Sunday, 22 January 2012

Gourmet and Grit

Eady has been keen to try a Mexican restaurant recommended to him by a work colleague for weeks called El Barrio in Bayswater Road, Kings Cross. So when I booked tickets to see "The Boys" at a theatre just down the road after completely forgetting my vow to avoid any travel that involved a trip over the Harbour Bridge over the two weekends that works were being carried out, we decided to give El Barrio a go. We headed there for a "kiddie-timed" dinner at 6pm so that we could make the theatre by 7pm. As the food can be ordered in the style of tapas, this wasn't a problem at all and the staff were fabulous about ensuring we would be able to finish in time. Everything was handmade: from the guacamole to the pulled pork on corn chips to the 3 different flavours of tacos we ate - crumbed flat head (heaven in our collective mouths!), frejoles and chicken. The margaritas were sensational too. Eady managed to down two in the hour we were there and even finished off mine whilst giving blessing for the fact he married such a light-weight in the alcohol consumption stakes. The style of the decor was really lovely too and had me thinking about adding concrete floors and exposed brick walls to our list of renovation musts for our townhouse...

After dinner, it was off to the Griffin Theatre where "The Boys" was being staged. I have seen the movie by the same name a number of times (gritty Australian drama being my  most favourite movie genre), which was taken from the original stage production that debuted in Sydney some 20 years ago. It is loosely based on what became known in the media at the time as "The Anita Cobby Killing", a horrific and sadistic murder committed against a young female nurse by a group of 3 brothers. The play was set in the backyard of the house in which the brothers lived and the scenes alternated between pre and post-crime. It reflected on the build-up to the crime and the misogynistic views the brothers had not only towards the women in their lives but the female race in general. It touched on class themes, family loyalty at all costs, feelings of inferiority the brothers had as well as the effect prison can have on someone and the question of rehabilitation within the prison system. It also highlighted not only the acceptance by the women in the lives of the brothers of their faults but the resignation they felt in that the attitudes and behaviour displayed were just part of being a man "It's the thing you see all the time, on street corners and outside's a kind of energy and it's full of nothing but evil".  It was quite harrowing to watch at times, particularly in the second half and I was not the only person grappling with the sheer hatred displayed towards women by the three main characters. Despite the challenging themes, Eady and I both thought the production was brilliant and were really pleased to be able to see such a riveting Australian production. 

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