Paradise Lost | Bare Witness Theatre Company


Paradise Lost | Bare Witness Theatre CompanyPhotos – Richard Lennon

So, you want the biblical tale of man’s fall to have grit and passion? Paradise Lost by Bare Witness Theatre Company takes John Milton’s 350-year-old 12-book epic poem, and concentrates the juicy bits into about an hour of teeth-gnashing classic acting.

Taking on such an iconic saga is a tough gig. And for one man to guide a small audience on the journey really needs attention to detail. Theatre artist Christopher Samuel Carroll uses a lot of skill to fine tune every minute of where to stand, his facial expression, vocal tone, accent and volume. All the more impressive in such a stripped back production – in every sense. No set. No props. No costumes – though there is a dash of Japanese. I’m not really sure what that brings to the experience. Perhaps it’s to generate a contemplative mood both before and after Carroll’s monologue interlaced with multiple characters, in a kind of Benedict Cumberbatch-does-Shakespeare manner.

Speaking of the Bard, the lingo of Paradise Lost is similar: lots of ‘thee’, ‘thoest’...which takes some concentration to mind-translate into ye olde 2017 (at least it did for me). Thankfully Carroll’s natural skill remembering all those lines maintains momentum while he also captures attention with natural storytelling gestures. The lighting design by Gillian Schwab also helps to transition between characters and scenes: warm glows in ‘good’ and sharp shadow contrasts for ‘evil’.

If passionate poetry recital is what bites your apple, then Paradise Lost is a polished work. But if you prefer stand-up comedy, plotline based plays or blingy productions, Paradise Lost may be a little too... esoteric.


Bare Witness Theatre Company presents
Paradise Lost

Canberra
Belconnen Arts Centre | 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen ACT
26 – 28 January 2017
$22 – $28
www.barewitness.eventsity.com

Perth
The Flaming Locomotive: Engine Room | State Theatre Centre of WA (access from downstairs bar), 174 - 176 William Street, Northbridge WA
31 Jan – 4 Feb 2017
$20 – $25
www.fringeworld.com.au

Adelaide
Henrietta’s | 29-31 Chesser St, Adelaide
16 – 25 February 2017
$22 – $28
www.adelaidefringe.com.au

Supported by Belconnen Arts Centre




   

Most read reviews

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street | TEG Life Like Company

This show features a great cast in an unambitious production of a classic musical in an awful theatre.

The Return of Ulysses | Pinchgut Opera

Pinchgut Opera is a national treasure. This wonderful opera is hardly known in Australia, and to have it so completely brought to life is a gift of enormous proportions.

Gruesome Playground Injuries | Tasmanian Theatre Company

The play zigzags between moments of real pathos, laughter, the farther reaches of psychological motivation and plain old-fashioned gross-out slapstick.

Opening Gala | 2019 Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Cabaret in Melbourne is thriving and each year, the genre receives a very healthy boost with a dedicated festival.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street | TEG Life Like Company

This is without question another ‘born to play’ role for one of this country’s finest performers and genuinely leaves previously versions trailing somewhere far behind.

Most read news

Sweeney Todd

For six shows only in both Melbourne and Sydney, legendary leading man Anthony Warlow and the incomparable Gina Riley are teaming up for a barber-ous bake off in Stephen Sondheim’s and Hugh Wheeler’s thrilling musical masterpiece – Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

18th Bangalow Music Festival 2019

The 18th Bangalow Music Festival 2019 (BMF) has unveiled its stellar 18th BMF program under the theme of Conversations through Chamber Music.

Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required