Reviews

Australia Day

By Jonathan Biggins. New Theatre. November 14 – December 16, 2017

In the imaginary town of Coriole, a committee of six has the task of organising the annual Australia Day Celebrations. They are character types one might find among the members of any organisation, country or city - an aspiring politician, a green feminist, a redneck denialist, a token ‘new’ Australian. To put them together on the Australia Day Committee of a small country town provides the basis of comic satire, for which playwright Jonathan Biggins is well known.

Muriel’s Wedding the Musical

Book by PJ Hogan. Music and Lyrics by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall. Based on the Movie with additional songs by ABBA. Global Creatures and Sydney Theatre Company. Directed by Simon Phillips. Set and costumes by Gabriella Tylesova. Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay. Opening Night: Saturday November 18, 2017.

What an Abbasolutely fabulous night in the theatre, that is as refreshing as a popsicle on a hot summer’s day, with as much heart and warmth as your mother’s baked dinner.  The biggest surprise is that not only are the songs of the famous Swedish quartet seamlessly integrated into the narrative, but that the four band members make frequent return visits as fairy-Godmother like characters.

A Very Kransky Christmas

The Kransky Sisters. Alex Theatre, St Kilda. November 20 – 26, 2017  

The joy and the genius of the Kransky Sisters is that they worked out their shtick a long time ago: three other-wordly innocents locked in a genteel, impoverished, somewhat faded (probably by daylight savings) faux-gothic world in Esk, rural Queensland.   

Nunsense

By Dan Goggin. 1812 Theatre. Director: Trish Carr. 16th Nov – 9th Dec, 2018

For their final season of the year 1812 Theatre have included a musical into their repertoire.

Nunsense is a long running Off Broadway musical that is farcical in nature, but chaotic in content.

The plot revolves around five nuns from the convent of the Little Sisters of Hoboken. They have gathered their ‘talents’ in order to raise money to bury four of their colleagues who are being stored in the school cafeteria's freezer. 

Australia Day

By Jonathan Biggins. Canberra Repertory Society. Directed by Cate Clelland. Theatre Three, 3 Repertory Lane Acton. 16 November – 2 December 2017

Culture clashes, racism, political correctness, internal hypocrisy, political intrigue, farce and a truly horrific school band combine to make Canberra Rep’s Australia Day a hilarious experience. This Jonathan Biggins hit from a few years ago is set in the small country town of Coriole, where a committee is meeting to organise the 2013 Australia Day celebrations.

Obsession

Written and Directed by Kellie Silver. Javeenbah Theatre, Nerang, Gold Coast. 17TH November to 2nd December, 2017

Obsession is the creation of local playwright and author Kellie Silver - an interesting story, full of twists and intrigue and an old violin.

A young married couple move into a house that has been in the family for a very long time. The previous occupant was the wife’s grandfather and is very much a “fixer upper”.

Mary Poppins

Book by Julian Fellowes, Music and Lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman. New Songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Ballina Players Theatre, Ballina. Director: Sue Belsham. 17th November – 10th December, 2017.

This popular musical is Ballina’s final offering for the year. It’s full of colour, great performances and proving to be a great favourite with all.

Sue Belsham has managed to capture the magic, and with Leanne Broadley’s musical direction and Jaime Sheehan’s choreography, has delivered a bright and memorable show.

Leading the cast are two Gold Coast Area Palm awarded performers, Veronica Lovejoy in the title role, ably complemented by Brian Pamphilon as Bert.

Master Class

By Terrence McNally. Directed by Adam Spreadbury-Maher. Subiaco Theatre Centre, WA. Nov 18 - Dec 2, 2017

In Terrence McNally’s Master Class, the audience have to opportunity to attend a master class with opera superstar Maria Callas. Do not be concerned about the fact that Miss Callas passed away in 1977; the amazing Amanda Muggleton has embodied her with passion and intensity.

The audience becomes the class and Maria teaches with a fury and self-belief that can only come from a true Diva. Amanda Muggleton’s performance is outstanding, and deserved the standing ovation on Opening Night.

Calendar Girls

By Tim Firth. Based on the motion picture by Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth. New Farm Nash Theatre, Brisbane. Directed by Brenda White. November 17 – December 9, 2017.

This is an ideal time of the year for this play, as we are being inundated with thousands of calendars from which to choose.

Present Laughter

By Noël Coward. The Mount Players. Directed by Andrew Meldrum. 17 November – 3 December 2017

This production is spiced with moments of real theatre magic.

Interesting how NoëlCoward’s work seems to be experiencing something of a serious comeback.  Present Laughter is currently being played on Broadway and starring Kevin Klein.