peteg's blog - noise - theatre - 2013 11 04 TheFloatingWorld

Griffin Theatre: The Floating World

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I tried a couple of Mondays ago to get into this on the cheap ($15) but missed out due to the excellent reviews and a bunch of oldies who'd been camping out front since 5pm. This time I got there at 5:20pm (thanks Betts) and would probably still have got one if I'd shown up a bit later. I used the time before the show started to get a croissant and macchiato from the patisserie on Darlinghurst Road.

This is an old Australian play, and has dated somewhat like Summer of the 17th Doll. We're on the 1974 Women's Weekly Cherry Blossom Cruise to the erstwhile empire of Japan, and alongside a seedy master-of-fun we have a very war damaged returned soldier and his self-possessed wife, as well as a pan-Asian servant-class type and (in flashback? dreamland?) a fellow soldier. The acting is excellent, especially given the minimal sets. I enjoyed but did not fathom the Drinking Bird, and the accompanying Jinglish instructions were a bit of a clanger. Justin Stewart Cotta opened with a nice piece of physical expressiveness.

Dave tells me that Richard Flanagan canvasses a similar topic in his recent The Narrow Road to the Deep North. To me it was an antecedent of David Malouf's The Great World.