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February 12 - 18, 2010
The Independent Weekly
They are absent from this photograph
the things that came between us: silence
and the way it breathed in sleep, shadows
crossing our minds and the cold wells
of eyes no longer seeking. They are absent
from this photograph, this time of love
when sunlight from water caught our glance,
held us, consumed us in the eyes of strangers
bright love, charting a course like the caiques
bold and shining, heading to sea around us.
Loosely tensioned wires
transform the breeze to night sound
invisible busker close
to the sea s bold orchestra.
Ann Nadge, resettled in Adelaide after 21 years
in Sydney, has her fifth volume of poetry about
to be released by Ginninderra Press. Ann is a
member of Mostly Poets, based at Mostly Books
Reader unpublished poems to 30 lines can be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
Solutions from 10
Pirate Latitudes, Michael Crichton
After Michael Crichton s death in 2008, a
treasure trove was discovered in his files.
A complete manuscript isn t a finished
novel and, in truth, Pirate Latitudes reads
like an early draft. However, a posthumous
novel by one of world s bestselling authors
is as good as gold doubloons to a publisher.
What s more, it is enough for Steven
Spielberg to plunder the tale and gain the
movie rights to this buried booty.
of Crichton s
books, this is a
based in Port
plot could be
stronger, there is a lot of enjoyment to be
had in the book s undemanding narrative,
and by setting it in a semi-factual history
circa 1655, Crichton has, oddly enough,
managed to write his most accessible book
in many years.
Written in clean, straightforward prose
and without a deep emotional layering, it s
naturally flawed. Yet whatever else it is,
it s a ripping yarn about pirates, treasure
galleons and even a sea monster. Readers
who enjoy adventure stories will find
much to savour in this not-totally-original
yet very entertaining work.
Some scenes -- especially those featuring
protagonist Captain Edward Hunter and
his cut-throat crew as they hunt down
Spanish treasure -- are brilliant, while
other sections devolve to the pedestrian,
and slightly mar the overall quality of the
tale. But there s enough here for Spielberg
to get his teeth into and one suspects the
forthcoming film will be more lusty, witty
and rollicking than the book.
As far as Crichton s novel is concerned,
ultimately, Pirate Latitudes isn t a great
book but it s a good read.
-- Stephen Davenport
INDEED CAR ALBACORE
N DURABLE L
GREEDIER PET KIDNAP
HOUNDED ADIEU RIVER
AMISS ANTIC MENACED
YIELDS TEA DISTASTE
E CONTROL R
EXPANDED EAR BIKINI
Adelaide-based theatre company Slingsby
makes just one show each year, but the
time is never wasted.
In 12 months, a play is lovingly nursed
from a just-hatched concept into a full-blown,
world-conquering piece of theatre.
"With Slingsby, we tend to have a long lead
time on shows. We tend to really invest in
the development of the work because we aim
to make work that has a life," says company
director Andy Packer.
Slingsby is less than a month away from
seeing last year s work take shape on stage.
Its play, Man Covets Bird, will premiere at
the Adelaide Festival as part of the Festival
Centre s inSPACE program. It, like the other
Slingsby plays which came before, was born of
the creative partnership between Packer and
playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer.
"My original concept was to make a work
based on an image and then fit in other ideas to
weave together a story," Packer says.
He found his perfect image one day while
leafing through a magazine called The Believer.
"It s a very, very simple sketch drawing of
a man in a suit in a fairly bare room holding a
bird. I was just curious as to who this man was
and what his relationship to the bird was."
Since then, Packer has locked down a concept
and Kruckemeyer has locked down a script.
Man Covets Bird is a one-man show about a
boy who wakes up having mysteriously grown
up, and a bird that cannot fly. As a team, they
travel into a world they hadn t really known.
Packer says the piece doesn t shy away from
"We try to make work that really
acknowledges the pain of human existence but
ultimately provides all the infinite wonder and
possibility of the universe," he says.
The Slingsby team has brought together
these themes with the sense of magic and
fantasy that fascinates children. Music and
innovative design build the world around man
"One of the design elements is us working
with People s Republic of Animation," says
This local design company has recently been
made famous by its work on the short animated
film The Cat Piano.
"They re creating a couple of animated
sequences as background, as part of the set,"
Packer says. "The whole back wall becomes a
factory. The whole back wall begins moving as
if you re on a train."
Designer Wendy Todd and Geoff Cobham
will integrate the animation work with
set elements inspired by the industrial
photography of Wolfgang Sievers, one of
Packer s inspirations when conceptualising
Man Covets Bird.
The stage itself will be occupied by lone actor
Nathan O Keefe and a trio of live musicians.
"Live music on stage is a great experience
and a young audience might not have had much
experience with that," Packer says.
The score is original and composed by
Quentin Grant, who is joined on stage
by vocalist Steve Lennox and multi-
instrumentalist Gareth Chin.
After the play s premiere at the Adelaide
Festival, Slingsby will invite a number of
international curators to see Man Covets Bird,
with an eye to showing it internationally.
Slingsby s first production, The Tragical
Life of Cheeseboy, has been internationally
acclaimed and is still touring. Packer hopes
some of the connections he s made overseas
will also be interested in his latest work.
"The way we work is we think art is a
complex beast and if you knew every show
was going to be a winner there wouldn t be
much point," he says. "We prefer to say this is
the show we re making at the moment and it s
going be great, so come and have a look and if
you like it, buy it."
But first it will show in Adelaide for adults
and children alike.
Man Covets Bird plays from March 3-7 at the
Space Theatre. The Adelaide Festival opens on
Slingsby soars to
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