By Abi Morgan. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. Directed by Denny Lawrence. August 21 to 23 September, 2018

Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre’s version of Welsh playwright Abi Morgan’s perceptive and deeply moving play Lovesong is wonderfully cast, perfectly paced, and beautifully produced.

The Fall - All Rhodes Lead to Decolonisation

Big World Up Close program at Arts Centre Melbourne. August 28 to September 2, 2018

Coming to us from The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and presented by students who were directly involved in the action, The Fall is vital, vibrant, massively relevant to our multi-cultural modern world and totally worth catching.

It is a rousing, honest and reflective work of ‘docu drama’ by a group of young people, about a student revolution at Cape Town University that aimed to remove a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes – #RhodesMustFall movement.  This campaign also sparked debate about removing a statue of Cecil Rhodes in Oxford.

Legally Blonde

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Book by Heather Hach. APAN Entertainment and HAMA Productions. Directed by Nicole Stinton. Musical Direction by Frank La Cava. Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. 24 Aug - 2 Sep, 2018

APAN Entertainment and HAMA Productions’ production of Legally Blonde is huge, lavish and unapologetically pink, bursting onto the stage with youthful energy and a heap of enthusiasm.

The show looks great, with a solid set that transformed smoothly throughout and stunning costumes.

The Madwoman of Chaillot

Based on La Folle de Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux. Translated & adapted by Maria Plumb & Rod Thompson. Villanova Players. Director: Rod Thompson. Seven Hills Theatre, Seven Hills, Brisbane. 25 Aug – 9 Sep 2018

Villanova’s production of The Madwoman of Chaillot is not only a 70th birthday celebration for the group but also a celebration of their return home to their old, but now refurbished theatre after spending the last four years at Yeronga. That their audience were happy to be home was indicated by the almost full house.

We Will Rock You

Music and Lyrics by Queen. Story and Script by Ben Elton. Redcliffe Musical Theatre. Directed by Madeleine Johns. August 24 – September 9, 2018.

This rock musical, as written by Ben Elton, is set in the distant future where everybody thinks, acts and dresses the same, under the control of Killer Queen. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden and rock music is all but unknown. A group of Bohemians, who meet at The Hard Rock Café, struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and live music. Galileo, with his flashes of dreams, and his friend, whom he calls Scaramouche, lead us on the road of discovery. That road is mainly through the music of Queen - and what a great musical way to travel.

Bernstein At 100

Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Alondra de la Parra. Soloist: Andreas Haefliger. Brisbane Chorale, Canticum Chamber Choir, Voices of Birralee. Concert Hall, QPAC. August 25, 2018.

You would have to have been living under a bush not to know that this year marks the 100th birthday of American composer Leonard Bernstein, with major symphony orchestras around the world celebrating it.

The Marvelous Wonderettes - Dream On

By Roger Bean. Ballina Players, Players Theatre. Directors: Paul and Sue Belsham. 24th August – 9th September, 2018.

Following on from their successful season last year, the Players are presenting the sequel which brings us another 10 years down the track in the lives of this High School quartet and into the 70’s.

Ballina has been fortunate in being able to present 3 of last year’s cast: Candace Baldwin, Helen Jarvis and Jo Fletcher (recreating their original characters) together with Mel Strawbridge and supported by a number of cameo appearances from some of the people in their lives.

Sunday in the Park With George

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by James Lapine. WAAPA Third Year Music Theatre. Directed by Tyran Parke. Geoff Gibbs Theatre, WAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. 25 Aug - 1 Sep, 2018

As WAAPA’s Third Year Music Theatre students near the end of their time at WAAPA, this musical about creative fulfilment and the plight of the artist is either a highly appropriate or a very daunting choice of subject matter. A highly polished, beautifully presented production, it showcases the talents of this cohort and their creative contemporaries beautifully.

The Harp in the South Parts 1 & 2

By Ruth Park. An adaptation for the stage by Kate Mulvany. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. Aug 16 – Oct 8.

This epic adaptation of Ruth Park’s famous trilogy of novels about love and life in the slums of Surry Hills is a triumph.  

Actor and writer Kate Mulvany spent three years forging generations of the Darcy family and their neighbours into five and half hours of compelling, heart-warming theatre (excluding intervals).

The storytelling is so fluid, the transitions from crowd scenes to vignettes across David Fleischer’s revolving stage so seamless, it looks like director Kip Williams has been working with Mulvany since she started. 

Dear Frankie

By Niamh Gleeson. Gromurph Productions. Directed by Frank Murphy. Kidogo Art House, Bathers Beach, Fremantle. 22-26 Aug, 2018

This production is the Australian premiere of Dear Frankie, an Irish bio-play based on the life of Frankie Byrne, a real-life public relations consultant and radio personality who presented the agony aunt programme “The Women’s Page” on Radio Eireann for over twenty years.

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