Theatre is there for people to attend. Too often however, opportunities are lost by misguided conceptions as to the probable worth of shows. Indeed, this is especially so in the case of student theatre.
I have been fortunate to be in the audience at a number of impressive works this year. Vena Cava Productions’ 2013 season opener “Jerusalem”, (written by Michael Gurr ) had its performance flaws, however, was a fine Australian play telling three stories interwoven through the issues of politics, justice, personal morality and the ‘unfairness’ of life, well-staged in terms of its aged-paper-covered props.
The highlight, however, has to have been Vena Cava Productions’ work in progress “Anita Elizabeth Jenson” (the name, the marvel, the majesty) at La Boite’s Festival of Student Theatre. (It made sitting through the Flinders University’s contrived “What Seems Like a Lifetime Ago” and Sydney University’s tedious “Krapp’s Last Tape” almost worthwhile.) Though only presented as a reading, this character piece was rich in nuance and laugh-out-loud humour and I can only hope to see its tale of a tragic ageing celebrity fully realised on stage in the future.
Sure, seeing student theatre can be a gamble. Thankfully though, the price of a loss is never that high. And when you have a win, the elation at experiencing an undiscovered gem can be glorious.