Reviews

Maybe We’re Never Together

Big West Festival – Uncontained. Written and performed by Kate Hunter and Emilie Collyer. Direction/dramaturgy: Glynis Angell. November 15 – 27, 2011

Kate Hunter and Emilie Collyer, two lovely ‘generation X’ performers, bemuse and delight with this dry and earnest work about the making of performance.

Seddon Archives

Presented by Big West and Tamara Saulwick (Vic). Creator/Director: Tamara Saulwick. Audio Designer: Peter Knight. Visual Artist: Susan Purdy. Performer: Rachael Dyson-McGregor. Site Management: Tirese Ballard. November 16 – 27, 2011

Seddon Archives is an inspired and inspiring personal journey in time and space.  It is a walking tour of a small part of Seddon that through story, anecdote, description, memory and sound explores old and more recent history of the area.  

One sets off, alone, into a small community park with just a simple mp3 player, comfortable speakers and the assurance there are chalk arrows drawn on the footpath that can be used as reference for directions.

Little Women

By Allan Knee, Mindi Dickstein and Jason Howland. Roleystone Theatre (WA). Director: Paul Treasure.. November 25 - December 10, 2011.

One of the most difficult parts of presenting characters from well-known novels is that you are competing with images well ingrained in generations of readers’ heads. In Little Women you are also following many previous incarnations from numerous movies and the Broadway production. Kimberley Diane Harris created a Jo that was worthy to stand alongside Katherine Hepburn, June Allyson, Susan Dey and Winona Ryder. Plucky and forthright, she sang beautifully and lit up the stage at every appearance.

Daisy Pulls It Off

By Denise Deegan. Directed by Susan Lynch. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth (WA). Nov 25 - Dec 10, 2011.

An absolutely first rate little show, with a spiffing cast, having topping fun presenting this top hole little comedy with a cast full of new bugs (er I mean people making their community theatre debuts).

The director must have had a right time of it in order to get such splendiferous results. University student Zoe Cole looked as though she had stepped off the cover of an Angela Brazil novel, and her enthusiasm and earnest performance matched her brown eyes and bouncing curls to make a fantastic title character. 

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare. Belvoir (NSW). November 19 – December 24, 2011.

Belvoir’s rendition of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It is a rollicking ride and a big crowd pleaser. Full of cross dressing men and women, mistaken identities and a flock of jumping, grazing sheep, this production does provide a lot of colour and movement which makes it easy to watch for those not so familiar with Shakespeare.

But in his effort to reinvent this classic tale, director Eamon Flack has taken a lot of liberties with the script. Some ideas work and are really quite charming, but others fall flat.

Waxing Lyrical

By Shortis and Simpson. The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. December 2 – 4, 2011.

“If my nose was running money, I’d blow it all on you

I'd buy you a Cadillac and a new Mercedes too.

I'd build you that mansion up on the mountaintop.

If my nose was running money but honey it's snot.”

This show is a celebration of scintillating rhymes, rhythms, meters and scansion, good words, great words, some lyrics hilarious (like the above), and some excruciatingly awful.

RICHARD III

By William Shakespeare. The Bridge Project. Lyric Theatre, The Star (NSW). December 1 – 11, 2011.

This much anticipated production from The Bridge Project sold out in near-record time, presumably on the name of lead actor Kevin Spacey. For those lucky enough to secure a ticket, what they’ll experience is a clear, traditional, sometimes funny reading of the very long play by director Sam Mendes with a ferocious, high energy central performance.

Underpass

Conceived and Created by Untreated. Presented by Big West Festival. Writer / Director: Casey Nicholls. Performers – David Bol, Damien Busuttil, Justin Grant, Dara Klein and Rexson Pelman. November 16-19, 2011.

Under a bridge with a graffiti backdrop, a set of a couple of simple scaffolds and a stage of hilly rocky dirt to work on - raising the dust are five strong and talented young actors who express some of the torture of lives fractured and destabilised by brutal neglect, violent attack, the abuse of substances and mental illness.  This is confronting site specific theatre embedded in a wholly suitable site.

Under Milk Wood

By Dylan Thomas. Heidelberg Theatre Company. Directed by Chris Baldock, assisted by Helen Ellis. Nov 17 – Dec 3, 2011.

Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood is a dazzling piece of writing, so alive and so descriptive of the inhabitants of the Welsh village of Llareggub, you can see, hear, smell and feel the place. From this gorgeous source material, director Chris Baldock and assistant director Helen Ellis have created a truly magical show.

From its clever, deceptively simple set - allowing characters to move in and out of each other’s lives, doorways and hearts with ease – to the impressively consistent performances of its large ensemble cast, this show is a delight.

Starship Odyssey

Impro A.C.T. Directed by Christopher Allen. The Street Theatre. 25–26 November 2011.

Impro theatre is going from strength to strength in Canberra.  That may partly be due to the training that Impro A.C.T.'s players receive in creative response to the unexpected.  But it must be due too to the fun of watching the players' reactions and hearing great lines delivered unrehearsed.

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