Reviews

Dahlesque

Elise McCann. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2017. June 17 and 18, 2017

This is a marvelous tribute to Roald Dahl, and in particular his extraordinary, inventive and imaginative command of the English language – despite a rather contrary beginning when a boy.

The radiant Elise McCann takes us on a delightful journey through the life of Roald Dahl, heightened and punctuated by respective songs relative to Dahl and his work.

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

By Alice Birch. Malthouse. Merlyn Theatre. 16 June – 9 July, 2017

This is vital theatre - the type that demands you think and feel at the same time. 

The first three scenes are staged in a box that is neat and contained, and used to denote several indoor settings.  There is much to laugh about in each of these incidents.  In all three we get to witness a perfectly rational and charming young woman speaking from a perspective that completely destabilizes very deep-rooted social mores around sex, marriage and work.  Words are used to describe what is generally unspoken and, in fact, largely unacknowledged. 

Mr Stink

By Maryam Master, based on the book by David Walliams. CDP Kids. Director: Jonathan Biggins. Gardens Theatre, Brisbane. June 24-July 2, 2017, followed by NSW/ACT tour in July.

Mr Stink is a multi-layered play in a single-story context, and for an hour’s entertainment in the school holidays, it is a valuable experience for parents and children.

For school children, the play goes like this:

A young school girl befriends a homeless man and tries to help him out when a would-be local government MP (AKA, the young girl’s mother) says all homeless people should be banned from her area of town.

Older kids and adults will read a little more into it:

Alice In Wonderland

Adapted and directed by Terri Brabon. TheatreiNQ. Anderson Gardens, Townsville, Queensland. 24 June to 9 July, 2017

Set against a lush background of raintrees and tropical rainforest, this production of Alice in Wonderland has been re-worked by director/adapter Terri Brabon for a contemporary production which can only be described in these words – original, inventive and delightful.

100 Reasons for War (War, What is it Good For?)

By Tom Holloway. La Mama. June 21 to June 25, 2017

This production by La Trobe’s Student Theatre is most impressive and completely engaging.  Performed by eleven young adults with clarity and poise.  This is a testament to the skills of Director Bob Pavlich as a very experienced director of Student Theatre having been the Artistic Director of Student Theatre and Film at Latrobe University for 21 years. 

City of Angels

Book by Larry Gelbart. Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by David Zippel. Beenleigh Theatre Group. June 23 – July 8, 2017.

City of Angels is a musical comedy with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel, and book by Larry Gelbart. The musical weaves together two plots, the "real" world of a writer trying to turn his book into a screenplay, and the "reel" world of the fictional film. The musical is an homage to the film noir genre of motion pictures that rose to prominence in the 1940s.

The Eisteddfod

By Lally Katz. Black Swan State Theatre Company. Directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, WA. June 22 - July 9, 2017

In the way that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, one shouldn’t judge Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of Lally Katz’s The Eisteddfod from the poster. Released last year, the bright and funky poster picture does not reflect the starker look and darker feel of the production by Jeffrey Jay Fowler. This is black comedy, not a fantastical romp.

Songs of Love and Revolution

Adelaide Cabaret Festival Closing Variety Gala. Her Majesty’s Theatre. 24th June, 2017

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival can quite successfully claim to be one of the best in the world. From the lavish glittering showcase that was the opening Gala, through the myriad of performances during the festival, to the smashing Closing Variety Gala at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide has been treated to talent in spades.

Tapestry: The Songs Of Carole King

Vika Bull & Linda Bull. Dunstan Playhouse. Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2017. June 23 & 24, 2017

After seeing Dahlesque, Courtney Act, Dianne Reeves, Michael Feinstein and Matilda: The Musical – all a part of this year’s wonderful Adelaide Cabaret Festival – my final show was Tapestry – and it was the best!

Not that the others were anything less than wonderful in their own way, but this one had a particular magic and standard of excellence, as well as last minute back-stage drama, that made it special.

Journey to the Centre of Attention.

Reuben Kaye. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Artspace.June 23rd and 24th, 2017

I had heard the rumours, but nothing could have prepared me for the tour de force that is Reuben Kaye.

A tall, devilishly handsome man doused in glitter and rhinestones and the longest eyelashes I have ever seen, he is a cross between a drag queen and a matinee idol. As he sashayed toward the stage, microphone in hand, it became apparent that he is all about the details - this is a microphone adorned with a mane of brunette locks.