Review: A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson

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A Street Car Named Desire review by Col

Emotional; Mesmerizing; breathtakingly heartbreaking are words that fail to come close to describing the spellbinding performance delivered, not only by Gillian Anderson (though clearly the main draw card) but by the whole cast of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Staged at the St Ann theatre in Brooklyn, Ms Anderson and co have bought this production from London, and along with it one of the under appreciated stars of the production – the revolving stage. This unique feature thrusts the audience into the centre of the drama unfolding within Tennessee Williams’ famous play.

13330494_10154224323633185_1054984423_nFrom her opening scene right up to the heart wrenching walk past the audience by Blanche, all eyes are firmly on Gillian Anderson. Her delivery is inflected with a delicate subtly of emotions. This is no surprise to her legion of dedicated fans, who have long known that she has depth as an actor. Many ‘non-fans’ tend to dismiss and overlook her acting ability due to her background of rising to the publics attention via The X-Files. Not only does she display her ample dramatic acting skills she also displays remarkable comedic ability.  She takes the audience on a ride, bouncing from one emotion to another; laughter to tears, gasps of shock to chair squirming tension as we witness Blanche’s slow and painful unravelling, hastened by the actions of her brother-in-law, Stanley.

Ben Foster, who portrays Stanley, is also delivers a stand out performance.  Both Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster draw you into their world and then slap you across the face with their powerful and emotional performance. So compelling is their performance, especially Anderson’s, that you forget that this fragile broken portrayal of Blanche is played by the same woman who gave us the strong independent role model of Dana Scully.

The vulnerability she shows through out the production left many shell shocked as they exited the theatre. I personally walked out with muscles screaming with tension, shaking and emotionally drained … lets just say that some comfort cake was needed! How 13329727_10154224322673185_970573940_nGillian Anderson manages to perform this intense role day after day is a testament to her strength as a performer, especially considering she recently stated in an interview that she is often left black and blue after a performance. Its no wonder, the role is often brutally physical not to mention emotionally scarring.  She can take an element of comfort from the fact that the audience is also emotionally carrying the tell tale signs of bruising as they leave the theatre after her stellar performance.

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Review: Dean Haglund’s X Files Improv Show

 

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Dean Haglund has arrived in Melbourne for a 10 show run. He has brought his X Files Improv Show to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. MICF is one of the biggest events on Melbourne’s calendar at a wonderful time of the year as the evenings become cooler and the leaves start to turn on the trees for autumn.

The Filed Under X crew excitedly bought tickets to opening night to support our XF alumni.
The show is similar to the ones seen recently in Sydney and at Armageddon in 2010 but no less entertaining because each show is unique.

Wearing his character Langly’s trademark Ramones t-shirt, Dean uses his well-honed Improv skills to piece together an X Files episode, but uses his best resource to change the plot and dialogue – YOU!! He skillfully takes his ideas from the audience to make an absurd episode. Ours featured Tiny Bees That Look Like David Duchovny (Have you SEEN Fight The Future? Not so absurd!!)

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Have you ever wanted to play Scully or Mulder on stage? Well here’s your opportunity to indulge your inner narcissist…I mean actor…like we did!! Dean invites audience participation so you can get your chance to get up close with your favourite Gunman.

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The venue at Trades Hall seats the audience in the round, so every seat is a good one and yelling things out seems to hark back to its former life as the Old Council Chambers. The show goes at such a fast, hilarious pace it almost seems like Dean has it only just in his control…but that’s the beauty of Improv. It’s side splittingly, cheek achingly funny. It’s still something you can take your non believer friends to, because it’s just a rollicking good time.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some mates and go be in it!!!

Insider tip: Go early and have a drink in the Bella Union Bar at Trades Hall. It’s a beautiful hidden part of Melbourne and well worth spending your time waiting in.

The deets:
Dean Haglund X Files Improvised showing in the Old Council Chambers at Trades Hall (crn Victoria & Lygon Sts Melbourne)
24th March to 3rd April 2016 9:30pm (except Sundays 8:30pm)
Tickets from http://www.deanhaglund.com/ or at Melbourne International Comedy Festival Box Offices (there’s one at the venue)

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