November 9, 2011

Drowning in Veronica Lake - 2 reviews

I grabbed a coffee, presented my ticket and entered into the darkened theatre to watch the performance of Veronica Lake, apparently the story of the life of an actress who was thought of as a star at one time but faded in later life.

In front of me was a figure in a white dress with a skirt that spread out by two metres or so around it.  Funny I thought, how is this going to work?

As I settled back to sip my coffee, the figure moved slightly; then I realised that the figure in front of me was real!

When the lights dimmed down and the spotlights came up the music started and the figure began to move and sing and slowly turned around to face the audience.  I was sitting in the front row so I had one of the best seats in the house to view the performance.

Alex Ellis was brilliant, telling the story of Veronica Lake from “her” point of view and that of her mother, as well as a number of other characters who appeared over the period of her life of fluctuating fortunes!  The delivery was strong, forceful when necessary, and the changes in character quite believable, especially whenever the mother “appeared” on stage.  Alex’s changes in accent, delivery, and mannerisms all helped to make us believe that the mother was speaking.

Veronica was “fixed” to the centre of the stage but still managed to move around to portray the principal character in various stages of depression and under the influence of alcohol.

Veronica Lake was a one “man” performance by Alex Ellis, very well performed and most enjoyable, something I would recommended to any lover of theatre.

I thoroughly enjoyed the play. It was well  staged and beautifully portrayed with the help of appropriate music and lighting.

Alex Ellis captured the essence of the true Hollywood starlit of the time with her alluring stance, movements and speech. This was shadowed by the time of  hopelessness and depression of her declining years. She was at times totally alluring, at others angry and, still further, pathetic and wasted (in more ways than one). Her change in character and in the lighting when she was portraying her mother was distinctive and such a contrast to the young confident starlit.

A one woman show which did not leave the audience a moment to lose concentration, with many times of anticipation. Well done Alex, the script was well written and the music most appropriate for the differing stages in the life of Veronica Lake!
Dates: 1-12 November, 7.30pm
Price: $22-30
Location: Circa Theatre (web and Facebook)

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