The Duck Inn Pub and Kitchen, Chippendale & God's Ear (17th November 2011)

Jono and I have not yet been to the theatre together in Sydney and decided to check out God's Ear by American playwright Jenny Schwartz that is on at the Reginald Theatre (Seymour Centre) from 10th November - 3rd December this evening in the suburb of Chippendale. Normally $27 per person, I got a 2-for-1 deal from livingsocial (another one of those discount voucher websites) - score! The tickets had to be redeemed beforehand so I had booked our seats over the phone and the tickets were sent to us in the same week.

We caught up at Redfern train station around 6.40pm then walked to The Duck Inn Pub And Kitchen on Rose Street in Chippendale, located just half a block away from the theatre for dinner. A discount voucher for dinner before the show was included in the mail with our tickets - for $26 per person, you got an entree and main each plus a guarantee from the restaurant that you would make it to the show, provided you turn up for dinner between 5 - 7pm. We were there on the dot at 7pm and they were still happy to serve us and guarantee we will make it in time. Phew! We had a corner table sitting on the long couches that runs along the four walls in the dining area with a beach house theme, lots of throw pillows littered on the couches, giving it a very homely and relaxed atmosphere. The place was busy with other theatre goers though service was prompt and friendly. I had the Salt N Pepper Squid for my entree and Pan Fried Atlantic Salmon with Warm Salad of Zucchini, Daikon, Soy & Honey Dressing for my main while Jono had the Chicken Liver Parfait with Onion Marmalade, Cornichons & Toasted Brioch for his entree and Seared Duck Breast with Steamed Bok Choi & Radish Salad with a Star Anise & Honey Jus for his main. We also shared a side of green beans and had a bottle of beer each. The food was good in general though we both thought the duck dish was way too salty. The beans were really yummy lightly buttered and sprinkled with toasted almonds. I reckon it'll be nice to come here in summer for brunch - they have a backyard for outdoor seating which looks very inviting :)

The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We left for the theatre just 10 minutes before the show started. This was our first time to the Seymour Centre located in the heart of the University of Sydney The place reminded me somewhat of Circa Theatre in Wellington and had 4 performance venues, one of them being the Reginald Theatre, a small, informal studio-style theatre that holds up to 200 people. We had seats near the aisle just 3 rows from the stage and the theatre was quite empty when the show started at 8pm (probably about 20 in the audience).

The play was 1.5 hours long and had no interval. It started off with conversations between Mel and Ted, a married couple whose son recently died. Their relationship was highly strained due to their recent loss, routine conversations were tedious and painfully (yet cleverly) filled with linguistic wordplay and repartee that pieces together into poetry. Both Jono and I were very impressed with the use of words, how so many different ones can be used to describe the same thing though I have to admit, after about the fifth round of such repetitious wordplay, it was rather tiresome and I couldn't wait for it to end so we could all move on. The couple has a young girl, Lanie (no kids in this production - it was an adult playing this character), who was caught up in her parent's grief, trying to get their attention and love which was not reciprocated - both parents were lost in their own world, the mother deeply spiraling down in depression while the father escapes by travelling for work lots. Everyday interactions turn surreal with interesting characters appearing in their lives - a transvestite stewardess, a woman in an airport bar who's allergic to anything organic, GI Joe and the Tooth Fairy (the last two characters were from Lanie's imagination). These characters brought some light and humour into the grimness from the grief. I liked the transvestite and GI Joe best, both characters uniquely different yet well-played by the same actor. In fact, the cast performed very well in their various roles. It's definitely a dark story and there was no clear happy ending. I left the theatre with a strange lingering feeling of emptiness and loss - I guess the play did provoke me somewhat thus causing me to feel this way. An interesting start to theatre shows in Sydney. More to come I'm sure!


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