Monday, 19 September 2011

A trip to the Theatre

On Saturday afternoon, I took myself for a trip to the Perth State Theatre to see Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  This was a drama that focussed on the interactions between family members anxious to be in favour with Big Daddy, who does not know he has terminal cancer.  The family are posturing to position themselves in his favour as he has not yet made a will distributing his extensive estate.  The posturing takes place between the wife, the favoured son, injured athlete Brick and his wife, who are childless, and the less favoured, career successful son, Gooper and his wife and 5 children.  During the family jockeying for position, it transpires that Brick is a repressed homosexual who is never going to father children, and who is drinking himself into oblivion as he is bereft at the loss of his athletic "best friend".  A very thought provoking drama.

The theatre building is a modern, newly finished building.  It is just a couple of hundred metres north of the train/bus station (so very accessible by public transport - yippee).  The inside of the auditorium is clad in jarrah wood (I think).  It was absolutely stunning to look at, and the rake of the theatre was quite steep, so everyone had a really good view.  Jarrah is a very hard wood, which means white ants and other termites won't destroy it.  Apparently termites are an endemic problem in this environment.

While waiting for the matinee performance, I had a look around the art gallery next door.  I had a discussion with the receptionist, who said the building was a fine example of Brutalist architecture, and had just completed a renovation. From what I could see the building plan was an irregular polyhedron shape with no right angles. The building was not very old but had needed specialist cleaning of the concrete exterior, and really the staff would have been happy for it to be pulled down.  However the heritage lobby had got involved and there was now a preservation order on the building as it is a fine example of an architectural style that did not last very long.  Sounds like the UK - where I formerly worked we had modern buildings designed for us, but never included the ability to clean them in the specification - so we had lots of buildings that could not be cleaned unless scaffolding several hundred feet high was erected - so we worked in absolutely filthy working environments.

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