Reviews

Contest

By Emilie Collyer. Darebin Arts Speakeasy. Directed by Prue Clark; produced by Erin Milne. Northcote Town Hall, Main Hall. 25 July – 4 August 2018

The nexus of Emilie Collyer’s play is netball – a game you can see being played any night of the week in any city and a lot of country towns across Australia.  Under lights, all seasons, mostly women – and women of all ages.  A lot of fun, a lot of bonding – and a lot of commitment – to be there, to give up something else, to work hard, to be fit and to compete.  Besides, the exercise, the physical demands, the game, the playing to win, means you can switch off for an hour from all your troubles and life’s myriad dissatisfactions.  The

Cry-Baby

Book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Songs by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger. Based on the film by John Waters. LPD in association with Hayes Theatre Co. Hayes Theatre, Potts Point. July 20 - August 19, 2018

What can fizzle on Broadway can sizzle on other stages. Cry-Baby only lasted 68 performances when it premiered in New York in 2008. At the Hayes Theatre - with its intimate staging - the musical is a delicious treat.

In an echo of GreaseCry-Baby is set in the early golden era of the 1950’s – where the Cold War is at its most terrifying and bad boys wore leather jackets.  It’s about teenagers from two different tribes who fall in love in the flavour of Romeo and Juliet.

The Long Forgotten Dream

By H Lawrence Sumner. Sydney Theatre Company. Director: Neil Armfield. The Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. 23 July – 25 August, 2018

This first play by Aboriginal writer H Lawrence Sumner has been given the full Sydney Theatre Company works by star director Neil Armfield – including scenic magic and brilliant on-stage musicianship. The crème of Sydney theatregoers stood and cheered him, surely a life-changing moment.

Godspell

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Harbour Theatre and Studio2Stage. Directed by Jodie Innes. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. 20 - 29 July, 2018

Harbour Theatre and Studio2Stage present the 2012 revival version of Godspell with enthusiasm and a sense of fun. Godspell, based on the Gospel of St Matthew is often remembered for its “hippie” vibe and seen as very much a product of the 1970s. This version is made for the millennial with contemporary references and a clean, present day vibe. 

Happy Birthday, Wanda June

By Kurt Vonnegut. Canberra Repertory, directed by Cate Clelland. Theatre 3, Canberra. 19 July – 4 August 2018.

Kurt Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday, Wanda June amusingly juxtaposes and caricatures disparate people with contrasting attitudes, clearly setting out to highlight our collective human foibles.  But, rather than reveal the contradictions in the sociopolitical environment of 1960s and 1970s America, the play delivers somewhat blunt conclusions.  It deals heavy-handedly with notions of war, ownership of others, naïve idealism, and killing for pleasure and sta

A Taste of Honey

By Shelagh Delaney. Upstairs Theatre, Belvoir. July 21 – Aug 19, 2018

There seems initially little honey to taste in the slum lives of this young mother and her teenage daughter in 1950’s working class England.  Shelagh Delaney wrote the hit play (and later film) when she was just 19.

Yet the honey is in the women’s underlying exuberance, the humour in their flawed males and a 50’s soundtrack which blows away cobwebs.

Little Women the Broadway Musical

Book by Allan Key. Music by Jason Howland. Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. Directed by Pip Mushin. Presented by Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium. Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, 13-20 July, 2018

It’s always a delight to view a performance packed with talent and enthusiasm. That’s precisely what the third year students from Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium delivered in Little Women the Broadway Musical.

Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-Face

Music, Lyrics and Book by Anthony Crowley. La Mama Court House. July 18 – August 4, 2018

The Armageddon is here - the world is ending - so let’s party it out.

Motor – Mouth Loves Suck Faceis an electrifying, eclectic teenage apocalypse musical currently on at La Mama’s Carlton Court House. Anthony Crowley a multi ward winning playwright and diverse all rounder has written, directed, composed and designed this fabulous production.

Zombies, geeks, cyborgs, alien invasion, worm holes and global warming set this phantasmagorical play on fire with ceaseless teenage drama, heartbreak and sweepingly fantastic and bizarre entertainment.

Blithe Spirit

By Noël Coward. Malanda Theatre Company. Directed by Jim Hill. July 27-August 5, 2018

Malanda Theatre Company's production of NoëlCoward's classic play Blithe Spirit was all about ghosts and the supernatural. Can a spirit be contacted via a séance? In this play it could. The plot revolved around writer Charles Condomine who invites Madame Arcati over to conduct a séance so that he can gather material for a future book. However, Madame Arcati inadvertently contacts the ghost of Charles's first wife Elvira, who then proceeds to torment his current wife, Ruth.

Creditors

By August Strindberg - a New Version by Duncan Graham. State Theatre Company SA. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. July 20 - August 5, 2018

Duncan Graham had studied 19th century playwright August Strindberg’s works but had no knowledge of his play Creditors until he saw a production of it in London ten years ago.  He was so impacted by the psychological thriller he immediately began adapting the work towards producing it in Australia. The result is the tense, thrillingly surreal and frequently very funny State Theatre Company of South Australia production now being staged at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre.

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