The Magic Flute on Tour

By Mozart. Opera Australia. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta- August 4 & 5, 2014 and touring nationally.

This last – and quirkiest – of Mozart’s operas has always been the ideal vehicle for introducing opera to the young and the young at heart. This production – adapted, translated into English and directed by playwright Michael Gow – certainly makes the most of the comic aspects of librettist Schikaneder’s story and characters and the correspondingly magical fun that Mozart had with the music.

Lady Sings It Better

Blackcat Productions. Hayes Theatre Co. Sunday 3 and 10 August 2014. Also at The Factory on October 4.

Four Ms wiggle and riff on the misogyny of male music

Le Noir - The Dark Side of Cirque

TML Enterprises Production. Creative Producer: Simon Painter. Director/Choreographer: Neil Dorward. Composer: Julian Wiggins. Resident Director: Mathieu Laplante. Lyrics Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. 1-17 August 2014

Le Noir is a show in the nouveau cirque tradition that mixes a series of impossibly breathtaking circus acts with a whole lot of theatrical glitz. It not only dazzles the eye but stops the heart with its jaw-dropping feats of athletic skill and precision. The performers, mostly former alumni of Cirque du Soleil, not only excel in their ability, but also looked incredibly hot in seductive and sexy costumes.

No Man’s Land

By Harold Pinter. University of Adelaide Theatre Guild. The Little Theatre. August 2-16, 2014.

When you have an experienced and knowledgeable director, together with a supremely talented cast, the difficult challenge of staging a Pinter play can turn into a triumph. The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild has all the elements just right with its superb production of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land.

Four Places

By Joel Drake Johnson. The Tap Gallery Upstairs (NSW). 2 July - 10 August 2014

Generational change does not necessarily bring change…


By Doug Wright. Directed by Chris Baldock. A Mockingbird Production. Arts House – the Meat Markets, North Melbourne. 2nd-15th August, 2014

Oh, if only all theatre companies were as brave as Mockingbird. Good theatre should be more than just entertaining, it should be always evocative and, when possible, provocative and even confronting. Director Chris Baldock doesn’t shy away from any of these in his production of Doug Wright’s seldom-performed gasp-a-minute play Quills, about the (fictitious) last days of the infamous Marquis de Sade in Charenton asylum.

The Seafarer

By Conor McPherson. Presented by Hoy Polloy at fortyfive downstairs, CBD Melbourne. 30 July – 10 August 2014

10.30am on the day before Christmas.  A crummy basement flat in a Dublin suburb.  James ‘Sharkey’ Hardin has finished (or was he fired?) a job as a chauffeur down south.  He’s come ‘home’ to look after his now blind older brother, the irascible, aggressive and none-too-clean Richard.  As Sharkey’s past comes out, he’s revealed as a sad but angry and violent loser and even a murderer long ago.  An alcoholic, he’s trying to stay on the wagon – an enterprise his brother regards with skeptical contempt.  As he w

The Burning

By Duncan Ley. Directed by Duncan Driver. Produced by Everyman Theatre. The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. 31 July – 10 August, 2014

You can’t fight faith with logic and win, because faith will never listen. So says Bishop Philipp Schiller in Duncan Ley’s 2001 play The Burning. But logic is not entirely powerless, as the play proves. Although ostensibly set in a witch trial in 1628, these are modern characters engaged in timeless predicaments, where faith has been moulded by self-interest to allow extreme cruelty and injustice. There are too many modern parallels to list here, with echoes in almost every major political and international story today.

The Flick

By Annie Baker, directed by Nadia Tass. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. Shebeen, 36 Manchester Lane, Melbourne. August 2nd – 17th, 2014

Playwright Annie Baker won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with  The Flick, and it’s easy to see why. This beautifully written and structured play gives us an honest, insightful and heartfelt look inside the lives of three people working together in a neighbourhood cinema, one of the last of its kind to still be screening movies on film in this digital age.

Dark Voyager

By John Misto. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Anna Crawford. 24 July – 30 August, 2014

John Misto’s new full-length play puts Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe and vicious gossip columnist Hedda Hopper on stage together. This is a two-act drama we’re talking about, not a crazy farce or a revue sketch.

There are loads of laughs and a mention of every factoid, rumour and saucy speculation you’ve ever heard about the power quartet. But can such ingredients make a drama that ends in bitter confrontation and an infamous, real-life murder/suicide? That is the question.

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