Reviews

What The Day Owes To The Night

OzAsia Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide. October 22-23, 2019

What the Day Owes to the Night is quite simply a triumph!

Inspired by the revelation of French choreographer Herve Koubi that his ancestry is ethnic Algerian and not French as he believed, What the Day Owes to the Night utilises a bare stage and 13 men from Algeria, Morocco, France (whose first name is Giovanni), Italy and Israel.

They are bare chested and wear long white pants with a layered skirt over the top. These skirts swirl in white circles and can provide safe surfaces on which other performers can lay down, or to mop up perspiration.

Mansion

Written, directed & produced by Bass G Fam. Labassa Mansion, 2 Manor Grove, Caulfield North. 17 October - 3 November 2019.

As the publicity suggests this is not for the faint of heart. The horrific elements of this show may initially appear to be innocuous or even amusing, however, chills running down your spine are guaranteed by the end of the show.

Savannah Bay

By Marguerite Duras. Directed by Laurence Strangio. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton. 17 – 27 October 2019

Savannah Bay is another foray by director Lawrence Strangio into the elusive, ambiguous world of Marguerite Duras – a foray begun in 1994 with his initial production of Duras’ L’amante anglaise, but his on-going productions suggest a life-long affinity with Mme Duras.  She wrote the role of ‘Madeleine’ in Savannah Bay – so Mr Strangio tells us in his program note – for the great French actress Madeleine Renaud, then eighty-eight years old.  Here, Madeleine is played with poignant but deliberate evasions and enigm

Natives Go Wild

Conceived and written by Rhoda Roberts. Studio, Sydney Opera House. October 19 – 27, 2019

Natives Go Wild is a First Nations cabaret circus about the ugly days when Aboriginal and Pacific Islanders were virtually kidnapped to be freaks in the circus. PT Barnum, recently celebrated in the movie The Great Showman, is the main colonial villain.

Developed by Rhoda Roberts for an all too short season, it’s a tantalising mix of sad vignettes about lost performers, circus skills, great songs and high camp, acerbic commentary. 

Broadway Rescue

Written and directed by Justin Rynne and Rebecca Spicer. Bondi Theatre Company. Musical Director: Shirley Politzer OAM. Bondi Pavilion Theatre. Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach, Sydney. 20 and 26 October, 2019

From the opening announcement, you know this is going to be a fun show, and you’re not wrong!

The world premiere of Broadway Rescue forms part of Bondi Theatre Company’s season of comedy, cabaret and children’s theatre.  And a very enjoyable part it is too.

The story is loosely based on Bondi Rescue, the phenomenon that is Bondi Beach, and Broadway. You don’t need to be familiar with Bondi Rescue to enjoy the show.  The story is basically an excuse to have some exceptional comedy and wonderful songs.

A Chorus Line

Music: Marvin Hamlisch. Lyrics: Edward Kleban. Book: James Kirkwood & Nicholas Dante. Blackout Theatre Company. Pioneer Theatre, Castle Hill. October 18 – 26, 2019.

Director Angela Hanna speaks glowingly of the commitment her cast and creative team have given to this production – and so she should. It is a well-directed production that does credit to the musical. Managing a cast of twenty-five is not easy, especially when they have to sing, act and dance – a lot – is not easy. It requires time and patience, encouragement and organisation and a clear vision.

Hamlet

By William Shakespeare. Directed by David Lawrence. Pop Up Globe, Crown Resort, Perth. October 10- November 23, 2019

Pop Up Globe’s Hamlet is a wonderful ride, that lets its audience experience the impact of one of Shakespeare’s most well-crafted tragedies, but gives them belly laughs minutes later. Performed in a replica of Shakespeare’s second Globe theatre, temporarily “popped up” at Crown Perth, Hamlet, performed in repertoire with three other Shakespeare plays allows its audiences to experience how the original presentation of Shakespeare’s work may have felt.

The Father

By Florian Zeller. Translated by Christopher Hampton. Directed by Timothy Wynn. Moreton Bay Theatre Company. Playing October 18 – 27, 2019.

This theatre company is quickly developing a reputation for presenting thought provoking, challenging plays from off the beaten track. This is another good example. Set in Paris, it tells the story of the ageing Andre, who is suffering from dementia which worsens to affect him in many ways. This brings conflict between him and his family and friends as he tries to maintain the life he knows, also dealing with the many who attempt to exploit his condition. With our ageing population, it brings to life the real possibility of having to face the harsh reality of dementia in the family.

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Bronte. Adapted and Created by Shake & Stir. Director: Michael Futcher. Shake & Stir. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 19 October – 9 November 2019

Shake & Stir would have to be the most adventurous independent theatre company in Australia. Time and time again they put a contemporary spin on time-honoured stories (Dracula, Wuthering Heights) which finds them consistently delivering high-quality drama. Jane Eyre is no exception.

Speaking in Tongues

By Andrew Bovell. Hobart Repertory Theatre Company. The Playhouse, Hobart. 18 October – 2 November 2019

Speaking in Tongues is two hours on the edge of your seat, unravelling a tangled skein wherein might lie your own relationship. The plot, driven by coincidence and connection and is riveting right until the last moment. The tension is augmented by an aching cello and a soundscape that thrums in the heat.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.