Press

Bell Shakespeare’s current, touring production of Julius Caesar is possibly the finest, most satisfying Bell production I’ve yet seen (and that’s saying something). It’s also, very possibly, the finest, most complete and completely successful theatrical production I’ve seen this year. In fact, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s one of the finest theatrical productions I’ve ever seen. Shakespeare doesn’t get any better... Anna Cordingley’s set is wonderful. Time and place are evoked, with crumbling grandeur, by a stand-alone column, around which scaffolds are deftly constructed and deconstructed by the actors, working as stagehands.

- Lloyd Bradford Syke, Crikey (for Julius Caesar)

 

The design of Elizabeth is probably the best I've seen in the Merlyn since Chamber Made's 1990 production The Fall of the House of Usher, one of the first productions in this theatre. It is a feast for the eye: Cordingley's intricate costumes distort and exaggerate the human figure, creating a cartoon effect that contrasts sharply with the human body itself, revealed in its nakedness as vulnerable and absurd, like a snail without a shell.

- Alison Croggon, The Australian (for Elizabeth: Almost By Chance A Woman)

 

Anna Cordingley’s set and Paul Jackson’s lighting are … I’ll leave aside superlatives and let description serve as praise. Steeped in Judaic tradition, the design takes us back through the centuries. It inspires a trace of the reverence felt on encountering the world’s great religious architecture: a Gothic thrust stage of bare timber boards, air thick with shadow; a girl lying prone, crushed under the weight of a low-hung candelabrum – one light for each of Israel’s twelve tribes; behind, a six-by-thirteen wooden matrix, symbols of the 613 mitzvoh in Jewish law. God’s presence is everywhere…

- Cameron Woodhead, The Age (for A Golem Story)

 

Sappho… in 9 fragments is first-class theatre.... It is made out of good ideas, of smart solutions. Naked, skin-headed Griffiths emerges from a glass tank filled with ambrosia, which slowly leaks throughout the performance, creating a honey-coloured pond on the floor until all that remains from the glorious poet is a tray of meat. Anna Cordingley and Paul Jackson’s set and lighting design marries absolute minimalism of means with a thorough clarity of signification: it is a high achievement of a design sensibility particular to Australian theatre.

- Jana Perkovic, Guerilla Semiotics (for Sappho… in 9 Fragments)

 

A curtain opens to reveal Winnie cemented waist-deep in a pile of jagged debris reminiscent of the steel "hedgehogs" strewn on English beaches during the war, or the wreckage of an end-of-the-pier show closed early by the Luftwaffe…  There's something vaguely sci-fi about Anna Cordingley's set. It seems to have a crystalline life of its own. Winnie doesn't sink into her pile of debris by Act II, rather, the pile has grown and engulfed her, leaving her peering out from what has become in effect, an outsized piece of costume. Even so, she assures us, this is another happy day…Exceptional theatre. Don't miss it.

- Jason Blake, The Sydney Morning Herald (for Happy Days)