Friday, May 13, 2005


This month's offering at The Playhouse was Michael Gow's prize-winning family drama Away. I don't know Gow's work but I was very impressed by this play.

It's Christmas 1967 and three families are leaving on their annual holiday after the school play -- in an amusing piece of stagecraft, the opening scene of Away is actually the closing scene of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

We follow them over the next few days. The headmaster and his wife, grieving for a son lost in Vietnam. The upwardly-mobile family driven by the parents' experience of the depression. The outwardly cheery family with a secret sorrow.

A talented cast perform on a bare stage with minimal props, bringing to life a moving and very Australian story. Chris & Judith Cornish are the headmaster and his fraught wife. Scott Hunt is the thoughtful father with the Nottingham accent.

Next month: Shakespeare.

A lot of the hierarchy were away at a statewide meeting so Thursday was a bit quieter than usual at the church office -- once we got there that is.

While Julie was feeding her livestock one of the chicks fell into the old bathtub she used to use as a drinking trough. We had to cut our way through a thicket of blackberries to rescue it before we left.

Remember my trip to Government House? I had an e-mail from the Tasmanian Churchill Fellowship -- they'd heard we had taken some digital photographs and wondered if there were any they could use in their newsletter.

Asking my sister if she has any photographs is like asking Woody Allen if he has any neuroses. She burned a CD and mailed it off to them on the spot.

They can pick which ones they like out of the 125 she took.

Re my comments about dreams yesterday, I heard an interview on the radio with a woman who's writing about dreams.

She has a theory about why some people remember dreams better than others. In those who are artistic or creative by temperament, the wall between dreams and the waking mind is thin.

The wall is thicker in people who tend to be more concerned with tangible things, the ones who would probably describe themselves as "down to earth".

She could be right I guess. It would explain those people who say "I never dream" when all the scientific evidence says otherwise.

The season finale of Stargate SG-1 aired on local television last week (in a marathon three-hour block).

It made for intriguing viewing. The first of the three episodes "Threads" tied up the on-going plots from the current season, leaving us to wonder what was going to be in the remaining two episodes.

We needn't have worried. The two-part story "Moebius" demonstrated why I've always praised the standard of scripting on this show. It put our heroes into danger, then took an unexpected twist that was laced with a good deal of humour.

The four regulars were -- let us say, not themselves for most of the story, making for some very amusing lines and situations for regular viewers.

I shall be interested to see the spin-off series Stargate Atlantis which begins in this slot this week.

But don't make the mistake I did and download the free Stargate screensaver from one of the big American websites (The Sc* F* Ch*annel). My laptop crashed and it took four or five attempts to re-start the machine so I could delete it.

I don't know what a file is, but I'm glad to be rid of it. My old S3 graphics card just couldn't handle it.


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