Muriel’s Wedding The Musical.

Book by PJ Hogan. Music and lyrics by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall. Presented by Global Creatures in association with Sydney Theatre Company. Directed by Simon Phillips. Her Majesty’s Theatre, 219 Exhibition Street, Melbourne. 12 March – 9 June, 2019.

PJ Hogan has created a faithful adaptation of his endearing and iconic film. His story captures the idiosyncratic Australian no-nonsense essence that sometimes struggles to reconcile ultra-conservative and non-inclusive community attitudes. The account of Muriel’s oppressive and dull small-town existence, which is blighted by sexism and political corruption, is transformed into a tale of the triumph of mateship, individuality and freedom.

Enright On the Night

By David Mitchell and Melvin Morrow. Genesian Theatre Company, Kent Street, Sydney. March 23 – April 13, 2019.

It’s fifteen years since Australian theatre lost one of its most popular and prolific theatrical creatives. Nick Enright was a real all-rounder – playwright, actor, director, screen writer, lyricist, translator, adaptor, dramaturg, teacher, mentor. Few could aspire to such a comprehensive CV; few could achieve so much and still stay a regular nice guy; few could reject the call of Broadway and Hollywood and come home to the country and people he loved and wrote about so prolifically.

You Know We Belong Together

By Julia Hales with Finn O’Branagáin and Clare Watson. Black Swan, Perth Festival, Dadaa co-production. Directed by Clare Watson. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth. March 20-31, 2019

Julia Hales is a dynamic, attractive, bright 38 year old actor, who lives on her own in a flat in Subiaco. She is single, but would prefer not to be, is a huge fan of Home and Away, has been acting for over twenty years, and has an extra 21st chromosome.

The Choir of Man

The Studio, Sydney Opera House. Mar 20 – Apr 7, 2019

A blast! A rage! A ball! Whatever idiomatic superlative you use, it probably isn’t enough to describe the vibe and energy of the nine cheeky, gifted English ‘lads’ who are The Choir of Man. Arunaway hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017, and fresh from the 2019 Adelaide Fringe festival, the boys have hit NSW running – and dancing and singing – in a rousing production that makes the spirit soar.


By Alan Bennet. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, National Theatre Live, presented by Sharmill Films. Cinema Nova, Lygon Street Carlton and cinemas nationally Limited season from 30 March, 2019.

Alan Bennett (The History Boys, The Lady in the Van, The Madness of George III) is renowned for his regular successful collaboration with stage director Nicholas Hytner. Bennett’s plays often draw on his idiosyncratic and very personal experience of the issues affecting contemporary British society.  ALLELUJAH! especially operates in this vein as it draws on the widespread concern about the demise of the NHS that has dominated debates in British politics in recent years.

Carmen in the Square

By Georges Bizet. State Opera SA. Victoria Square, Adelaide. March 24, 2019

For the first time the State Opera of South Australia has moved out of a theatre and into a central city venue, namely Victoria Square. Presumably this is based on Opera Australia’s successful ‘Opera on Sydney Harbour’.

The choice of Carmen for this first production was a wise one. Known by any opera fan, with hummable tunes (including a football team song) and a dramatic storyline, it has all the ingredients to be a sure-fire hit.

Briefs: Close Encounters

Presented by Arts Centre Melbourne and Briefs Factory. Playhouse Theatre, Southbank. 20 – 24 March, 2019.

Briefs Factory describe themselves as “manufacturers and distributors of evocative, irreverent, political punk performance.” Close Encounters lives up to this mantra in dazzling and spectacular fashion. This Australian based performance collective specialises in blending the conventions of cabaret burlesque, comic capery, breathtaking circus acts and male stripping. The combination is seamless and forcefully dynamic and, unsurprisingly, has become a world-wide sensation. 

Kinky Boots

Music & Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper. Book: Harvey Feirstein. Empire Theatres Production. Director: Alison Vallette. Musical Director: Shane Tooley. Choreography: George Canham. Empire Theatre, Toowoomba. 22-31 March 2019

After a three-million dollar refurbishment, Toowoomba’s theatrical jewel, the Empire Theatre, is looking more glitzy than ever, and what better show to reopen the venue than this glitzy ‘ode to acceptance’ Kinky Boots. The story of a failing Northumberland shoe factory which is reborn making sexy leather boots for drag queens, comes vibrantly alive in Alison Vallette’s production, the Queensland community theatre premiere.

West Side Story

Book by Arthur Laurents. Music by Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour / Opera Australia. Director: Francesca Zambello. Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney Harbour. 22 March – 21 April 2019

The rain started a couple of minutes before the opening bars of stirring music. It grew worse as the Jets and the Sharks circled each other menacingly, even worse as Maria met and fancied Tony, and bucketed down when Anita sang of the glories and follies of ‘America’. Among the audience there was much wiping of dripping glasses and struggling to put on the available $5 macs, but the cast sang and danced with sure-footed ease, a tribute to their non-slip footwear. The weather was expected: it’s Sydney in late March. 

The Little Mermaid Jnr

Music: Alan Menken. Lyrics: Howard Ashman & Glenn Slater. Book: Doug Wright. Pelican Productions. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. March 22nd – 24th, 2019

Pelican Productions continue their high standard of theatre entertainment with their first musical for 2019, The Little Mermaid Jnr. Adapted for a younger cast, it is based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Jen Firth and Kylie Green founded Pelican Productions in 2004 and have done wonders in nurturing young talent. With such a large number of students they still manage to find a role for everyone.

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