Abbe and I chugged down the freeway recently, to the State Theatre, to see the Bell Shakespeare production of School for Wives – which was a knockout. Moliere has been translated into (fairly) modern Australian and the result is fantastic, with some great lines of dialogue – in verse. I like Moliere, but like a lot of Shakespeare, you have to concentrate hard. This production, though, was easy to follow and a joy to watch. I haven’t enjoyed a play as much as this for a while. The whole cast was totally on song with an absolute tour de force from the lead –John Adam. I think The Bell Shakespeare Company is a really great theatrical troupe (and I was raised on Shakespeare at Stratford and the South Bank) and we never miss anything they put on in Perth. Who says this country has no culture?
We discovered a new theatre in Fremantle the other night when we went to see ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ at the Harbour Theatre in Adelaide Street. Harbour Theatre is a really neat little venue; not much bigger than a London theatre club but with friendly staff and good seating throughout. The play wasn’t up to much I’m afraid. Though meant to be a farce it was too inconsequential to mean anything. Behind every farce is… or should be… a serious issue. School for Wives is about men who have no self-confidence: hence they try to turn their wives into automatons. What’s funny is how the man’s plans are thwarted. There was nothing serious in We’ll Always Have Paris, so there was nothing to laugh at. It was the title that got me; it’s from the movie Casablanca, written by the Epstein brothers and Howard Koch and anything written by one of them is going to have my vote. Anyway, we had a great evening with Jules and Jeannie Sher as we dined at Sala Thai, inNorfolk Street, which is always a great place to eat.