The Queensland Theater Company has opened its 2013 season with a bang. Wait. Make that a double bang. Two one act plays (The Pitch and The China Incident) that showcased the best there is in Australian writing, direction and well.. acting.
Both plays are written by Peter Houghton but have separate directors. The Pitch has Hugh Parker playing a down on luck screenwriter about to pitch to Hollywood biggies, while The China Incident has Barbara Lowing trying to keep communication lines between the big power players from breaking down. The Pitch starts the evening off and after a 20 minute break, The China Incident plays.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to stay for The China Incident so this review basically covers The Pitch.
The Pitch works like a satire on the modern Hollywood movies and the way they end. Hugh Parker plays Walter Weinermann, a screenwriter who was unlucky in love, to talk himself up about a “pitch” he is about to give to a couple of Hollywood biggies for a script that he has been working on for some time but he is yet to finish. With only a couple of hours to go till the big meeting, he has to psych himself up to come up with plots and characters to fill the holes in the story. He draws inspiration from his own (love) life and tries to make a mish-mash of what a Hollywood script should look like. So you have cameos from Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Chris Tucker, Catherine Zeta Jones and the crowd (and personal) favorite Rupert Everett.
With a one man show, this is hard to achieve and Hugh Parker does a remarkable job of capturing the mannerisms and the styles of each of these actors (except Catherine Zeta Jones) as he goes through his script playing out the scenes and the part the actors play in it. To not only remember the lines, but to capture the essence of an actor so that the audience can instantly identify the characterization is a stupendous feat. Hugh Parker as the actor, Catarina Hebbard as the director and Melissa Agnew as the dialect coach all deserve a standing ovation for this.
CraftGossip.com received complimentary tickets to see the show.
What? The Pitch and The China Incident (two one person plays separated by a 20 minute interval)
Where? Cremorne Theater, QPAC, SouthBank, Brisbane.
When? 2nd Feb-9th March 2013.
By Vikram Goyal