Home' InDaily : August 20th 2010 Contents Solution No. 248
CAROM LANCERS GARBS
RABBLE UNCTION RATS
MARC GABBING ARCHED
ICHOR LEIPZIG ALAMO
Solutions from 10
The Wandering Border
One of my ancestors was born in Poland; or,
yet another time it was White Russia, even
romantic Ruthenia, all depending on which
conquest or war was current. But he was a young
cavalry lieutenant from a good family who got
involved in the vain glory of the Cadets Insurrection
dreamers-all who charged the Tzar s cannon mouths.
The survivors were either sent in chains to Siberia
or if lucky escaped to become penniless refugees
in Whitechapel s east end of London. Not that
such things matter, but they are thoughts that do
come to me when reading the poetry of Jaan Kaplinski:
the Doneshta apples of the foothills in high summer,
the ripened grain of autumn s endless plains, both
awaiting there in breathless hush and love
for the harvesters of a peacetime just for a change.
Another forebear, was one of eleven sisters,
the daughters of a laborer from a village in East Anglia,
so that it would seem my bloodline is good mixed;
which I m told is not a bad thing, both for the prospect
of longevity, and perhaps the holding of balanced views.
Once again, not that it matters, especially so now,
in these ever-quickening and passing years. Instead,
what is important are the memories of you
combing out your hair in the mor ning,
watching you bathe our child in the after noon,
the taste of the cool hard water from the far m well
after we d worked and loved each other.
Reader unpublished poems to 30 lines can be emailed with
postal address to email@example.com or
posted with an SAE to the Poetry Editor, Independent Weekly,
GPO Box 114 Adelaide 5001. A poetry book will be awarded to
POET S CORNER Compiled by John Miles
The Independent Weekly
August 20 - 26, 2010
The ol identical twin scenario
gets a good workout in this
modestly engaging whodunnit
from Dutch "crime queen"
Simone van der Vlugt.
The decidedly middle-class
twin sisters Lydia and Elisa are
set on different paths in life.
Married career-mum Lydia works
in a language school, encounter-
ing difficult and sometimes
hostile students. Carefree artist
Elisa is content with her barely
surviving studio, drawing from
the generosity of her brother-in-
law s successful business.
When a central character is
violently murdered, the book
takes on a sombre tone. With
chapters alternating between the
two sisters points of view, there
are red herrings aplenty.
While an easy and at times
suspenseful read, I couldn t shake
the feeling that the obviously
British translation dulled some
of the dialogue. Playing with
themes of sibling rivalry, jealousy
and multiculturalism, Shadow
Sister manages to unsettle the
reader before arriving at a hasty
-- Peter C. Pugsley
■ Text Publishing, $32.95
In the tradition of the word,
the turning point of the day
foreshadows what the world
of the play will become. As the
warmth retreats the scene feels
familiar, but more threatening.
Dark in humour, monotone in
aesthetic and heavy in themes, the
latest Brink Productions play is a
gothic journey through the night,
but director Chris Drummond is
wary of scaring away audiences
with all the dark talk.
"That s not really the point
of the piece," he said. "What
it s about is the transition from
innocence into the opposite
of innocence. Whether that s
knowledge and experience or
shame and guilt is dependent on
Despite the weighty message
and comparisons with the content
of irony-deficient cultural icons
such as True Blood and Twilight,
it would seem Harbinger is still
good for a laugh.
"Matt (Whittet, the playwright)
has got a brilliant ear for the way
people talk. I just love the fact that
what is being said on stage is how
people actually talk and there s
a lot of very funny but still dark
humour in there," Drummond
Talking about Harbinger is
proving difficult for Drummond
because "the fuel of it is surprise",
but he does have a vision of the
people who will enjoy it most.
"Anyone who likes theatre to
be theatre rather TV on stage will
like this," he said.
The difference comes from
Brink s treatment of the play but
also originates in the ink of Matt
Whittet s pen. His style of writing
is innately dramatic.
Another of his works, Fugitive,
was recently premiered in
Adelaide by children s theatre
company Windmill. Drummond
said the pieces are similar in
intensity, but distinctive in
"Fugitive was a big smorgas-
board of physical playfulness.
This is like the mirror opposite;
it s very precise and has very
clear, direct storytelling and
a stronger sense of cause and
effect," he said.
In this narrower and more
suffocating world, male
protagonist Chris happens upon
a girl in distress on a street at
dusk. Maddy is bleeding and
disoriented and as she and Chris
try to work out what happened to
her the play unfolds around them.
Although Harbinger wasn t
treated with Brink s normal
extensive development and
collaboration process, the three-
hand cast has been involved from
the very start.
"As soon as we had the first
draft we did the casting and then
made sure those actors were
part of workshopping. That was
important because they re three
huge roles," Drummond said.
Local Nathan O Keefe,
Melbourne actor Yael Stone and
Sydney-sider Alex Menglet were
hand-picked after a national
"The Maddy character goes
through a physical and emotional
transformation and has to be
able to range from comedy to
this really remote emotional
and traumatic place as well,"
"All the actors have to be able
to invest in some fantastical ideas
and make the audience believe
them. Really good actors will do
Harbinger is promising an
unusual mix -- Twilight with a
sense of humour, a serious theme,
some good acting and a theatrical
If it delivers, it ll be worth
seeing. Probably more than once.
BOOK REVIEW Shadow Sister, Simone van der Vlugt
Director Chris Drummond
works with actor Yael
Stone as the pair try to
perfect things during a
rehearsal for dark comedy
Harbinger. Photo: Kate Elmes.
Gothic play with
sense of humour
theatre to be
TV on stage
will like this
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