Hitchcock Blonde by Terry Johnson

Cast & Crew Amelia Foxton, Belinda Marques, David Sutton,
Eleni Schumacher, Geoff Cartwright, Steven McGrath

Lighting Design by Jon Tidswell ;
Music design by Simeon Barlow ;
Cinematography by David Tucker ;
Still photography by Stephanie Foxton ;

Directed by Roz Riley Image not available

an excerpt from what the reviewer (Australian Theatre), Brad Syke, had to say.

Factory Space Theatre, always adventurously eclectic in its selection of productions, has excelled itself with Terry Johnson’s Hitchcock Blonde, a speculative, pseudo-psychoanalytic probing of why one particular gentleman preferred blondes. The gentleman in question, of course, will be obvious from the title.

Beginning with a Pygmalionesque flirtation between a semiotics prof and a voluptuous, young acolyte, the play insists we surrender ourselves to several parallel journeys; not least a voyage of discovery designed to uncover the buried, treasured secret to which I’ve alluded above. In exploring it, they discover much about themselves, as they patiently, yet urgently, piece together elusive fragments of disintegrating celluloid; in the process cobbling together forgotten and denied parts of each other. Johnson blurs the boundaries of stage and cinema in this ’big, bold adventure’, as London’s Evening Standard referred to it. Scenes are also blurred and montaged; Johnson relying on slow dissolves, rather than cuts: are we in the here and now, or Hollywood, 1959? What is merely cinematic licence and what problematically real? The play draws heavily on the iconic landmarks of Hitch’s career and the dry, deadpan, caustic genius of the man himself. Central is the infamous Psycho shower scene.

Factory Space founder and artistic director, Roz Riley, has capitalised on most opportunities, while missing only a few. Her cast is exceedingly good and well-chosen. She has grappled with the difficulties of temporal transitions expertly, such that audiences, I expect, unless lazy or dull, will have few difficulties coping with them. Indeed, for mine, this is most probably Dr Riley ’s finest.

Johnson's play echoes Hitchcock's filmic canon, inasmuch as proving a jumping-off point for closer inspection of unsettling issues. The darkness, however, is permeated and peppered by light, bright comic relief. All-in-all, this is a sexy, provocative, penetrating play; exceptionally well-written and played to, well, just, this side of the hilt, by a company whose endeavours well-and-truly surpass budget and resources. Accordingly, your small investment will well-and-truly reap rewards; especially, if you ’re not averse to thinking about the underbelly of human affairs, rather than having it painted, starkly, on a small screen, in prime time. Besides, what voyeur can resist an exploration of the motivations, inspirations, history, heart, mind and soul of one of the most influential figures in film?