Reviews

Deluxe Deluxe and Infamous

Coral Drouyn reviews two of the latest Cirque/Cabaret Productions opening in Queensland this week.

Deluxe Deluxe

The Antipodes

By Annie Baker. Red Stitch, East St Kilda, VIC. 10 July – 12 August 2018.

Annie Baker’s The Antipodes is set in a television ‘writers’ room’.  Having spent a great deal of time in ‘writers’ rooms’ in my career, I wondered how Ms Baker would depict such a thing.  It wasn’t going to be how, say, David Mamet would depict it.  It turns out that her ‘writers’ room’ bears only tenuous resemblance to any real writers’ room in which I have worked – or indeed to any I’ve heard or read about. 

Macbeth

By William Shakespeare. National Theatre Live. Nova Cinema & participating venues. 21 July – 1 August 2018

Director Rufus Norris sets his Macbeth in a dystopian world, in the chaos, barbarity and destruction of the aftermath of a civil war. 

Good Muslim Boy

By Osamah Sami. Adaptation: Osamah Sami & Janice Muller. Queensland Theatre & Malthouse Theatre. Director: Janice Muller. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 12 July – 4 August 2018

A portion of Osamah Sami’s 2015 memoir Good Muslim Boy has previously been adapted into the successful movie Ali’s Wedding; now this play adaptation takes another part of the book, perhaps the most moving sequence of events in it, the sudden death of his cleric father while on a pilgrimage to Iran and his efforts to bring the body back to Australia against insurmountable obstacles.

Madame Butterfly

Opera Australia onTour. Director: John Bell. Conductor: Warwick Stengärds. Drum Theatre, Dandenong, July 13 & 14, 2018, then touring until September 18.

There was much to like in this touring production of Madame Butterfly, though it didn’t always hit the mark. The simple set, with sliding walls, worked well and looked appropriately second-hand in the second act. The small orchestra generally did well, though the strings were sloppy.

Sleeping Beauty

Bonnie Lythgoe Productions. State Theatre, Sydney. July 13 – 22, 2018.

The old ‘Christmas Pantos’ in Sydney introduced many kids to the theatre, but until Bonnie Lythgoe saw the ‘niche’ for a winter holiday show for kids, we have missed out on the fun and cheekiness, music and dancing, colour and audience participation that is at the heart of pantomime.

The Man in the Attic

By Timothy Daly. Shalom & Moira Blumenthal Productions. Eternity Playhouse. 5 - 22 July, 2018

Timothy Daly unearthed this intriguing, true story of a German couple who kept a Jewish man hidden in their attic for two years beyond the end of the War, living off his resourceful work as a jeweller and watch repairer.  Hitler, thought The Jew, had won the war.

The Man in the Attic won Daly the prestigious Patrick White Playwrights’ Award but in the decade since – despite five productions overseas – has never been performed in Australia. Until now.

Philtrum

By Anthea Greco. Directed by Peter Blackburn. North of Eight. The Portable, 3 Dawson Street, Brunswick VIC. 13 – 29 July 2018

Does a ‘normal family’ hold hands and say grace before the evening meal?  The family in Anthea Greco’s new play does.  That this ritual will turn out to be a veneer hiding some cruel and dirty secrets is her point.  The prayer over, patriarch Bill (Stephen Francis) carps and grumbles, and chivvies the kids: the eldest, grown-up lawyer Nikki (Faran Martin) and teen son Tom (Louis Corbett).  Meanwhile, daughter Laura (Tasha Sanders), who has a mental disability, reacts to the continually blaring television.  Christine (Annie Stanford) is the ineffect

The Spinners

Limosani Projekts and Al Seed Productions. Space Theatre. 11-13 July, 2018

Collaborations have the potential to produce wonderful pieces of art. In this production creative minds come together to experiment and blend technical dance and wordless theatre.

The Spinners is the latest work from Victorian College of the Arts graduate Lina Limosani and Scottish director Al Seed.

Limosani is joined on the stage by fellow dancers Kialea Nadine-Williams and Tara Jade Samaya. The trio take on the roles of Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, each a cog in the wheel of humanity. The show is based upon the Moirai, or Fates, of Greek Mythology.

Getting to Know Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Bel Canto Performing Arts. Directed by Katherine Friend. Musical Direction by Justin Friend. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. 13-21 July, 2018

Bel Canto Performing Arts is presenting this cut-down and accessible version of Oklahoma! with 42 young performers aged from 8 to 17.

The show opens with Curly's iconic “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” like the original version. Blake Jenkins’ excellent portrayal, laconic confidence and beautiful voice set the standard for what proves to be an impressive little show.