There are two excellent shows now playing at the Ensemble Theatre in Kirribilli (78 McDougall Street) until Sunday, June 28 - The Shoe-Horn Sonata and Educating Rita.
The Shoe-Horn Sonata:
It’s hard to imagine anyone surviving a Japanese POW camp. But Sheila and Bridie did – thanks to music, humour and sheer bloody-mindedness. However, when the war ended, so did their friendship, and only Sheila knows why. Based on an extraordinary true story, the play became an instant Australian classic when it premiered at Ensemble Theatre 20 years ago. See why as cast members Lorraine Bayly and Sandra Bates (in her Ensemble Theatre swansong) reprise their roles from Ensemble’s 1999 production in this wry, heartbreaking play from John Misto.
A modern Australian classic - The Sydney Morning Herald
Inspiring, life-affirming and often very funny - The Bulletin
Rita is a ballsy hairdresser looking for a better life. Frank is an English professor looking for a way to support his drinking habit. When Rita enters his musty office wanting to know “everything”, she breathes new life into Frank and the literature he thinks he knows so well. This beloved modern tale of the erosive nature of lives half-lived, the potential to awaken another’s soul, and the power of choice, is playing at the Ensemble in an updated version. Starring Catherine McGraffin and Mark Kilmurry - see it sparkle in a whole new light.
Fresh and funny…bright, smart and clever - The Guardian
Beautifully crafted…a modern masterpiece - Lichfield Live
Shakespeare’s Richard III is now playing at the Ensemble Theatre (until July 19) and the production has been getting terrific reviews…
"Powerful and compelling performances" (SYDNEY CHIC)
"Kilmurry’s stagecraft is magic, the cast are splendid, honest and graceful " (THE SPELL OF WAKING HOURS)
"Mark Kilmurry’s performance of Richard is brilliant. Compels with outstanding performances by the cast" (SUSANNE GERVAY)
And opening on July 24 is Dark Voyager, written by John Mistro and directed by Anna Crawford. The cast includes Eric Beecroft, Jeanette Cronin, Belinda Giblin, Lizzie Mitchell and Kate Raison.
It is Hollywood, 1962. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are at war – their careers are on the skids, they are aging rapidly, and they are locked in a titanic struggle for top-billing on their latest movie. When America’s most feared columnist, Hedda Hopper, invites them to supper, they call an uneasy truce. However the evening turns chaotic when an unexpected guest arrives – a very young and very drunk Marilyn Monroe. Will old age and treachery defeat youth and courage? Or is there more to Marilyn than anyone could have guessed?
“John Misto’s playwriting combines an acutely sensitive humanity with an imagination that’s out of the ordinary and a mischievous sense of humour.” (THE SUN HERALD)