Theatre Tours International Ltd
Theatre Tours International Ltd
What's On NOW!


Adelaide Fringe '09

Adelaide 2009 was our fifth at Australia's equivalent of Edinburgh's extravaganza.
Another hugely successful unmissable season.

Adelaide 09 Reviews

Oleanna

OleannaOleanna

Guy Masterson and new Adelaide wunderkind, Joanne Hartstone - oppose each other in Mamet's political bombshell. Already a classic of modern theatre, Oleanna will challenge everyone's preconceptions.

Fringe Factory @ Queens Theatre - BIG ROOM - 18:00 (19.15)
FEBRUARY 28 - MARCH 22 (not Mar 2, 9, 16)
3pm Matinees, (Sat & Sun), March 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22
Animal Farm - Guy Masterson

Follow MeAnimal Farm

Guy Masterson returns to Adelaide with his world acclaimed adaptation of Orwell's allegorical masterpiece.

Seen in 2007 with Gary Shelford, this is the original production and a fitting follow on from Masterson's solo version of Under Milk Wood.

ROYALTY THEATRE - Angas Street - ONE SHOW ONLY!
March 16, 19:30 (21:45) - All tickets: $30

OleannaOleannaPLAYED: FRINGE FACTORY @ QUEENS THEATRE
(Playhouse Lane off Light Square)

Feb 28 - March 22nd 2009

6pm (75 mins) daily (not Mondays)
Weekend Matinees: 3pm

GUY MASTERSON & JOANNE HARTSTONE FACE EACH OTHER
IN DAVID MAMET'S VOLCANIC MASTERPIECE

(4 Stars) MASTERSON & HARTSTONE EXCEL!
Taking on a piece of work as complex, densely written and nuanced as Oleanna takes some serious acting skills, and it's a delight to report that Guy Masterson and Joanne Hartstone excel in one of David Mamet's most controversial plays.
That's where the delight stops however. Oleanna is about being confused, conflicted, and asked to question what you believe is going on, and it's all grey area. In it, a university professor counsels a struggling student. His actions soon become fodder for a sexual harassment suit. Out of context, the claims made against him make a convincing case - one which is initially incorrect, but becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. In a great irony, the lecturer, whose main thesis is that university education is not a good in itself, is buried as his struggling student, who he tried to help, becomes educated, and empowered as she becomes aware of her 'rights'.
Cameron England - Adelaide Advertiser - 02/03/09

(4.5 Stars) SENSATIONAL PERFORMANCES! BRILLIANT! IMPECCABLE!
"A nervous, unsure and confused student (Carol - Joanne Hartstone) is failing her course. She desperately needs to pass, and meets her professor, imploring him to help her. The professor (John - Guy Masterson) is distracted, but agrees to guide her through her difficulties. His kindness is suffused with arrogance and an unequal power relationship, but is there more to this bargain? Is his apparent certainty that she will get an "A" a reflection of his confidence in his teaching or is there an unspoken quid pro quo? Are his touches reassuring or sexual? When Carol reports John to the tenure committee, his world is thrown into turmoil. Has he been manipulated or is he only the victim of his own prurient condescension?
David Mamet's unflinching play about sexual politics, the dishonesty of modern education and how the language of jargon obliterates communication, is tense, incendiary and gut-wrenching. The brilliant text is well served by two sensational performances by Hartstone and Masterson.
The most interesting artistic choice is how to pitch the relationship: is Carol stupid and naïve or is there some calculation in her, is she guileless or is there a whiff of coquettishness in her plea for help? Is John also naïve, closeted by his self-importance and secure in his world of semantics? Emma Lucia's assured direction offers no clear answers but the edge of sympathy is with the hapless academic. The savage ironies and complexities of this master-work are brought precisely to the performance by Lucia and her brilliant cast. Violent, uncompromising and uncomfortable, this play should be seen by all who appreciate intelligent and impeccably-performed theatre."
John Wells - Adelaide Theatre Guide - 02/03/09

"MAGNIFICENT PERFORMANCES! BRILLIANT!"
"Guy Masterson and Adelaide actress, Joanne Hartstone, have revitalised David Mamet's play of the destructive relationship between a struggling undergraduate student and the university professor whom she accuses of sexual harassment. This controversial play was inspired by, and written at the time of, the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas sexual harassment scandal.
Distanced now from the newness of sexual harassment legal cases and the extreme levels of political correctness of the time, this play needs a clarified direction to make it relevant to current audiences, and this is precisely what we find in this production. The focus is shifted to an investigation of underlying issues and questions the thought processes behind the words and actions of the protagonists. Magnificent performances by both performers, and incisive direction, make this an essential addition to your list of shows not to be missed. This play has great impact in the hands of Masterson and Hartstone. Brilliant!"
Barry Lenny Rip It Up Magazine 04/03/09

(4.5 Stars) "MESMERISING THOUGHT PROVOKING THEATRE!"
"This is mesmerising, thought-provoking live theatre for less than $30 - what more could you want?
Performed in a large, atmospheric warehouse, with a minimalist set, it was difficult to hear at times, but the audience was nonetheless captivated.
The wordy two-person play, by David Mamet, is heavy stuff, dealing with a power struggle between a university lecturer and his young female student.
It's a big ask for any actor, but veteran director/performer Guy Masterson and Flinders University graduate Joanne Hartstone did it justice, maintaining a ferocious intensity for the full hour and 15 minutes. The newcomer certainly has stage presence."
Eleanor Miller Adelaide Messenger 04/03/09

"HIGHLY EMOTIONAL... HIGH OCTANE! IT RINGS ALL TOO TRUE"
"Oleanna is a highly emotional and high-octane play about the miscommunication between the sexes as seen through the actions of a professor and his student. Written by David Mamet, this work is arguably the definitive production concerning political correctness. With a cast of only two, what appears to be simple student-teacher conference would seem to have limited appeal but don't be fooled: this play is explosive.
Carol (Joanne Hartstone) is a failing student. John (Guy Masterson) is her middle-aged tutor. They meet in a minimalist office (simply two chairs) and John offers to give her A grades if she continues to work through the course with him in private. There's no doubt at this stage that John holds the power but Carol is cunningly taking notes. Hartstone is excellent at changing her character and turning the tables next time they meet. She's accused him of sexual harassment and attempted rape and the two characters attack each other until the shocking and violent finale.
It takes two gifted actors to nail this duologue. With both Masterson and Hartstone in exceptional form, and Emma Lucia's crisp direction, Oleanna arouses strong feelings as it rings all too true.
Stephen Davenport - Adelaide Independent - 03/03/09

PUNTERS REVIEWS - Adelaide Talkfringe 09

Vinyl_Cutter wrote: What a sensational play! How good is Adelaide's Joanne Hartstone! Her performance opposite the UK maestro Guy Masterson is stunning and she is definitely destined for more success. Hartstone and Masterson bring Mamet's script to life in the atmospheric Queens Theatre with just 2 chairs, effective lighting and stirring music. And a phone. I was blown away. It gets my vote as the best in the Fringe.

thankana wrote: Absolutely brilliant!! Joanna Hartstone is amazing and talented, she was intensely believable, loved it, loved it, loved it!!!

mara wrote: The first time I saw this ripper of a piece of theatre I thought she was a real bitch. No one deserved the charges she made against him. But the second time I began to think differently. I took in more of her arguments. She was adopting the intellectual position that he had made the foundation of his academic career - that university education is not valuable education. He would not listen to her, instead deflecting thought and insight with self satisfied pedantry. Great! Still thinking....

Dave wrote: Just brilliant! Guy Masterson is,as always,a superb actor in this riveting Mamet play. His role as the pompous professor shows Masterson's emotional skills as the tables are turned on him. Joanne Hartstone is simply wonderful as her anxious and angry student character develops into a manipulative schemer.It really is edge of the seat stuff. What talent there is in Adelaide! Don't miss it.

Jaz wrote: Great performance with a tight and electrifying script. Execution, whist excellent fell slightly shy of the high standards set by Masterson's other performances (Animal Farm and 12 Angry Men). Definitely worth seeing.

janeanne wrote: Watching two horrid and self-victimising characters arguing on stage for 75 minutes may not sound like a good night out at the fringe, but Mamet's engaging script skilfully acted makes for a great night of theatre. Masterson is the strength of the performance, with Hartstone getting stronger as the play progressed.

sluceaus wrote: One of the most amazing theatrical experiences I've had. The two leads are amazingly talented and the writing is brilliant. The stripped down stage (two chairs only) creates a sense of immediacy and claustrophobia. One of the best shows at the Fringe.

Animal Farm - Guy MastersonANIMAL FARM reviews @ Adelaide 2009

Under Milk WoodTHE ROYALTY THEATRE, ANGAS STREET - March 16th ONLY
7.30pm Programme (including interval) = 2 hours 20 minutes

Guy Masterson's world acclaimed interpretation of George Orwells' allegorical masterpiece.

Guy Masterson skips on to stage barefoot and clad in Yakka overalls to present his one man adaptation of George Orwell's 1945 classic novel, directed by Tony Boncza. It's bareboards theatre with the only prop a single bale of hay at centre stage. And Masterson certainly fills every inch of the space with his enactment of animal body language. He is at times pig, horse, chicken, cow, bull, sheep donkey, goat and raven. He kicks an invisible shed door open, leaps about the stage in the joy of animal victory, gazes in awe at the luxury of Farmer Jones's house and raises a trotter in triumph and solidarity. He squeezes laughs from the audience as Squealer the pig and amazement as the cartwheeling Boxer and later pathos as the loyal and hardworking old horse grinds to his inevitable and tragic demise.
This is indeed an impressive one-man tour. Masterson amuses with the interplay between controlling pigs Snowball and Napoleon and then moves the audience as the ascendency of Napoleon becomes more and more sinister; he harangues his subjects from his hay bale vantage with 'death to all traitors', covered in red wash lighting during the execution scene.
But Masterson also tells the story and tells it well. He is narrator as well as actor, switching roles seamlessly through the two hours. Included are many sound effect snips of modern leaders from Margaret Thatcher through Tony Blair to John Howard. The program notes warn that the book was not just about Joseph Stalin but about any modern state and the 'double speak and propaganda, the lies, threats, coercion, corruption and oppression, the spin and the sleaze, as its leaders fight to perpetuate themselves against the interests of those who they are supposed to serve.' Masterson ended the night drenched in sweat and drowning in applause.
Robert Horne - Adelaide Independent Weekly - 17 March 2009.

George Orwell's 1945 novel Animal Farm has been filmed before (twice) but doesn't immediately seem surefire theatrical material, yet Guy Masterson (also in town in Oleanna) didn't let that get to him when first working on this one-man, one-night-only performance in 1994. A genuinely brave tour-de-force wherein Masterson plays every character (on a farm where rebellion satirically mirrors the scariest aspects of human society and history) via careful bodily movement and contortion with striking vocal characterisation - from Napoleon the domineering pig to Boxer the hardworking horse to the unnamed, apolitical puss - this is always engrossing, daring and hugely entertaining, with Guy's smooth, unpretentiously subtle style a true joy to behold. At two hours plus (with an interval) it might have seemed a daunting prospect to some members of the sell-out crowd prior to the show - but this proved one of the true highlights of the entire Fringe, and certainly one of the most extraordinary theatrical performances this reviewer has ever seen.
Mad Dog Bradley Rip It up Adelaide 18/03/09

Guy Masterson, unhampered by the fact that he has only two legs, presented his one man interpretation of George Orwell's classic political satire, set in that most famous of all farmyards. Masterson's script focuses strongly on the characters and situations, concentrating attention on the essentials. His tightly written script reflects his approach to theatre, as does his minimal set, props and costuming, a hallmark of his work. A hay bale, terrific sound effects and intricately devised lighting assist Masterson in his telling of this powerful piece, but it is his outstanding talent that brings these most unusual characters to life. Each participant in the tale is brilliantly depicted as Masterson changes his voice, face and demeanour, instantly and dramatically, as he switches from one character to another. Masterson's passing references to a few more recent egomaniacal dictators, sorry, Prime Ministers, British and Australian, highlights the ongoing relevance of this work. Sensational!
Barry Lenny - The Fix - 18/03/08

(4 Stars) INCREDIBLY ENERGETIC AND FRIGHTENING!
Guy Masterson's Animal Farm is an incredibly energetic and frightening theatrical experience.
According to its author, George Orwell, Animal Farm is a proclaimed 'fairy story'. As with most fairy stories, the allegorical points hold the greater weight. This story concerns the animals' desire for liberty from the constraints of the farm and human intrusion, which gives rise to their ideology of 'Animalism', and ultimate revolution.
Animal Farm is eternally modern and thought-provoking, providing parallels to the manipulations of contemporary human power, and the figurative blindness of society's inhabitants.
With a bale of hay as the only set-piece, Guy Masterson's performance is remarkable. Not only does he play the narrator, but the entirety of main characters (both animal and human). His performance is at times poignant and humorous, which really needs to be seen to be believed.
Tony Boncza's direction includes lighting that captures the feel of the piece, particularly when large malevolent shadows of characters are cast toward the back of the stage. The effect powerfully reflects the disturbing disposition of one having excessive power, or their illusion of it.
Animal Farm also contains fine use of sound effects. The animal noises were actually produced and mastered by Guy Masterson and director Tony Boncza, adding a great deal of atmosphere to the performance.
If you haven't yet read Orwell's novel - What a vibrant introduction!
Anthony Grzyb - Adelaide Theatre Guide