The Odd Couple – The Female Version

By Neil Simon. Blackwood Players (SA). Blackwood Memorial Hall. June 7-22, 2019

Just about everyone knows Neil Simon’s original version of The Odd Couple, with its grumpy male protagonists, so it is a treat to see something a bit different, the female version. What’s more, it works and Blackwood Players have produced a very enjoyable staging of this twist on the iconic storyline, predominantly due to the fantastic performance of one actor in particular.


By John Hodge. New Theatre, Newtown, NSW. June 4 – July 6, 2019

Collaborators is a black comedy based on the writer’s ‘magining of Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov’s relationship with the tyrannical Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who covered his ‘reign’ of terror and mass executions with a charismatic appeal that somehow inspired trust. Playwright John Hodge, of Trainspotting fame, tells the story through a dream the ailing Bulgakov has after a production of his play about the death of Moliere.

Pirates of Penzance

Music by Arthur Sullivan. Lyrics by WS Gilbert. The Therry Dramatic Society. Arts Theatre, Adelaide June 6th – 15th, 2019

Some 140 years ago, Pirates was the first Gilbert and Sullivan (fondly referred to as G&S) operetta to preview on the New York stage. Since then, Pirates has become one of the most loved, performed and frequently referenced of their works. It features the famous, much parodied, “Major General’s Song” which has become the basis of innumerable marketing and political campaigns, satire and film and television features.


By Adam Symkowicz. IKAG Productions. The Elephant British Pub (SA). 5-15 June, 2019

The dating game. Not always a game. A dance?

IKAG’s production of Nerve at the Elephant British Pub is certainly metaphorically an interesting dance between two people on a first date. A two hander, presented in the upstairs function area of the pub, Nerve is a bold and unusual piece. Cleverly, it utilises the actual pub as the ‘set’ for the play, a soundscape of pub music, and drinks provided from the bar.

The Communists Are in the Funhouse

Written and devised by the ensemble. Tempest. Directed by Susie Conte. The Studio, Subiaco Arts Centre. June 4-8, 2019

The Communists Are in the Funhouse is a devised performance work about the history of hysteria, the experience of periods and the lived experience of women, told through personal experience, video, drama and movement.

The title comes from one of many euphemisms for the time of menstruation. Similar in theme and broad style to its closest theatrical neighbour, Unrule at the Blueroom, this is a vastly different experience, and the two are an interesting theatrical pairing for those who are lucky enough to see both in quick succession.

THRONES! The Musical Parody

By Chris Grace, Zach Reino, Albert Samuels, Nick Semar and Dan Wessels. Director: Chris Grace; Musical Director: Douglas Drew; Choreography: Kim McVicar, Eric Michaud. Sydney Opera House 5 - 30 June, 2019.

I haven't laughed so long and hard in a long time. Thrones! is a musical parody that is superior to and can stand apart from the subject matter it's lampooning.

Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God

By Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham. Joh Hartog Productions. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 5-15 June 2019

Two couples, two dolls and too much wine are the foundations of this unusual play that tries to examine culture clash and colonialism from the perspective of failing relationships. Peggy Pickit is one of the dolls, a favourite toy of the five-year-old daughter of one of the couples, and now a gift to an African girl that was being cared for by the other couple, recently returned running from the developing world. That couple presents the parents with the second doll – wooden and simple; these two toys become the crude proxies for the different worlds inhabited by the two couples.

Bobby Fox: The Irish Boy

Written by Bobby Fox and Christopher Parker. Choreographed by Bobby Fox. Directed by Christopher Parker. Musical Director, Glenn Moorhouse. World Premiere - Sydney Opera House, June 5, 2019 then Adelaide Cabaret Festival on June 14 & 15, and The Art House Wyong on June 22.

The life of the Stage Whispers’ reviewer is unpredictable. This is not really the kind of show that the magazine reviews, ordinarily, but when the call out for reviewers arrived in my inbox, I jumped at the opportunity. The reason? I LOVE everything Irish. Part of my ancestry is from Irish convicts. I’m drawn to the countryside, the music, the history, the folklore, the people...everything. So, I said yes before I had even read the press release.

It’s A Wonderful Life - The Live Radio Show

Adapted for radio on stage by Tony Palermo. Original score composed and arranged by Jonathan Green. Directed by Steve Pearton and Paula-Mary Camilleri. Mousetrap Theatre, Redcliffe, (Qld). May 31 – June 7, 2019.

The challenge here was that this was a youth production in a new venture for many of the young cast on their road to a theatre involvement. The story basically follows the life of George Bailey who does so much in the small town of his childhood. It is set in the depression years through to after the war and we follow his fall and eventual rise in a way that gives hope to all. This is achieved by a cast of twelve who read the many characters through microphones and cover about thirty roles. This was a challenge which was well met for the most part.

End of the Rainbow

By Peter Quilter. State Theatre Company SA in association with Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Royalty Theatre, Adelaide. June 4-22, 2019

‘If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?’ was Judy Garland’s plea near the end of her life and the theme explored by Peter Quilter in his play, End of the Rainbow.

Quilter takes us through Judy’s Garland’s last concert tour. At the Ritz hotel in London with her fifth husband Mickey Deans and accompanist Anthony we share her tears, fears and the pressure of fame, ill health and decaying relationships.

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