Dear John.

M.O.V.E. Theatre. Nexus Arts, Adelaide. OzAsia Festival. 1-3 October, 2015.

Situated at the point where music, theatre, dance, and artistic installation all meet, Dear John is an exploratory and experimental piece of avant-gardism, presented essentially without conventional distance between performers and viewers, as a tribute to legendary musical figure John Cage. Whether you find the end result entrancing, or indifferent, or somewhere in between, will be largely a matter of personal taste.

Into the Woods

Music and Lyrics Stephen Sondheim. Book James Lapine. Harvest Rain QPAC Concert Hall. 1-4 October, 2015

The first production I ever saw of this show was a concert version presented in Melbourne at the Arts Centre. It was such a long time ago now I don't remember exactly when, but the one thing I do remember was a superb score being played on the stage with such gusto and passion and a mesmerising cast who were obviously enjoying the experience as much as the audience. It brought the house down; and there were only minimal costumes and some basic lighting: it was just a simple presentation. 


Director: Meng Jinghui. Playwright: Liao Yimei. Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide. OzAsia Festival. 1-2 October, 2015.

When a show is fit to bursting with its own unique mixture of ambitious ideas, literate language, humour, poignance, creativity, vitality, and outright oddities, it would look like an easy recommendation, yes? There will be those who are thoroughly delighted and entirely thrilled by Amber, as well as others who - like this reviewer - are more cautious in their enthusiasm and measured in their praise.


By Hannie Rayson. Black Swan. Directed by Stuart Halusz. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, WA. 19 Sep - 4 Oct 2015

Extinction, presented by Black Swan, State Theatre Company, is an interesting juxtaposition of conflicting viewpoints, diverse personalities and complex relationships which make a very watchable piece of theatre.

But Wait …There’s More!

Circus Oz. Riverside Theatres Parramatta. Oct 1 – 3, 2015

Circus Oz has delighted and amazed audiences here and around the world for 37 years. This latest of their shows, But Wait …There’s More! continues to delight and amaze! Fast and thrilling, it is full of the high-flying spectacle and acrobatic fun that appeals across the generations.

Lord Of The Dance – Dangerous Games

Created and Directed by Michael Flatley. Music by Gerard Fahey. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. September 29 - October 4, 2015, then touring

It’s 20 years since we fell under the spell of Riverdance. The charm of Bill Whelan’s Celtic score for a small group of traditional musicians, the simplicity of the cultural costumes, the spiritual story of how the river takes the dance to the ocean and across the sea, coupled with the “Clannad” like harmonies of the songs, was breathtaking. And then there was the dancing, such dancing…and the charisma and talent of Michael Flatley. Such was his flair that we didn’t care at all that he wasn’t Irish, but a Chicago-born American.

A Property of the Clan

By Nick Enright. Blood Moon Theatre, The World Bar, Kings Cross. September 29 – October 17, 2015.

What an appropriate time to mount a new production of Nick Enright’s 1994 cathartic play based around the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Newcastle schoolgirl. And this hard-hitting production from Blood Moon Theatre means the play loses none of the original power – in fact its messages are even more poignant in 2015.

Tinserella - Putting The G’day in Cabaret

Written and performed by Joana Simmons. Melbourne Fringe Festival, The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place. 29 September – 4 October.

The sensational performer Joana Simmons proves there can never be too much g’day in cabaret. Simmons reinvigorates this traditional art form with a wonderfully playful and provocative celebration of Australiana. The energy and physicality of the show will astound you and sweep you away. The audience participation is expertly timed and engaging without being confronting. Her take on some staunch Aussie stereotypes will have you in stitches, and she makes expressions such as ‘grouse mate’ seem like music to your ears.


Music by Jule Styne. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by Arthur Laurents… Directed by Celeste Underhill. Stirling Theatre, Innaloo, WA. Sep 11-26, 2015

Stirling Players' Gypsy played to full houses throughout its three week run, and deserved its warm reception.

Celeste Underhill did a superb job directing her first community theatre musical, and was ably supported by musical director Krispin Maesalu-heading a solid 13 piece orchestra and choreographer Amber Southall, whose work throughout was impressive.

The Candy Topps - Femme Fatale

A Redroom Theatre Company production. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne CBD. 29 September – 4 October 2015

The Candy Topps are back at the Butterfly Club.  Kitty (Emma Clair Ford), Fifi (Jennifer Robinson) and Stella (Elenor Adams) are a self-aware retro trio (think the Andrews Sisters with spice and doubles entendres).  In matching red floral dresses that cling to their curves – another retro touch nowadays – and fascinators, they bump and grind and tease the audience.

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