Reviews

Finucane & Smith's Glory Box La Revoluciόn

Melba Spiegeltent. Johnston Street Collingwood. 20 August – 13 September 2015

In Circus Oz’s beautiful Melba Speigeltent one is escorted through a hazy atmosphere into a very adult world of the exuberant expression of ‘the feminine’ in a myriad of forms.  From the grotesque to the ultra feminine, the disruption of gender conventions is releasing, sensual, erotic, racy, a little bit tongue in cheek and just a tad tawdry - all at the same time.

Antigone

By Sophocles, adapted by Jane Montgomery Griffiths. Directed by Adena Jacobs. Malthouse Theatre. 21Aug -13th Sept, 2015.

There’s an old adage – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Certainly one could argue that there’s a case for “fixing” a 2,500 year old Greek tragedy to make it more relevant to a current audience. But is this version by Jane Montgomery Griffiths the answer? Methinks not!

The Mannequint

By David Todman. Metro Art Theatre, Brisbane – Aug 23 – 26, 2015, then Sydney Fringe September 1- 6.

Comedy can be a funny thing - pardon the pun; and when a show is advertised as ‘a consistent and unrelenting comedy’ it’s going to be one of 2 things – exactly that ……..or not!!!!

In the case of The Mannequint, a new play written by popular actor and funny man David Todman, it pretty much delivered what it promised.

Picnic

By Marieke Hardy, KAGE and 45 Downstairs. Directed, choreographed and performed by Gerard Van. Composed by Alisdair Macindoe. Video and Lighting Consultant: Ben Shaw. 18 – 30 August, 2015

This is a delightful, short, crisp lyrical work that is great fun from go to woe. It is the type of sparkling lovely show that one could base a light and happy night out with friends, or that special person you have been meaning to catch up with, on.   It is a delicate sensitive joyful work, for which, Marieke Hardy has written a lovely ‘springboard’ that Gerard Van Dyck has fleshed out.  

Faust

By Charles Gounod. State Opera of SA. Adelaide Festival Theatre. August 22 - 29 2015

The curtain rises to a dimly lit stage that mirrors the mood of aged philosopher Faust, who is contemplating suicide. He calls on Satan to end his misery and so begins an evening full of sin, religion and consequences. Relinquishing his soul to the devil in the vain hope of finding love with a young Marguerite, his hedonistic ways cause an avalanche of pain.

Twisted Broadway – An Overview with Gratitude

State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. Monday 17th August, 2015

The Amazing folks at Twisted Broadway ask us NOT to review because everyone volunteers their time and there is very limited rehearsal. I’m not sure why they are concerned….if ever anything deserved an absolute rave review, it’s this marvellous annual fundraiser – one of the nights of musical theatre I look forward to most each year.

The Tempest

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. Sydney Opera House. August 19 – September 18, 2015.

With this light and magical version of The Tempest, after 25 years at the helm, John Bell delivers an impressive swan song in this his last production for the Bell Shakespeare Company.

Everyone - and notably set and costume designer Julie Lynch, lighting designer Damien Cooper and composer Alan John - has together created a transportive, ethereal island world where Prospero reigns but the spirits have good lessons for humanity. 

Grief and the Lullaby

By Patrick McCarthy. Theatre Works (Vic). 14 – 23 August, 2015

Grief and the Lullaby is a very moving and insightful work that slowly unfolds to make perfect sense.  All four actors embody complex individual characters with considerable skill.  The relationships portrayed are very believable; at times robust and at times delicate, perhaps even fragile.  There is an ebb and flow between them and numerous naturalistic shifts of status that feel particularly real and go a long way towards sustaining curiosity.

The Lion In Winter

By James Goldman. The Therry Dramatic Society. Directed by Megan Dansie. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. August 20-29, 2015

A heady mix of explosive family melodrama, convoluted political intrigue and snarky screwball comedy, James Goldman’s 60s play has lost none of its bite over time, and is treated to a gloriously spirited production from the Therry Dramatic Society.

The Weir

By Conor McPherson. Melbourne Theatre Company. Arts Centre, Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. 14 August – 26 September 2015.

In a rural village in the west of Ireland, a couple of locals – garage owner Jack (Peter Kowitz) and odd job man and carer for his dying Mammy, Jim (Robert Menzies) – go where they go every night, the little pub owned by young Brendan (Ian Meadows).  But tonight there’s some mild excitement: local-made-good estate agent, Finbar Mack (Greg Stone) is bringing Valerie (Nadine Garner), a newcomer to the village.  She’s come from Dublin – alone – and the word is, she’s attractive.  So there they are, three bachelors and a married charmer -

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