There is a temptation when adapting the works of Oscar Wilde that one displays the same keen sense of timing and wit that characterised his works and commentary. However, unless one is named Stephen Fry, one should probably avoid the temptation as much as possible. When compared to the actual Wildean prose included in the adaption, it comes off as distinctly lacking in style.
This is not to say that the external framing of Wilde Life was particularly bad; the treatment of Victorian Society as an ornithological study does some have merit, but sometimes it definitely got in the way. A suspect a much more disciplined approach, akin to a Sir David Attenborough BBC documentary would have gone down better. The inconsistent adoption of bird-like mannerisms during the play was very off-putting, and probably should have just been limited to the framing moments, as the suggestion of previous behaviour carried into the actual vignettes would have been much more effective in drawing attention to the similarities.
Still the comparison of Victorian High Society to a muster of peacocks is rather apt, although thankfully, these actors were not as raucous as the birds they emulate (where I find the best revenge is one served hot, with lashings of gravy). One did, however, find it appropriate that "murder" is the correct turn of phrase for a crow – although to be technically correct one should probably use a word containing the prefix "train" when referring to the self-announced jackdaw.
Aside from a slow and very chaotic start, they did a good job of displaying the sharp wit and barbed observations of Wilde as it applies to the mating rituals of Society, especially when the show settled down to simply providing extracts from Wilde's plays, especially The Importance of Being Earnest (always a favourite). And I did enjoy the fate of the Breeding Hen, which was very well done.
There is definitely material to work with here, but it probably needs a good director to tighten it up and eliminate the extraneous.
[Although I appear to have a thing for cute young blondes in Victoriana. It must be the bustle. <grin> Well, that and the fact she got to play Cecily, who is a character I have much fondness for anyway.]
Mar. 18th, 2012
My last Fringe performance is likely to be Eidolon by Nervous Doll Dancing (Melbourne). This multimedia show featured Francesca Mountfort on cello augmented by visuals created by Tom Hume.
It was an oneiromancer's delight. The mellow and relaxed sounds of cello drawing one into a relaxed contemplation of the distorted visual dream imagery of the show. Both complemented the mood well, and I suspect that the Promethean was the perfect venue for this show.
I can actually think of no better way to end the Fringe, with neither a bang or a whimper, but with this quiet and relaxed meditation on sound and light.
OK, I lied. But only technically, since on this year the third Sunday in March was also the last Sunday of the Fringe. Anyway the third Sunday is traditionally the Whitemore Square Arts Festival. It was a lot more lacklustre and unpopulated than last year. Is suspect setting it on the last day of the Fringe was counter-productive, despite increased advertising that it was on. After all, it's half a mile away from any other Fringe stuff.
Anyway I mainly went there to see Brillig play. Contrary to popular belief neither Matt Denny or Elizabeth actually burst into flame when the sun struck them – although there was a distinct sparkle coming from Elizabeth. She will claim it's sunlight reflecting from her autoharp, but we all know better...
Anyway they played fun doom filled songs on a bright sunny day. Apparently there will be an extended hiatus for them as they continue their nefarious schemes for dominating the musical world.
I then made my acquaintance with a lamb (turning on a spit) and left to catch up on sleep and rest my weary body and exhausted mind. This Fringing for a month had it's down side.
Speaking of all things bright and sunshiny Leigh Stardust is currently working on a new album.