June 21st, 2009


(no subject)

We went off to see Crime Scenes last night, an anthology of Aussie true crime stories, in part co-written by jack_ryder. It was very good, with a wide variety of subjects and approaches. This review is a bit late, since we saw the last session of its run, but here are my impressions anyway.

Housebound: this is the one co-written by Iain, the most confronting of the four, as it re-enacted some of the crimes of Catherine and David Birnie, serial killers from Perth in the 1980s. I thought it made very good use of the stage and its shifting time lines, not to mention the traumatic events at its centre, but never quite coalesced into full effectiveness.

The Blood on Helmut Lange: this one took a while to win me over, as it covered a lot of ground quickly. It portrayed events leading up to the hanging of Ronald Ryan, the last man to be legally executed in Australia, and the various strands (back to the fall of Nazi Germany) did come together well.

Morning Tea at the Carousel Cabaret: this was was the opposite of the above, in that it didn't cover enough ground, and pretty much disintegrated at the end. It was about the murder of Juanita Nielsen in 1975, allegedly on the orders of Abe Saffron to protect his interests in Kings Cross. The cast gave their best to some dubious 70s fashion, and Abe was played in a delightfully self-satisfied manner, but the characters didn't have enough substance to ring true.

Shots: this was a kaleidoscope of modern madness -- I'm not sure any of the depicted crimes were real, and it didn't really end up anywhere, but it was a hell of a trip on the way. It basically came down to the actors pulling you into their world, and they did so brilliantly, with intensity and some deft understatement (perhaps undermined by some strange reactions from the audience). An excellent end to the evening.