A Hard God- by Peter Kenna (Wharf Theatre)

Wow, what an amazing production with Jackie Weaver (Aggie), Kerry Walker (Monica), Max Gillies (Dan), Ralph Cotteral (Martin), Ben Matthews (Joe), David Lyons (Jack) and Maeliosa Stafford (Paddy). Each actor contributed so richly to the dramatic texture of this powerful performance of this classic Australian play. The reason we went to this production was twofold. Firstly to give us a real, live play as a touchstone in our discussions during the next few weeks about what makes drama dramatic? about how the words in a play are transformed by living actors, lighting, stage sets, movement, music etc etc…. All these “other” non-language things are sometimes referred to as the extra-linguistic components of the language of drama. The language of drama itself -unlike the language of poetry, or the language of fiction- is much more than just language on the printed page. The best analogy I have is that drama on the printed page is a bit like music on the printed page: it doesn’t really come into its own until it is played!… on-stage, so to speak. So the language of drama is a composite medium drawing on the talents of musicians, lighting experts, stage artists and the gestures performance characterstics of actors… so one production is never like another….

The other reason why we went to this play is because we are studying the play text next semester (in Australian Literature) and there is no better way of understanding a play than by seeing it alive, in the flesh, so to speak… living, moving, girating, screaming… there in front of you. So thank you all for making the effort to come!

More of this in class on Friday… in the meantime here are some star-studded shots of the “Night to Remember”!
Chau MG



  32 comments for “A Hard God- by Peter Kenna (Wharf Theatre)

  1. April 27, 2006 at 12:27 am

    A NIGHT TO REMEMBER?

    DEFINITELY!!!

    I really enjoyed myself on Tuesday and felt that i gained a great deal from just being in the theatre able to hear the anguish and see the action and feel the emotions. The very atmosphere of being in the scene breaks down that dimension of being the audience or the actor-by that i mean, you feel like you are part of the stage act- it blurs the wall between reality and “acting” when you are there lapping up the experience. And lap it up i did. It was so interesting to see it instead of merely reading it- it definitely gives you that extra drive to want to study it becuase you can definitely understand a play better by experiencing it live.

    i really loved the sarcasm (especially expressed by Aggie and Monica) because a play is worth all the more if you can have a laugh as well as gaining a positive insight into it’s guts (if you know what i mean)

    All in all, from the limited amount of plays i have seen, this one was of course a wonderful experience and one that i will remember. what a feeling knowing that you enjoyed the play and will actually remember it for later educational study!

    Thankyou for the opportunity MG

  2. April 27, 2006 at 12:27 am

    A NIGHT TO REMEMBER?

    DEFINITELY!!!

    I really enjoyed myself on Tuesday and felt that i gained a great deal from just being in the theatre able to hear the anguish and see the action and feel the emotions. The very atmosphere of being in the scene breaks down that dimension of being the audience or the actor-by that i mean, you feel like you are part of the stage act- it blurs the wall between reality and “acting” when you are there lapping up the experience. And lap it up i did. It was so interesting to see it instead of merely reading it- it definitely gives you that extra drive to want to study it becuase you can definitely understand a play better by experiencing it live.

    i really loved the sarcasm (especially expressed by Aggie and Monica) because a play is worth all the more if you can have a laugh as well as gaining a positive insight into it’s guts (if you know what i mean)

    All in all, from the limited amount of plays i have seen, this one was of course a wonderful experience and one that i will remember. what a feeling knowing that you enjoyed the play and will actually remember it for later educational study!

    Thankyou for the opportunity MG

  3. April 27, 2006 at 12:27 am

    A NIGHT TO REMEMBER?

    DEFINITELY!!!

    I really enjoyed myself on Tuesday and felt that i gained a great deal from just being in the theatre able to hear the anguish and see the action and feel the emotions. The very atmosphere of being in the scene breaks down that dimension of being the audience or the actor-by that i mean, you feel like you are part of the stage act- it blurs the wall between reality and “acting” when you are there lapping up the experience. And lap it up i did. It was so interesting to see it instead of merely reading it- it definitely gives you that extra drive to want to study it becuase you can definitely understand a play better by experiencing it live.

    i really loved the sarcasm (especially expressed by Aggie and Monica) because a play is worth all the more if you can have a laugh as well as gaining a positive insight into it’s guts (if you know what i mean)

    All in all, from the limited amount of plays i have seen, this one was of course a wonderful experience and one that i will remember. what a feeling knowing that you enjoyed the play and will actually remember it for later educational study!

    Thankyou for the opportunity MG

  4. April 27, 2006 at 12:27 am

    A NIGHT TO REMEMBER?

    DEFINITELY!!!

    I really enjoyed myself on Tuesday and felt that i gained a great deal from just being in the theatre able to hear the anguish and see the action and feel the emotions. The very atmosphere of being in the scene breaks down that dimension of being the audience or the actor-by that i mean, you feel like you are part of the stage act- it blurs the wall between reality and “acting” when you are there lapping up the experience. And lap it up i did. It was so interesting to see it instead of merely reading it- it definitely gives you that extra drive to want to study it becuase you can definitely understand a play better by experiencing it live.

    i really loved the sarcasm (especially expressed by Aggie and Monica) because a play is worth all the more if you can have a laugh as well as gaining a positive insight into it’s guts (if you know what i mean)

    All in all, from the limited amount of plays i have seen, this one was of course a wonderful experience and one that i will remember. what a feeling knowing that you enjoyed the play and will actually remember it for later educational study!

    Thankyou for the opportunity MG

  5. April 27, 2006 at 12:27 am

    A NIGHT TO REMEMBER?

    DEFINITELY!!!

    I really enjoyed myself on Tuesday and felt that i gained a great deal from just being in the theatre able to hear the anguish and see the action and feel the emotions. The very atmosphere of being in the scene breaks down that dimension of being the audience or the actor-by that i mean, you feel like you are part of the stage act- it blurs the wall between reality and “acting” when you are there lapping up the experience. And lap it up i did. It was so interesting to see it instead of merely reading it- it definitely gives you that extra drive to want to study it becuase you can definitely understand a play better by experiencing it live.

    i really loved the sarcasm (especially expressed by Aggie and Monica) because a play is worth all the more if you can have a laugh as well as gaining a positive insight into it’s guts (if you know what i mean)

    All in all, from the limited amount of plays i have seen, this one was of course a wonderful experience and one that i will remember. what a feeling knowing that you enjoyed the play and will actually remember it for later educational study!

    Thankyou for the opportunity MG

  6. April 27, 2006 at 12:27 am

    A NIGHT TO REMEMBER?

    DEFINITELY!!!

    I really enjoyed myself on Tuesday and felt that i gained a great deal from just being in the theatre able to hear the anguish and see the action and feel the emotions. The very atmosphere of being in the scene breaks down that dimension of being the audience or the actor-by that i mean, you feel like you are part of the stage act- it blurs the wall between reality and “acting” when you are there lapping up the experience. And lap it up i did. It was so interesting to see it instead of merely reading it- it definitely gives you that extra drive to want to study it becuase you can definitely understand a play better by experiencing it live.

    i really loved the sarcasm (especially expressed by Aggie and Monica) because a play is worth all the more if you can have a laugh as well as gaining a positive insight into it’s guts (if you know what i mean)

    All in all, from the limited amount of plays i have seen, this one was of course a wonderful experience and one that i will remember. what a feeling knowing that you enjoyed the play and will actually remember it for later educational study!

    Thankyou for the opportunity MG

  7. April 28, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Thanks luv!!

    I just wanted to thank you Mr Griffith for providing the opportunity to experience this play first hand. The thing I love about plays is the potential for interpretation and analysis which usually far exceeds that of a ‘one dimensional’ text. I love things that have more than one layer, things that require contemplation to fully grasp the intended underlying meaning and themes. The ‘extra-linguistic’ components of this play added to the atmosphere and meaning provoking a new world of opportunities.

    I look forward to hearing everyone else’s theories and elucidation of the play which will have to wait for next semester I assume. One particularly intriguing feature of the play was the two young boys and whether they were actually homosexual or not. People I’ve talked about the play with already had made the assumption that they were, but I felt that the writers were incredibly careful not to confirm either yes or no, which was advertently done for a reason. Given the characterisation, script, dialogue and other such components any definite conclusion of this probably couldn’t be reached, but it does provide an absorbing basis for conversation.

    Anyways, in conclusion, thanks again and I eagerly anticipate deciphering this play with all.

    Peace out.

    • April 28, 2006 at 6:00 am

      Re: Thanks luv!!

      Thanks very much for expressing your satisfaction about the play visit. It is such an important part of our literary experience and I too look forward to unpacking the text in more detail when we have the text in front of us next semester. There is no reason why we can’t start something of a discussion line right here mind you. Maybe others will come in and join the conversation. Cheers
      MG

      • April 28, 2006 at 6:00 am

        Re: Thanks luv!!

        Thanks very much for expressing your satisfaction about the play visit. It is such an important part of our literary experience and I too look forward to unpacking the text in more detail when we have the text in front of us next semester. There is no reason why we can’t start something of a discussion line right here mind you. Maybe others will come in and join the conversation. Cheers
        MG

  8. April 28, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Thanks luv!!

    I just wanted to thank you Mr Griffith for providing the opportunity to experience this play first hand. The thing I love about plays is the potential for interpretation and analysis which usually far exceeds that of a ‘one dimensional’ text. I love things that have more than one layer, things that require contemplation to fully grasp the intended underlying meaning and themes. The ‘extra-linguistic’ components of this play added to the atmosphere and meaning provoking a new world of opportunities.

    I look forward to hearing everyone else’s theories and elucidation of the play which will have to wait for next semester I assume. One particularly intriguing feature of the play was the two young boys and whether they were actually homosexual or not. People I’ve talked about the play with already had made the assumption that they were, but I felt that the writers were incredibly careful not to confirm either yes or no, which was advertently done for a reason. Given the characterisation, script, dialogue and other such components any definite conclusion of this probably couldn’t be reached, but it does provide an absorbing basis for conversation.

    Anyways, in conclusion, thanks again and I eagerly anticipate deciphering this play with all.

    Peace out.

    • April 28, 2006 at 6:00 am

      Re: Thanks luv!!

      Thanks very much for expressing your satisfaction about the play visit. It is such an important part of our literary experience and I too look forward to unpacking the text in more detail when we have the text in front of us next semester. There is no reason why we can’t start something of a discussion line right here mind you. Maybe others will come in and join the conversation. Cheers
      MG

  9. April 28, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Thanks luv!!

    I just wanted to thank you Mr Griffith for providing the opportunity to experience this play first hand. The thing I love about plays is the potential for interpretation and analysis which usually far exceeds that of a ‘one dimensional’ text. I love things that have more than one layer, things that require contemplation to fully grasp the intended underlying meaning and themes. The ‘extra-linguistic’ components of this play added to the atmosphere and meaning provoking a new world of opportunities.

    I look forward to hearing everyone else’s theories and elucidation of the play which will have to wait for next semester I assume. One particularly intriguing feature of the play was the two young boys and whether they were actually homosexual or not. People I’ve talked about the play with already had made the assumption that they were, but I felt that the writers were incredibly careful not to confirm either yes or no, which was advertently done for a reason. Given the characterisation, script, dialogue and other such components any definite conclusion of this probably couldn’t be reached, but it does provide an absorbing basis for conversation.

    Anyways, in conclusion, thanks again and I eagerly anticipate deciphering this play with all.

    Peace out.

    • April 28, 2006 at 6:00 am

      Re: Thanks luv!!

      Thanks very much for expressing your satisfaction about the play visit. It is such an important part of our literary experience and I too look forward to unpacking the text in more detail when we have the text in front of us next semester. There is no reason why we can’t start something of a discussion line right here mind you. Maybe others will come in and join the conversation. Cheers
      MG

  10. April 28, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Thanks luv!!

    I just wanted to thank you Mr Griffith for providing the opportunity to experience this play first hand. The thing I love about plays is the potential for interpretation and analysis which usually far exceeds that of a ‘one dimensional’ text. I love things that have more than one layer, things that require contemplation to fully grasp the intended underlying meaning and themes. The ‘extra-linguistic’ components of this play added to the atmosphere and meaning provoking a new world of opportunities.

    I look forward to hearing everyone else’s theories and elucidation of the play which will have to wait for next semester I assume. One particularly intriguing feature of the play was the two young boys and whether they were actually homosexual or not. People I’ve talked about the play with already had made the assumption that they were, but I felt that the writers were incredibly careful not to confirm either yes or no, which was advertently done for a reason. Given the characterisation, script, dialogue and other such components any definite conclusion of this probably couldn’t be reached, but it does provide an absorbing basis for conversation.

    Anyways, in conclusion, thanks again and I eagerly anticipate deciphering this play with all.

    Peace out.

    • April 28, 2006 at 6:00 am

      Re: Thanks luv!!

      Thanks very much for expressing your satisfaction about the play visit. It is such an important part of our literary experience and I too look forward to unpacking the text in more detail when we have the text in front of us next semester. There is no reason why we can’t start something of a discussion line right here mind you. Maybe others will come in and join the conversation. Cheers
      MG

  11. April 28, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Thanks luv!!

    I just wanted to thank you Mr Griffith for providing the opportunity to experience this play first hand. The thing I love about plays is the potential for interpretation and analysis which usually far exceeds that of a ‘one dimensional’ text. I love things that have more than one layer, things that require contemplation to fully grasp the intended underlying meaning and themes. The ‘extra-linguistic’ components of this play added to the atmosphere and meaning provoking a new world of opportunities.

    I look forward to hearing everyone else’s theories and elucidation of the play which will have to wait for next semester I assume. One particularly intriguing feature of the play was the two young boys and whether they were actually homosexual or not. People I’ve talked about the play with already had made the assumption that they were, but I felt that the writers were incredibly careful not to confirm either yes or no, which was advertently done for a reason. Given the characterisation, script, dialogue and other such components any definite conclusion of this probably couldn’t be reached, but it does provide an absorbing basis for conversation.

    Anyways, in conclusion, thanks again and I eagerly anticipate deciphering this play with all.

    Peace out.

  12. April 28, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Thanks luv!!

    I just wanted to thank you Mr Griffith for providing the opportunity to experience this play first hand. The thing I love about plays is the potential for interpretation and analysis which usually far exceeds that of a ‘one dimensional’ text. I love things that have more than one layer, things that require contemplation to fully grasp the intended underlying meaning and themes. The ‘extra-linguistic’ components of this play added to the atmosphere and meaning provoking a new world of opportunities.

    I look forward to hearing everyone else’s theories and elucidation of the play which will have to wait for next semester I assume. One particularly intriguing feature of the play was the two young boys and whether they were actually homosexual or not. People I’ve talked about the play with already had made the assumption that they were, but I felt that the writers were incredibly careful not to confirm either yes or no, which was advertently done for a reason. Given the characterisation, script, dialogue and other such components any definite conclusion of this probably couldn’t be reached, but it does provide an absorbing basis for conversation.

    Anyways, in conclusion, thanks again and I eagerly anticipate deciphering this play with all.

    Peace out.

    • April 28, 2006 at 6:00 am

      Re: Thanks luv!!

      Thanks very much for expressing your satisfaction about the play visit. It is such an important part of our literary experience and I too look forward to unpacking the text in more detail when we have the text in front of us next semester. There is no reason why we can’t start something of a discussion line right here mind you. Maybe others will come in and join the conversation. Cheers
      MG

  13. April 28, 2006 at 6:00 am

    Re: Thanks luv!!

    Thanks very much for expressing your satisfaction about the play visit. It is such an important part of our literary experience and I too look forward to unpacking the text in more detail when we have the text in front of us next semester. There is no reason why we can’t start something of a discussion line right here mind you. Maybe others will come in and join the conversation. Cheers
    MG

  14. May 1, 2006 at 2:15 am

    A Hard God…

    Hey MG, just wanted to say thank you for taking us to see a Hard God as i feel it will really benefit me when i got study it, now that i have seen a production of it. And what a production! It’s wonderful to see a group of great and seasoned actors doing such a rich script justice! I thought Ben Mathews (Joe) was a real standout, with a performance filled with innocence, wonder and sadness. And of course Jacki Weaver was brilliant, but that was a given! I think the play raises some very interesting questions on the Catholic faith and I’m looking foward to analysing them when we study it!

    Thanks again! Amelia

  15. May 1, 2006 at 2:15 am

    A Hard God…

    Hey MG, just wanted to say thank you for taking us to see a Hard God as i feel it will really benefit me when i got study it, now that i have seen a production of it. And what a production! It’s wonderful to see a group of great and seasoned actors doing such a rich script justice! I thought Ben Mathews (Joe) was a real standout, with a performance filled with innocence, wonder and sadness. And of course Jacki Weaver was brilliant, but that was a given! I think the play raises some very interesting questions on the Catholic faith and I’m looking foward to analysing them when we study it!

    Thanks again! Amelia

  16. May 1, 2006 at 2:15 am

    A Hard God…

    Hey MG, just wanted to say thank you for taking us to see a Hard God as i feel it will really benefit me when i got study it, now that i have seen a production of it. And what a production! It’s wonderful to see a group of great and seasoned actors doing such a rich script justice! I thought Ben Mathews (Joe) was a real standout, with a performance filled with innocence, wonder and sadness. And of course Jacki Weaver was brilliant, but that was a given! I think the play raises some very interesting questions on the Catholic faith and I’m looking foward to analysing them when we study it!

    Thanks again! Amelia

  17. May 1, 2006 at 2:15 am

    A Hard God…

    Hey MG, just wanted to say thank you for taking us to see a Hard God as i feel it will really benefit me when i got study it, now that i have seen a production of it. And what a production! It’s wonderful to see a group of great and seasoned actors doing such a rich script justice! I thought Ben Mathews (Joe) was a real standout, with a performance filled with innocence, wonder and sadness. And of course Jacki Weaver was brilliant, but that was a given! I think the play raises some very interesting questions on the Catholic faith and I’m looking foward to analysing them when we study it!

    Thanks again! Amelia

  18. May 1, 2006 at 2:15 am

    A Hard God…

    Hey MG, just wanted to say thank you for taking us to see a Hard God as i feel it will really benefit me when i got study it, now that i have seen a production of it. And what a production! It’s wonderful to see a group of great and seasoned actors doing such a rich script justice! I thought Ben Mathews (Joe) was a real standout, with a performance filled with innocence, wonder and sadness. And of course Jacki Weaver was brilliant, but that was a given! I think the play raises some very interesting questions on the Catholic faith and I’m looking foward to analysing them when we study it!

    Thanks again! Amelia

  19. May 1, 2006 at 2:15 am

    A Hard God…

    Hey MG, just wanted to say thank you for taking us to see a Hard God as i feel it will really benefit me when i got study it, now that i have seen a production of it. And what a production! It’s wonderful to see a group of great and seasoned actors doing such a rich script justice! I thought Ben Mathews (Joe) was a real standout, with a performance filled with innocence, wonder and sadness. And of course Jacki Weaver was brilliant, but that was a given! I think the play raises some very interesting questions on the Catholic faith and I’m looking foward to analysing them when we study it!

    Thanks again! Amelia

  20. May 2, 2006 at 9:10 am

    Ok, well I liked the play but I didn’t love it. I thought it was a bit hard on God. Whatever happened to God just being there in our suffering rather than have to fix it, and why do religious people (Monica) always have to be so pious? However I did love the experience of the theatre. It was my first time at the Wharf theatre and it was beautiful. I like your description of a play, living, moving, girating and screaming in front of us. I can tell you ae a poet. Anyway thanks for organising it, must have been a lot of work.

  21. May 2, 2006 at 9:10 am

    Ok, well I liked the play but I didn’t love it. I thought it was a bit hard on God. Whatever happened to God just being there in our suffering rather than have to fix it, and why do religious people (Monica) always have to be so pious? However I did love the experience of the theatre. It was my first time at the Wharf theatre and it was beautiful. I like your description of a play, living, moving, girating and screaming in front of us. I can tell you ae a poet. Anyway thanks for organising it, must have been a lot of work.

  22. May 2, 2006 at 9:10 am

    Ok, well I liked the play but I didn’t love it. I thought it was a bit hard on God. Whatever happened to God just being there in our suffering rather than have to fix it, and why do religious people (Monica) always have to be so pious? However I did love the experience of the theatre. It was my first time at the Wharf theatre and it was beautiful. I like your description of a play, living, moving, girating and screaming in front of us. I can tell you ae a poet. Anyway thanks for organising it, must have been a lot of work.

  23. May 2, 2006 at 9:10 am

    Ok, well I liked the play but I didn’t love it. I thought it was a bit hard on God. Whatever happened to God just being there in our suffering rather than have to fix it, and why do religious people (Monica) always have to be so pious? However I did love the experience of the theatre. It was my first time at the Wharf theatre and it was beautiful. I like your description of a play, living, moving, girating and screaming in front of us. I can tell you ae a poet. Anyway thanks for organising it, must have been a lot of work.

  24. May 2, 2006 at 9:10 am

    Ok, well I liked the play but I didn’t love it. I thought it was a bit hard on God. Whatever happened to God just being there in our suffering rather than have to fix it, and why do religious people (Monica) always have to be so pious? However I did love the experience of the theatre. It was my first time at the Wharf theatre and it was beautiful. I like your description of a play, living, moving, girating and screaming in front of us. I can tell you ae a poet. Anyway thanks for organising it, must have been a lot of work.

  25. May 2, 2006 at 9:10 am

    Ok, well I liked the play but I didn’t love it. I thought it was a bit hard on God. Whatever happened to God just being there in our suffering rather than have to fix it, and why do religious people (Monica) always have to be so pious? However I did love the experience of the theatre. It was my first time at the Wharf theatre and it was beautiful. I like your description of a play, living, moving, girating and screaming in front of us. I can tell you ae a poet. Anyway thanks for organising it, must have been a lot of work.

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