Reviews

The Events

By David Greig. Adelaide Festival of Arts. State Theatre Company of South Australia, Belvoir and Malthouse Theatre. Her Majesty’s Theatre. February 25 – March 2, 2016

The human brain continually seeks to rationalise life events, good and bad, but how does one fathom the unfathomable?  Is it possible for victims of violent atrocity to ever come to terms with what has happened and why?

Written by Scottish playwright David Greig following the horrific 2011 mass slayings in Norway, The Events is co-produced at the Adelaide Festival by the State Theatre Company of South Australia, together with Belvoir and Malthouse Theatre.

Carly and Troy do ‘A Doll’s House’

An adaption of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. La Mama Theatre. Directed by Emma McManus. Dramaturgy by Declan Greene. Developed with support from PACT Centre for Emerging Artists. February 24 – March 6, 2016

This adaption keeps the spirit of the original and exposes the controlling underbelly of a relationship that was always there lurking in the text, hidden in manners and frippery. The two actors share their artistic plans and it is clear from the start that Beyonce, glitter and dancing are high priorities for Troy and not so much for Carly.

Papillon

Adelaide Fringe. Gluttony – The Octagon. February 23 - March 6, 2016.

This show had a lot of hype to live up to and I am happy to say that it exceeded all expectations. A distinctive vaudeville vibe was created by a house-band, rich costumes and an eclectic lighting display. What sets this show apart from many in the same genre is the pair of hosts who know how to work a crowd. Full of naughty but nice banter, this duo had chemistry and were the glue that held the performance together.

Chopin’s Last Tour

Presented by Anvil Creek Theatre. Adelaide Fringe. The German Club, Adelaide. February 26 - March 5, 2016

Accomplished actor/pianist Phil Aughey delivers an impressive performance on two fronts with Chopin’s Last Tour – performing six of the great man’s most iconic compositions with impeccable precision, and in between, regaling the audience with impassioned dramatic monologues “in character” as Chopin himself.

All My Love

By Anne Brooksbank. Christine Harris and HIT Productions. Director: Denny Lawrence. The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. 24 – 27 February 2016 and touring

Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore’s life-long love was an epic tragedy of desires thwarted by social expectation and circumstance. Writer Anne Brooksbank came across this beautiful story while researching Gilmore’s memoirs and has done a creditable job reproducing these characters on stage.

Go Down Moses

Written by Claudia Castellucci & Romeo Castelluci. Directed by Romeo Castellucci. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide. February 25-28, 2016

The Adelaide Festival Centre’s website declares Italian writer/director Romeo Castellucci to be “unquestionably one of the most important figures in contemporary theatre” – to which I say, the emperor is wearing no clothes. Arguably the worst play written this century, Go Down Moses is an insufferably pretentious slog that amounts to long stretches of boredom, interrupted occasionally by moments of disgusting, utterly brainless sensationalism.

Teacup in a Storm

The Q. Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith. February 25 – 27, 2016

Verbatim theatre, by definition, is confronting and challenging for the audience, for the theatre maker … but especially for those who are prepared to share their personal stories and experiences. When those stories are told by the very many, varied – and mostly unsung – carers in our community, the challenges become greater. Why? Because often the experiences they share are tinged, unnecessarily, with guilt, self-reproach and regret, and therefore expose raw edges and fraying self esteem.

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. The Playhouse, Sydney Opera House. February 24 to March 27, 2016

This Bell Shakespeare production returns to the sexy, sumptuous garb of Shakespeare’s High Renaissance but, inexplicably, is set in an old theatre cluttered with scaffolding.

While we admire Anna Cordingley’s costumes, the metaphor of her no-where, theatre set - despite its different levels being inventively employed - is never explained in this remote, uneven production directed by Peter Evans. 

Love, Loss & Lattes

By Missy. Adelaide Fringe. Tandanya Theatre. Feb 24th – 28th, 2016.

It is not very often we see someone’s love affair with coffee interpreted in such an imaginative way. Coffee has become the 21st century’s drug of choice with no defining demographic. Missy brings her diverse skills to the stage in her first solo show. Her ambition to perform by herself at the Adelaide Fringe is one she claims she can now cross off her bucket list.

ABBOTT The Musical

Adelaide Fringe. Tandanya, Grenfell Street. February 24-28, 2016 8pm and March 2-5, 9.30 pm.

The cast of ABBOTT The Musical is talented and the material is clearly spot-on, with the musical’s 2016 Adelaide Fringe production parodying events in Canberra up to the demise of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.

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