Home' InDaily : May 28th 2010 Contents May 28 - June 3, 2010
The Independent Weekly arts
THROB ASPERSE POSED
ADORES AIT GIGANTIC
L ENCHANT G
ANACONDA EMU BANANA
ARCHAIC AVAIL ENNUI
EDITS TASTE CRIMSON
IDEALS DEE TELLTALE
E GREMLIN E
ROSEMARY SEC UGANDA
DITTY ECHIDNA EMEND
I like the smiling Duplo man
In his plastic Duplo land
In his little Duplo car
Crossing where the boom-gates are
Honey-haired Duplo porter
Gramps and Nanna s Duplo daughter
Ever-smiling, working there
For passenger on his plastic chair
Sam, the driver of the train
Coming round the track again
Always smiling, brings it through
Feet stuck out, knows what to do
In the Duplo sun and rain
People playing games again
Duplo ambulance coming round
Picking someone off the ground
Yes, things go wrong in Duplo land
Sometimes things get out of hand
Yet Doctor, Driver, patient, too,
Smile and smile the whole day through
I wish to join the child in there
With her smiling Duplo Bear
In a simple world that s lots of fun
And play in the shining Duplo sun.
Heather Lee, another Poet s Corner
contributor from the Adelaide Hills,
teaches Indonesian at primary school.
Reader unpublished poems to 30 lines can be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
Vesalius: a Requiem is a
confusing but fascinating
Stuck somewhere between
play, live music performance
and live autopsy, it s bound to
raise a wide range of audience
"It s a new form, really," says
composer Richard Chew.
"It s a choral theatre piece.
There s a choir of 16 with a
backing track of music and then
there s myself and Philip Griffin,
both as singers, and we re in
the space with the main actor
Graeme Rose, who s playing the
For those not versed in the
tawdry history of anatomy,
Vesalius is the modern body s
founding father. He explored the
human body through autopsy
and produced the first book
accurately and scientifically
depicting its parts.
The play uses Vesalius as a
centre but looks at his work from
the perspective of the modern
post-mortem, with a good
measure of the Catholic mass for
the dead thrown in.
It was first performed in
London 14 years ago. Chew and
Rose were part of the original
"Having both looked at
anatomy, we discovered there
were two very distinct ways of
looking at the dead. The early
anatomists were looking for the
house of the dead person s soul,
not just studying the body," Chew
"There was also a political
problem with the church provid-
ing corpses for the dissection. In
the early days all the bodies came
from felons. So we combined all
these perceptions of the dead
into the piece."
Fittingly, it was performed
at the Old Operating Theatre
Museum when it showed in
London. In Adelaide it will come
to RiAus (Royal Institution of
An improvised theatre-
in-the-round style stage has
been arranged to re-create the
atmosphere of the autopsy room.
"There s a great audio visual
system at RiAus. It s beyond
anything you d find in a theatre,"
Chew says. "We ll be using that,
and our lighting designer is also
a video artist and he s doing a lot
of animations to be projected."
To accurately re-create the
modern aspects of autopsy, Chew
and his production fellows have
been on grisly research trips.
"We ve been to the forensic
pathology department and had
people who perform post-
mortems taking us through the
sequence," he says.
"We ve been quite authentic in
terms of how it s done here. We
also went to the anatomy room at
Flinders [University] and there
were a couple of bodies there that
we observed being dissected."
The Vesalius audience needn t
be made of the same kind of stern
stuff. Humour is prevalent in the
play and much of it is invoked
by the use of vegetables as a
substitute for organs. Vegetables
apparently resemble the struc-
tural aspects of many organs.
"We avoid all the CSI (crime
scene investigation) stuff,"
Chew says. "When you go to the
mortuary here it s a lot more
prosaic: they use shears from
Bunnings and things like that. We
represent that but there s not a
drop of blood."
An autopsy without blood --
fascinating and confusing.
Vesalius: a Requiem plays at
RiAus between June 2 and 6.
Solutions from 8
Theatre on the
of poetry make
up this interes
into one does
not work, but
This is due to their shared clarity of
thought and expression.
I have seen Jill Gower s work before,
and honesty is her strength. There s
no artifice here, and her poems are all
the more expressive and stronger for
it. Maeve Archibald shares the same
traits, like having no fear of stepping
outside supposed 5-7-5 rules of English
In unity in diversity, both poets have
expressed themselves well. Maeve s
poems "Once" and "Planting Seeds",
for example, are gems of brevity and
strength. Jill s "To the Edge of the
Earth" and "Coming Home" had me
looking out that plane window, seeing
it all once again.
A fine little book.
-- John Miles
Brand New Lino, $15
BOOK REVIEW Elastic Time & Hints
of Silver, Jill Gower and Maeve Archibald
Vesalius: a Requiem looks
at the anatomy of autopsy.
ir work togethe r.
PRESENTED BY KAY AND MCLEAN PRODUCTIONS PTY LTD, ARNOLD M CROOK, PAUL ELLIOTT, NIGEL EVERETT AND DUNCAN C WELDON IN ASSOCIATION WITH HVK PRODUCTIONS AND MICHAEL COPPEL
IAN MCKELLEN ROGER REES
MATTHEW KELLY BRENDAN O'HEA
HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE FROM 9 JUNE BASS.NET.AU 131 246
10 MAY 2010
OPENS IN 12 DAYS - 6 PERFORMANCES ONLY!
filled with pathos
...If there is a
15 MAY 2010
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