Mary Poppins – The Broadway Musical

Music & Lyrics: Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, George Stiles, Anthony Drewe. Book: Julian Fellowes. Free-Rain Production. Directed by Stephen Colyer. Produced by Anne Somes. Canberra Theatre, Canberra. March 12 – 29, 2015

The new and sparkling Broadway version of the musical Mary Poppins is a great deal of fun, with eminently singable songs that stick in your head for days afterwards, elaborate choreography, and a very talented cast and technical team.

From the Rubble

Conceived and directed by Melissa Cantwell. Perth Theatre Company. PICA, Perth Cultural Centre, WA. 16-28 March 2015

Perth Theatre Company's From the Rubble is an extremely visual piece of theatre, inspired by stories from Western Australian journalist Sophie McNeill, about her experiences in the Middle East.

With minimal dialogue, we are transported to the war-zones of the Middle East, in a multimedia production that includes some verbatim theatre, with a variety of theatrical forms, including paper sculpture, puppetry, mask work, shadow puppetry, projections, animation, film, movement and song among others.


Legally Blonde The Musical

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Book by Heather Hach. SLAMS (Vic). Director: Joel Batalha. Musical Director: Phill Scanlon. Choreographer: Miranda Guthrie-Jones. The Alan Ross Centre, Billanook College, Mooroolbark. Mar 13 – 28.

This is the first time I had encountered this musical and I hadn’t seen the film it was based on, but I came away having experienced a thoroughly delightful evening.

Though more of a fairy tale, the story was strong and uplifting. The music was upbeat most of the time and a bit the same, but when the title tune arrived, it had the appropriate pathos.

Abigail’s Party

By Mike Leigh. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport. Director: Dawn China. Mar 14th – 28th, 2015.

Billed as a ‘dark comedy’, Abigail’s Party is a hard hitting look at suburban relationships – warts and all!

The Seven Stages of Grieving

By Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman. Queensland Theatre Company in association with Grin & Tonic Theatre Troupe. Jason Klarwein, Director. Jessica Ross, Designer. Bille Brown Studio. 17-31 March, 2015

QTC's commencement of their Greenhouse season is with the 20th anniversary of this well-known and travelled Australian work, featuring Chenoa Deemal, in a moving and captivating performance, as the solo aboriginal girl (Chenoa stems from the Thitharr Warra clan in the Cape York Peninsula) expressing her and her peoples' interpretation of certain historical events and the trials and tribulations our First Nation people have endured over time.

Venice in Love

Performed by Rosa Campagnaro and Christian Bagin. Make a Scene. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton, Melbourne. 21 March, 2015 and touring schools.

Venice in Love is an exciting and frequently very funny performance piece in the tradition of Italian commedia dell’arte, created and performed by Rosa Campagnaro and Christian Bagin from the ‘Make a Scene’ theatre company. Ms Campagnaro, who has undertaken specialised training in commedia dell’arte at Accademia Teatrale in Venice, is a polished and engaging performer and created a particularly memorable character in her portrayal of Pantalona, a selfish old woman whose eyecatching costume evoked an old buzzard.

Wet House

By Paddy Campbell. Directed by Brett Cousins. Red Stitch (Vic). March 17th-April 18, 2015

‘Wet House’ – a place where homeless alcoholics can have a roof over their heads and some small sense of family while continuing to drink themselves blind. Not a palatable concept, and confronting to those who prefer to think of alcoholics as faceless aberrations in another time and place. Paddy Campbell worked in such a place and has drawn on his experiences for this, his first play. Parts of it work brilliantly.

Short+Sweet Theatre Gala Finals

Factory Theatre, Marrickville. 20th March 2015

Short+Sweet Theatre’s Sydney 2015 Gala Final brought a whole new meaning to ‘all the awards’ with Tom Green’s Scratch taking away five of the eight awards presented on the night. 

The Pirates of Penzance

Music: Arthur Sullivan. Lyrics: W.S. Gilbert. Additional Lyrics: Melvyn Morrow. Conceived & Directed by Simon Gallaher. Harvest Rain. Musical Director: Robert Clark. Choreographer: Callum Mansfield. Harvest Rain. QPAC Concert Hall. 20-22 March 2015

Harvest Rain’s The Pirates of Penzance is an evening of glorious entertainment where vaudeville, slapstick, buffoonery and lunacy reign.

The new production celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the opening of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) which opened with the same show.

Long Day's Journey Into Night

By Eugene O'Neill. Independent Theatre. Directed by Rob Croser. Goodwood Institute. March 19 – March 28, 2015.

"Family isn't a word; it's a sentence." This reviewer cannot take credit for coining that particular phrase; nor can Eugene O'Neill - but if a tagline were needed to directly and pithily summarise the general mood of Long Day's Journey Into Night, it would probably do well enough.

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