Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sydney Theatre Bar - Walsh Bay, Sydney

Okay - I know, I know, these pictures were taken like, a couple of months ago and it has VERY little to do with food (just hang in there - scroll down and I promise you, you'll see some food there), but I just can't help posting this thing.

So, I was always out of town when the Sydney Festival is happening, but fortunately, not this year - this year I attended the SF in full force. However, due to some unforseen circumstances, I couldn't prepare for the festival very well, so I missed out on some very important tickets as they were completely sold out. Luckily, they still give us a chance to grab some 'leftover' tickets (actually, it's more like tickets purposely set aside for last-minute purchases rather than leftovers) at discounted prices - but here's the catch - you've got to queue up for your desired tickets on the day of the performance. Tickets for each show playing on that day are VERY limited (usually just about 10 - 20 tickets per show) and it's on a first-come-first-served basis. Since shows on SF are always hugely popular, and there are so many penniless college students and unemployed art enthusiasts out there, as you can imagine, there's always a loooooooooong line (I hope the number of 'o's give you a good picture on how long the queue is) in front of the solitary ticket booth on Martin Place.

The last minute ticket booth (dubbed 'tix for next to nix') opens at 8 am (if I'm not mistaken) daily, but people start to queue up as early as the previous midnight (they camp out in front of the booth). Based on some insider information, however, if you live in the city (like in my case), coming to the booth to queue up at 5 am is early enough. That's exactly what I did, and it turned out to be right - there's only like, 16 people queueing in front of me.

The show I was watching here is the Sydney Theatre Company's production of "The War of the Roses". It's a 'compilation / medley' of Shakespeare's plays (the Henrys, the Richards) starring one of my absolute silver screen idol, the goddess herself, Ms. Cate Blanchett. I've been to several other STC productions, so there are many actors in this play that I recognize as well.

Surely, Ms. Blanchett's presence will definitely attract lots of interests - that's why the shows are always full-house. To be honest, I'm not a Shakespeare mania - I've read most of his important plays (and was forced to study a couple of them during my school years) but I decided to watch this partially because it's not everyday that you see Ms. Blanchett live on stage - despite her close ties and involvement with the Sydney Theatre Company. Anyway, the show was absolutely a feast of senses. Visually, it's tremendously stunning - especially when the curtain opens to a stage colossally and entirely showered with tons upon tons of glittering (almost blinding) golden confetti while the actors act for a solid hour or so. (after the confetti shower finally stopped, the entire stage floor was covered with quite a thick layer of golden confetti!)

I won't bore you with the play review, but overall, it was a GREAT eight hours of Shakespeare. I just wished I brushed up on my Shakespeare plays before watching the play. Ms. Blanchett was absolutely stunning and compelling as King Richard (yes, king). I adore everything - from the great cast, experimental costumes, gold confetti, and the theatre itself. Can't wait to come back there for the rest of this year's season.

PS: The food? Well, it's a sandwich. And a glass of wine. Both are okay. Nothing much to talk about, but okay. The sandwich is good - it has mustard seed, dijonnaise, very nice.

Rating (food): 7/10


Anonymous said...

Wow iwas thinking of seeing that show but at the same time i didnt know if i could stay awake!!


Erique Fat Owl said...


The play WAS very tedious - 4 hours for each part (there were 2 parts). That's a LOT of Shakespeare for common folks such as myself, LOL.

But watching Cate Blanchett was a big plus, she was amazing.

Leony said...

Suddenly I remember my mom said, "Eh Non, si Cate Blanchett itu kadang cakep, kadang kayak cowok", during watching The CC of BB. So I can imagine that she must be good in playing the King (also supported by her low-toned voice). You're quite lucky to be able to see her in person.

Erique Fat Owl said...

Yes, non, she was awesome. She's actually known to be very androgynous - check out her film "I'm not There" where she played Jude Quinn (Bob Dylan!)