Reviews

The Boys.

By Gordon Graham. Doncaster Playhouse. PEP Productions (Vic)). Feb 15 – 23, 1013

Beware: The Boys (directed by Justin Cleaver, assisted by Lorraine Williams)is not a light-hearted night out.  Advertised as MA, it contains frequent course language and strong adult themes. Said themes include: crime, ailing health, misogyny and domestic abuse.

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2013 Reviews.

Glory Dazed

Holden Street Theatres. March 1 - 17

Glory Dazed is a play that makes a straightforward but overtly disturbing observation: we pay more attention to, and take better care of, returned soldiers who suffer obvious physical injuries (missing limbs etc) than we do of those who suffer psychological distress. Why is that?

Falstaff

Music by Giuseppe Verdi. Book and Lyrics by Arrigo Boito. Directed by Simon Phillips. Conducted by Antony Walker. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. February 15 – March 16, 2013.

When Giuseppe Verdi commenced work on Falstaff, he asked his collaborator Arrigo Boito to squeeze all the juice from the Shakespearean glass and leave none of the pips in it. After more than century it still tastes freshly squeezed and remains an opera that makes you laugh on a regular basis.

The plot is roughly the same as The Merry Wives of Windsor. The central character Sir John Falstaff tries to seduce married ladies, who in turn trick him for his lechery.

He is large and very unattractive, but very happy in his splotched skin.

Liberty Equality Fraternity

By Geoffrey Atherdon. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). Director: Shannon Murphy. February 13 – March 9, 2013.

Take the suggestion that anything you write or post on Facebook, any email, any text that you send, could be hacked and twisted to be used against you in some way, and you have the basis for Geoffrey Atherden’s latest play. It’s fast, it’s believable … and, in true Atherden style, it’s funny – fortunately, for without the humour, it would be uncomfortably scary.

Murdered to Death

By Peter Gordon. The Basin Theatre Group (Vic). Directed by Don Harrod. February 15 – March 9, 2013.

It’s always a pleasure to drive out to The Basin to visit this theatre group because they make patrons feel so welcome. Having said that, the script has a very slow set-up and that wasn’t helped by one member of the cast drying completely and an awkward silence on stage on the second night. However, by the second scene the laughs were coming thick and fast and the audience clearly enjoyed the evening and the spoonerisms of Inspector Pratt…who really was one!

The History Boys

By Alan Bennett. Peach Theatre Company. Playhouse, Sydney Opera House. Feb 13 – Mar 12, 2013.

There's no question that Alan Bennett's play The History Boys is a beautifully written, classic piece of theatre. But does the current production staged by Peach Production Company tease out every nuance and take advantage of all the underlying subtleties in the script?

Too Old for TV.

By Brent Thorpe. The Lybrary Bar (formerly Shannon Hotel), Chippendale. Feb 15 – 22, 2013.

In the basement of an inner city pub, the charismatic Brent Thorpe takes his generation through the experience of turning 50 – “I know, it’s a 100 in gay years” – and a remarkable Sydney gay journey of more than three decades.

CLOSER

By Patrick Marber. Director: Scott Major. Chapel off Chapel (Vic) Feb 14 -March 2, 2013.

How do we determine what is love and what is need, and how far will we go to get what we want? These are just two of the questions Patrick Marber asks in his award winning play.

THE WEDDING SINGER

Music: Matthew Sklar Lyrics: Chad Beguelin. Book: Chad Beguelin & Tim Herlihy. Smash Theatrical. Director: Joanna Pearson. Musical Direction: Shane Tooley. Choreography: Caron Koch. Schonell Theatre, Brisbane. 14-23 Feb 2013.

Brisbane community theatre just got a massive shot in the arm with the Brisbane premiere of The Wedding Singer. Produced by Smash Theatrical, the ‘new-kids-on-the-block’ in community theatre, the level of performance was like a high-powered adrenalin rush - full credit to Joanna Pearson’s direction. The Wedding Singer was the ideal musical to launch a young company.

Zanna, Don't! A musical fairytale.

Book, music and lyrics by Tim Acito. Additional music and lyrics by Alexander Dinelaris. Shire Music Theatre. Sutherland Memorial School of Arts. February 8 – 17, 2013.

Zanna, Don't! A musical fairytale. Sounds a bit like a Xanadu send-up, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s more like a gay Grease / High School Musical / Cinderella hybrid send-up, with heaps of heart. And it’s a hoot!

Shire Music Theatre’s reputation as a boutique community music theatre company has been growing over recent years, and this Off-Broadway musical is yet another engaging small-scale ensemble production to enhance that reputation.

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