The Dog Logs .
by C.J. Johnson.
Directed by Jocelyn Moore- Carter
Javeenbah Theatre Company.
Cnr Stevens & Ferry Streets,
Season: May 11-26. Bookings: www.javeenbah.org.au
Javeenbah Theatre Company stalwart Jocelyn Moore-Carter has brought together a number of modern theatrical techniques to breathe life into C.J. Johnson’s engaging The Dog Logs.
The result is a funny, moving, occasionally powerful, and, of course, inevitably cute celebration of men’s - and women’s – best friend the dog.
They say every dog will have its day and now, thanks to the award-winning Aussie playwright Johnson, it has its own place in the theatre.
Essentially The Dog Logs is a series of monologues capturing the fun, joy, energy, power, action, usefulness and all round wanting to please charm of our canine companions.
The dozen or so dogs in The Logs appear to hold up a mirror to their masters and mistresses shining our own vanities, aspirations, hopes, fears, jealousies, vulnerabilities, loyalties, loving feelings and joy of life back at us.
Moore-Carter’s production uses puppets – note the opening number – monologues, the critical mass of the dozen actors and pictures of the breeds they represent.
Among the highlights for this reviewer were the story of Rottweiler Borys, whose natural instincts prove his downfall, the slavish loyalty of cattle dog Samson, the faithful partnership of police dog Ando, the vanity of Polly and the cunning of New Zealand airport sniffer Sherlock.
The show is packed with stories, insights and even, at times, the wisdom of creatures that have a heart, a mind and some would say a soul.
There’s a quote in Jocelyn Moore-Carter’s message in the program taken from novelist John Steinbeck which reads: ‘I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that dogs think humans are nuts.’
However, The Dog Logs have enough food for through for a veritable theatrical feast.
Moore-Carter has brought together a fine cast that gave The Dog Logs their all and deserve our praise. The set is simple but effective and the dogs – and their on-stage creations – feel real.
This is a show worth catching and there’s the bonus of half-price tickets on Saturday night, May 19.