The Crucible

By Arthur Miller. Melbourne Theatre Company (Vic). The Sumner Theatre. Director Sam Strong. Set/Costume Design Dale Ferguson. Composer/Sound Designer Kelly Ryall. June 22– August 3, 2013.

Arthur Miller’s account of the “Salem Witch Trials” in colonial Massachusetts between 1692–93, is an allegorical play which points to the climate of hysteria surrounding McCarthyism in the 1950s.

The Crucible is a heavy, cheerless play, principally about, honour, power and its abuses. When Miller was called to testify before the “Un-American Activities Commission” in 1956, he was sentenced to a year in gaol for contempt of Congress, for refusing to name names. The conviction was eventually over-turned on appeal.

Ballet Revolución

National Tour Australia & New Zealand. ATA Allstar Artists Production. Choreography: Aaron Cash, Rocian Gonzalez Chavez. Musical Director: Osmar Salazar Hernandez. State Theatre, Sydney, June 25 – 29; The Arts Centre Gold Coast, July 3 – 6; Arts Centre, Melbourne, July 17 – 20; Crown Theatre, Perth, July 31 – Aug 3.

Sensual, energizing and passionate ~ Ballet Revolución, direct from Cuba, is a fusion of ballet, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary dance that hits you between the eyes. The skill, agility and strength of these dancers is truly fantastic! This is high energy, passionate dance at it’s best.

The show has twenty professional dancers who take us through a range of numbers from fast-paced group hip-hop numbers right through to balletic slow, sensual duos and trios.

Venus in Fur

By David Ives. QTC. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 22 June – 27 July, 2013.

David Ives’ new play Venus in Fur opened off-Broadway in 2010, established its audience credentials and transferred to Broadway the following year where it attracted two major awards in 2012.

It’s a rare coup for QTC to acquire the Australian premiere rights so soon after the Broadway season of such a literary and dramatic gem.

Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2013

Our Reviewers are out and about at the 2013 Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

Suade: Vocaltronics.

Ormond Hall, Village Melbourne. 6 June, 2013

Melbourne Cabaret Festival Gala

The Palais St Kilda. June 26, 2013. Festival runs, various venues, until July 6th.

A gala of cabaret acts, each appearing to promote their individual shows, sounds marvellous in theory and certainly there was talent galore on the stage. However, cabaret requires intimacy, venues where the artist can embrace the audience, make eye contact. The beautiful Palais theatre is cavernous, 1,000 people are easily lost in it, and it provided none of the intimacy required. The Athenaeum, packed to the rafters, would have provided a far better venue. Nevertheless the stage was dressed beautifully and there was an air of expectation in the auditorium.

Jazz Garters 4

Canberra Repertory. Director: Cate Clelland. Theatre 3, Acton, A.C.T. 21 June – 6 July, 2013.

The  year in which Old Time Music Hall last incarnated through Canberra Repertory is already becoming shrouded in the mists of time, with two speakers at Jazz Garters 4 offering differing versions.  Regardless, this annual homage to musical variety acts enjoyed a relatively long tradition, and its old-world, rather gentlemanly, flavour didn't at all limit a prolific creativity, particularly in the company's clever update of lyrics and in consistently great choreography.


Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane. 22-29 June, 2013.

Salōn eclipses Brisbane’s entertainment this month! You want different, debauched, amazing, mind-bending entertainment? This is your show!

Historically, the Salōn was a 17th-19thcentury gathering hosted by grand personages in spacious lounge rooms. It featured artists and writers on revolutionary fringes where delicate matters could be debated in privacy. Then came composers and instrumentalists.

The Phantom of the Opera

By Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. Windmill Theatre Company (Vic). Director: Chris Hughes. Musical Director: Julia Buchanan. Choreographer: Robert Mulholland. Drum Theatre. June 21 - July 14, 2013

I well remember the professional production of the The Phantom of the Opera and I was equally impressed with Windmill’s effort.

Although budget constraints did not allow for the massive chandelier used in the professional production, everything else about this was spectacular. There were moving staircases, and walkways, a motorized boat and scenery flying in and out to allow the action to flow. The lighting was also very innovative and the costumes lavish.

This Is Where We Live

By Vivienne Walshe. Griffin Independent and Just Visiting. SBW Stables Theatre, Sydney. Director: Francesca Smith. 19 June – 13 July, 2013.

Winner of the 2012 Griffin Award for outstanding contemporary Australian play, Vivienne Walshe’s poetic drama of teenage angst and passion now takes its place in the 2013 Griffin season. A 75-minute two-hander, marvellously acted and intriguingly directed, This Is Where We Live makes demands on its audience. We have to work at the words we hear and at the stage pictures we see.

Cranked Up

Circus Oz 2013. Birrarung Marr (btw Federation Square and Batman Ave), Melbourne – 19 June – 14 July, 2013.

Cranked Up is Circus Oz’s latest extravaganza, and according to the program notes it’s revised from its From the Ground Up show which premiered in Melbourne last June. Not having seen the previous incarnation, or indeed any past Circus Oz performance, I was pleasantly surprised to have my expectations exceeded by a truly talented group of performers who seemed to be pulling out all the stops to ensure everyone in the audience had a good time.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.