Moby Dick, Widow’s Peak & Under The Rainbow

Moby Dick at the Old Mill Theatre features a seaman (Kit Leake, left), Queegueg (Josh Harris) and Ishmael (David Heder).

Moby Dick at the Old Mill Theatre features a seaman (Kit Leake, left), Queegueg (Josh Harris) and Ishmael (David Heder).

WHAT happens when you take a classic 685-page novel about a large aquatic mammal and try to encapsulate it in a 25-minute play?

The answer lies in Moby Dick, adapted by Michael Green from the original Herman Melville tale, and directed by Sarah Christiner as part of the Old Mill Theatre’s short play season this September.

It’s the epic story of a man’s obsession with vengeance against a mammoth sperm whale which previously had destroyed his ship. But the telling is a little different – Green is a pioneer of a theatrical style known as “coarse acting” which is a spoof of things in theatre going wrong.

“Effectively, it’s very bad theatre taken very seriously,” Christiner, who also plays the scarred seamen, said. “Green’s Moby Dick script, while being fraught with theatrical faux pas, actually does manage to capture the essential moments and message of Melville’s saga.

“The cast is comprised of people who have mostly all worked together before and I knew I could trust them to help with the collaborative process of staging this somewhat intricate production. This is also the first time I have directed and performed in a show.”

Chris Thomas pays Captain Ahab in Moby Dick at the Old Mill Theatre.

Chris Thomas pays Captain Ahab in Moby Dick at the Old Mill Theatre.

Involved in theatre since 2003, Christiner has performed in a plethora of productions and has also done extensive tech work and stage-managing, also recently extending her love of the performing arts to directing.

“My last two directorial efforts, Flowers for Algernon and Lord of the Flies, have both been fairly intense in their own ways and I wanted my next show to be more light-hearted,” Christiner said. “Coarse acting appeals to my sense of irony because it’s depiction of theatre at its least tidy while I’m rather a perfectionist. “Green’s adaptation is also the only Moby Dick script I have really enjoyed.”

Joining Moby Dick for the Old Mill Theatre’s season of short plays are Widow’s Peak and Under The Rainbow, both written and directed by Noel O’Neill.

Widow’s Peak is a poignant story of survival by the wives left behind when their husbands are killed during war and how they show determination through dark humour.

Under The Rainbow looks at what might happen if there was no hope nor courage and the Wizard of Oz and his crew were nobodies hiding in a forgotten bar beneath the multi-coloured arch.

Moby Dick, Widow’s Peak and Under The Rainbow play at 8pm September 7, 8, 9 and 10. All tickets are $20 – book on 9367 8719 or email oldmilltheatre@iinet.net.au.

The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on the corner of Mends Street and Mill Point Road, South Perth (opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post).

 

Weekend Notes

Weekend Notes has run a story on Moby Dick, Widow’s Peak and Under The Rainbow, which can be viewed at http://www.weekendnotes.com/moby-dick-widows-peak-and-under-the-rainbow-at-old-mill-theatre/