By Matthew Ryan. Director: Iain Sinclair. QTC. Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane. 11 April – 2 May 2015

Brisbane 1942 – Macarthur has arrived, the Brisbane line has been drawn, the Japanese have bombed Darwin, and there’s terror in the streets, a battle royal between Aussie Diggers and Yanks. This is the fertile background for Matthew Ryan’s sweet coming-of-age story Brisbane, which centres on a 14-year-old boy Danny and his best friend Patty.

Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘bout me

Tim Freedman does Harry Nilsson. Hayes Theatre Co (NSW). April 13 – 19, 2015.

A muted carpet square covers the stage, on it a desk, a drinks table, a leather armchair and a baby grand. A digital alarm clock on the desk is just hitting 12 midnight as the lights come up. The alarm buzzes and Tim Freedman, in striped pyjama pants and toweling bathrobe (cf the cover of Nilsson Schmilsson 1971) wanders in from a door stage right. His beard is similar to Nilsson’s – and when he picks up and dons a grey flat cap from a bust on the drinks table, the transformation is pretty damn good!

Craig Hill. Give Him an Inch

Part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Chapel off Chapel, 14-19 April, 2015.

Back in town again for another welcome return visit to the Melbourne Comedy Festival, Scottish comedian Craig Hill bounded back on stage at Chapel off Chapel in his trademark kilt with his trademark hi-nrg gayest of all gay dance intros. Mr Hill's comedy is a refreshingly contemporary take on the gay stereotype of bitchy queen humour - though the barbs are there, his delivery is so warm and approach so light-hearted that it's clear everything is in fun and we're all in on the joke.

Ross Noble: Tangentleman

Part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Palais Theatre, 14-18 April, 2015.

Comedian Ross Noble in person, at the Palais Theatre last night for his opening Melbourne Comedy Festival show, was truly something to behold. Firstly, he couldn’t stand still for more than half a second or so (he said that was because it would look boring if he just stood at a mikestand, but the more likely truth is that he’s overflowing with energy); secondly, he couldn’t stop talking. Who needs a script, or indeed anything other than the most nebulous outline, when you have Mr Noble?

The Happy Prince

Adapted from the story by Oscar Wilde. Toy Soldier Children's Theatre. Directed by Courtney Turner. The Grapevine, Ellenbrook, WA. April 10-19, 2015

The Happy Prince is an adaptation of the story by Oscar Wilde, and is performed by the fledgling company, Toy Soldier Children's Theatre as their first production.

Simpson, J 202

By Richard Beynon. Genesian Theatre, Sydney. April 11 – May 2, 2015

To many Australians Private Jack Simpson is ‘The Man with the Donkey’, the brave young Anzac stretcher-bearer who used a little donkey to carry wounded soldiers down the cliffs of Gallipoli. To his family, in England, Jack Simpson Kirkpatrick was a happy, gentle boy who loved animals and had big dreams.

Once On This Island

Lyrics and Book by Lyn Ahrens. Music by Stephen Flaherty. Directed by Tamblyn Smith. Fab Nobs Theatre, Bayswater. April 10th-25th, 2015.

Thank heavens for community theatre companies like Fab Nobs, who bring us musicals that we otherwise would never see, since they are deemed to be too non-commercial for the main stage. The problem is that, because these musicals are largely unseen, the potential audiences are unfamiliar with the scores and assume that they’ve never heard of the musical because it’s no good. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Seeing Unseen

Created and performed by Gareth Boylan, Michael Cullen, Kerri Glasscock and Michael Pigott. Old 505 Theatre. April 8 - 26, 2015.

30% of the internet is taken up by cat videos. There are fewer plane crashes but it feels like there are way more. Frozen Berries can give you Hepatitis A. The Old 505 Theatre Co. discovered these facts when refreshing their browsers for the latest news, updates, statistics, content, data …

Meme Girls

Created by Ash Flanders, Stephen Nicolazzo & Marion Potts based on an original. idea by Ash Flanders. Malthouse Theatre. Beckett Theatre . 8 April to 2 May 2015

Ash Flanders and Stephen Nicolazzo have a significant following in Melbourne.  They are, together and individually, unique voices in the contemporary Melbourne theatre scene.  I think it is fair to say their refined yet bright and bold, very visual approach to theatre, flair and irreverence has garnered significant respect from audiences.  

La Traviata

Music: Giuseppe Verdi. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast..Directors: Melanie Smart, Isaac Moody. 10th – 24th April, 2015.

Spotlight is well-known on the Gold Coast for very successful musicals. Nevertheless it is a bold move to decide to stage opera, albeit a "boutique" version; will the audience accept it?           

This production was especially prepared with an English libretto interpreted by local writer / composer Anthony Gee, and an orchestral reduction for piano, cello and clarinet, arranged by Qld Conservatorium graduate Donnie MacKay. 

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