Gov. Croque (Stuart Devenie) on Stage - video clips from "Four Flat Whites In Italy"
#1


From the NZ Herald:

Vintage directions for actor/director

26.08.2002 By LINDA HERRICK, arts editor

Actor Stuart Devenie is also busy bossing fellow thespians around, but he's been doing it for 30 years. Devenie, seen on Auckland stages earlier in the year in Tom Scott's brilliant The Daylight Atheist, set up theatre company Playfair Ltd in Whangarei two years ago.

After successful runs last year of Cold Turkey and Take A Chance On Me, Playfair revives the Roger Hall perennial Middle Age Spread, which opens at Forum North in Captain Bougainville Theatre on Wednesday and runs until September 6. Devenie directs, and the cast includes Jan Fisher, who plays Ian Mune's wife in Mercy Peak, and Kelly Johnson, forever famous for his lead role in Goodbye Pork Pie.

Devenie says Playfair's intent is to focus on New Zealand works. The company has also set itself up as a talent agency.

Devenie, who will also helm The God Boy and Ladies Night for Playfair later in the year, started out directing radio drama 30 years ago. Where Elliott might be described as a directorial virgin, Devenie says he is moving from veteran to vintage.
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#2


This is from two years ago:


Topic: News from the Governor!

august
Member posted March 01, 2001 11:13 PM
-------------------------------------------------

All sorts of good news about Governor Croque himself, Stuart Devenie!
- he just spent the last five and a half weeks roughing it "in the Far North of New Zealand" working on what I gather was a live theatre project that involved some of the indigenous people (the Maoris.) Apparently related to the whole colonization/history thing. He was in not Pulau Pulau but rather Kerikeri, which must be *way* up north, as Stuart's home town of Whangarei is pretty remote itself.

- he starts filming a new TV comedy series in Wellington tomorrow! It's called "Willy Nilly," and is set in "the repressed, depressed, compressed New Zealand rural environment, and the characters are all as mad as hatters." Mark Hadlow (King George) is the lead, and Stuart plays a character named Mr. Bott, a local general store owner. He is growing out his hair and beard for this part, and so says he looks "like a scarecrow on speed." Sounds a bit like "Northern Exposure" to me! Of course, in NZ a "series" is more like what we would call a mini-series, with maybe an 8-week or 13-week run, I bet. Sorta like some of the limited-run "reality" shows we've been getting lately.

- he may also be up for a guest spot in an episode of a police drama called "Street Legal."

- he will appear in the world premiere of a new comedy a comedy called TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, described as "the next smash hit from New Zealand's 'King of Comedy' Roger Hall." This will run 18 July - 18 August at the Auckland Theatre Company.

- he's still involved in teaching acting.


posted March 11, 2001 05:49 PM
---------------------------------------------------------
And *even* more news from the Governor!!!!

Please feel free to tell the Board about "Willy Nilly". I've been working on it for a week now and it's been fantastic. I am convinced that it's actually the NZ version of "Jack Of All Trades". Anarchic, funny,
individual and takes no prisoners. I don't quite know what you Americans would make of it, being largely an exploration of New Zealand rural idiocy, but certainly the series gets stuck into our "presbyterian utopia" much the same way that "Jack" got stuck into your puritan one. It's great fun!

We've had the hottest February for years but we've turned the corner into autumn and the weather in Wellington is great. I went to see a production of "The Country Wife" last night. It had a lot my old acting mates in it and was brilliant. It was the last night and we had a great party (the only reason I went into this business in the first place!). Mark (Hadlow) and the cast of "Willy Nilly" came and we all had a wonderful evening.

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#3


Another good review from October of 2001:


COPENHAGEN
Michael Frayn

3 October - 10 November
Herald Theatre

Winner of the 1998 Evening Standard Award and 2000 Tony Award for Best Play, Michael Frayn's tremendous new work is an intellectual thriller about the race to develop the bomb. A profound meditation on the endless possibilities of the collision of human particles, COPENHAGEN mushrooms in the head long after the curtain falls.

Review:


Quote:
------------------------------------------------
"Copenhagen"
by Michael Frayn
directed by Elrich Hooper
Auckland Theatre Company production at the Herald Theatre

Reviewed by Barry Southam

A chillingly relevant play as the world teters on the brink of more human carnage as the destructive side of man plays out the oldest game of history. On the current chessboard, Kings move pieces as the Knights of territory and the Bishops of religion take up their positions for yet another pawn sacrificing encounter.

"Copenhagen," is set in World War Two in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Based on an actual meeting of two top nuclear theory physicists, German Werner Heisenberg and Danish Niels Bohr in September 1941. Seems the meeting was unusually brief, and playwright Frayn speculates on the encounter that may have influenced the war's outcome and prevented even more horror than Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

To do this he has to use an expository style that allows us lay audience to get a crash course in nuclear theoretical physics. No easy theatrical task, but the power of his writing craft, combined with the directorial excellence of Hooper and the experience of three highly accomplished actors, this is achieved sufficient to enter an understanding of the core elements, so to speak, of a drama that happened six decades ago.

The husband and wife team of Niels and Margarethe Bohr ( Stuart Devenie and Ilona Rodgers) ruminate and converse,reminisce and puzzle over their collegue's visit as the play opens on monotone set resembling half a cyclotron come maze (Murray Hutchinson designer). Personality factors are slowly revealed of all three characters, as the moderating wife tries to calm the impatient, tense and sometimes angry Niels. She urges the avoidance of politics,he agrees to stay with physics,but of course physics is politics with the possibility of weapons of mass destruction.

The supplicant and former pupil Werner(David Aston) enters with his nervous boyish charm. Initial social pleasantries exchanged, and eventually after some fired up discussion revealing the passion lying beneath these two highly cerebral men, the two go "for a walk", the implication being the house may be bugged. The walk and intended conversation is a short one and it is obvious the two fall out, but later in life never discuss what was said.

Variations of the meeting are played out as the nature of truth, the fallibility of memory, the selective nature of our perceptions, the ethics of science, nationalism and humanity's contradictions, all these are traversed in an engrossing and multi-layered manner. Woven in also is a personal tragedy of a lost child that slipped below the waves in a boating accident years earlier.

The final scenario is my preferred piece. There it is suggested that Bohr's temperament leads to the falling out that in turn prevents Bohr from asking an obvious scientific question of Heisenberg that the German physicist had failed to ask himself or check out. This in turn leads Heisenberg to give the Nazi Government wrong information of the feasibility of an atomic bomb thus slowing their research. (Germany never even had a cyclotron) Or did Heisenberg deliberately sabotage his nation's theoretical physics and nuclear programme?

While this is largely talking heads theatre,with all the difficulties that normally present themselves with such a script,the final result works in all dimensions (in spite of my early misgivings about this script having had echoes of Educated Rita's famous " do it on the radio" conclusion). The images have stayed with me of those three people,in that pivotal time in our history,playing out the principle of Uncertaintity Theory in human form.

This play is a" must see" at a time when we are being doomed to repeat history.

Barry Southam
----------------------------------------------------------------



Note: David Aston was seen on 1st season XWP in "Hooves and Harlots" as the centaur leader Tyldus, and in "The Gauntlet" on HTLJ as "Cretus," one of Xena's lieutenants. Ilona Rodgers was seen in 1st season HTLJ in "Festival of Dionysus" as Queen Camilla (the one who very nearly was killed by wine-maddened virgins) and in the 3rd season ep "Long Live the King" as Queen Euriana. She has had an illustrious career, especially in her youth:


"The Beverly Hillbillies" playing "Sandy" in episode: "Coming Through the Rye" 10/16/1968

"The Saint" playing "Mary" in episode: "Double in Diamonds, A" 5/5/1967

"The Avengers" playing "Samantha Slade" in episode: "Bird Who Knew Too Much, The" /11/1967

"Doctor Who" playing "Carol" in episode: "Sensorites, The" 6/20/1964

"The Avengers" playing "Receptionist" in episode: "Six Hands Across a Table" 3/16/1963



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#4


Welll, tonight in NZ, where it's already lunchtime on Thursday 5/15. Wink

At any rate, a revival of Roger Hall's comedy "Middle Age Spread" is the latest offering at Auckland Theatre Company. I gather it's a NZ play from 1977.

From their press release:

Middle Age Spread began as a simple idea: a dinner party that the hosts didn't particularly want to give and none of the guests wanted to be at. Social pressure had forced them all to be in the one place at the same time. It was described at the time as a comedy of manners or, as someone said, "a comedy of bad manners".

Modern audiences will get laughs at the fashions and furnishings, some of which are now cringe-making to those of us who lived through them (fondue was, mercifully, a very brief fad). But will the concerns of the characters of twenty-six years ago still hold true?

"Some things have indeed changed but it is more interesting to note the things that haven't. Middle Age Spread may now be seen as a slice of New Zealand social history, but I still hope to note a few young couples wincing with the shock of self-recognition." Roger Hall 2002

From London West End to Comedy of the Year, Middle Age Spread remains one of our funniest comedies.


CAST INCLUDES Geraldine Brophy, Roy Snow, Greg Johnson, Stuart Devenie, Catherine Wilkin & Robyn Malcolm.

An article in the NZ Herald says this about the play:

.... Hall's second successful play, Middle Age Spread, (was) honoured as Comedy of the Year in the West End.

That joy was over in a hot minute. A round of applause followed the announcement. Hall gave a brief, now half-remembered, thank-you speech....

"Having it play on the West End was a lifetime's ambition fulfilled," Hall says, smiling and seated on the deck of his Ponsonby villa. "It was a wonderful era for me. So I have enormous affection for Middle Age Spread."

And so, it seems, have we. It is 26 years since the play was first presented in Wellington, 25 since it became a film .... And yet this work is spreading again throughout the nation's theatres.

Productions in Wellington, Christchurch and Palmerston North have begun, or will soon. An Auckland Theatre Company revival opens at Sky City Theatre this Saturday, featuring Geraldine Brophy, Greg Johnson, Robyn Malcolm, Stuart Devenie, Catherine Wilkin and Roy Snow. It is directed by Colin McColl.

That Middle Age Spread might endure to be revived, and that it might become a funny, pathos-soaked piece of social history as much as a play, never occurred to its author....

Middle Age Spread speaks still for the middle classes. It talks of their boredom with themselves, their partners, careers and their families - and about being stuck with it all.

==============

It runs at the Sky City Theatre in previews Thursday and Friday; then May 17-June 7. None of the other cast members seem to have a Ren Pics connection, except for Roy Snow, who played an "Athenian Captain" in "Dirty Half Dozen" on XWP. Most have turned up in what you'd expect, though, such as "Shortland Street," and Robyn Malcolm played someone named Morwen in LotR.
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#5
And are we surprised? Stuart steals the show! Check out the NZ Herald!

A snippet:

Quote:Middle Age Spread, Sky City Theatre: Roger Hall's greatest stage hit has still got it. Its disastrous dinner-for-six cast is led by bravura performances from Greg Johnson and Stuart Devenie.

.....

Here is Reg, in his polyester flares and side burns spitting out his contempt for the middle classes. He is a philandering lecturer at the training college, as middle class as they come.

The fondue is, says the terrible Reg, played to great, hollow sneering effect by Stuart Devenie, symbolic of life. "Everyone jabbing away for the best bits." His ghastly wife, Isobel (Catherine Wilkin) the spinner and weaver, in her cottage industry clothes says, "If it weren't for the middle classes there would be no culture at all."

...There are moments, and they come from Devenie and Johnson, both brilliantly wretched.
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#6
This is a stage version of that film (based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith) that starred Matt Damon and Jude Law a few years back. Never saw it (or read it) but this is what the blurb says:

Quote:To be young and carefree amid the blue waters and idyllic landscape of sun-drenched Italy in the late 1950s; that's la dolce vita Tom Ripley craves - and Dickie Greenleaf leads.

When Dickie's father, a wealthy ship builder, asks Tom to bring his wayward, playboy son back home to America, Dickie and his beautiful expatriate girlfriend, Marge Sherwood, never suspect the dangerous extremes to which Ripley will go to make their lifestyle his own. Ripley wants money, success, love and a family he can be proud of. After all, it's better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.

A stylish and superb thriller, Patricia Highsmith's beguiling tale of morality and amorality is given a dramatic rendering by contemporary dramatist Phyllis Nagy.



I'm guessing that Stu will play Dickie's father..... this is probably just beginning rehearsals, as the dates are FEB 12 - MARCH 14 ....
details to follow as they develop..... Smile
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#7
Well, last night in NZ. It's called "Mary's Gospel," and looks really different. From the NZ Herald:

.....To say that actress and playwright Geraldine Brophy's new play Mary's Gospel is a complex psycho-drama - and I gathered this from watching just half an hour of rehearsal - played out in ordinary yet extraordinary circumstances, might be an understatement.

Directed by Stuart Devenie, the two-act play seems a truly dense stew. It uses the biblical story of Mary and the birth and death of Christ as a framework for a story of a family bound together by dark secrets and hardship, of relationships shaped and scarred by mental illness, moral illness and - to complicate matters even further - good old-fashioned Irish Catholicism.

Like Brophy's most recent work - the reworkings of Shakespeare's King Lear as Leah and the Vagina Monologues as Viagra Monologues - Mary's Gospel is a new twist on something we think we already know.

"I like to think of myself as a theatrical terrorist," she says. "I like to flip things, to look at things from another perspective."

And so the background to her new play is this: many years ago Mary, a 15-year-old Irish Catholic, went to a party in Naenae and became pregnant with Christie. She seeks Lizzie's help, but is sent to a carpenter called Joe, who works for Mary's father, the almighty Paddy O'Malley.

The play spans 24 hours some 30 years on, with Mary, a mental health outpatient (played by Catherine Wilkin), now living with Lizzie (Brophy), a caregiver who can't wait to get her sick cousin off her hands. Christie (dancer Taane Mete) is now dead but very much in Mary's world.....

...The Irish cultural perspective to Mary's Gospel - the play opens tonight, St Patrick's Day - is just one strand, and Brophy hopes her audience will be stimulated by the other themes woven through her play.

"The debates will and should continue about the manner in which we, as a society, a government and individually, care for our mentally ill. A play is another way of stimulating conversations and understanding."

Performance

* What: Mary's Gospel

* Where and when: Herald Theatre, from today
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#8
Now appearing at the Silo Theatre in Auckland:

"Shopping and ...." by Mark Ravenhill.

Direction:
STUART DEVENIE

Featuring:
JON BRAZIER
CHARLIE McDERMOTT
EMILY O’BRIEN-BROWN
DAVID VAN HORN
SHANE BOSHER

Where & when: Silo Theatre, May 26-June 12

From Silo's website:

"Retail therapy. Fornication. Two of life's simple pleasures, one might have thought. Not so. Humanity is now on sale and love is a four letter word. Robbie used to love Lulu. Now he loves Mark. Mark used to love the skag, now he covets the rent boy who wants it rough, or not at all. A shabby apartment. A drug dealer with an obsession for The Lion King. Stolen instant noodles. A screwdriver, rehab and amphetamines. Lots of them. The story of our lives."

An article from the NZ Herald tells the whole title, and some of its themes. Some snippets:

"Ravenhill's ground-breaking drama is so breathtakingly explicit, it does take time to start understanding what it all means: that consumerism can be arousing - and that sex is a transaction too...."

"...Director Stuart Devenie likens London playwright Ravenhill to Chekhov, says Brazier: "He is a fantastic writer. He gives you no clues. You have to work it all out yourself."

The latter stages of the play includes a storyline involving sex in a toilet with Fergie and Princess Di. The London setting has been moved to Auckland, and the two female icons will be changed to celebrity icons relevant to New Zealand, Brazier says with a chortle.

Shopping, written in 1996, has been staged around the world; the original London production played in 1997 at Wellington's Downstage Theatre, where it attracted the ire of the Rev Graham Capill and the Christian Coalition for its "moral depravity and indecency". It sold out before opening night. {ed. note: that cracks me up! - august }

But at its heart, the drama has a deeply compassionate message that love can exist even if it's expressed in the strangest of ways."


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#9
From the NZ Herald:

Dylan Thomas' poetical play for voices, Under Milk Wood....was written as either a radio play - Thomas wrote several of these post-war, for survival money - or as a stage play...... Bell-Booth has chosen to present it on stage, set in a typical broadcasting studio of the 1950s, with the actors gathered around microphones, scripts in hands....

Because it is possible with a script-in-hand performance, Bell-Booth has also invited guest celebrities to join the permanent cast for three-day shifts. Those who have accepted the challenge include Tim Balme, Katie Wolfe, Stuart Devenie, Sally Stockwell and Sara Wiseman.

Where and when: SiLo Theatre, August 25-September 18
........................


Also at the SiLo Theatre, several months ago, Stuart directed a play called "The Telescope," which ran from 6/15 thru 6/19.

From their publicity material:


Quote:Stars sing different melodies. Black holes sing the same. An agoraphobic astronomer is on the verge of a major discovery. Having found a previously unknown dying star, he has calculated the magnitude of the supernova. Using this occasion as inspiration he decides to express his hidden affections for a colleague. As he awaits her arrival he listens to the radio. A tale of collapsing nerves, exploding stars and blossoming love. We venture into the outer reaches of inner space, where the desires of the heart can often herald great events in time and space, where all reason can grind to a halt and the sublime can reveal itself. A miracle of visual and aural construction.


Direction:
STUART DEVENIE


Featuring:
LLOYD SCOTT
PETER RUTHERFORD
SEBASTIAN MORGAN-LYNCH
MIRANDA MANASIADIS
STEVE GALLAGHER




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#10
A play Stuart directed is currently running in Auckland at the Pumphouse Theatre. It's called "Hello and Goodbye," and was written by Athol Fugard, who is a leading dramatist from South Africa. He writes fairly deep, Eugene O'Neill-ish plays often dealing with the cultural/racial stuff going on in that country.

from their promotional material:

Quote:Athol Fugard... (is) one of the greatest living playwrights; his work is constantly performed throughout the world. This is the story of a woman's surprise return home after a long absence; she brings with her powerful secrets. Her shocked brother has secrets of his own. They uncover explosive memories throughout her short stay, and the visit changes their lives forever. New Zealanders will find the subject surprisingly familiar, South Africans will be able to revisit an aspect of their own culture.

"Hello and Goodbye" by Athol Fugard
Dates and venues:

University of Auckland 21st to 24th of March.
Pumphouse Theatre, 29 March - 9 April, 8pm Tues - Sat, 5pm Sunday.
University of Waikato 10th to 16th April.

And.... he's also "adjudicating" (i.e. judging, for the non-British Empire folks among us Wink ) the PANZ (Playwrights' Association of New Zealand) playwriting competition this year.

From their promotional material:

Quote:Stuart Devenie is a fulltime actor and director - he is noted for the direction of THE GOD BOY, performances at Court Theatre, Christchurch and director at Downstage, Wellington. Recently he toured as sole performer in a play by Tom Scott, "THE DAYLIGHT ATHEIST". A few years ago we saw him on TV in a Roger Hall series, and as the crusty storekeeper in "WILLY NILLY". The latter shows what a capable actor Stuart Devenie is. In real life he is a most approachable person with a great sense of humour.

Stuart is currently directing "HELLO AND GOODBYE", by Athol Fugard, presently playing on Auckland's North Shore and later in Hamilton. We also note that he is due to appear as Gandalf in "THE HOBBITS", at St James Theatre, Wellington, from April the 16th.

Stuart led our seminar last year at Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson. One of his main thrusts when he led the workshopping of a new play was 'efficacy' - which according to my dictionary means - 'having the power to produce a desired effect'. Do incidents in your play have the desired effect? Stuart also stressed the relationships between characters: any particular emotion must be sustained and developed during the play.

He is a most sympathetic reader of plays, and will be looking at your entry from the point of view of both an actor and a director.

Stuart Devenie is always on the lookout for the next great New Zealand play. MAYBE IT'S YOURS!
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#11
Latest news on Stu:

This fall, he will play the lead in Auckland Theatre Company's world premiere of "Disgrace," from the award-winning book by South African author J. M. Coetzee, adapted by New Zealander Carl Nixon. From their press materials:

Quote:An absorbing and compelling story of Lear-like proportions charting a man's journey from blind arrogance to understanding.

Post-apartheid South Africa. After years teaching romantic poetry at Cape Town University, Professor David Lurie {presumably Stuart!} :eek: has an impulsive affair with a student. The affair sours. He is denounced and retreats to an isolated East Cape Province smallholding owned by his daughter Lucy. For a time, Lucy's influence and the farm promise to harmonise his discordant life. But the balance of power in South Africa is shifting. When he and Lucy become victims of a savage attack their opposing views on the future of their country are brought into sharp relief.

Disgrace has been developed through the ATC Literary Unit.

It will run 22 September - 15 October.

Additionally, he's doing a professional workshop through Howick Little Theatre (also in Auckland) called "Whatever Happened to Comedy?" In their promotional material, he's described as "one of New Zealand's most accomplished actors, directors and teachers."

Quote:This workshop will examine the changing nature of comedy and the acting questions that such changes reveal. Participants will be working in both pairs and groups of up to four actors, examining scripts from different periods (Restoration, 18th century, 19th century, pre-World War II, post-World War II, and Contemporary) to identify what constitutes “comedy” for the actor (and, indeed, whether the term is relevant and useful for the actor today). Participants will be required to learn two 5-7 minute scenes prior to the course and also to provide the group with some research on the period and the author of the selected texts. Scripts will be provided and research sources suggested. We anticipate a fun weekend examining the serious business of comedy.

They also include a wonderful bio for him:

Quote:For the Auckland Theatre Company, Stuart has performed in The Talented Mr Ripley, Caligula, Ladies Night, Middle Age Spread, Take a Chance on Me, Copenhagen , Serial Killers, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Uncle Vanya and Molly Sweeney. He was also the foreman in the company’s much-acclaimed Twelve Angry Men and starred in Tom Scott’s one-man show The Daylight Atheist, which he subsequently toured around the North Island , including a season at Howick Little Theatre. Other theatre performances have included Assassins, Into the Woods, Dancing at Lughnasa, Oleanna, Lovelock’s Dream Run, Blithe Spirit, Design for Living, The Second Mrs Tanqueray, Love’s Labours Lost, Travesties, New Rocky Horror Picture Show, Macbeth, Arsenic and Old Lace, Jumpers and Foreskin’s Lament.

Stuart has also appeared in numerous TV shows, including Jack of All Trades, Market Forces, Willy Nilly, Gliding On, McPhail and Gadsby and A Week of It. In film, his credits include Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, Jack Brown Genius and Brain Dead.

For theatre, he has directed The God Boy, Raw, Perfect Strangers, Play Strindberg, Cold Turkey, The Learner’s Stand, Private Lives, Blithe Spirit, Amadeus, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Agnes of God.

Stuart has held numerous posts, including Senior Acting Tutor at Northland Polytechnic, Senior Acting Tutor at Toi Whakaari/New Zealand Drama School, Artistic Director of Centrepoint Theatre, Associate Director of the Court Theatre, founding councillor of Circa Theatre, radio drama producer and TV1 director and the consulting acting tutor for South Pacific Pictures.

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#12
This would appear to be the logo and publicity photo they are using for the play, and I assume that's Stu in the pic! :bg:

[Image: disgracelogo.jpg]

[Image: disgrace.jpg]


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#13


From the NZ Herald:

[Image: stuart.jpg]

Quote:Disgrace at the Maidment Theatre

22.09.05
By Linda Herrick


South African academic Professor David Lurie is having a hard time fitting into the new post-apartheid climate.....

"Lurie's life, it's a very common thing for men of a certain age," observes Devenie, whose sardonic powers are stretched to superb effect by the script's crisp prose.

"His spirit has been ground down and he has developed a very brittle and sophisticated persona to protect himself from that. The surface has got deeper and deeper and he's in great danger of becoming an unremitting cynic, a misanthrope......"

Devenie believes Lurie is an angry man who masks his rage with cynicism.

"But you cannot maintain that pose. Lurie prides himself on his disinterested cynicism but when confronted by the reality of the rape, the denial really kicks in."

...

Lurie's relationship with his daughter - whom he suspects of being a lesbian, among other things - is prickly. "The relationship is beautifully observed," says Devenie. "He is scathingly sarcastic about her relationship with the other woman - but only to the audience. This is the wonderful thing; the primary relationship is between Lurie and the audience and that's what gives it its theatrical power."

At the beginning of the play, Lurie proclaims, "I continue to teach because it provides me with a livelihood and also it teaches me humility."

But that is not true. "He's so arrogant, talking about humility," says Devenie, "but at the end he has found it and he has found something to do."

.....

"What interests me about Disgrace [are] the similarities with King Lear," concludes McColl.

"He starts off arrogant and full of himself, and life sorts him out. He comes to a sense that he's more humble in the end, got a kind of grace at the end."

"From disgrace to grace," says Devenie, firmly.

What: Disgrace, adapted for stage by Carl Nixon from the novel by J.M. Coetzee
Where and when: Maidment Theatre, previews tonight and tomorrow; world premiere Sep 24. It runs until Oct 15


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#14
As expected, Stuart got rave reviews:

Quote:The J.M. Coetzee novel Disgrace closely follows the classical idea of tragedy, in which the hero falls from prosperity as a result of his own actions....

The adaptation comes to life in its clear delineation of character and personal conflict. Stuart Devenie's portrayal of David Lurie is superb. He first appears as an urbane, sarcastic character whose confidence depends on a highly developed facility for dealing with abstractions. When confronted with the harsh realities of rural poverty, his authority collapses....

...Devenie presents the play's most compelling image.....his character discovers the value of basic human decency and creates a secular vision of redemption.

Rest is at the NZ Herald.


And from the Tauranga Times:

Quote:Adapted from JM Coetzee's Booker Prize-winning novel by New Zealand Playwright Carl Nixon, the challenging subject matter of the book unfolds on stage with a sense of literary weight but also a very human edge.

This is largely due to Stuart Devenie's brilliant turn as Lurie, who remains on stage the entire performance drawing the audience with him on his emotional exile....the script is rich in irony, most often delivered through Lurie's witty one-liners addresses straight to the audience.

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#15
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#16
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#17
[COLOR="Blue"]Stuart continues to keep very busy, although these things seem to turn up online only after they're over! At any rate.... he starred in "The Lesson," a play by Eugene Ionesco, at the Maidment Theatre at the University of Auckland back in July, from the 9th through the 25th.

Quote:Mondays to Saturday at 8:00pm
Sundays at 4:00pm

Starring: Stuart Devenie and Cristina Ionda
Directed by George Tudor

Stuart Devenie stars in Eugene Ionesco's brilliant comedy about an insane professor tutoring a brick-brained student.

Under George Tudor's inspired avant-garde direction this compelling "dark comedy" has the power to frighten as only absurdist plays can.

A cocktail of violence - psychological and physical - and comedy that ranges from the screwball to inky black.

Details here.
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August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#18
Last month, Stuart directed and also appeared in what must have been a unique production of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" - it seems to have run from Thurs. Oct. 5th to Sat. Oct. 21st at the Silo Theatre in Auckland.

This was from the promo material:

Quote:Does the world go round?

Ten actors. The god of thunder. The flip of a coin. The empire is at war. Britain is tearing itself apart and everyone wants a piece.

Imogen is daughter to a king, lover of a low-born, lusted after by an Italian banker and promised to a brat. Her journey will send her undercover and over battlefields, collecting a mad mix of comic and anarchic characters in her quest to be reunited with her true love and bring the world back from the brink of tragedy.

After their acclaimed debut the The Dog's Bollix, The Peripeteia Players offer this return season of Shakespeare's epic thriller. Arrive early to flip a fateful coin that will decide the cast line-up every night. :eek: Theatre doesn't get more raw, rough and ready than this.

Let the identity crisis begin.

And then this was in the local Auckland newspaper:

Quote:Heaven for fans of Shakespeare. Cymbeline, directed by Stuart Devenie and staged by the Peripeteia Players, centres on the adventures of Imogen who must embark on a quest to reunited with her true love and avert the tragedy of war. A flip of the coin each night decides the cast line-up.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#19
Back in April of this year, he directed a revival of two David Mamet plays from the '70's, "Reunion" and "The Woods" (the latter not to be confused with Bruce's horror movie of the same name.) From a review in the NZ Herald:
Quote:Director Stuart Devenie coaxes powerful performances from a pair of young actors

Up next: Stu takes on one of the classic dramatic roles of the 20th century, Big Daddy Pollitt in a revival of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," running at ATC from July 10th to August 2nd. The role is traditionally played by a larger older man - Burl Ives originated it, and James Earl Jones, Laurence Olivier (short, but broad-shouldered) Charles Durning, Ned Beatty, Fred Gwynne (slender but very tall) and Rip Torn have all done it, but so did George Grizzard, who had a fairly normal build. This is an incredible opportunity for Stuart, and a tremendous honor! :bg:
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#20
In the PR material for Tin Roof, Stuart and his co-star are referred to as "giants of the New Zealand theatre - Stuart Devenie and Alison Quigan playing the Southern Landowners Big Daddy and Big Mumma respectively."

Assuming that's not a typo, apparently they've Kiwi-ized Big Mama's nickname. :bg:

On stage at The Maidment Theatre:

Tuesday & Wednesday @ 6.30pm
Thursday - Saturday @ 8pm
Sunday @ 4pm
Monday, 14 July @ 6.30pm
Matinee, 26 July & 2 August @ 2pm

Details here.

Some little tidbits about Stuart's own theatre company, Playfair, and other stage roles, are in his bio for this show:

Quote:Also for Auckland Theatre Company, Stuart has performed in HATCH, DISGRACE, CALIGULA, THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY, LADIES NIGHT, MIDDLE AGE SPREAD, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, COPENHAGEN, SERIAL KILLERS, THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN, TWELVE ANGRY MEN, UNCLE VANYA and MOLLY SWEENEY. Stuart has also directed THE ORDERLY BUSINESS OF LIFE and THE GOD BOY for the Company.

From 1983 - 1984 Stuart was the Artistic Director of Centrepoint Theatre in Palmerston North. He also was a senior tutor at both the New Zealand Drama School and Northland Polytechnic. In 2000, he established a theatre company, Playfair Ltd, in Whangarei and enjoyed successful runs of COLD TURKEY, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, THE GOD BOY, LADIES NIGHT and MIDDLE AGE SPREAD.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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