subtlenuance
writing and producing independent australian theatre
2008 - 2010 Seasons

 

2010 Season

Talc and Two Gates
July 14 to August 1 2010

A double bill of original one act plays. 

Talc

by Daniela Giorgi

Sam and Kate are happy. They're in love. They've moved in together. Then Kate commits a terrible crime.
But no-one sees. No-one wants to. Some things are too hard to face. 
Talc - a powerful new play about the evil decent people do.

With Lucas Connolly and Jo Richards
Directed by Paul Gilchrist
Design by Emma Vine



Two Gates
by Paul Gilchrist

"In Life there is only the trivial and the overwhelming. There is nothing in between. I am that nothing."

At turns hilarious and heartbreaking, a young Australian traveller chronicles how she escaped the “everyday”, only to confront the “never again”. 

With Heidi Lupprian
Directed by Paul Gilchrist
Design by Emma Vine


Some reviews: 
  
 
“A tightly-written, tautly-performed, visceral piece….. Performances by Jo Richards and Lucas Connolly are outstanding……Gilchrist (once again) shows himself to be a deft writer of comedy, but one enviably able to shift from a laugh a minute to the depths of poignancy; unselfconsciously and believably. …..Lupprian's near-flawless onewomanship was well beyond engaging; it was spellbinding. That such a young actor should have such command and surefootedness is breathtaking……….Both plays had lines any ambitious writer would wish they'd written. In fact, it's pretty much true of both plays in their entirety. Both augur well, not only for subtlenuance future as a distinctive, important, independent voice in Australian theatre, but for the future of Australian theatre at large.” Australian Stage Online
 
"[talc is] a well crafted and well acted emotional hour of must-see theatre…. Two Gates is a superbly acted one-woman show performed by Heidi Lupprian.....a well written, funny and taut script...the audience is served such a powerful message in a subtle yet beautiful manner." Aussie Theatre
 
 
"Australian works of originality and independence…..[talc is] enlightening and at times subtlety comical. Giorgi has created two intriguingly complex characters. an astute portrayal of human life and desires…….This one woman show [Two Gates] performed by Heidi Lupprian is a tribute to Paul Gilchrist's aptitude as a skilled writer. So cleverly interweaved with perceptive questioning is his writing that you begin to feel as though Gilchrist's understanding of the human psyche is on a different more-in-tuned level....Lupprian's emerging talents should not go unnoticed." The Blurb
  
 
“a provocative edge, welding the personal into the political with a light touch. It's a theatre that is executed in deceptively simple terms, with minimalism and depth to the staging across the board…….the performances are at a very high standard…… it's possible to laugh both at and with the protagonists as their various bubbles slowly burst. It's no mean feat for the artists to balance on the two sides of the coin that are comedy and tragedy, with empathy, pathos and irony all at once………While the actors are keeping us engaged, it's also a testament to the depth of the writing that you don't necessarily notice the tricks of light and shade playing out through the dialogue, at least not until after they've had their way with you……[These plays] represent grassroots Australian
voices that resonate on a global
 front.” 
The 5th Wall

“Talc is a powerful piece……I loved the structure of the play, how the first and last scenes fit together, and how the intensity of emotions increases with each scene. The writing is excellent, and the sparse, white setting enhances the emotional aspects of the play. Lucas Connolly and Jo Richards do a very good job – you’re there with them all the way.”  Alive With Words 





Life is Impossible 
By Paul Gilchrist
September 29 to October 16 2010


 
It is 1942.
The world is at war.
But Elaine is in New York for the first time.
She’s in love with the skyline, the fashion, the musicals, and Tom.
The conflict seems so far away – until she meets Simone, a French Jewish refugee with a terrible secret.

Life is Impossible 

Written and directed by Paul Gilchrist
Produced by Daniela Giorgi
With Lucas Connolly, Heidi Lupprian, Brett Nevill & Jo Richards
Stage Manager Emily Read
Design Daniela Giorgi
Lighting Operator David Tibbles

 
Some reviews: 

 "a profound piece of theatre that explores the human psyche whilst simultaneously questioning it….. Life is Impossible deserves a tip of the hat to subtlenuance’s efforts, talent and integrity. It's an enjoyable show, with thought-provoking one-liners spotted with songs, a touch of dance and all-round bittersweet intrigue. Make sure you see this entertaining production" [small] LUSTS
 
"Life Is Impossible is a credit to the ability of Paul Gilchrist…… and is a visual treat….. Richards as Simone Weil is taken from real life…Her manner captures the audience.”Aussie Theatre
 
 
"The playwright effectively directs the play himself, and wins good performances from his cast….a darker kind of theatre with a strong philosophical and political bent.”  Sydney Arts Guide
 
 

“It’s pretty meta…with kissing and philosophy and a bunch of people who burst into song…the writing is sharp and the performances solid.” The Drum Media.
 

 

 


A Thing of Beauty
 by Paul Gilchrist 
performed by Jo Richards 

An experiment in "pop-up theatre"
Pop-up theatre?
Our aim is to produce a piece that can be bumped in and out in less than an hour, can be played in eclectic venues, and so can bring theatre to an increasing number of people. subtlenuance sneak previewed A Thing of Beauty at the Royal Oak Hotel in March and it travelled to the Sydney Fringe and the Old Fitzroy in 2010.

Naomi and Ruth are travelling together.
But constant change is such a challenge and all those people can be just too 
difficult.
Ruth craves simplicity. She finds it in the uncomplicated beauty of the mannequin.
She’s taken to photographing them.
Naomi’s taken about enough!
And when Naomi finally does have her “dummy spit”, their trip turns into one you won’t find in any travel brochure.
Performer Jo Richards creates two hilarious characters in this touching comedy about chaos and order, and the one thing that keeps them apart - A Thing of Beauty.

A Thing of Beauty
Performed by Jo Richards
Written and directed by Paul Gilchrist
Produced by Daniela Giorgi
Design by Emma Vine


What the critics said:


"subtlenuance last evening presented a sneak preview of their pop-up theatre experiment, A Thing Of Beauty. And it was. It was also, moreover, a thing of affecting comedy and incisive social commentary, performed solo, and brilliantly, by Newtown actor, Jo Richards. As an actor, of course, it's always reassuring to know you've got great material with which to work and it doesn't get a whole lot better than that written, and directed, by Paul Gilchrist. ...I'm not known for brevity, but I'll make an exception, in honour of this piece which is short, sweet, piquant and pithy. I'm hoping it will galvanise a cult following, and pop-up will become as commonplace as MKR. It deserves to. Pop along and see it." Australian Stage Online  
 


“Whilst there is an avalanche of travel stories out there, writer/director Paul Gilchrist has chosen to expose in one play the psychology, sociology, politics and phoniness behind our fascination with travel. And he does it all with a combination of laugh-out-loud one-liners and attention to detail in vivid recollections of adolescent memories….. one perfectly cast actress, in this case Jo Richards, keeping an audience captivated for the entirety of a play about traveling …..Julia Roberts’ Eat, Pray, Love may be the most highly-anticipated travel story this spring but I reckon our very own Jo Richards will give the other J.R. a run for her money…….one inspired one-woman show.”
Alternative Media

"….non-stop energy, laughs and no time to glance at your watch, it comes to an end and you are left wanting more…….It is impossible not to see someone you know in either of our two female characters which allows the audience to be captivated by Richards' performance….. A Thing of Beauty has light and shade and possesses emotional depth. It is another great example of clever writing from Gilchrist and of Richards' talents.…..see it before it sells out and you miss out on a fine piece of theatre." Aussie Theatre   

 



2009 Season


Catherine at Avignon
by Paul Gilchrist


Set in fourteenth century France, and inspired by actual events, Catherine at Avignon is the story of an extraordinary personality. Branded a no one by her society, Catherine fearlessly took on kings and queens. Avignon was to be her greatest challenge.

Written and directed by Paul Gilchrist
with Melissa Jones, Dave Kirkham, Heidi Lupprian, Rowan McDonald, Anna Martin, and James Shoobridge.
Designed by Emma Vine.
Produced by Daniela Giorgi. 

 

 

Some reviews:

"..a triumph of narrative construction. Like Stoppard, Gilchrist is great with words, and amply demonstrates it in scene after scene of highly amusing and erudite verbal sparring. … a superb and very playful rendition of modernist theatre.….. a very poignant take on the (modern) human condition …. the audience is treated to a subtle, and subtly informed, inquiry into theatre itself – as art, as entertainment, as philosophical meditation. Performances are uniformly strong …. Catherine of Avignon is a significant achievement in writing, direction and staging, and Paul Gilchrist is obviously a playwright worth watching. I was very impressed with the ambition of this piece …. a testament to the structure of the piece and the poise of the writer. I urge theatre buffs in Sydney to have a look at Catherine at Avignon."
 Media Culture


"Catherine at Avignon ...is a thought-provoking, uplifting performance that leaves the audience hopeful for a better world. Paul Gilchrist's script is clever and engaging... The performances are brilliantly executed."   Aussie Theatre

“Anna Martin is definitely the brightest star in a shimmering cast – her performance as Catherine is extremely engaging and wholehearted. There is an intriguing array of characters, including the seductive Marguerite (Melissa Jones) and bumbling Father Raymond (Rowan McDonald), provide comic foils to the deeply troubled leading lady. Amidst the sin and sarcasm are startling moments of poetry, and the contrast maintains the energy of the show…. It’s a complex story, where lofty themes of spirituality, politics and sexuality are presented alongside vulgarity and swearing. The vibrant interaction between the players brings excitement and energy to the intimate room, and the innovative way the scenes blend into each other works well… The idea of a story set in the middle ages might not appeal to everyone, but in the telling of it this story is very modern. It’s not so much about piety and saints as it is about authority, celebrity and the way we interact with the spiritual. Sounds complicated, and it is, but what Catherine at Avignon does is akin to soaring... Four stars out five.”  The Brag

 
 

"P.G. Gilchrist’s newest work Catherine at Avignon is a thought-provoking piece on the importance of truth and purity of spirit in a world gone mad. ….. I am transported back in time via the powerful performances of the entire ensemble. Inquiring and at times wickedly funny, I laugh out loud at many of the best lines expertly timed by Melissa Jones, who plays the wonderfully wanton Marguertie. Anna Martin is also a standout, giving a impassioned and inspiring performance as the headstrong religious zealot/political activist Catherine. Written by director P.G Gilchrist, the script is the real star. Both poetic and whimsical, Gilchrist seamlessly weaves olde English and 21st century language to jolt us between yesterday and today at will. The problems and the turmoil of the 14th century are clearly still relevant to today’s crazy world."  Alternative Media


 
 


Before the Embrace
by Paul Gilchrist

Set in contemporary Australia, Before The Embrace is a fiercely funny satire - a play about a film, a film about a life, a life about to fall apart.

Written and directed by Paul Gilchrist
with Will Carter, Lindsey Chapman, Alex Dalrymple, Daniela Giorgi, Shaun Martindale and Jo Richards.
Designed by Emma Vine.

Some reviews:

"Before the Embrace is a thoroughly enjoyable night of mischievous satire, however let the directionless in the audience be warned, this is a production that really makes you sit up and examine what you’re doing with your life."  Alternative Media

"set in modern-day Sydney, it occasionally reaches the lofty heights of  subtlenuance’s last production, Catherine at Avignon, which was set in 14th century France. Chapman's monologue about “life being in the gaps”, which plays out in a typical suburban fitness centre, is quite charming......the humour and the action are professional and enjoyable....Everyone will (hopefully) see someone they know in Before The Embrace"  The Brag




2008 Season

True Times Three
by Paul Gilchrist

an experiment in comic magical realism

with Kristy Best, Daniel Felkai, Penny Hall and James Shoobridge
musical direction and performance by Heidi Lupprian
produced by Daniela Giorgi
written and directed by Paul Gilchrist

Some reviews:

"I can't really bring to mind the last time I laughed as loud and, almost amidst it, felt the agony of intense, searing tragedy....Daniel Felkai, as not-altogether-but-almost-clueless Tony, ekes out a veritable comic masterpiece, while never faltering, in remaining empathic and compassionate with respect to his near-brilliant evocation. James Shoobridge pumps up his small frame to be every bit the self-possessed and obsessed Joel and, in so doing, is utterly convincing. Kristy Best seems to revel in realising the sensuality of the hedonistic Simone; consequently, so do the rest of us. Penny Hall lives up to the name of brand-spanking-new production company, subtlenuance, in delivering a portrait of a mortgaged soul. The angelic Heidi Lupprian provided haunting links in song... " Australian Stage Online

  

"From the moment Penny Hall engages the audience as Angela she is the captivating force that drives this play. ....a lot of genuine laughs…a lot of fun to be had…a charming and fun piece of independent theatre.”  The Drum Media


 
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