Edward II

By Christopher Marlowe. Sport for Jove. Seymour Centre. October 1 – 17, 2015

Christopher Marlowe’s account of Edward II of England condenses the twenty turbulent years of his reign into an exposé of love and lust, politics and power.

Fie on love that,

Hatchet death and hate.’Kent: Scene Act V, Sc iv

Director Terry Karabelas: “Marlowe explores how excess and passion always lead to catastrophe and destruction. (It is) an historical tragedy…that transcends time and speaks to our contemporary world where the personal is political and the political is always driven by the personal”.


Music by Jule Styne. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by Arthur Laurents. Shire Music Theatre. Director: Michael Astill. Choreographer: Natalie Hennessy. Musical Director: Belinda Robinson. Sutherland Memorial School of Arts. October 2 – 11, 2015

If we’re talking 'immersive theatre', Sutherland Memorial School of Arts might well be the ideal choice of venue for the musical Gypsy, based on the memoirs of striptease artiste Gypsy Rose Lee. Certainly it fits the stripped back, small-scale vision which director Michael Astill discusses in his program notes.


Into the Woods

Music and Lyrics Stephen Sondheim. Book James Lapine. Harvest Rain QPAC Concert Hall. 1-4 October, 2015

The first production I ever saw of this show was a concert version presented in Melbourne at the Arts Centre. It was such a long time ago now I don't remember exactly when, but the one thing I do remember was a superb score being played on the stage with such gusto and passion and a mesmerising cast who were obviously enjoying the experience as much as the audience. It brought the house down; and there were only minimal costumes and some basic lighting: it was just a simple presentation. 

The Return

By Reg Cribb. University of Adelaide Theatre Guild. Little Theatre, University of Adelaide. October 3-17, 2015

Contemporary psychological thrillers are difficult for theatre companies to stage because the tension that must be present to unsettle and therefore satisfy audiences can be difficult to achieve and even harder to sustain. When the script contains a liberal amount of dark humour the task of balancing the laughs with maintenance of suspense is a very challenging one indeed.

Patient 12

By Kevin Summers. The Bakery, 1812 Theatre (Vic). 1st - 24th October, 2015

With the hundredth anniversary of Gallipoli this year, there are none of us left to even give a second thought on how Australian Society suffered and survived during, and in the follow up to World War 1. It is left to playwrights, like Kevin Summers, to prick our consciences (and our memories) by reaching us emotionally through drama. Patient 12 is not an easy play to perform or watch. A young soldier, with his face blown off, is in a Melbourne Repat hospital and is going to die. There is no way to identify him except for an initial tattooed on his chest.

The Red Balloon

Adapted from the Albert Lamorisse film by Hilary Bell. Black Swan Lab. Directed by Chrissie Parrott. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, WA. Oct 1-17, 2015

Black Swan Lab’s World Premiere of The Red Balloon, is based on the 1956 Albert Lamorisse short film of the same name, and has been adapted for the stage by Hilary Bell. Directed by Chrissie Parrott, it is a loving homage to the source material and is a gentle, tender piece that relies more on aesthetics than words.

Dear John.

M.O.V.E. Theatre. Nexus Arts, Adelaide. OzAsia Festival. 1-3 October, 2015.

Situated at the point where music, theatre, dance, and artistic installation all meet, Dear John is an exploratory and experimental piece of avant-gardism, presented essentially without conventional distance between performers and viewers, as a tribute to legendary musical figure John Cage. Whether you find the end result entrancing, or indifferent, or somewhere in between, will be largely a matter of personal taste.


Director: Meng Jinghui. Playwright: Liao Yimei. Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide. OzAsia Festival. 1-2 October, 2015.

When a show is fit to bursting with its own unique mixture of ambitious ideas, literate language, humour, poignance, creativity, vitality, and outright oddities, it would look like an easy recommendation, yes? There will be those who are thoroughly delighted and entirely thrilled by Amber, as well as others who - like this reviewer - are more cautious in their enthusiasm and measured in their praise.


By Hannie Rayson. Black Swan. Directed by Stuart Halusz. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, WA. 19 Sep - 4 Oct 2015

Extinction, presented by Black Swan, State Theatre Company, is an interesting juxtaposition of conflicting viewpoints, diverse personalities and complex relationships which make a very watchable piece of theatre.

But Wait …There’s More!

Circus Oz. Riverside Theatres Parramatta. Oct 1 – 3, 2015

Circus Oz has delighted and amazed audiences here and around the world for 37 years. This latest of their shows, But Wait …There’s More! continues to delight and amaze! Fast and thrilling, it is full of the high-flying spectacle and acrobatic fun that appeals across the generations.