Virag Dombay

Virag Dombay


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LAST 30 DAYS

A Christmas Carol: shake & stir's Theatrical MasterpieceA Christmas Carol: shake & stir's Theatrical Masterpiece
Posted: Dec. 8, 2018


HEDDA, the most bad-ass Queenslander that you'll ever meetHEDDA, the most bad-ass Queenslander that you'll ever meet
Posted: Nov. 25, 2018


A Very Naughty Christmas The Second Coming by Understudy ProductionsA Very Naughty Christmas The Second Coming by Understudy Productions
Posted: Dec. 7, 2018


BWW Interview: Paige Rattray of HEDDA at Queensland TheatreBWW Interview: Paige Rattray of HEDDA at Queensland Theatre
Posted: Nov. 30, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

HAMNET, An Unforgettable ExperienceHAMNET, An Unforgettable Experience
Posted: Sep. 11, 2018


BWW Review: ALADDIN in Brisbane is Genie-UsBWW Review: ALADDIN in Brisbane is Genie-Us
Posted: Mar. 28, 2018


Totally F*CK*N* AmazingTotally F*CK*N* Amazing
Posted: Aug. 25, 2018


BWW Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Brisbane Arts TheatreBWW Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Brisbane Arts Theatre
Posted: Apr. 14, 2018


NEARER THE GODS: A Voyage Into Newton's MindNEARER THE GODS: A Voyage Into Newton's Mind
Posted: Oct. 14, 2018


Seasons of RentSeasons of Rent
Posted: May. 5, 2018


MAMMA MIA! Dances Its Way Into BrisbaneMAMMA MIA! Dances Its Way Into Brisbane
Posted: Jan. 3, 2018


A Christmas Carol: shake & stir's Theatrical MasterpieceA Christmas Carol: shake & stir's Theatrical Masterpiece
December 8, 2018


A Very Naughty Christmas The Second Coming by Understudy ProductionsA Very Naughty Christmas The Second Coming by Understudy Productions
December 7, 2018

As something that started out as producer Alex Woodard's annual weird (and kinky) Christmas tradition, A Very Naughty Christmas The Second Coming is truly a sight to behold. Written by Matthew Semple and Emily Kristopher and directed by Dan Venz, Understudy Production's newest Christmas rave celebrates all that is fun, dirty and sexy about the festive season, really stripping it down for its audience. I don't think that I will be able to think of Santa in the same way ever again.

BWW Interview: Paige Rattray of HEDDA at Queensland TheatreBWW Interview: Paige Rattray of HEDDA at Queensland Theatre
November 30, 2018

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of giving Paige Rattray, the current associate director at Sydney Theatre Company and director of the bad-ass production of Hedda at Queensland Theatre, ring on the phone to interview her about her craftsmanship and creative visions behind her latest work. And here is what she had to say:

HEDDA, the most bad-ass Queenslander that you'll ever meetHEDDA, the most bad-ass Queenslander that you'll ever meet
November 25, 2018


NEON TIGER at La BoiteNEON TIGER at La Boite
November 4, 2018


NEARER THE GODS: A Voyage Into Newton's MindNEARER THE GODS: A Voyage Into Newton's Mind
October 14, 2018

Written by David Williamson, Nearer the Gods not merely about the greatest leap forward in human knowledge; Newton's discovery of the laws that govern the motion of the universe, and how Edmund Halley, an enthusiastic young astronomer, wrangled his discovery out of him, but about human behaviour and the politics of our mind. It is a story that explores the themes of rivalry, rationality, decency, love, kindness and most importantly the politics surrounding the power of knowledge, all in just two hours and ten minutes.

PRISCILLA Is  Still Colouring Our WorldPRISCILLA Is Still Colouring Our World
October 7, 2018


I'VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK YOUI'VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK YOU
September 29, 2018

Sometimes we forget or dismiss the questions that children ask us, especially if they're questions about growing up; if they're questions about us adults. Or go to response is I'll tell you when you're older or that's a silly question. But the inquisitive nature of child doesn't just disappear because you don't respond, but in fact, it fuels them to ask even more questions, like why you didn't reply to the last question they asked you, or the one before that? Are you having a bad day? Do you not want your child to become the next Einstein? But director Daniel Evans hasn't ignored their questions. In fact, him and his masterful creative team have formed a work in which not only is it okay for kids to ask a lot of questions, but they have a voice. And adults all over the world, including one in Russia, have heard their voice answered and they for sixty delightful minutes, they share their newfound knowledge with the audience.

MAN WITH THE IRON NECK - A New Work With a Promising VoiceMAN WITH THE IRON NECK - A New Work With a Promising Voice
September 28, 2018

Legs on the Wall's Man with the Iron Neck is one of the most significant new works of theatre in this past decade. It is a piece which centres around the taboo of youth suicide in the Aboriginal community, with playwright and actor Ursula Yovich (Mamma Rose) claiming in the post-show Q&Q that 'almost every aboriginal you'll come across will have experienced this certain issue'. Cast member Caleena Salsbury (Evelyn) continued on by saying that 'the statistics of aboriginal people committing suicide is ridiculous...Australia doesn't know about that [the number of suicides] and no one talks about it.' She said that putting this work on stage means that Indigenous Australians are able to have that conversation and I couldn't agree more.

BWW Review: ROVERSBWW Review: ROVERS
September 15, 2018

Written by Katherine Lyall-Watson and directed by Caroline Dunphy Rovers is a contemporary, post-dramatic work which uses the lens of comedy to explore the heart lines of fearless performers Barbara Lowing and Roxanne McDonald's lives and the uproarious misadventures of their female relatives who have inspired them to be who they are today. These stories included the one of Barbara Toy, who crossed desserts and warzones in her Land Rover as well as stories that warn us about the mysterious Bogeyman.

 Ode to Man is no Ode to Joy Ode to Man is no Ode to Joy
September 14, 2018

An ode is a lyric poem devoted to the praise of a person, animal or thing, often written in an elevated style and expressing deep feeling. It's no wonder that Emma Mary Hall called her work 'Ode to Man', as she spends 55 minutes on stage conversing about the history, persona and psyche of the modern man and romantic ambition in which women supposedly dare dream to have it all. Whether she hates or adores men is unclear, but her dedication and hours of research spent on this project indicates that it's a topic close to her chest. Over the course of 55 minutes, Hall takes us through fifteen chapters all focusing on a different aspect of men often linked with one of her previous experiences with men. In partnership with director Prue Clark, Hall has created a very innovative work, with each chapter having its own unique style; some chapters are presented as slam poems, stand-up comedy works, as an interior monologue and often, as your traditional university lecture. But no matter what style, Hall commands the stage with her calming, narrator-esque tone and somehow makes you feel like you are having a one on one conversation with her. Video and projection artist Lindsay Cox heightens Hall's imagery through transforming it into stunning virtual 3D imagery which plays on the screens behind Hall, as well as a picture frame she holds close to her chest. My favourite image was the projection of a horse above her heart in the final chapter and watching it fly away at the closing of the piece. It was both a beautiful and haunting image which left me wondering as to whether the entire performance was about justifying a personal heartbreak. But alongside investigating the very definitions of men through an array of psychologies, chief theorists and published works, the piece additionally explores the very definition of performance and what the notion of performance has evolved to in our contemporary, post-dramatic world. This piece is brutally honest and Hall truly bares her soul on stage each night. Whether you love men or hate men, whether you're a male or a female, this is a piece that will you make think. It will make you think not only about the relationship between men and women, but reflect on our post-dramatic world that we live in. Ode to Man Presented by Brisbane Festival and QUT Performed Theatre Republic - The Loft

HAMNET, An Unforgettable ExperienceHAMNET, An Unforgettable Experience
September 11, 2018

Even though his father may have forgotten him, we certainly haven't. Hamnet died on the 11 August 1596 and was forgotten. Until now. Presented by Dead Centre, Hamnet is a contemporary work which explores the notion of grief, the selfish nature of an artist, the significance of the relationship between father and child, the idea of greatness, the need to do something with our lives and the very definition of love, with childhood at its heart. The innocence of children, their playful nature, their trust in others, their need for heroes and, most importantly, their need for affection.

Memorial: Redefining Storytelling with Only One VoiceMemorial: Redefining Storytelling with Only One Voice
September 9, 2018

Homer's Illiad is referred to as the 'goriest' of the ancient poems, in which Greek and Trojan warriors meet their fates in violent, bloody and graphic ways. Alice Oswald's Memorial is a visceral and faithful adaptation of the poem which has the oral history of the dead (or 'oral cemetery' in her words) at the moral centre of the work. Presented by Alice Oswald and Brink Productions, Memorial is one of the most stunning pieces of live theatre I have ever seen.

Review: ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEADReview: ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
September 3, 2018

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Review Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is an existential, absurdist tragicomedy written by Tom Stoppard, which takes place 'in the wings' of Shakespeare's Hamlet, expanding upon the exploits of courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The central characters are trapped in waiting game of death and watch events unfold in Hamlet's life and psyche which they hadn't seen before, and they are full of Questions.

Sam Strong on QUEENSLAND THEATRE'S 2019 SeasonSam Strong on QUEENSLAND THEATRE'S 2019 Season
September 1, 2018

It's been nearly two weeks since Queensland Theatre released this 2019 season, and it's taken me nearly two weeks to comprehend exactly how colourful and formidable next year is going to be. A few days before the season launch, I had the pleasure of having doing a phone interview with Strong, who had just come from the closing celebrations for the company's successful run of Jasper Jones.

shake & stir's marvellous creationshake & stir's marvellous creation
September 1, 2018

"I'm going shopping in the village,' George's mother said to George on Saturday morning. 'So be a good boy and don't get up to mischief. This was a silly thing to say to a small boy at any time. It immediately made him wonder what sort of mischief he might get up to". Throughout his years, Dahl had held a profound respect for doctors and especially those who pioneered new treatments and hence, dedicated his book to 'doctors everywhere'. Some may argue that this book is a precursor for our modern times, with numerous new advancements in scientific remedies being referred to as a magic, just like George's potion. Shake & stir theatre company have created a kid's paradise on stage, with just five actors and a spectacular creative team. The piece is a modern adaptation of Roald Dahl's book of the same name and follows the misadventures of eight-year-old George Kranky in attempting to make a medicine that transforms his Grandma into a nice person. In this potion, George adds everything he can get his hands including shoe polish, engine oil and toothpaste, boils it and gives it to his Grandma, who grows the size of the set. In a recent interview, director Ross Balbuziente claimed that 'the book was one of [his] favourites growing up as a kid and his passion is reflected in the quality of the work on stage and in his direction of his actors. Nick Skubij played such a believable mischievous eight-year-old boy, that it's hard for me to believe that he could be capable of playing such a powerhouse villain like Dracula, who I've been delighted to have seen him play both times the production came to Brisbane. From the gestures, to the facial expressions, to his changes in tone...you could tell that Skubij had committed hours of research to the role, to bring such truth to his portrayal. Leon Cain's depiction of Grandma was perhaps not as dark as Dahl intended, but on old grouch nonetheless who to me, read as a satire on adult-kind's often unrealistic expectations from children. Nelle Lee and Tim Dashwood played George's parents and added much humour for both the children and especially the adults. They were both buzzing on stage with energy and it was a joy to watch them interact with each other. However, the star of the show, was Johnny Balbuziente as Nugget, whose physicality was seamless. Consequently, it was very sad to see George's mother (Nelle Lee) swallow him up whole when the marvellous medicine had transformed him into a chicken nugget. Moreover, John McInTosh's set design is very clever and probably the most versatile set design I have ever seen. It's construed of a plethora of jumbled shelves representing George's farmhouse, crammed with an assortment of items associated with domestic life. Attached to the shelves was a series of moving panels, large enough for the actors in weave in and out of as they seamlessly transitioned from room to room, and quite often climbed on top of it as well. It was like an enormous jungle gym and all the kids (and adults) in the audience were yearning to play on it. Jason Glenwright's lighting design features a kaleidoscope of colours, with the walls of the set being decorated with an array of lights which flicker on and off throughout the performance, especially throughout the hilarious banter on stage. It further aids to create the magical atmosphere of Dahl's picturesque world on stage. 55 minutes in this Dahlian world is enough to fill up with enough colour and imagination to last a lifetime. Rating: 5 stars George's Marvellous Medicine Directed by Ross Balbuziente Performed by shake & stir theatre company Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) Running until 5th September 2018 Tickets: https://www.qpac.com.au/event/george_marvellous_medicine_18/

Totally F*CK*N* AmazingTotally F*CK*N* Amazing
August 25, 2018

I am speechless. Awe-struck. At a loss of words. What an astounding production. I don't know how I'll fit all of my thoughts in one review. But I'll give it my best shot.

JASPER JONES at Queensland TheatreJASPER JONES at Queensland Theatre
August 15, 2018

Jasper Jones is one of my favourite works of Australian literature. When I first read it, I couldn't put it down. I was waiting with Charlie for Jasper Jones to appear and struggling to keep it together like Eliza when she tells Charlie the story of what lead her sister to her death. Directed by Artistic Director Sam Strong, Queensland Theatre's production of Jasper Jones left me wanting more.

Astoundingly BEAUTIFULAstoundingly BEAUTIFUL
August 11, 2018


The Arrival - An Elegant Lesson in StorytellingThe Arrival - An Elegant Lesson in Storytelling
July 10, 2018

The narrative is a fantastical depiction of an immigration tale; following a man who ventures solo to a foreign country in search of a better life for himself and his family. In the strange new land he's confronted with a myriad of obstacles and spectacles, goes on a few adventures and along the way meets other characters each with their own stories and histories to tell. In keeping with the graphic novel - which doesn't include text, dialogue in The Arrival is sparse - and what little there is appears to be in an incomprehensible language (which I later discover is based on English words with certain letters swapped around to change the sound). The story is told through movement, mime, and puppetry - performed by a cohesive and remarkably versatile ensemble (comprising of a mix of Brisbane dance artists and Red Leap company members) equally capable at slapstick mime, puppetry, and intense acrobatic scenes. The Arrival is a sensory treat from start to finish, owing a to a production team that's not only individually capable but collaborate to a level such that the results far transcends the sum of its parts. John Verryt's set design is not only strikingly beautiful with a surreal, Tim Burton-esque aesthetic, but ingeniously clever and unconventional. Jeremy Fern's lighting design completes the visual aesthetic with an expansive palette that includes mottled blue and violet for night-time scenes to warm amber for the daytime, with bolder iterations of both towards the climactic end. Lighting and set design coordinate to produce something emergent when facilitating the various kinds of puppetry - particularly the kinds relying on light and shadow. Andrew McMillan's composition and sound design adds to the film-like quality of The Arrival, with a soundscape that ranges from whimsical percussion and poignant instrumental, to terror and despair distilled into aural form. The journey on stage in The Arrival extends beyond the narrative; it is also a journey into the transportive qualities of live theatre at its best, of the expressive capabilities of movement and mime, and the seemingly limitless range of the kinds of magic that can happen on stage. Behind the fantasy-like story on the surface lies weighty, pertinent themes that adults can appreciate; showing that theatre can be relevant yet still fun. The Arrival is a one-of-the-kind theatre experience that will leave an indelible impression on audience members young and old, and a fantastic introduction to the world of theatre.



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