Reviews

David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang

Adapted by Maryam Master. Directed by Susanna Dowling. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. Jan 28-Feb 2, 2020

David Walliams is probably the most popular author for young readers at the moment, with his madcap books being devoured by young readers. It shouldn’t be surprising that this show, nearing the end of its multi-city tour, is attracting capacity crowds.

In The Midnight Gang, a group of children’s ward patients, and an unlikely looking hospital porter, form a late night society to grant the wishes of sick children.

The Campaign

By Campion Decent. Produced by Gavin Roach. Midsumma. Studio Theatre - Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park. January 22 – February 1, 2020

The Campaign is a lively, informative, beautifully crafted and executed work of ‘verbatim theatre.’  It describes many significant moments of the 9 year the campaign (1988 to 1997) by the Tasmanian Gay Law Reform Group to have Homosexuality decriminalized in Tasmania.  Therefore it is a must for those interested in Human and LGBTQI Rights.

We are reminded of the power of grass-roots activism. 

Seussical Junior

By Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Adelaide Youth Theatre. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. January 23 – 26, 2020

Adelaide Youth Theatre have been presenting top class musical productions for and with young people since 2010. The founders and producers of AYT are voice teacher and drama coach Emma Riggs and dance teacher, choreographer, director Kerreane Sarti. Their goals are to work with and to inspire young performers aged 7 to 21 and to give them wonderful opportunities to shine on stage. There is no doubt that they achieve those goals with the latest production of Seussical, based on the words of Dr Seuss and the zany characters from his various stories.

As One

Music: Laura Kaminsky. Libretto Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell. Gertrude Opera. In association with fortyfivedownstairs and Midsumma Festival. January 23 – February 1, 2020

AS ONE is a beguiling, absorbingly unique contemporary opera experience.  The music is sublimely hypnotic and the singing exquisite. 

It portrays an intense, very personal and individual reassignment of gender, from puberty to young adulthood, as a driven, relentless yet imperative journey.  And this is a passage that brings about a deeply satisfactory conclusion. 

The Last Five Years

By Jason Robert Brown. Art in Motion Theatre Company. Fringe World. Directed by Lys Tickner and Tyler Eldridge. Don Russell Performing Arts Centre, Murdoch Dve, Thornlie. Jan 24 - Feb 2, 2020

Art in Motion Theatre Company has conducted a bold theatrical experiment for Fringe World. Forming two sub-companies, they have produced the same show, twice. Two different directors have created two completely separate and different productions of the same show, as a mission to see how two interpretations might differ. Patrons can choose to see one show or two, with the second show complimentary.

Quokka Apocalypse

Written and directed by Zachary Sheridan. Fringe World. The Studio, The Blue Room, James St, Perth WA. Jan 24- Feb 1, 2020

Quokka, Possum and Snipe have become fed up with humans and plot to ensure their demise, in this impossibly cute, Perth based, pre-apocalyptic drama at Fringe World.

Home, I’m Darling

By Laura Wade. Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, the Sumner. 20 January – 22 February 2020

The inversion of the familiar ‘Darling, I’m Home’ suggests the argument of Laura Wade’s comedy.  ‘Darling, I’m Home’ is that weary-cheery greeting heard in many a 1950s American sit-com.  The breadwinner comes through the front door and calls to his (always ‘his’) little homemaker that he is home from the heartless world and ready to be welcomed within the bosom of his family.  ‘Home’ for Judy (Nikki Shields) is a haven from a world she dislikes and fears – a haven she controls.

The Pitch

By James Sweeny and Michael Abercromby. Fringe World. The Alex Hotel, James St, Perth. Jan 22-25, 2020

The Pitch had some of the paciest dialogue in Fringe World. A turbo paced comedy with a hefty dose of the bizarre, it played outdoors on the Terrace of the Alex Hotel.

Six Minutes, 6 Ways

Written and directed by Sally Newman. Lyrical Infusion. Fringe World. Townshend Theatre, Subiaco. Jan 24-25, 2020

We see one love story, one set of dialogue, six different ways, in the Fringe World world premiere Six Minutes, 6 Ways from Lyrical Infusion.

Sally Newman’s striking new work blends music and dance with conventional theatre as we watch the same couple at six points in their relationship. The dialogue is also the same each time, although you may not realise that completely at first, given that the context and delivery are so different in each scene.

She’ll Be Right: A Tradie Cabaret

Written and directed by Todd Peydo. Fringe World. Chemistry at the Girls School, Wellington St, Perth Jan 20-26, 2020

Russell “Rusty” Bell at first seems to be your typical Aussie tradie, with his high vis vest, esky of Emu Export and language that would make Grandma blush, but audiences who have joined Rusty, to watch him renovate the old Girls School, have found that within this rough exterior beats the heart of a Broadway Star.

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