Sunday, 28 September 2008

It's a wrap > The Real Thring

The Real Thring is over. Thanks to our dedicated cast, crew and audiences; and in particular our Partner and Supporters.
Triple R
Yarra Trams
Fred Kroh Photographer
Luke Furniture
Moreland City Council

Sunday, 21 September 2008

ABC Radio National Artworks > The Real Thring

Visit the ABC Radio National Artworks transcript presented by Julie Copeland, which includes commentary from Barry Dickins about his play The Real Thring and excerpts read from the script by actor Michael F Cahill.

3MBS Review > The Real Thring

Reviewed by John Sheridan on Saturday, 20.09.08 for 3MBS’s “Accidental Arts” Saturdays at 11.30am on 103.5AM.
Frank Thring was a powerful presence on stage, radio or in the many films he appeared in such as ‘Ben Hur’, King of Kings’ and ‘El Cid’. He was loved, feared and sometimes loathed, but you couldn’t ignore him.

Barry Dickens play ‘The Real Thring’ is, as he says, ‘more a reimaging or fantasy of what’s playing in his mind’, and this I think is one of the keys to understanding the piece.

The play is produced by Melbourne Independent Theatre company, Hoy Polloy and directed by Wayne Pearn.

Thring, interpreted for us by Michael F Cahill, is reliving his life in those final days when his legs had been amputated, due to diabetes, and he was dying of cancer of the throat.

It’s impossible to sum up such an extraordinary life as Thring’s in the 75 or 80 minutes of the piece. Cahill is wise in that he doesn’t attempt to impersonate Thring; that would have become somewhat tiresome at about the 30 minute mark. Rather, his interpretation draws you in as he ponders what was, and what he threw away – why? – we shall probably never know.

The play has a good opening scene, and just as you’re recovering from this, it dawns on you that the structure is in verse form, reminiscent, for me anyway, of C.J.Dennis. This is appropriate, in one sense, as young Francis first starring role was at the age of 6 in his father’s feature film of 1932, ‘The Sentimental Bloke’.

Thring senior was a pioneer in film making in Melbourne. He was also involved with Hoyt’s Theatres and radio Station 3XY; heady stuff for young Francis.

Although Thring adored his father, he wasn’t oblivious to the man’s faults. Frank was only 10 when F.T.Thring died, and I wonder did he ever get over it.

‘The Real Thring’ is at the RRR Performance Space, 221 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East until September 27th

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Online Reviews > The Real Thring

On Stage (and walls) Melbourne > Michael Magnusson
Australian Stage Online > Bron Batten
The Age > Martin Ball > Anne-Marie Peard
Arts Hub > Madeline Wilson > Penny Wedesweiler
MCV > Michael Magnusson
Theatre People > Chris Baldock

Sunday, 14 September 2008

3CR Review > The Real Thring

Reviewed by John Gunn on Sunday, 14.09.08 for 3CR’s “Curtain Up”
Sundays at 1.00pm on 855AM.
This new play by Barry Dickens looks at the life, death and fame of Frank Thring, to many an enigma, an actor who specialised in flamboyancy and the creating of a persona, yet as we watch this story unfold we see a remarkably different man to the one we have seen on stage, screen and TV. Yes he was outrageous to the public eye, however there was also a private loneliness and to me a sadness within .

For those who don’t know about him, Frank Thring was a well known Melbourne Actor and son of Frank Thring Snr. who produced movies before World War 2 and owned the Regent Theatre in Collins Street, he died when the young Frank (educated at Melb. Grammar School) was only 10 years old…. and there is much to suggest that he was a spoiled brat even at that early age.

He grew up to enjoy great acting success in England with contemporaries such as Vivien Leigh, Lawrence Olivier and was a close friend of Robert Helpmann… He found fame in Hollywood movies such as Ben Hur, El Cid, King of Kings with his villainous and saturninely crafted persona…. After his overseas success, he worked extensively for John Sumner’s Melb. Theatre Co, made local movies such as ‘Mad Max’, did commercials and even became King of Moomba….

This is not a biography or a campy impersonation but a story that lets us into the mind of Thring and playwright Barry Dickens has carefully constructed a piece that is both a kaleidoscope and a roller coaster ride that takes you on a fascinating journey…

The dialogue is witty, often foul and is constructed with much rhyming followed by an aside or throwaway, the latter so typical of Thring….This theatrical yet often dramatic piece is well-layered and the reminiscences in the dialogue move about, timewise – almost from birth to death..…. From my slight acquaintance (as a young man) with Frank Thring some decades back now, I was riveted by both script and performance and believe that both actor and playwright have been true in the image they have conveyed…

Wayne Pearn has directed with compassion and a certain tenderness without shying away from the grossness that keeps you totally engaged for the running time of 90 mins. . Michael F. Cahill as Frank Thring gives a tour de force performance with his strong voice and excellent diction and brings out the many facets that made this complex man a household name from the 50’s through to his death in the late 1990’s, despite being loud, sarcastic, vulgar and prey to too much sex and booze – always clad in black with ostentatious jewellery……..

The setting of just a chair centre stage and a small table (with, naturally, a bottle and glass) never detracts from the performance and enhanced by Stelios Karigianus’ excellent lighting, sits admirably in the space at 3RRR, where Frank Thring spent many hours in his later years….

Yes I did enjoy this production by Hoy Polloy of Barry Dickens The Real Thring and it continues at 3RRR in Nicholson St, East Brunswick tram stop 27 until the 27/9 at 8.15pm and 5 pm Sunday and you can book on 9016 3873... or

Highly recommended to sophisticated and adult theatregoers.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Production Pics > The Real Thring

Credit: Fred Kroh
Caption: Michael F Cahill

The Age > Brutally Frank

Visit The Age article "Brutally Frank" by Robin Usher, which includes commentary from Barry Dickins, Wayne Pearn and Michael F Cahill about The Real Thring, which opens tonight.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Inpress > On a good Thring

Attached is an Inpress clipping, "On a good Thring" by Daniel Vigilante, who interviewed actor Michael F Cahill about The Real Thring.

Friday, 5 September 2008

The Age > Legend of the final Thring

Visit The Age article "Legend of the final Thring" by Fiona Scott-Norman, which includes commentary from Barry Dickins about his play The Real Thring, which opens next week.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Herald Sun > The Thring thing

Attached is a Herald Sun clipping, "The Thring thing" by Ben Starick, about Frank Thring and Hoy Polloy's next production The Real Thring by Barry Dickins, which opens next Friday, 12 September 2008.