Reviews

Grounded

By George Brant. Red Stitch. Seymour Centre (NSW). May 1 – 16, 2015.

I keep going to the theatre simply hoping for 80 minutes as gripping as Grounded.

It’s superb.

Kate Cole utterly inhabits the role of a female Top Gun who finds herself grounded following the birth of her daughter, part of the ‘Chair Force’, pulling 12 hour shifts at a monitor in a caravan in the Las Vegas desert, controlling a drone, bombing targets on the opposite side of the world.

George Brant’s solo play is rich, dark, dense theatrical poetry. The use and manipulation of language is extraordinary.

The Flick

By Annie Baker. Director: Nadia Tass. Red Stitch (Vic). May 1 – 23, 2015.

I find I look forward to Red Stitch productions more than to any other company in Melbourne, so I was disappointed to miss out on The Flick in its 2014 season. Fortunately it is back – with its original cast and creative team, and we’re all the better for it.

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll

By Ray Lawler. State Theatre Company SA. April 24-May 16, 2015

South Australia’s State Theatre Company brings Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll vividly to life with its fine and untraditional production of the classic 1950’s Australian play.

‘The Doll’ is set in Carlton, Melbourne and is a tender and often raw observation of human relationships and how they inevitably change over the years. It’s a story about love and friendship, sadness and regret and the harsh realities of life, but ultimately it’s a stark affirmation that nothing lasts forever.

Timeshare

By Lally Katz. Malthouse Theatre. Director. Oliver Butler. Merlyn Theatre. April 23 – May 17, 2015

This ridiculously funny work, riddled with cliché and infused with strange surrealist unreality and imagery, was enthusiastically received on opening night.

Much Ado About Nothing

Written by William Shakespeare. University Of Adelaide Theatre Guild. Directed by Megan Dansie. Little Theatre, University Of Adelaide. May 02-16, 2015

It’s probably impossible to make a play as oft-performed as Much Ado About Nothing feel fresh, but this spirited production from the University Of Adelaide Theatre Guild makes a fair stab at it, and comes about as close as it is humanly possible to get.

Jake’s Women

By Neil Simon. Galleon Theatre Group (SA). Domain Theatre, Marion. April 30-May 9, 2015.

The intriguing set is the first indication that Galleon Theatre Group’s latest comedy Jake’s Women will be unusual. Dramatic in red and black, dressed impeccably and instantly thought provoking with its single regular doorway and multiple curtained entranceways along the back wall, it ensures one immediately thinks it must have come from a vivid imagination.

That may or may not be the case, but the plot of this lesser-known of Neil Simon’s plays is all about just that; an overactive imagination.

A Murder is Announced

By Agatha Christie. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. The Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Don Gay. May 1 – 16, 2015

Casting! Casting! Casting! Director Don Gay surfaces every year for the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society to direct an Agatha Christie murder. Audiences are pleased to support the tradition, Hobart Repertory boosts its coffers due to the attendance numbers, and actors get the chance to experience the stylised Christie structure and to work with one of Hobart’s best and most popular directors.

Blue Italian & Nil by Sea

By Katie Pollock. Producer: Peter Fray. Director: Rachel Chant. Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney. April 29-May 17, 2015

Swept Away by the Blue Sea...

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

By Nassim Soleimanpour. Tasmanian Theatre Company. Hobart, Pop Up Theatre. April 23- May 9, 2015.

Theatre is meant to be intriguing, and the Tasmanian Theatre Company promotion for Nassim Soleimanpour’s play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit certainly was. I was approached to review the play, and some provisos, or cautions were given: don’t be a spoiler (don’t say what happened) and don’t be political, or at least, be sensitive to the politics.

Tukre’

Form Dance. Lennox Theatre, Riverside Parramatta. April 29 – May 2, 2015.

Tukre’, which means pieces in English,is choreographed and performed by Raghav Handa. Born in Australia of Indian heritage, Handa uses movement and music to recall and revere the artistry of his ancestors, who for over a hundred and fifty years, painstakingly created jewellery from gold and precious stones. Handa says “I came to appreciate the ‘tension’ that builds when a jewellery maker maintains a speed and precision of movement to cut a jewel or shape molten metal ..”.