Review: ABC Radio 702 Sydney

Listen to a PODCAST of Diana Simmonds speaking with Richard Glover about Norm & Ahmed plus Shafana & Aunt Sarrinah at the Seymour Centre until August 29 2009. Terrific to hear how much a piece of theatre has affected someone just by the tone of their voice. Click on this link to listen to the PODCAST of the review on August 18th 2009.


Review: beautifully wrought bookends

"Norm & Ahmed and Shafana & Aunt Sarinnah are like beautifully wrought bookends to a part of Australia's recent history and they are both alarmingly topical and their reception will be constantly evolving." Read Diana Simmonds' perceptive and intelligent review on August 18 2009 at Stagenoise.


Review: powerful...fascinating and moving...highly successful

"Sensitive...powerful...fascinating and moving...beautifully performed...This is a highly successful double bill" Read the review of Norm and Ahmed with Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah by Australia's greatest authority on Australian theatre John McCallum in The Australian on August 11 2009.

2009 Alex Buzo Memorial Lecture: Alana Valentine

Listen to Alana Valentine interviewed by Richard Aedy on ABC Radio National's Life Matters about her new play Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah and giving the second annual Alex Buzo Memorial Lecture on August 10th 2009.

Listen to a podcast of the 2009 Alex Buzo Memorial Lecture CAPTIVATED BY REALITY by Alana Valentine. Read an excerpt at the ABC's Unleashed


Review: Extraordinarily brave and bold double bill

"I believe this to be an extraordinarily brave and bold double bill containing four very fine performers...For those who are adventurous and tired of the white, safe, predictable plays of late and who are ready to be truly moved and inspired by theatre: I urge you to see this production." Read full review in Australian Stage Online


Opening Night: new worlds to be fathomed

It's the morning after the opening night performance of Norm and Ahmed and the premiere if its contemporary companion Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah by Alana Valentine. This production is the culmination of nearly two years of....well, a whole lot of hustling really. My vision for The Alex Buzo Company is to pioneer new ideas and do things that haven't been done before, which as I have discovered, is both freeing and confoundingly restricting. You see, the idea of commissioning a companion play for one of my father's works had no template. So I created my own. Since the idea came to me in 2007, I've been doing the same hot shoe shuffle over and over again, explaining what exactly this project is all about, its value in an ethnically diverse society and of course securing the funding and publicity crucial to making it happen. I sincerely hope that I will be able to tone down Operation Explanation now that the production has opened and people can see the real thing.

While it's always a joy to see Laurence Coy (Norm) and Craig Meneaud (Ahmed) weave their magic as I've had the privilege to do on countless occasions, it was the premiere of the new work that was most exciting for me. Sheridan Harbridge (pictured above) and Camilla Ah Kin's illuminating performance was for an audience including many of the Muslim women interviewed by Alana Valentine for
Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah. I know by now that when people come out of the theatre talking excitedly and starting sentences with "I never thought of it like that..." or "I had no idea..." that the vision is a success. As Shafana so profoundly utters:

"there are yet, new worlds to be fathomed and new impossibilities to be revealed."

August 6th-29th 2009, Seymour Centre
Beautiful new images from the production


Article: Working on fresh approach to Buzo classic

Pictured from left: Alana Valentine, Makiz Ansari and Emma Buzo. Read the article on Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah by Alex Lalak in the Daily Telegraph


Article: Holding a mirror to an Australian classic

Read the article in the Sydney Morning Herald, August 4th 2009


Ahmed takes Norm to a Pakistani restaurant

And just to even things up after the footy (see previous post)