The Post-Haste Histories at the Kings Cross Theatre 3-20 August
The latest offering from Sydney’s improvising Shakespeare gurus is not just for laughs. It’s for sooth (truth).
The Mermaid Tavern, London, 1592. Five Elizabethans, braced against the winter chill, hunker down for a long night of heavy drinking. And as the sack and ale flow, they begin to tell a story from England’s troubled past. Soon battlelines are drawn, allegiances are exchanged, friendships are tested and families destroyed. These are THE POST-HASTE HISTORIES.
From the creators of Bard to the Bone, last seen at a sold out run at the Old Fitz Theatre, comes the next epic addition to the improvised Shakespeare cannon, The Post-Haste Histories.
“Shakespeare’s history plays are so direct and exciting,” says director and performer Oliver Burton. “They’re epic stories, grand and yet wonderfully domestic, filled with danger at every turn. They’re perfect for the high-risk world of impro.”
Formed five year ago by some of Sydney’s most experienced improvisers, The Post-Haste Players are pushing for recognition of impro as a thrilling theatrical art form in its own right.
“Too often impro is thought of as purely comic or as simply a rehearsal room process,” says Burton, “but my favourite moments of theatre happen when an actor must respond to something unexpected. In impro every thought is new and each reaction is authentic.”
“That’s something Netflix simply can’t offer: the reality of an actor responding for the first time. Every performance, every moment is unique, shared only by the people who are in the room. That’s special. And it’s worth leaving the couch for!”
For Burton, improvisation is also attractive for being so democratic. “It’s deeply egalitarian,” he says. “As director, I guide the style of performance, but once a scene is being played it’s up to all of us to weigh in with equal creativity.”
And that doesn’t just apply to the actors.
The show also features improvised music and sound design from cabaret artist Bryce Halliday, who not only follows but propels the action. Even the lighting operator influences the direction of each play – it’s collective writing.
Together with the audience’s active participation, The Post-Haste Histories will be fun and playful, but also deeply moving. It’s a unique opportunity to watch performers at the top of their game, pushing the boundaries of their art… mostly in iambic pentameter!
THE POST-HASTE HISTORIES
Kings Cross Theatre – Level 2, Kings Cross Hotel, 244-248 William St Kings Cross
From 3rd – 20th August (previews Wed 3 and Thur 4 August)
Tues-Sat 8pm; Sun 5pm; plus Sat 2pm matinees 13 and 20 August
Directed by Oliver Burton, design by Damien Egan, score and sound design by Bryce Halliday
Cast: Atlas Adams, Oliver Burton, Ewan Campbell, Daniel Cordeaux, Marko Mustac, Linette Voller and Anne Wilson
Tickets: $35 Adults, $32 Concession. $28 Previews. Bookings: www.posthasteplayers.com