Pack of Lies by Hugh Whitemore.

Sherbrooke Theatre Company. Director: Tony Bird.

Would you know if your closest friends were Russian spies? The Jackson family never suspected their neighbours, the Krogers, in Hugh Whitemore’s play, based on a true story. The play was set in the Jackson household, with the lounge room to audience left and the kitchen audience right. Glenn Baker captured the loving father and husband Bob Jackson, who agreed that his home could be used for surveillance against his wife’s wishes.

Newcastle Reviews - August 2009

The Shrewd Maid, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Fame, Proof, Puzzling Pirates and Stage 3 Project

Ken Longworth has been out and about in Newcastle.

Image: The Shrewd Maid - Dermod Kavanagh and Samantha Cobcroft

Monty Python’s Spamalot

Cardinia Performing Arts Company (Vic). Director: Lee Geraghty. Musical Director: Kim Thomsen. Choreographer: Robert Mulholland

Two Stage Whispers reviewers, Peter Kemp and Graham Ford, attended the Victorian Amateur Premiere of Monty Python’s Spamalot

God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton

Melbourne Theatre Company. Directed by Peter Evans; Set and Costume Design by Dale Ferguson; Lighting Design by Matt Scott; Composer/Sound Design by Kelly Ryall; Fight Choreography by Felicity Steel. With Pamela Rabe, Geoff Morrell, Hugo Weaving and Natasha Herbert. Playhouse, The Arts Centre, Melbourne until 3 October.

It's not difficult to appreciate why Ms Reza's God of Carnage (and Mr Hampton's translation of it) is one of the most celebrated and decorated plays of the decade. It is pin-point accurate satire of the highest order … a flawlessly structured, intricate and glittering dissection of relationships, manners, careers, ambitions and societal aspirations: and the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of it is stunning.

Duets by Peter Quilter

Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli (NSW) until October 3

Barry Creyton and Noelene Brown have returned to the Ensemble Theatre to perform another double act, again directed by Ensemble Artistic Director, Sandra Bates. This time, however, the play has not been penned by Creyton, (Creyton’s Double Act goes back to 1987), but by renowned British playwright Peter Quilter (Glorious, End Of The Rainbow). The play is aptly called Duets and features a set of four encounters.

The Colours

Written and Performed by Peter Houghton. Melbourne Theatre Company. Director Anne Browning; Set and Costume Designer Shaun Gurton; Lighting Designer Richard Vabre; Composer David Chesworth. Lawler Studio, Melbourne until 12 September.

It is a brave man who will write and perform a one-man show about War. In fact, preparing to attend this performance, I must confess to wondering what more could (or perhaps needs to) be said about this too often recycled, reinterpreted and common-sense defying human endeavour. I have very fond memories of Alan Seymour's influential Australian War drama The One Day of the Year (banned by the Adelaide Festival in 1960) and English playwright Peter Nichols' musical farce Privates on Parade (produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company in 1980). And the list goes on.

Bugger the Polar Bears This Is Serious

Live comedy by Rod Quantock. The Street (ACT) 25 to 30 August 2009

Bugger the Polar Bears This Is Serious is surprisingly educational entertainment. But even better is its good news. Rod Quantock's genius lies in painting a picture that incorporates more than doom and gloom, more even than science education, to show that, no longer at the mercy of under-the-counter coal and nuclear kickbacks, we can be part of a global campaign.

Get Gary

Newtown Theatre. Phantom Productions.

Sydney playwright Rachel Musgrove's play, Get Gary, put on by Phantom Productions and directed by Henry Jennings, looks at the bizarre goings of a bunch of hapless, bumbling criminals.

Intent To Murder

Genesian Theatre, Sydney

Sydney's unique little inner city community theatre, the Genesian Theatre, is currently presenting a production of the British playwright Leslie Sands's lively thriller, Intent To Murder, directed by veteran director, Joyce Birch.

The Producers by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan

Gosford Musical Society. Director: Darryl Davis. Musical Director: Josh Hochkins. Choreographers: Janadine Hart, Carolyn McNamara, Karen Snook

The posters and program proclaimed ‘A New Mel Brooks Musical’ but it wasn’t Young Frankenstein, it was a splendid production of the 2001 Broadway blockbuster The Producers. Never quite shaking off the blissfully manic 1968 Zero Mostel/Gene Wilder movie from which it was derived, Brooks’ brassy-farcey musical nevertheless won 12 Tonys and ran for years.

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