5 Pound Theatre’s week of Gilbert & Sullivan

Last year, 5 Pound Theatre transformed themselves into Australia’s only working repertory theatre for five weeks, when they presented five shows in five weeks with five actors and five directors. It was mad and exciting and produced some remarkable theatre in a very short time.

5 Pounds of Repertory
5 Pounds of Repertory

This year, they’re doing it again, with actors Tim Wotherspoon, Freya Pragt, Brendan Hawke, Lelda Kapsis and Keith Brockett.

Show three starts on Wednesday night at the Owl and the Pussycat in Richmond. And it’s musical week.

Fiona Scott-Normal and Karin Muizneiks directing a Gilbert and Sullivan Cabaret Review. They’ve told us not to expect old favourites or polite lyrics.

Muizineiks said, “Everyone loves G&S. No hang, on, that’s G&T”. There is a bar, so you can have both.

The first show was Noises Off (directed by Jason Cavanagh). It sold out by turning this very British farce into something very local with jokes about Melbourne’s independent theatre world and what happens on tours to the outer burbs.

Next was the premiere of Robert Reid’s Because of Reasons: a part-verbatim, part-imagined, frighteningly real depiction of the days in the inner sanctum of the federal Labor party that to the ousting of Kevin Rudd.

Written before the subsequent ousting of Julia Gillard and directed by Petra Kalive, it’s hard to believe that Rob wasn’t listening into the discussions and this work is sure to be seen again.

Freya Pragt rehearsing "Because of Reason"
Freya Pragt rehearsing “Because of Reason”

After they do things they may regret to G&S this week, there’s The Tempest (directed by Daniel Lammin) and Sex Diary of an Infidel (directed by Marcel Dorney).

All are rehearsed during the day as they perform at night. So this week, as they sing G&S at night, they are rehearsing Shakespeare during the day.

Last year, it was amazing to watch the actors develop over the season. It was like they squeezed a couple years of experience into weeks, and it was wonderful to see what the pressure of time resulted in.

5 Pounds of Repertory


Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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