Play with music.
Adapted from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Popular Mechanicals is described by theatre critic Bob Evans as a low-brow, absurdist and occasionally poetical play without the play ('The Popular Mechanicals' q.v., p2). While most of the scenes from Shakespeares's comedy are presented, Robinson and Taylor have inserted into its framework a combination of songs, puppetry, their own material (including jokes), and excerpts from other works by Shakespeare's (notably speeches from Richard II and Henry V).
The most significant departure from the original text occurs during the scene in which Bottom is transformed into an ass while rehearsing in the woods. His replacement is Ralph Mowldie, a once great Shakespearian actor with a drinking problem.
'This is a proud milestone in Australian theatre history; a contemporary Indigenous performance text from the highly acclaimed Kooemba Jdarra. Appropriating western forms whilst using traditional storytelling, it gives emotional insight into Murri life. This one-woman show follows the journey of an Aboriginal ‘Everywoman’ as she tells poignant and humorous stories of grief and reconciliation. A powerful, demanding and culturally profound text, The 7 Stages of Grieving is a celebration of Indigenous survival, an invitation to grieve publicly, a time to exorcize pain. It has a universal theme told through the personal experiences of one incredible character.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Playlab).
Hotel Sorrento is a vivid, moving and funny play which explores the concept of loyalty both to family and to country. Three sisters come together after ten years: Hilary who lives in Sorrento with her father and her sixteen-year-old son; Pippa visiting from New York where she works in advertising; and Meg, who returns home from England with her English husband after her new novel Melancholy is shortlisted for the Booker prize. Unspoken aspects of their shared past, jolted by the autobiographical flavour of Meg's book, haunt their reunion.
Coincidentally, Marge, a teacher, with a holiday house in Sorrento, reads the novel and finds it captures an Australia she knows. Her friend, Dick, however, is worried by Meg's expatriate status. This interest draws them into the family where the issues of culture, patriotism, and using the past are battled out.
Source: Publisher's blurb (back cover).