Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

REVIEW: Kim Ho's THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY Doesn't Seek To Add To The List But Rather Challenge Them

THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY

REVIEW: Kim Ho's THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY Doesn't Seek To Add To The List But Rather Challenge Them

Thursday 22nd September 2022, 7:30pm, Old Fitz Theatre

Challenging the question of what causes a piece of theatre to be afforded the reputation of THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY, this new work from Kim Ho is a reflection on his own work being elevated then swiftly challenged. Following a pre-covid Melbourne season in January 2020, this work has been updated and reworked for the 2022 Old Fitz season.

After Kim Ho's Patrick White Playwrights' Award-winning work MIRROR'S EDGE debuted he received accolades but also ire that his work skirted over the darker issues in Australia's history. This raised awareness appears to have prompted the purpose of THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY. Centering on the legend of the elusive Lasseter Reef, a gold deposit claimed to be discovered by Harold Lasseter in 1897 but never located on subsequent expeditions, at first the work feels like it just going to be a satirical look at the creative process that goes into creating a television series. Set over two acts, the work, after the interval however morphs into a more complex and mysterious revolve as the storytelling process with regards to works seeking to capture the essence of Australia are pulled apart.

After a wonderfully presented monologue delivered by Kurt Pimblett which sets up the legend of Lasseter's Reef, the modern-day story is initially set in a rented conference room. With Screen Oz funding secured for a television series, five writers have convened to write the 'series bible' for a show about Harold Lasseter and the search for gold in the Northern Territory or Western Australian desert. Eli (Idam Sondhi) appears to be managing the group while having ideas of creating an action movie while Cal (May Tran) is an acclaimed playwright that has been lured away from stage to screen for this project. Geb (Lucinda Howes) is based on Gina Erin Bozovski, an award-winning screenwriter with a tainted reputation while Ash (Rachel Seto) is an inexperienced writer who has been assigned to the project because of her father's connections, much to the displeasure of the rest. Rounding out the quintet is Dem (Pimblett), a mysterious but persistent member who seems different to his 21st century colleagues. The second half of the work throws the performers into a recreation of a play about 1930's Australia reminiscent of Cal's concern that her one significant work, written in her 20's will go on to be included in school syllabus, restaged by companies like Sydney Theatre Company every decade and be regarded as another great Australian play.

Drawing on Ho's own personal experiences, with a cameo on screen, and other real stories, THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY challenges the notion of whether the works considered to be great Australian works are really just telling the same story and that there is nothing new to say. It also raises the question of representation and recognition in writing with the aide of Shari Seben's "appearing" via a zoom meeting. Snippets of the works that have become part of school syllabus and are generally considered great Australian works are woven in the work and add to the mysteriousness of the work as it shifts from comic to thriller.

While a play should generally stand alone without reference to director or writer's notes, THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY does benefit from reading these messages and the appendices to the online program. When this information is paired with the performance, THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY shifts from intriguing but bizarre to holding more meaning and purpose.

https://www.montaguebasement.com/the-great-australian-play-program-old-fitz#gap22directors

https://www.redlineproductions.com.au/the-great-australian-play


Vote Now for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Australia - Sydney Awards
voting ends in



Latest Standings Released For The 2022 BroadwayWorld Australia - Sydney Awards; Seymour Ce Photo
The latest standings as of Monday, December 5th, have been released for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Australia - Sydney Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favorites.

Les Celebrates 25 Years With Musical Highlights Show To Benefit Actors Benevolent Fund Photo
Les Solomon created his talent management company Lambert House Enterprises in 1996. It added an acting agency in 1997 (25 years ago) and has flourished since with so many famous performers who have grown and had their careers developed by Les and his staff.

Phunktional Presents BEYOND THE WALLS 2022 Photo
Celebrated Australian arts company Phunktional will bring their extraordinary dance work, Beyond the Walls to Eagle Vale High School on December 10th, and Sydney Dance Company on December 14th and 15th, 2022.

WIND IN THE WILLOWS Comes to Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in January Photo
Come along this summer and meet Ratty, Mole, Badger, Otter, Portly,  and Mr Toad as they bring Kenneth Grahame's immortal story of life on the riverbank to life in Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden from 5 to 22 January 2023.


From This Author - Jade Kops

Jade is an Aviation Safety Training Instructor with a love of Theatre, Cabaret, Musical Theatre, and music and is a committed advocate for the live performing arts industry in Sydney and Australia.... (read more about this author)


BWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET ITBWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
November 25, 2022

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT is an energetic, quintessential Broadway theatre work. Mitchell has captured that traditional stage musical essence with aplomb and has injected a fresh, in the moment, vibrancy.

BWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On ART + INFORMATIONBWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On ART + INFORMATION
November 20, 2022

Art + Information merges to explore connectedness. This production brings the insights and discoveries of a TED talk along with the artistry of the theatrical stage.

REVIEW: COME FROM AWAY Opens At The Theatre Royal For An Encore Sydney SeasonREVIEW: COME FROM AWAY Opens At The Theatre Royal For An Encore Sydney Season
November 10, 2022

Sydney is treated to an encore season of Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s (Book, Music and Lyrics) multi award winning musical COME FROM AWAY as the Australian production opens as the Theatre Royal. 

REVIEW: The Classic Fairytale Is Given A Contemporary Twist In Rogers And Hammerstein's CINDERELLAREVIEW: The Classic Fairytale Is Given A Contemporary Twist In Rogers And Hammerstein's CINDERELLA
November 9, 2022

Following on from its 2013 Broadway premiere, Douglas Carter Beane’s (Book) stage adaptation of Richard Rodgers (Music) and Oscar Hammerstein II’s (Lyrics and book) CINDERELLA waltzes onto the Lyric stage to captivate Sydney audiences of all ages.

REVIEW: Presenting An Insight Into The Late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Of The United States, Heather Mitchell Shines In RBG: OF MANY, ONEREVIEW: Presenting An Insight Into The Late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Of The United States, Heather Mitchell Shines In RBG: OF MANY, ONE
November 8, 2022

REVIEW: Presenting An Insight Into The Late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Of The United States, Heather Mitchell Shines In RBG: OF MANY, ONE