Reviews

Lucy and the Lost Boy

Directed and devised by Sally Richardson. National Institute of Circus Arts (VIC). NICA National Circus Centre, Prahran. 13 – 23 June, 2012.

If you ever imagined running away from home to join the circus as a kid, there is now no need for such measures. In fact, you can stay put and gain a university degree in circus arts, right here in Melbourne at the National Institute of Circus Arts. Although, it is not a fancy you can simply take-up on leaving school, as the stunning feats put-on-show in this performance by the institute’s final year students, would surely call for some significant training as a youngster.

Great Expectations

By Charles Dickens, adapted by Roger Gimblett. Genesian Theatre, Sydney. May 26 – June 30, 2012.

To adapt the 480 pages of Great Expectations to a three hour play is no mean feat. To direct that adaptation on the small Genesian theatre stage is just as ambitious. Yet Roger Gimblett has done both, very successfully.  His production is a fitting celebration of Dickens’ birth 200 years ago.

The Underground Ark

Written and produced by Bruce Hoogendoorn. Long Run Theatre Productions. Directed by Fiona Fox. The Courtyard Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre. 13–23 June 2012

Premised on a government priority for 400 handpicked Australians to see runaway climate change through in a large underground shelter, this deft play explores the survival of politics and human nature through rigorous indoctrination and committee selection of breeding pairs.  Its ending leaves the audience with several questions to debate, but it moves along and is penned beautifully.

Bindjareb Pinjarra

Presented by The Pinjarra Project, Deckchair Theatre, ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and Footscray Community Arts Centre. Created and Performed by Isaac Drandic, Geoff Kelso, Sam Longley, Frank Nannup, Kelton Pell and Phil Thomson. Footscray Community Arts Centre. June 13 – 16, 2012.

Bindjareb Pinjarrai s the very essence of a stunning touring show.  It is particularly accessible because of its down to earth ‘boysey’ humour and totally worth catching for a number of reasons I hope I make clear in the following.

The Unspeakable Itch

By Kate Smith & Drew Fairley. Darlinghurst Theatre (NSW). June 8 – July 8, 2012.

Building on two earlier comic collaborations, Kate Smith and Drew Fairley are well-placed to now explore what happens when a (theatrical) marriage gets a little boring. As they say about The Unspeakable Itch, how do you keep happily ever after happy ever after?

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Book By Richard Morris And Dick Scanlan. New Music By Jeanine Tesori. New Lyrics By Dick Scanlan – North Shore Music Theatre - Centrestage Theatre, Orewa, Auckland, NZ. 9 to 23 June, 2012.

TMM is one of the old fashioned, feel good, all singing, all dancing musicals. Set in the Roaring Twenties with bobbed hair, short skirts for the “modern flapper’ all the rage, the book is extremely funny, with romance, gold diggers, slave traders and hilarious Chinese hotel porters.

National Interest

Written and Directed by Aidan Fennessy. Melbourne Theatre Company. Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. June 6 – July 21, 2012.

The Balibo Five story is well-known to Australians, especially since a coronial investigation in 2007, which confirmed the long-held suspicion that the journalists had been murdered by Indonesian forces in Balibo, East Timor in 1975. Then came the film, Balibo, and now Aidan Fennessy's play, National Interest, making its Melbourne debut with MTC this month.

The Truth About Kookaburras

By Sven Swenson. La Boite Indie and Pentimento Productions. The Roundhouse. 6 – 27 June 2012

The 2009 Kookaburras version sold out at Metro Arts. That probably accounts for the ticket rush this season.  

The frisson of watching thirteen nude AFL players in their locker room cavorting in politically incorrect ways during Act I led to that 2009 ticket rush. This version has a full AFL team! Any wonder they’re selling out?

BLAKDANCE 2012

Bille Brown Studio, Queensland Theatre Company. 4-9 June, 2012

Blakdance was an international showcase event celebrating First Nation Contemporary Dance through the demonstration of a suite of works from Aboriginal and Maori cultures.

The evening began with a bright, short and effective welcome dance of local Aboriginal North Stradbroke Island origin, including an entertaining didgeridoo demonstration. This was followed by a selection of works from choreographers Rita Pryce, Tammi Gissell, Albert David, Ojeya Cruz Banks, Jack Gray and Cathy Livermore.

The Motherf**ker with the Hat

By Steven Adly Giurgis. Director: David Bell. Red Stitch Actors Theatre (Vic) June 8 - July 7

Jackie (Demitrios Sirilas) is a young New Yorker who returns home to the apartment he shares with his hot girlfriend, Veronica (Michelle Vergara Moore) to tell her he has found a job. We learn that he is a recovering drug addict on parole whose rehab treatment is sponsored by a clean-living, energy drink swilling friend, Ralph (Adam McConvell). Despite the fact we know Veronica is still using, hopes are high for Jackie. That is, until he finds a man's hat (not his) in the  apartment he shares with Veronica.

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