Home' InDaily : July 23rd 2010 Contents arts www.independentweekly.com.au
The Independent Weekly
July 23 - 29, 2010
COBRA RADICAL MANNA
IMPLICIT TIL SONNET
T CETACEA U
ACACIA ART OVERCAME
ICTUS EAGLE CREATES
NEEDLED DATED USURP
RESUMING SEA LEADER
E DETESTS T
ATHENA TIC EIGHTEEN
DOING PARADED LURED
Solutions from 10
Spring 1944. Waiting for D-Day.
A beautiful spring mor ning on the South Coast.
Blue sky, war m breeze, the only noise
the cawing of the rooks outside the Vicarage.
Far overhead a white trail splits the sky
steadily silent towards the naval base.
Too high for fighters. Out of range for ack-ack
suddenly within range of the naval gunners.
White puffs around the vapour trail; flash.
End of puffs, end of trail. Teenage exultation.
Like I said; a beautiful spring morning.
The sun is eight light-minutes away
Its war mth takes eight minutes to reach us.
But you are close to me; with five senses
I can see you, touch you, hear you,
smell you, taste you.
One can do a lot in eight minutes
Before getting sunburnt.
Tony Foskett is a retired professor of Library & Information
Management who has taught in Britain, the US and Austra-
lia. His book for library studies has been used world-wide as
a syllabus text both in English and translation.
Reader unpublished poems to 30 lines can be emailed with
postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
If you failed high school
French, you can probably still
work out that Les Trois Dumas
means The Three Dumas, but it s
unlikely that will help you under-
stand what the latest Independent
Theatre play is about.
Rob Croser, company director
and director of this piece, is
familiar with the meaning of
Dumas and he s a little surprised
to find that not everyone else is.
"People don t automatically get
what you re talking about until
you say The Three Musketeers
and the Count of Monte Cristo,"
A. Dumas authored both of
these revered texts. Alexandre
Dumas Senior was a French
author in the 1800s and his
works remain some of the most
recognised French literature. His
son, Alexandre Dumas Junior,
was also an author, most famous
for his novel The Lady of the
Camellias -- it was adapted for the
stage, retitled Camile for Western
audiences and inspired Verdi s
opera La Traviata.
Dumas Senior s father was
a different proposition. Part
Afro-Caribbean and part French,
had a distinguished career in
Napolean s army.
It is the collision and intersec-
tion of the three generations
which inspired Les Trois Dumas.
American playwright Charles
Smith set to work after reading a
book recommended by a friend.
"A good friend of mine, an
actor, called me one day out of the
blue and asked me if I knew about
the story and he gave me the title
of a book to read," he says.
"I can see now the reason he
asked me to read the book was
probably because Dumas Senior
resembles him a lot and he would
have liked the role."
However, through a series
of unfortunate coincidences,
Smith s friend has always been
busy with other work when
the play has been produced. He
missed the two major produc-
tions in America and will miss
Independent Theatre s Australian
Instead, David Roach, one of
the co-founders of the company,
will play the role of Dumas
Senior. Shedrick Yarkpai, another
Independent Theatre regular, will
play Thomas-Alexandre, while
newcomer Peter Cortissos takes
on the role of Dumas Junior.
Smith says including new
actors has broadened his
understanding of his own work.
"It adds a great deal because I
always have an idea of what that
particular actor can do and when
someone else plays it, it gives me
an insight into what I ve written
that s far more nuanced than the
understanding I had before."
The style of this play is a little
different from the many histori-
cal works Smith has produced
over the past two decades.
This time he decided to
incorporate some of the stylistic
trademarks of Dumas Senior s
writing into his work.
"I read a lot of his writing and
then I started to realise that the
play I was going to write should
mirror his writing style, instead
of just having one bit in his style
as an example," he says.
The end result is what Smith
labels "my interpretation
of Dumas", set in the lavish
trappings of the era.
Croser says it s a "big produc-
tion" for Independent Theatre to
work on because of the demands
of the period setting.
"We re very fortunate in that
we have two amazingly talented
women who have made all of the
"One is a trained tailor from
"The men s suits have all been
tailored for them, the women s
massive crinoline dresses have all
been handmade," he says.
And there ll be sword fights,
Les Trois Dumas shows at the
Odeon Theatre from July 23 to 31.
yes, but only
if you like a
of-consciousness in your writing.
Built around the endlessly frustrat-
ing Milo Burke, a 40-something,
would-be artist, The Ask is populated
by odd characters all seemingly
hellbent on making Milo s life more
Employed, then sacked, then re-hired
by an underperforming New York
university, Milo s brief is to procure
money from wealthy benefactors (or
"Asks"). He s failing miserably at his
job, but the chance re-appearance of an
old college buddy (who is now enor-
mously rich) gives Milo an opportunity
to redeem himself and get his career
back on track.
Lipsyte s work is riddled with acerbic
comments on capitalism, the corpora-
tisation of education, the folly of war
and the difficulties of child-rearing.
But it s hard to empathise with Milo as
he bumbles his way through a series of
increasingly bizarre events.
Comparisons have been made with
Dave Eggers and Bret Easton Ellis, but
in terms of its offerings of surreal,
detached characters, The Ask is
perhaps more in line with Pynchon or
Kesey. Or Bukowski.
There s no doubt this is a fine work
of American fiction, but there s an
unshakeable sense of the derivative-
ness of these other writers.
Perhaps there is nothing new under
-- Peter C. Pugsley
BOOK REVIEW The Ask, Sam Lipsyte
for the theatre
and David Roach
as Les Trois
Links Archive July 22nd 2010 July 26th 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page