IN THE COMPANY OF ACTORS (Ian Darling). 75 minutes. Screens Saturday (February 23) as part of OzFlix, in the Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre, Royal Ontario Museum. Rating: NN
Stage companies almost never allow outsiders into rehearsals, let alone documentary film crews – too many artistic differences on view, otherwise known as screaming matches. So I assumed In The Company Of Actors wouldn’t reveal much.
No kidding. We’re in a theatre in Sydney, Australia, with the cast and crew of Hedda Gabler, starring Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, as they prepare for their New York opening, and there isn’t an ounce of tension, either personal or creative.
The sudden death of costume designer Kristian Fredrikson three weeks into production is glossed over in 30 seconds. The potential strain of having Blanchett and Weaving, two bona fide movie stars, in a company of stage actors never materializes, and everything else goes way too swimmingly.
Either editor Sally Fryer was instructed to axe anything remotely controversial or this was the dullest production experience ever.
Blanchett, to her credit, is smarter than the average actor, but the interviews with the cast are about as deep as an Entertainment Tonight segment.
Theatre lovers won’t learn much, and stage professionals won’t believe any of it for second.