Prompter (review)


The cavernous surrounds of the Arts House Meat Market sets the scene for Hydra Poesis’s chaotic presentation of Prompter – a work exploring the boundaries of news practice via new technology, driven by the appetites of media consumers.

A lone reporter opens proceedings with an unknown catastrophe developing on an island somewhere in the South Pacific. At this point, it’s not known whether it’s environmental or a political.

In today’s twenty-four seven news cycle, this is a promising start, as the story develops, we see a reporter ever-changing as further news comes to hand. Interest for most, this is where it ends.

The genesis of the work is underpinned by a significant amount of research, and here lies the problem. The weakness of Prompter lies within its dramaturgical development. Co-written by Director Sam Fox and Patrick Pittman, it is at times too intellectual for its own good.

Fox needed to take a stronger hand in the development of this piece. Too many ideas are presented, that are either clumsily staged or don’t advance the narrative.

Some things are visually striking; a huge inflatable torso with projected images, was slightly obscured for a third of the audience and provided no meaning for the remainder.

Same can be said for the moments of interpretive dance. Why? It’s an out-dated concept that should be relegated to the past. The surreal rendition of Cry Me a River was a fleeting moment of brilliance

On a whole, the stage cast give fine performances. Standouts being Brendan Ewing as the lone reporter, his ‘fixer’ Jule Japhet Chiari, and Katya Shevtsov, as the estranged activist. Much more could have been made of the online cast, who brought very little to advance the narrative.

In Prompter, there is a significant story wanting in the chaos, unfortunately, at present, there is a long way to go.

Arts House –  5 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne
Performance: Friday 9 August 2013 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 18 August 2013
Bookings: 03 9322 3713 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Review: Rohan Shearn Image: Jule Japhet Chiari by Ponch Hawkes