Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Poor Boy

Yesterday we saw our second MTC play for the season: Poor Boy; a gentle fable about reincarnation and redemption.

Here is a summary of the plot from a review in the Age:

Matt Cameron and Finn have created a ghost story of some eeriness and intensity. Jeremy Glass is a boy who, on the eve of his seventh birthday, insists he is the reincarnation of a dead man, Danny.

Jeremy's parents, Viv (Linda Cropper) and Sol (Greg Stone), are understandably disturbed. But when the boy seeks out Danny's mother (Sarah Peirse) and his family, and recalls details of Danny's former life that he couldn't possibly know, Jeremy's family begin to think they have lost their child forever. As the families converge, the secrets of the living and the dead are revealed.

There were three elements about this production that drew attention:

The Venue
The fist play at the MTC's new Sumner Theatre.

The Music
The play features songs by Tim Finn, but it is more a "play with songs" than a musical.
Here are videos of two of the songs. (Obviously not from the play).

Poor Boy, a Split Enz version.

In a Minor Key, with Tim at the piano.

The Cast
Especially Guy Pearce, who plays the ghost of Danny. The photo below is the publicity shot.

Here is a slide show showing some of the scenes from the show:

There have been some critical reviews; for instance Australian Stage Online claimed:

... there is a pervasive sense that the songs, written over nearly thirty years and not created with theatre in mind, have been imposed on the story, or vice versa; there is simply no necessary link between the two elements at many points, the plot and characterisations are effectively suspended by the music, or a pleasant concert interrupted by an extraneous story line. At two and half hours, attention begins to flag. Moreover the actors have variable success with the music, some singing more in character and with more ability than others, but none aided by an often too-loud band.

Even if there is some truth to that opinion, both Margaret and I enjoyed the play, finding the plot, acting, staging and singing very satisfying.

One further item of interest: we are always looking for points in common with residents in our village, and when waiting for this show to start we noticed one of our fellow residents, Del. We discovered that she is also a long standing subscriber to the MTC plays.

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