Posted by: asprockett | June 21, 2013

Cate Blanchett on Stage? Yes, please!

University of Sydney finals week. Papers in. One test remaining.

So what did I do to prepare? Had brunch with Dan in The Rocks, a charming and historical neighborhood in Sydney, and then went to see the play, “The Maids,” featuring Cate Blanchett at the Sydney Theatre Company (STC).

STC has developed a scheme to make theatre accessible to all by offering affordable tickets to nearly every show, a long-held ambition of STC co-artistic directors, Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett. (Yes, I will use her name as often as possible because I think it’s so cool that she’s involved with this type of project and is acting at the theatre!)  My very thoughtful husband got up early last Tuesday morning and stood in line at the box office to surprise me with tickets to this highly sought-after production.

Left: Walsh Bay Right: At Sydney Theatre Company

Left: Walsh Bay
Right: At Sydney Theatre Company

Our “cheap seats” were excellent.  We sat in the third row, not more than 15 feet from the stage (…and Cate!). The nearly two hour production was high intensity and  featured only three actresses. It ran straight through with no intermission, which must have made it especially challenging.

The STC interpretation used video cameras and a large video screen above the stage to add another layer of art to the drama. They used the cameras to focus on props or on an actor’s face when their back was turned or the actor had left the main stage. It added a unique level to the play that I’ve never seen before. Being able to attend the play, acted by a famous Hollywood actor, was another unexpected perk of living in Sydney and another absolutely wonderful experience!

The darkly passionate play reminded me how little I actually know about theatre and how much I have to learn. At the same time I was reminded just how much I enjoy the opportunity to attend a play, despite my inexperience.

Now, if I can get someone to help me better understand the nuances and history of “The Maids,” I think my experience will really be complete.


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