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Brand Spanking New Theatrics


Sinking our wine-drenched selves into New Theater’s chic, creaking seats, we can’t help but feel slightly bohemian and in the mood for something different – so we’re rather lucky Brand Spanking New has returned to the stage for a third, talent-exposing season.

BSN is made up of an eclectic assortment of monologues, short plays, sketches and excerpts that come with subtle twitches, alternate realities, patches of pure innocence, moments of clarity and declarations of love that make cynicism impossible. When it comes to practicality, the stage-bound action unfolds beneath an array of suspended, wind-blown manuscripts – a design that could hold its own in any Biennale line-up. Likewise, the music peppering the play knows how to trigger its fair share of emotion, making the overall experience truly enjoyable.

But what’s really special about the two week curated season is the opportunity it affords Australia’s emerging and established playwrights, designers, directors and actors to really stretch their creative legs. BSN is all about taking risks, experimenting, uncovering something beautiful and stubbornly refusing to hold back. For example, when Anya Poukchanski transformed into a disgruntled dragon she was formidable to say the least. With a wide-eyed expression and a set of impressive paper teeth and a voice that was not quite of this world, she commanded the stage and our attention with grace and vivacity. Likewise, the slightest wink from Tom Mittelhauser caused the audience to lose their shiz while Andrew Johnston shed some dangerously amusing light on what those dastardly journalists really get up to. Young-gun Adam Roberts also managed to bring an age-defying dose of honesty to his strikingly complex role as an idiot savant. You heard it here first folks – he’s one to watch out for.

The second week of BSN, which runs from tomorrow (Wednesday, 3 November) to Saturday this week features nine short yet oh-so-sweet works that embrace all that is quaint, thoughtful and absurd (Alli Sebastian Wolf’s The Importance Of Being Ernest Dragons springs to mind here). Essentially, a trip Newtown may just be the perfect antidote for yet another rainy Wednesday night. Tickets can be nabbed through MCA – TIX.


words: Liz Schaffer

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