Reviews

Tom, Dick and Harry

By Ray and Michael Cooney. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Nov 20 – 29, 2014

The Adelaide Repertory Theatre has chosen a ‘cracker’ of a comedy to finish the year off. Directing this British farce is veteran performer and award winning director Ian Rigney. Farce can be a challenge to direct as pace and timing are vital to the flow of the plot, but Rigney’s wealth of experience shows as this play rockets along from one side splitting gag to another.

Gasp!

By Ben Elton. Director: Wesley Enoch. QTC & Black Swan State Theatre. Playhouse, QPAC. 20 Nov – 7 Dec 2014.

Ben Elton’s Gasp! is a funny, satiric, non-PC laugh-fest.

Mining conglomerate Lockheart Industries are running out of things to rip out of the ground and come up with the idea to market ‘designer air.’ In an age where ‘designer water’ is marketed worldwide, it’s not such a stretch to imagine a scenario in the future where will have to pay to breathe.

Outward Bound

By Sutton Vane. KADS. Town Square Theatre, Kalamunda (WA). 14 Nov - 6 Dec, 2014

The original production of Outward Bound was the hit of the 1923 London theatre season, produced by author Sutton Vane, after producers shied away from its unusual subject matter.

It is an interesting concept. Initially, the story is ostensibly about seven passengers at sea, but we realise that they are aboard the SS Eternity and they are in fact bound for Heaven…or Hell.

La Cage aux Folles

Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman. Book by Harvey Fierstein. Based on the play “La Cage Aux Folles” by Jean Poiret. SUPA Productions (ACT). Directed by Garrick Smith. ANU Arts Centre 7 – 22 November

Fabulous? It’s SUPA—of course it’s fabulous! Leave your cynicism at home and enjoy this hilarious, high camp, unabashedly sentimental story of love and comeuppance. La Cage aux Folles is a glitzy musical that shines with the over-the-top SUPA formula of live music, great performances, gorgeous costumes and an innovative light show. The script is a furiously witty celebration of a certain gay culture and lifestyle, and the songs are gorgeous.SUPA’s interpretation is slick, professional, side-splitting and heart-warming.

The Les Robinson Story and Belle of the Cross

Sydney Independent Theatre Company. Old Fitz Theatre (NSW). Nov 18 – 29, 2014.

Sydney Independent Theatre Company has chosen a fitting program for its finale at the Old Fitzroy Theatre at Woolloomooloo – the revival of two short plays, both about unusual people, and both set in the colourful and historical precinct that SITCO has called home for over 30 of its productions.

1790 a tale not often told

By Robert Thomson. Lend Lease Theatre Darling Harbour. Thurs 13 to Sat 15 November 2014

Black and white in colour

God of Carnage

By Yasmina Reza. Directed by Leigh Barker. Next Step Productions. Chapel off Chapel. 19th – 29th November, 2014

Actor/Producer Leigh Barker makes his directorial debut with the much awarded black comedy God of Carnage, which must surely be one of the most produced shows in modern theatre. With a sure hand he pulls together four excellent performances from a highly skilled cast, allowing them enough freedom to explore comic business, without damaging the truth of the characters or the overall arc.

Don Pasquale

By Donizetti. Opera Australia. Director: Roger Hodgman. Conductor: Guillaume Tourniaire. Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre. Nov 19 – Dec 12, 2014.

As with Tosca the previous week, this was a lavish production. The set comprised three house fronts, double-story, which swung around at the end of the overture to become the interior of Pasquale’s house. It was very impressive.

The second scene, usually set in Norina’s home, was set outside in a street café, which worked well, although I would have preferred Malatesta to move the table away from the others while he was having a private conversation with Norina.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Based on the novel by C.S. Lewis. Book Lyrics and Music by Irita Kutchmy. Chatswood Musical Society. Zenith Theatre, Chatswood. Nov 14 – 22, 2014.

Imagine being told at 5.30 pm that you are going to play the lead in a musical in just over two hours.  The pulse of young Benjamin Hamilton must have been racing when the Director Laura-Beth Wood gave him the news that the boy playing Edmund Pevensie had been taken to hospital after hurting himself at school.

Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Adapted from Charles Mee’s Iphigenia 2.0, after Euripides, with contributions and dramaturgy by Morgan Rose. La Boîte Indie and Motherboard Productions with the support of QPAC. Roundhouse Theatre. 12-29 November, 2014

It is always refreshing to see a contemporary adaptation of a classic: you get to see history in the making without getting bogged down in academia and there’s room for spontaneity, creativity and the flexibility to address a modern audience who are there to be entertained, not educated. Director Dave Sleswick could also see in Charles Mee’s adaptation of Euripides famous play a correlation between the story and the current state of Australia's political landscape and wanted, in this production, to include his own message.

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