The Fantasticks

Book and lyrics by Tom Jones. Music by Harvey Schmidt. Exclaim Theatre Company. October 21 – 25, 2015.

The Fantasticks famously ran Off Broadway for over 40 years - thanks to a combination of a simple set (that cost $900), a tiny orchestra, a small cast and a breezy story line with one hit song ‘Try to remember’.

The Exclaim Theatre - comprising alumni of The Australian Institute of Music - shoe horned the production into the Pilgrim theatre. 

The stage was filled with oldish looking suitcases and the audience sat in the round, allowing the cast to perform in the centre of the theatre.

Blood Bank

By Christopher Harley. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. October 16 – November 22, 2015

The cold, antiseptic environment of a hospital waiting room is not the usual setting for a love story. Especially one that playwright, Christopher Harley admits is one “so fragile it might shatter in your hands”. It’s a beautifully touching story about two brothers and a ghost from their childhood that haunts them even as one of them faces death – and a woman who reaches out and won’t give up … because she understands.

Breaking the Binary

Devised, designed and performed by YGLAM (MCHS) La Mama, EXPLORATIONS, 205 Faraday Street, October 21, 22 & 23, 2015

La Mama’s 2015 Exploration series provides the opportunity for theatre practitioners to present works in progress and creates a space for real experimentation. Breaking the Binary is a fine example of the kind of venture the series seeks to encourage and nurture.  YGLAM is a Performing Arts Project run by Merri Community Health Services for same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people aged between 14 and 25.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Music & Lyrics: Richard & Robert Sherman. Book: Jeremy Sams & Ray Roderick. Directed by Karen Francis. Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, WA. 15-18 October, 2015

Stray Cats Theatre and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre came together in a community partnership for their production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Directed by Karen Francis, it featured musical direction by David Hicks, Choreography by Ashleigh Riley and Megan Doohan, a cast of eighty-eight and an orchestra of thirteen.


By Angela Betzien. Directed by Leticia Caceres. State Theatre Company of South Australia / Belvoir. Dunstan Playhouse, Festival Centre. 20-31 October, 2015. Belvoir Theatre, Sydney. 6 November – 17 December, 2015

Mortido is a sprawling crime drama that critically examines all the sordid dealings inherent in the traffic and distribution of cocaine, as well as chronicling the human wreckage that occurs as a consequence of this, blazing a trail through the impoverished barrios of Mexico, the jungles of Bolivia, the gay nightclubs of Berlin, the cultural melting pot of modern Cabramatta and the sleekly manufactured, designer Shangri-Las of the Sydney yuppie jetset.  


By Krystal Sweedman. La Boîte Indie Season. Director: Heather Fairbairn. Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane. 15-31 October, 2015

La Boîte has again touched on a relevant subject very much a part of the media these days with the introduction of a new playwright, Krystal Sweedman, who, as part of her studies at NIDA, has broached the subject of writing about something her tutor has been encouraging his students to attempt: any topic you wish to avoid. Ms Sweedman chose domestic violence.


Text by Toni Morrison; music & lyrics by Rokia Traoré. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. Melbourne Festival 16 – 19 October 2015.

In Shakespeare’s Othello, Desdemona is virtually a functional character: she is in the play to transgress by marrying a ‘Moor’ (i.e.

The Bacchae

Conceived by Adena Jacobs and Aaron Orzech. Melbourne Festival, St Martins, Fraught Outfit and Theatre Works Theatre Works. 8 – 24 October 2015

A strong sense of danger and menace lurks in this courageous contemporary interpretation of The Bacchae.  It is a vital production, performed in raw and natural way, without artifice, by girls and young women from St Martins Youth Arts Centre. It is apparently the culmination of the results of these young performers being empowered and supported to self-devise around the ‘adult themes’ of The Bacchae


Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by George Furth. Everyman Theatre. Directed by Jordan Best. The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. 16-24 October 2015

What a gem this production is! With Jordan Best’s reliably slick comic direction and a cohort of some of the ACT region’s best triple threat performers, Everyman Theatre’s production of Company promised to be good and it doesn’t disappoint.

A Rabbit for Kim Jong-il

By Kit Brookman. Griffin Theatre Company. Director: Lee Lewis SBW Stables Theatre. Oct 17 - Nov 21, 2015

Word leaked out from the rehearsal floor that this play was a barrel of laughs  (or maybe a burrow) and the rumour was on the money.  The premise was preposterous and just a little true. German rabbit breeder Johann Wertheim has attracted the attention of the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il \, who  dispatches his agent to bring back a prized a giant rabbit, no matter what the cost.

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