Reviews

Driving Miss Daisy

Wyndam’s Theatre, Covent Garden, London. Wednesday 28th September 2011

In my more than 50 years of involvement in live theatre I can count on one hand the number of times I was really in awe at a production and its performers. Driving Miss Daisy now joins that list. We bought tickets for the second performance on the day and were lucky to get the last 2 stall seats 6 rows from the front and 4 seats off centre. Another Aussie (Star) I saw there had also bought tickets on the day and was sitting in the upper circle.

The play has transferred to London from an award winning season on Broadway with the cast intact.

The Magic Flute

By Mozart. Adapted and Directed by Mark Dornford-May. Musical Director Mandisi Dyantyis. Choreographer Lungelo Ngamlana. Additional music and lyrics by Mandisi Dyantyis, Mbail Kgosidintsi, Pauline Malefane, Nolufefe Mtshabe. Performed in English and Xhosa. The Isango Ensemble presented by the Melbourne Festival. The State Theatre, Melbourne.. October 11 - 16, 2011

This production was the centrepiece of the Melbourne Festival for 2011 and it received a deserved standing ovation on opening night. If Mozart had been born in South Africa this is what the “Flute” would have looked like.

The Pillowman

By Martin McDonagh. University of Adelaide Theatre Guild. Little Theatre. Oct 4 – 15, 2011.

British/Irish playwright Martin McDonagh has had a few plays on stage in Adelaide in recent times. You might have seen The Beauty Queen of Leenane by The Rep this year, or The Cripple of Inishmaan at State in 2008.  The Pillowman earned McDonagh the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2004.

The Pajama Game

Music & Lyrics: Richard Adler & Jerry Ross. Book: George Abbott & Richard Bissell. Babirra Music Theatre Inc. (Vic). Co-Directors: Jaison Hoernel & Kerryn Hoernel. Choreography: Kerryn Hoernel. Musical Director: Naomi Osborne. Oct 7 – 15, 2011.

All but a few seats were filled on the second night of Babirra’s The Pajama Game. As the audience settled down through the overture (for which the house lights remained lit), white sewing machines loomed out of the darkened stage, a part of a wonderful array of bubblegum, colourful, no-expense-spared sets and lighting, which complemented the 1950s style of the show perfectly.

Site UnSeen

Melbourne Festival 2011. Site Unseen is supported by a partnership between The City of Port Phillip, The St Kilda Inclusion Project (SIP), the Port Phillip Community Croup, Many Moons Group and Sacred Heart Mission. Co Writers/Artistic Directors: Graham Pitts and Robyn Szechtman. Designer: Shaun Patten. Cast: Brendan Bacon and Chris Bunsworth as Wozza; Joseph O’Reilly and Elliot Cyngler as Nigel; Joanne Davis and Annie Stanford as Felicity; Andrew Gray and Sean Kavanagh as Maurice; Sharon Kirchner and Margie Howlett as Francesca. October 6 to 22, 2011.

The audience gathers, with a palpable expectation and trepidation, in the car park by the Palais, St Kilda for this site specific work that examines homelessness. Riddled with intimate knowledge, brutal experience, caring and passion, the part experiential part informative journey thence to Theatre Works has a great deal to recommend it. 

Mother & Son

By Geoffrey Atherdon. Matt Byrne Media. Holden Street Theatres. Oct 5 – 22, 2011.

The night started with the most amusing announcement to shut off phones, from a puppet left over from Matt Byrne Media’s last production, Avenue Q

Nunsense

Book, Music & Lyrics: Dan Goggin. S.Q.U.I.D.S. (Southeast Queensland Independent Dramatic and Musical Society). Director: Julie Jones. Musical Director: John Carey. Choreographer: Carol Carey, Tamzin Franz. Redcliffe Cultural Centre, Redcliffe, Qld. Oct 6 – 8, 2011. Touring to Narangba (Oct 15), Gympie (Oct 22) and Chermside (Nov 5).

Tom Tom Crew.

Directed by Scott Maidment. Ben Walsh (Musical Director), Shane Witt, Ben Lewis, Daniel Catlow, David Carberry, Jamie McDowell, Mali de Goey, Tom Thum and DJ Sampology (Sam Poggioli). Melbourne Festival and Strut & Fret Production House. Upstairs at the Forum Theatre, Flinders Street, Melbourne. 4 - 23 October, 2011.

In the grand tradition of Stomp and Tap Dogs but with generous lashings of thrillingly high-stakes, daredevil acrobatic abandon and Tom Thum’s simply astonishing beatboxing, Tom Tom Crew burst into life for the opening night performance of their Melbourne Festival season.

In the Still of the Night: an evening with Cole Porter

Written and performed by Allison Farrow. Dell'arte Productions, supported By The Tasmanian Theatre Co. Theatre Royal Backspace, Hobart. Director: Sara Brown. October 5 – 9, 2011

Love Song

By John Kolvenbach. Director: Jordan Best. Centrepiece Theatre. The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. October 5 – 15, 2011.

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