Reviews

Fierce

By Jane E. Thompson. Theatre Works (VIC). Director: Alice Darling. Producer: Julia Truong (J.T. Production Management). Set and Costume Designer: Yvette Turner. March 28 - April 8, 2018

As part of the Theatre Works 2018 season, Fierce asks: Can women be good enough to compete in male sports?

Fiercetackles not only the position of women in sport but also the way women’s sports get sidelined.

After all, when was the last time we had a public holiday for the Grand Final of the women’s league?

Swings at Dusk

By Prue Blake, Matthew McCartney, and Darcy Fleming. Leaky Bucket (VIC). Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018. Tasma Terrace. March 28 - April 8, 2018

Let me warn you up front: Swings at Dusk will not appeal to everyone.

You’ll kinda wanna be younger. And feel trapped in the belief of the Baby Boomers and Gen X whereby you need to exchange time for money.

Leaky Bucket gives you a walloping hit of youthful energy mixed a dose of the disengagement of an office drone.

The Children

By Lucy Kirkwood. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Mr 29 – May 19, 2018.

Playwright Lucy Kirkwood says she writes about “things where the roots of the emotions and ideas go deep and the branches go high”. In The Children she looks at personal and political decisions made in the past – and their effects on the present and the future. She questions a range of values and why we hang on to them in the face of “changes that are enormous and frightening”. 

The Big HOO-HAA! Melbourne

By Candice D’Arcy, Dan Debut, Mark Gambino, Caitlin McNaughton, Anna Renzenbrink, Elly Squire – with MC Brianna Williams. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Melbourne Town Hall, Backstage Room. 30 March – 21 April 2018

Live wire MC Brianna Williams (a last-minute replacement, but you’d never know) lights up the pocket size stage with her grin, her spiel and her fast interactions with a full house audience.  Some guy in the audience obligingly supplies what will be a running gag for the show: he nominates his cousin Georgia as a favourite relative in such a way that he then has to back pedal fast: he doesn’t want to root her, she’s just hot… Brianna keeps him on the hook for the rest of the show.  Tonight’s cast – a disparate bunch - run on and jostle

Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude

Written by Michael Bobbitt and Jim Davis, with music and lyrics by John L. Cornelius, II. StageArt. Director: Luigi Lucente. Musical Director: Caleb Garfinkel. Choreographer: Madi Lee. Chapel Off Chapel. April 3 – 13, 2018

StageArt is a small professional company which is achieving a lot. Having last week presented us with Bare, the Musical, they were now to delight us with Garfield.

A one hour show for kids during the school holidays, this was a hoot. All the animals had tails, and minimal makeup, but it didn’t matter, as each one captured the essence of its character.

The set comprised a door with surrounds, a couple of sections of fence and a box for Garfield to sleep on. Nothing more was required.

Massive Bitch

By Chelsea Deller. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. April 2 – 8, 2018

Wow, what a comical plethora of paradoxical characters performed by the up and coming, already legendary Chelsea Zeller.

After her sellout show at the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, she has returned with a brilliant new show to rock your socks off.

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde. Artefact Theatre Co. St Martin’s Theatre. March 27 - April 7, 2018

Founded in 2016, Artefact Theatre Co. is a fully independent self-funded theatre company. Their latest production is Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest; a play often considered to be one of the wittiest in the English language.

Fleabag

By Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Director & dramaturg Vicky Jones. A DryWhite and Soho Theatre presentation in association with Malthouse Theatre. Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne. 28 March – 22 April 2018

The concept and the presentation are simple.  Fleabag (Maddie Rice) sits on a high stool on a platform and tells us about her life.  It was written as a one-woman show – and it still is.  This mode can so easily become tedious, but Fleabag never does. 

Kosher Bacon

By Michael Shafar. Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018 (VIC). Trades Hall. March 29 - April 22, 2018

Michael Shafar is Jewish, 27, and writes for The Project. As such, he’s capable of quick-witted quips about today’s hot topics.

When he steps on the stage — tall, good-looking, commanding — Shafar starts by questioning his audience about themselves. Jewish or non-Jewish? Married? Family?

Shafar rarely singles audience members out. Instead, he makes sure everyone feels the show is being explicitly performed for them.

Diplomacy

By Cyril Gely. Translated and adapted by Julie Rose. Ensemble Theatre. Directed by John Bell. March 23 to April 28, 2018.

There was a palpable buzz in the foyer, aided by news that the play was sold out before opening night and destined for a national tour in 2019. The combination of a thrilling World War 2 drama, set in Paris, directed and starring Australia’s most lauded Shakespearian actor John Bell, had already proved box office alchemy.

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