Reviews

School Of Rock – The Musical

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics: Glenn Slater. Book: Julian Fellowes based on the Paramount movie written by Mike White. GWB Entertainment, S&Co, in association with Kham Inc, by arrangement with The Really Useful Group (Ltd). Director: Laurence Connor. Musical Director: Mark Chamberlain. Choreography: JoAnn M Hunter. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. Opening Night: 13 July 2019

When all the kids start to play their instruments ‘live’ midway in the first act the moment is “electric” and from that point on the show, which is already in high-gear, soars into the stratosphere. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical is simply euphoric, joyously anarchic, wildly funny and absolutely irresistible, and the best new musical we’ve had from the Lord in years.

A Centenary Celebration of Ella Fitzgerald

Alison Jiear. Sydney Cabaret Festival. Seymour Centre, Sydney. July 12/13, 2019

The Australian singer Alison Jiear has lived in Britain for over 30 years and has made a splash there in musicals like Jerry Springer: The Opera and a particularly rousing appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. She’s also a remarkable cabaret performer and commands the stage, here in a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.

Aladdin Jr.

Wyong Musical Theatre Company. Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book adapted and additional lyrics by Jim Luigs, Music adapted and arranged by Brian Louiselle. Based on the Screenplay by Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio. The Grove Theatre, Wyong. 2019 July School Holidays.

Aladdin Jr has been a staple of junior theatre globally for over a decade, being one of the first Disney works to be adapted for the ‘Broadway Jr’ range. Since it first was adapted for young people, it has become the only title in the Jr catalogue to undergo major revisions, to bring it more in line with the acclaimed (and still running) Broadway version. Everything that’s loved about the film and original Jr version remains but it now feels more like a musical inspired by the movie, rather than the just adapted from it.

Tchaikovsky

Barrier Reef Orchestra. George Kniepp Theatre, James Cook University. Conducted by Dr Mark Eager. 14 July 2019.

IT IS a testament to the quality and ever-increasing reputation of Townsville’s Barrier Reef Orchestra that it continues to attract such a range or international conductors to lead it, and word has it that that there is a queue of conductors registering their interest to perform here.

100

By Neil Monaghan, Diene Petterle and Christopher Heimann. Halcyon Playhouse, in association with Luminary Entertainment. Directed by Alison J. Kovacs. The Round Room, Carrington St, Hamilton Hill. July 12-20, 2019.

Halcyon Playhouse is a new theatre company and 100, presented in association with Luminary Entertainment, is their premiere production.

Performed in The Round Room, Carrington St, Hamilton Hill, the venue will be vaguely familiar to many Perth theatregoers, as it shares a foyer with the larger Memorial Hall Theatre, used by Phoenix and several other companies. The round room is literally “round” and 100 is performed ‘in the round’ or perhaps more accurately in a modified traverse style, meaning the audience are very close to the action.

S-27

By Sarah Grochala. Feet First Collective. Directed by Teresa Izzard. Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA. July 12-21, 2019

Feet First Collective’s S-27 is not “a nice little show”. You will not emerge saying “Well, that was fun”. It is however, immersive, powerful and compelling theatre, excellently acted and with an important message.

Autocannibal

Created and Performed by Mitch Jones. Theatre Works, St Kilda. July 10 – 21, 2019

Autocannibal is the new spine chilling dystopic solo theatre show that is performed and created by Mitch Jones (aka Captain Ruin). This is a fine mix of mime/clowning, magical illusion/escapology, aerial acrobatics and performance art that addresses current climate change and eco system concerns.

Oliver!

By Lionel Bart. Laughing Horse. Directed by Adam Salathiel. Koorliny Arts Centre, WA. July 12-20, 2019

One of the most exciting aspects of Laughing Horse’s Oliver!, apart from some stellar performances, was the amount of new faces brought to the stage. Director Adam Salathiel, Musical Director Liam House and Choreographer Zoe Jay have created a satisfying production that beautifully blends veteran performers with fresh-faced emerging performers.

It’s a Wonderful Life Adelaide

A live radio play by Joe Landry. wings2fly theatre. Holden Street Theatres, Adelaide. July 13, 2019

It’s a Wonderful Life was a fun and well-produced piece of theatre, presented with enthusiasm and a high level of skill by the nineteen youngsters in the cast.

These young actors had been working on the play for an intense six days before the performance and they deserve congratulations on their finished effort, as do the directors Michelle Nightingale and Alicia Zorkovic.

The Kursk

By Sasha Janowicz. Villanova Players Theatre Company, Brisbane. 12 to 14 July 2019

The Kursk, a one-act play by Brisbane-based actor and playwright Sasha Janowicz, is a stage version of the events leading up to the tragic final fate for 118 Russian submariners on board the nuclear-powered Kursk in 2000. As Janowicz said when his play debuted at Brisbane’s Metro Arts theatre in 2007, he wrote the piece … “to tell the truth and express my grief about what happened to the Russian sailors." As a heavy drama it is an unusual and brave choice for a Community Theatre group.