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The Independent Weekly
October 16 - 22, 2009
1) Moon Poem II
to tilt stars
in cosmic winks
while pearl moon
its oyster of blackness.
2) The Piano Player
With delicate fingers
caressing the melodies
of Mozart from a baby grand
he closes his eyes
and wishes himself far
from the animal chatter
of the lunch-time herd
as they slurp soft drinks
graze on hot-dogs and fries
imagines the lobby
of a fast food emporium
is a Viennese concert hall.
As well as poetry 1) Adrian Flavell & 2)
Graham Catt write children s fiction.
Readers unpublished poems to 30 lines can be
emailed with postal address to poetscorner@
independentweekly.com.au or posted with an
SAE to the Poetry Editor, Independent Weekly,
GPO Box 114 Adelaide 5001. A poetry book will
be awarded to each contributor.
POET S CORNER Compiled by John Miles
RUING SIGMOID FORCE
EJECTS RAMPAGE LEGS
LAUD LITHELY ENGULF
NAILS APPEASE OWING
Solutions from 10
Unseen Theatre Company s
stage adaptation of Terry
Pratchet s The Last Continent
is set in Fourecks -- a place very
like Australia, but which is not
The overall feel is something like
a cross between Hitchhiker s Guide
to the Galaxy and Harry Potter.
Director Pamela Munt has done
a good job of adapting the novel for
stage and condensing the rather
complex plot into a two-hour show.
The play opens in Discworld ("a
place where anything can happen
or even not happen"), where the
wizards of the Unseen University
are facing a perplexing dilemma
after their librarian turned into an
In order to work magic on
him, they need his name. But
unfortunately, no one seems to
know it -- except Rincewind, our
Rincewind is living in Fourecks
-- a red desert that is unbearably
hot; the flies are dreadful and it
never rains. Also, time doesn t play
fair in Fourecks. The wizards set
off in search of Rincewind and end
up 20,000 years back in time.
It s now up to Rincewind to save
the wizards and Discworld, and
bring the rains back to Fourecks.
The only problem is that he
doesn t want to be a hero.
In his words: "Dead is only once
... but running away is forever."
Following a Tolkien-esque
hero s journey, Rincewind is
assisted by a magical kangaroo
and a crocodile that runs the
Sending up both Australian
legends and stereotypes, he
parodies Mad Max and The Man
from Snowy River, and steals the
jumbuck that led to our unof-
ficial national anthem, Waltzing
Matilda, all on his journey to the
town of Buggerup.
There are some great one-
liners as the reluctant hero forges
through desserts, beers and
pie floaters. Alastair Preece is
exceptional as Rincewind, as are
the other versatile cast members,
most of whom adopt several roles.
Terry Pratchet has written 36
novels in the Discworld series
and The Last Continent is the
eighteenth play to be performed by
the Unseen Theatre Company.
Perhaps what lends real
authenticity to this particular
adaptation is that the author gave
express permission to Pamela
Munt to adapt the novel from
"I am honoured by his trust in
me and am sure that it has nothing
to do with an idea which he may or
may not have had that I know more
about Australia than he does," she
The Last Continent is showing
at the Bakehouse Theatre until
October 24 and is a great night out
for those who like their theatre
full of thong-wearing wizards, pie
floaters and Australian humour.
Comfort of old classics
State Theatre Company
artistic director Adam Cook
wants going to the theatre
to be like buying something for
yourself -- an occasional treat that
makes you feel a bit better about
It shouldn t be such a surprise
then that Cook admits the State
Theatre Company s 2010 season of
plays is more conservative than
previous programs. He has built
his 2010 range around the theme
"Let me take you away from all
The line-up of eight plays
does seem to follow an old-
favourites formula, with the
inclusion of masters in the form
of Shakespeare and Miller, knife-
twistingly black British comedy
from Joe Orton and a couple of
The company faces many
challenges for 2010. Not only will
it be pitted against the combined
might of the Adelaide Fringe,
the Adelaide Festival and all the
associated glitz, it is also pitching
theatre to a public with less
This, said Cook, was the reason
for pulling back from the more
extreme pieces and bringing in
some comfortable classics. "There
are some standout comedies next
year, and a musical and a classic
drama," he said.
"In light of people maybe
being more conservative about
what they can afford in terms
of entertainment, we went with
these kinds of pieces."
Although not exactly an experi-
ment, the State Theatre Company
is boasting something different
this year with a foray into musical
The Sapphires tells the story of
Australia s first Motown-esque
girl group -- indigenous sisters
spotted by a talent scout in 1968.
Cook explained that musicals
weren t usually on the State
Theatre Company s agenda.
"It s so expensive to have
musicals," he said.
"You add a musical director and
a full band to production costs.
We re collaborating with the
Adelaide Festival, A Black Swan
Theatre Company and Company
B on this. When you collaborate
with other companies, you can
The cast for the produc-
tion includes Australian
singers Christine Anu and Casey
Donovan, who will sing some of
Motown s most famous hits under
the direction of Wesley Enoch.
Cook will direct two of the
season s pieces, Entertaining
Mr Sloane and The Price, but he
speaks more mischievously of a
challenge he s issued to his associ-
ate director, Geordie Brookman.
"Geordie hadn t done a
Shakespeare so I told him he
can have six actors, now pick a
Shakespeare; we are trying to
see how ingenious we can be. He
picked Romeo and Juliet."
These four pieces are
accompanied by Toy Symphony
from Australian playwright
Michael Gow, broadway hit God of
Carnage, Tony McNamara s cyni-
cal comedy The Give and Take and
one-woman show The 7 Stages of
Grieving to complete the season,
which kicks off in January.
Thong-wearing wizards summon Aussie spirit
The Last Continent.
The State Theatre Company s line-up
for next year includes The Sapphires
and Romeo and Juliet.
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