Heart Beast Vicious Theatre Ensemble
Friday the 18th October I attended opening night of the latest bold vision presented by Heart Beast Vicious Theatre Ensemble.
“A naughty, wicked comedy about sarcasm, sex, salacious gossip, glamour, gaiety and pineapples.”
A massive evening in a small space made large by the stunning costuming and the brilliant acting. A large cast of 14 actors is some feat for a theatre in the round and stretching wickedly for two and a half hours.
In 1770, Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s restoration comedy 'School for Scandal' was huge hit on the London stage and is often called called the best comedy ever written. In 1948 Vivien Leigh and her husband, Sir Laurence Olivier, toured Australia with the Old Vic theatre from London. When they arrived in Brisbane they were welcomed at the airport with a pineapple which looms large throughout and after. As part of the tour they performed ‘School for Scandal’ at the glamorous His Majesty’sTheatre in Queen Street. This is a sad tale when our government demolished the grand old theatre, home of so many historic performances and oh so many memories of my early theatre, musical and opera evenings. Setting the workshopped comic masterpiece during this 1948 visit Heart Beast integrate the off stage antics of the touring actors with the masterpiece play. The scandal of Sheridan's story is related to the rumoured scandal of the unfortunate Vivian herself who is said to have had a dalliance, in every port , which was well known to her equally suspect husband Larry.
Alphabetically the cast were_ George Arkinstall, Tara Barraza, David Bentley, Brian Bolton, Samantha Cable, Warwick Comber, Adrienne Costello, Karen Dinsdale, Patrick Dwyer, Andrew Lowe, Hamish Nicholson, Sherri Smith, Greg Stone and Joe Tiernan.
The talent on display on stage and behind the scenes is a reward that we are expecting in our city where creativity is blossoming. Some actors like George Aekinstall are new to the ensemble and have that glow of enthusiasm that indicates so much is expected in the future. Others like David Bentley (The Cherry Orchard) who is a seasoned member and always bring a much praised individuality to his roles. It was also great to see the hugely talented Andrew Lowe again after a very fine performance in Frankenstein with Fractal Theatre that I saw earlier this year. So many stood out and it was nice to be given the opportunity to congratulate many of them personally after the show. I always seem to have a drink in hand in photos but it is such occasions that are my only opportunities to partake of alcohol. I swear.
Director: Adrienne Costello. Designer: Michael Beh. Production and Stage Manager: Jacqueline Kerr. Wardrobe Coordinator and Principle Costume Construction: Orla Mahony. Co-costume Designer/Garment Production Manager: Chasca Relia-Connell. Dramaturg: Annette Alexander. Lighting Designer: Jason Harding and Rory Fitzpatrick. Pianist: Marjorie Warry. Publicity: Raw Publicity/sTAMp Marketing. Marketing Coordinator: Samantha Cable.