoughtless) fun of the players, by the end they were visibly moved too.

I’ve giving you another chance to escape – we’re about to head into geek territory … go on, run.
Casting: This was a very large cast so the few characters that were doubled were significant: Theseus/Oberon, Hippolyta/Titania and Philostrate/Puck. I’m not sure if the Philostrate/Puck doubling is usual (I’d have to look it up) but it worked very well as the two characters seemed to merge so that you weren’t always sure if it was actually Philostrate or Puck in disguise – especially as his costume change (a he undressed from a gold robe to a red loin cloth) always happened on stage.
Titania/Hippolyta and Oberon/Theseus worked nicely too – while the relationship of the two royal couples echoed each other, they were also very distinct. Hippolyta and Theseus were very restrained and you got the feeling that Hippolyta would deck Theseus given the opportunity, but of course couldn’t, so instead seethed with resentment, where as Titania would have no hesitation at kicking Oberon and would probably gloat about it too. Their two final changeovers after Titania and Oberon are reconciled are done on stage too. The first time, they are dressed into the royal human couple. The second time two hangers descend and they undress back into Titania and Oberon.

Text: Well with at least 8 different languages in use (English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Marathi, Sinhalese, Tamil and Malayalam) I don’t think I’m in a position to comment on verse – how about you? I know a few people who have seen this production (and heard a few murmurings in the audience) that they didn’t know what was going on and that reduced their enjoyment a little – I can sympathise having seen Nine Hills, One Valley last night and feeling very disengaged from the play. Luckily I know the play well, so language wasn’t a problem, it was easy for me to figure out from gesture, intonation or the little snatches of Hindi or Sanskrit that I recognised, where we were in the play. As always you have the question: if it isn’t in English, is it Shakespeare? You know what, I’ve debated and debated that question and frankly, I don’t know the answer. I’ve tended in the past to rate non English productions of Shakespeare higher than English language ones because I think they are more faithful to the intentions of the actual text. Sounds like a contradiction right? Well possibly and no not really. I tend to get pissed off with English language ones because either no one has bothered to sit down with the actors and tell them what every single line they are saying means, or the company/director has got so caught up in the poetry of the language that they’ve forgotten that these are just normal words and should be spoken as such. Non English productions avoid these sorts of problems as the translation process means that everyone understands their lines, they can be put into context, they make sense to the actors and they are just words, without historical hang ups. Some English productions succeed (Boyd’s Richard III with Jonathan Slinger or Farr’s Coriolanus with Greg Hicks), some suck (there was this Hamlet in 2003 in Cambridge – so insultingly awful and that I left at the interval, I should have left in the first 5 minutes). Want to see a great foreign language Shakespeare? Rent Omkara, Throne of Blood and Ran. Want a great English Shakespeare? Rent Titus and Richard III (with Ian McKellan as R3).

Set: There was a small apron at the front of the stage with two thin reservoirs built into it and a water instrument/stone/thingy in the middle. The stage itself was thrust although most of the action was directed to the front of the stage. The play began with a grey covered floor, a white back wall and three entrances with an upper platform that juts out from the wall. As the scene moves to the forest (when Philostrate disrobes into Puck), Puck pulls up the grey floor to reveal the dirt beneath. The back wall rattles and the white paper wall is ripped off the bamboo grid by descending fairies. The grid, the platform, the flown ropes and silks are used very well to create a variety of levels during the performance. Titania’s bower were two long flown silks tied together in the middle. Titania sat on the knot and drew the silks around her shoulders and feet so that she was fully enclosed – the final effect was a red chrysalis from which she would emerge.

Set pieces that stood out and I haven’t found a place to put them:
Start of the play – Philostrate/Puck enters as the final audience members drip into the auditorium. He walks down to the apron dips his hands into each reservoir and places them onto the water instrument. As he works his hands to create a hum the lights dim. His music is broken as as Hippolyta and Theseus storm onto stage. Philostrate/Puck remains onstage through out until he finally disrobes and becomes Puck.
The Indian boy – yes, there was an Indian boy who appeared silently every now and then, Titania was very protective and fond of him as if he were her own son.
Magic flowers – nothing in this production is gentle (with the possible exception of Thisbe), flowers are gently wiped along eyelids, they are crushed in a fist and then smeared along the eyes, the victim shudders at the effect and then quietens back into a slumber. I don’t know why, but this approach typifies the style of the production. Strong, committed movement and gesture.
Bottom – yes he has donkey’s ears and a large wooden phallus. At one stage the fairies tie strings to him as if he were a great beast and try to contain his energy. I’ll just add clever use of puppetry with said wooden phallus …
The break up and gulling of the lovers – this one is a particular favourite. As all of the lovers finally converge, Puck walks past them unseen setting up poles around the edge of the stage. He then brings out white elastic and starts to attach it randomly to the poles, walking across the stage creating a web that the couples have to work themselves around, the more angry and frustrated they get, the more tangled they become in Puck’s web. When Oberon enters and starts chasing Puck around the stage, the two move smoothly and quickly, unhampered by the web.
Titania awakes from the spell: She hits Oberon, he’s very apologetic physically and they make up.
Hippolyta softens to Theseus – it happens at the discovery of the lovers. You feel that a new understanding and state of mutual respect has been reached by the royal couple.
End of the mechanical’s play – a lovely mish mash of Indian folk styles, you had bits of Garba and Bhangra mixed in. A nice contrast with the final dance by the fairies which appeared to be derived from classical forms like Bharat Natayam and Kathak.

As I have sat here for the last couple of days recalling my memories of the play, I get more and more excited about this production. I can’t think of a fault – oh wait, yeah, there were some actors who, when they turned their backs to the audience, became inaudible … meh, it’s a small thing in the scheme of greatness. Yes, indeed, I think we can confidently call this: Best. Production. Of. A. Shakespeare. Play. Ever.

Venus and Adonis, dir. Gregory Doran, Little Angel Theatre/RSC

Posted in Theatre, Theatre reviews on 3 April, 2007 by sonal

Two word sum up: Puppets rock!

The more sophisticated version: The puppets really rock.
I’ve finally seen a Shakespeare directed by Gregory Doran that I liked! I think that has a lot to do with the puppets, but I also think that because the show is only an hour long, I wasn’t going to get bored. Yes, it’s true, I can be bored to tears by Shakespeare too. Unfortunately, until now, this has happened with every one of the plays that I’ve seen directed by Doran. I don’t know what it is about his direction that I haven’t taken to, maybe the actors speak too slowly, maybe he takes his time getting through scenes, I don’t know. But something about his productions drags for me, even with this short piece, I felt I had been in the theatre for much longer than an hour.

The text: Yup, fine, can’t do much harm there, they included the dedication with a puppet of Shakespeare scribbling away in the foreground and a marionette of his patron in the back. The poem itself was narrated by John Hopkins who, dressed in stage blacks, sat to the side of the stage on a stool and was softly lit through out.

The set: There were two sections – a pros-arch puppet stage and a tall rostra set out in front. The stage bit held the marionettes and the rostra was for the much larger hand and rod puppets. The two stages gave a great sense of perspective and particularly worked well with Venus’ entrance and exit to the story, both handled at the back of the stage with her marionette double.

The puppets: Gorgeous, obviously. Both Venus and Adonis appeared to be made out of materials that suit their character. Adonis was made out of wood which you could hear clop whenever he touched the stage, Venus was made of soft materials possibly leather or vinyl, she looked beautiful and soft. There were five puppeteers operating all of the puppets, ranging from small marionettes (Venus and her chariot being pulled by doves) to large (around 3/4 human size) doll and rod puppets and even the proscenium arch of the set became a giant puppet of Death.

This was a very sweet production and I’ve very glad that I saw it. I definitely want to see something a bit braver with puppets, while magical, it also felt safe. I’m going to see the Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes in a few weeks, which I believe had excellent reviews in AK07, I think that may be just what I’m looking for.

Platonov by Anton Chekov, Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg

Posted in Theatre reviews on 17 March, 2007 by sonal

Time to fess up. I don’t like Chekov. I know, odd way to start a review right? But it’s true, while I love Shakespeare (ya, think?) I hate Chekov. I really can’t sensibly and intelligently say way other than I find his work boring. The loathing that some people have towards Shakespeare, I have for Chekov. It’s completely irrational but I can’t even get through one of his plays without my eyelids drooping towards sleep (I have to say, he’s good for insomnia).

But … this is a production of the Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersberg! Do you remember them? International Arts Festival in 1996, a fantastic show that I can’t remember the name of because I didn’t buy a programme and then even if I did I’m on the other side of the world away from it. Yes, that company.

And maybe time for another confession … I actually booked the ticket based on the fact that it was the freakin Maly Drama Company of St Petersberg, I didn’t bother to scroll down and see what they were doing. In fact I bought a flurry of tickets for various shows in the Bite07 programme (including the very excellent Ninagawa Company doing Coriolanus and Ratan Thiyam’s Chorus Repetory Theatre of Manipur … see me squeal with geeky delight, haven’t bought tickets to Cheek By Jowl’s Cymbeline yet because they’re a bit out of my budget – once I’m earning £s I may reconsider) that it was only a couple hours later that I bothered to find out exactly what they were doing … An obscure Chekov which was about 3 hours long.

So I rationalised what could potentially be a torturous evening as this: I only know Chekov from English translations of the work, maybe every single English translation is shit and maybe every production I’ve seen of it has put me to sleep because for some reason it arrived on stage as filtered by someone who thinks that Chekov should be played as if we’re in an drawing room in a nameless estate in England at the start of the 20th Century. And hey, I didn’t have to worry about the words putting me to sleep because the it was all in Russian anyway.

I actually enjoyed it and I didn’t even notice the time pass. And as much as it was melancholic, the production was largely irreverent and funny. There was such energy in the production, you could almost feel the hot summer madness, the show of extravagance juxtaposed with the reality of poverty (but not in a heavy ironic way, this irony was much lighter the characters did not carry it around as a burden but rather remained “normal” with the most sparing of glimpses, so fleeting that they were easy to miss, indicating that there was anything wrong.

The set was awesome – four levels spread across the stage of the Barbican. You had a upper balcony level, on which there was a shower, piano and drum kit. A normal stage level. Underneath that a water level – the river which the actors would dive into, swim off stage and swim on, and then at the apron a sandy promenade where most of the action between protagonists would take place.

The language? Well obviously I had to read surtitles above the stage but on sound alone, the actors sounded passionate, the text lively and natural, but what would I know, I can’t speak Russian.

The scenes, as to be expected were wonderfully blocked. While the main action took place on the apron, along the other characters were dancing the night away as real brass band accompanied them. Much of what was being said on the apron would be either juxtaposed or illustrated by what was happening (rather loudly) behind them. Best of all there was naturalism with fantastic symbolism going on, again elegant and subtle so that you weren’t left with the feeling of ‘this is important, see this prop, it’s important, see what I’m doing here, take note because it will be important later’ – you know what I’m talking about.

Oh and the ending, the ending! Well that one I may keep to myself so if you know anyone at the International Festival, maybe suggest that they bring this production over for 2008?

Now that I think about it, it was a fantastic production so yes, I willing to put an end to my irrational hate of Chekov, but only if it’s going to be in Russian.

Ramayana [re]written and dir. David Farr, Lyric Hammersmith

Posted in Theatre reviews on 7 March, 2007 by sonal

Or ‘How to tell an epic with seven actors in the space of 2 hours (plus a 20 minute interval) …

Well obviously compacting a book means a huge pile of stuff is left out: the play starts with Dasharatha announcing that Rama will be king so everything that happens before then (and that’s an awful lot of the good stuff) is gone along with Kausalya, Sumitra and Shatrughna along with … well, come to think of it, it’ll probably be easier if I just told what was still in the play:

Characters: Sita, Rama, Lakshmana, Dasharatha, Kaikeyi, Hanuman, Vali, Jatayu, Surpanakha, Maricha, Surgriva, oh yeah and Ravana.

Incidents: well um, for some reason, I guess for simplicity’s sake, they decided to amalgamate Kaikeyi and Manthara, so Kaikeyi appears to be evil and then decided to emphasise her evilness by making the actor double as Ravana … kind of missing the point about destiny but um, ok; Rama leaving for the forest, still there; Bharat coming to the forest, still there; Surpanakha losing her nose, still there; Sita, Lakshmana and the circle, there; death of Vali, there; Hanuman and leap to Lanka, there; Hanuman and the mountain, still in; Sita and the purity test, still there too.

Things that were cool: The entrance of Ravana. The actors held masks next to the actress to make up his many heads and with a narrow band of light just highlighting the faces, it looked spectacular. But sadly it was only for the moment, with the image established, the masks only made a reappearance for the death of Ravana. Had they maintained the illusion for the whole play (however impractical) it would have helped to enhance the play as an epic. There were other bits of puppetry in it here and there, but these were always too brief to have lasting impact and on the bare stage they really didn’t achieve the same magic as the masks.

Things I didn’t like: The language. I can see how the writer got caught out by this one. It’s so easy to shift into grand formal language when trying to convey the majesty of an epic, but boy it’s bloody hard to get right, especially when you decide to have the mechanical-like monkeys speak in colliquialisms. The sentence structure sounded so unnatural and awkward that it jarred to hear it. As always though, you learn lessons from other writers – when I work on The Untouchables version of the Ramayana, language is going to be important.

Things I questioned: Why was there only one Desi (or maybe there were two but I can’t be sure) in the cast? This show was created in the UK, where there are hundreds of Indian actors about as opposed to New Zealand where there are … let me count, seeing I’ve met all of them … ah yes, seven. A bit disappointing really because I think it had an impact on the show, the one Indian guy in the show took so much pride in his work, he was brilliant and it made all of the difference (he was the only one to namaste the audience, looking a touch embarrassed to be cheered on), not because of the colour of his skin, but because he got it, he appeared to know the importance of playing Rama on stage (you are playing God after all) and leading to my next bit, he was the only one to pronounce names and places properly.

Things I got mad at: Pronounciation. Actually this one has me fuming. You have one actor, the lead, pronouncing everything properly. Everything. The rest of the cast? Nope, not one of them got pronounciation right. Why not? Why did they not practice pronouncing names properly especially when their lead actor was there, with them in the rehearsal room, saying it all properly? Could they not have done a session in rehearsal to make sure it was right? So very, very angry. I’ve corrected all sorts of people of pronounciation and have in turn been corrected myself. Absolutely unacceptable to have actors mispronounce names, bad, bad, bad!

And frankly that ruined and typified the production for me. There was so much potential for this to be a great production, even with only seven actors, but it felt like a grand dream that just couldn’t be realised because there wasn’t enough time or enough attention to detail in both performances and conception …

A goodly lesson there.

Rock N Roll by Tom Stoppard, dir. Trevor Nunn

Posted in Theatre reviews on 22 February, 2007 by sonal

I’m getting behind in reviews so I’ll just skip ahead a little and do last night …

So instead of yet another Shakespeare I went and saw a Stoppard instead. His latest play Rock N Roll which he wrote for the Royal Court Theatre in celebration of their 50 years.

I think I’ll start with my overall impression of the play and work from there. It is this:

.
.
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Eh?

Yes, that was it. This play has won awards aplenty, garnered fantastic reviews but a good half of the play lost me completely in the wilderness.

This much I got: a tale of the Velvet Revolution through the life of one man and his relationship with rock music. So far so good, also good was the study of Communism during this era and this philosophical debates therein, then there was something about Pan, Latin,Poetry and some metaphor tied in with Syd Barrett – no idea what exactly but it took up a large portion of the play and I really didn’t understand any of it.

My love for the work of Stoppard and I parted a wee while ago – possibly with the Coast of Utopia, which admittedly I only read but didn’t quite understand or maybe with Arcadia which I have also only read but didn’t like very much. I love vintage Stoppard – Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Real Inspector Hound, Albert’s Bridge, Jumpers etc but the later stuff I really couldn’t care much about. Long passages of dialogue, solid talking heads that don’t seem to advance the story anywhere … or maybe I’m just too stupid or inexperienced to understand it.

Is he writing too old for me? I’ve had that experience before, for instance Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen I loved but his Democracy left me cold and I’m sure there are other writers but I just can’t think of them right now (oh wait a second, Alan Bennett and David Hare comes to mind). Will I understand these later works of Stoppard when I get older? Will I be interested in them when I get older? Will I want to be interested in/comprehending his writing when I get older? I don’t know, maybe this parting of ways is permanent. Even so I’ve learnt a lot about writing along the way so, thank you Mr Stoppard – I am indebted to you.

That’s not to say there aren’t some very fine moments in this play. Classic bits of absurdist scenarios and dialogue which I clicked with (unlike the bits I felt were a bit indulgent and unneccessarily detailed) and an excellent soundtrack (’cause, you know, Rock N Roll – so there was sprinklings of Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, bit of John Lennon thrown in for good measure and, er, Guns ‘n’ Roses … what is it about Guns ‘n’ Roses that makes me giggle every time I hear them?).

Each song denoted the start or end of a scene where the lights would go to black, a screen would come down and projected onto it would be the name of the song, the writer, the band, the recording studio and dates and who was playing what before displaying the year of the next scene – a very clever way to show the passing of time.

Good, solid performances from the cast. Great set – on a revolve and the revolve was split into quarters so you could easily transition into other rooms, have a split screen effect or compare and contrast scenes.

So yeah, good but, um, what?