Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25. Day 115. Don't judge a book by its cover

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. It may be good advice but let's be honest, you have to make a decision on the basis of something and a cover isn't such a terrible place to start. The problem is it's not an exact science, far from it. Today I was reminded of this in the Queensland Performing Arts Complex. I was there for the media preview of Queensland Theatre's Once in Royal David City.  I knew this was by Australian playwright Micahel Gow. I knew this was the Queensland Theatre directorial debut of new Artistic Director Sam Strong. But that was pretty much where my knowledge ended. The picture in my mind decided it was either something biblical or perhaps an English period drama, all corsets and wigs. I'd been in The Playhouse for about 1.7 seconds when I realised I'd got it all totally wrong. It was all T shirts and jeans. The position of chairs at the sides of the stage and the clothes racks screamed ensemble piece. And then the cast acted an excerpt. Oh My God. Bring your tissues.. And this was a segment Strong assured us was spoiler free. I can only imagine what's in the rest. The website says "Faced with the loss of a parent, do we rage against the universe, search for connection or hope for an epiphany? On the beaches of northern New South Wales, theatre director Will has planned to share a restful, halcyon Christmas with his recently-widowed mother. But then she falls ill. During a bedside vigil, Will is forced to piece together the splintered shards of his own life, questioning his role as an artist, as a son, as a citizen of the world".  Now while you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, you shouldn't judge a play by a segment of a few minutes. So I'll reserve final judgment until after opening night on Thursday. But those few minutes were a wild ride - from a cafe to an airport to the beach. Happy, sad, flippant and deep. Just take tissues

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