Reviews

God of Carnage

By Yasmina Reza. Directed by Lynne Devenish. Garrick Theatre, Guildford WA. Aug 23 - Sep 14. 2013

God of Carnage opens abruptly as would be expected in what was designed to be a one act play. We meet Veronique and Michel Vallon and Annette and Alain Reille who are meeting (ostensibly in a calm and civilised way) to discuss an altercation between their sons.

The Mistakes Madeline Made

By Elizabeth Meriwether. The Honeytrap Production Company. The Abbotsford Convent Industrial Space. August 23 – September 8, 2013.

Honeytrap presents a tale of four people who are trying to deal with pain and loneliness. Buddy (James Deeth) has been traumatised by a brutal overseas experience; Edna (Celeste Markwell) is trying to deal with his death and hates everyone including herself; Beth (Loren De Jong) has made some serious life mistakes and has thrown herself into work; and Wilson (Liam O Kane) manages his social ineptitude by focussing on the sounds in his world and reproducing them. The supporting character, Jake/Blake/Drake (Josh Futcher) bears the brunt of Edna acting out her pain.

RU4ME

By Annie Byron. True West Theatre & Riverside. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. August 22 – 31, 2013, and touring.

RU4ME is a quirky comedy about a middle-aged woman’s foray into internet dating. Inspired originally by her own and a friend’s experiences, and adapted from Andee Jones’ book Kissing Frogs, Annie Byron adds skillful playwrighting to her already established theatrical career. As well as Andee Jones, Byron pays credit to Wayne Harrison for his encouragement, support and dramaturgical advice during the writing and editing of the play.

Savages

By Patricia Cornelius. 45 Downstairs (Vic). 16 August – 8 September, 2013.

Savages is a rich, rewarding powerful theatrical investigation of the type of masculine reality, relationships and circumstances that support, what is ultimately, predatory anti-social behavior. 

It is based on the Dianne Brimble case and explores events leading up to the discovery of her body in the small cabin on a P&O Cruse Ship that was occupied by the men who drugged and assaulted her.

Jerusalem

By Jez Butterworth. New Theatre, Newtown (NSW). August 13 – September 14, 2013.

Nicholas Eadie, as Rooster Byron, leads a very large and energetic cast in Helen Tonkin’s deft production of this play she describes as ‘a wildly original hymn to eccentricity … a lament about the erosion of country life, in part a rebuff to the antiseptic modern world’.’

Tequila Mockingbird

By Nelle Lee et al. Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Shake & Stir’s Première Production. Cremorne Theatre. 21 Aug – 7 Sept, 2013

Shake and Stir do it again – a fifth consecutive popular hit!

Inspired by Harper Lee’s classic novel, the six cast members and experienced director of new works, Michael Futcher, workshopped and rehearsed Nelle Lee’s draft script.

Babyteeth

By Rita Kalnejais, State Theatre Company of SA. Aug 16 – Sep 7, 2013

Babyteeth was a 2010 work commissioned by Belvoir and young Australian playwright Rita Kalnejais’ work ran to mixed reviews. The play, about a young teenage girl with terminal cancer, is now being staged in Adelaide under the direction of Brink Productions’ artistic director, Chris Drummond.

Indian Embrace

By Carol Dance. Nautanki Theatre. Riverside Theatre, Parramatta (NSW). Aug 21 – 25, 2013.

Indian Embrace is a complex mixture of messages about family, friends and cross-cultural relationships. There are some moments that are very moving and some that are very funny, and some characters that are well drawn and sensitively portrayed. But because the play tries to comment on so many aspects of relationships and culture, the resolution of the many complications makes the second act a little too long and much too laboured.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

Writer and performer: Tim Watts. Melbourne Arts Centre, State Theatre Rehearsal Room. Saturday August 14 – 18, 2013

The production tells Alvin’s simple story of loss and hope. He is portrayed variously by Tim Watts himself, a puppet he manages formed by a glove and fishing float and an animated figure projected on a circular screen.

My eight year old companion was delighted by the cleverness of how the swaps between each of these was managed. In question time at the end she asked for details of timing and how it was done and was very satisfied with the explanation.

Singin’ in the Rain.

(Based on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film). Screenplay by Comden and Green. Songs by Brown and Freed. The Production Company Director: Gary Young. Musical Director: John Foreman. Costume Designer: Kim Bishop. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. Aug 21 – 25, 2013.

Melbourne has a healthy appetite for old time musicals. In a jammed packed State Theatre punters were all after the same thing - a night of quality entertainment and, for some, a chance to reminisce. Singin’ in the Rain tickets sales have been so good an extra show is scheduled.

In a populist move, impressive dance choreography borrows heavily from the film. And why not?  Some moves are downright iconic: Rohan Browne (Don Lockwood) splashes in puddles, there’s the couch walkover in Good Morning, and comic antics in Make Em Laugh.

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