Reviews

Clybourne Park

By Bruce Norris. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Tanya Goldberg. 19 March – 19 April, 2014

Here’s another recent juicy Broadway/West End play, ignored by the Sydney Theatre Company but bringing packed houses to the Ensemble just across the harbour. It had to be hard to overlook: Clybourne Park has won American playwright Bruce Norris an Olivier (2011), an Evening Standard Award (2010), a London Critics Award (2010), a Tony (2012) and the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Subscription to Love

Written and directed by Will Dunlop. Playlovers. Hackett Hall, Floreat, WA. March 13-15 2014.

In this "Shakespeare Anniversary" year, when productions by Shakespeare, inspired by Shakespeare's plays or about Shakespeare abound, Playlovers have taken a different approach with the world premiere production of Will Dunlop's Subscription to Love. This brand new play is set in the present, has very contemporary themes, but is written a la Shakespeare in rhyme and iambic pentameter.

Hair

Music: Galt MacDermot. Book & Lyrics: Gerome Ragni & James Rado. WAAPA Third Year Musical Theatre Students. Directed by Tanya Mitford, Music Direction by David King. Geoff Gibbs Theatre, WAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. March 15-22, 2014.

Late last year the creative young things around Perth were excitedly sharing the gossip that WAAPA (now) Third Year Musical Theatre Students had been told not to cut their tresses or remove body hair over the summer as the first production for 2014 was to be Hair.  

A little over three months later people hoping to check out the traditional photos of the graduating class in the WAAPA foyer, will find a notice saying that head shots will appear when the cast are looking less organic.

Tuesdays with Morrie

By Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom. Centenary Theatre Group (Qld). 8 – 28 March 2014

Our early Sunday evening performance had a HOUSE FULL sign out front.

This production comes with many things going for it: a renowned director and older actor who, together, have a reputation for creating top-notch performances; and a familiar, popular book.

 

The Sound of Music

Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Rockdale Musical Society. Director: Cathy Boyle. Rockdale Town Hall. February 28 – March 16, 2014.

Though local musical theatre companies have faced hard times over recent years, Rockdale Town Hall’s asbestos scare has now proven blessing in disguise for theatre in the area.

The previously tired crumbling venue has been restored to something even better than its long-forgotten ‘glory days’, with audiences and performers benefitting from enhanced facilities, access and technical upgrades.

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

By Bertolt Brecht. WAAPA 3rd Year Acting Students. Directed by Michael Jenn. Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. 14-20 March 2014

This fascinating Bertolt Brecht play is based on the rise of Hitler, re-imagined as Arturo Ui, a smalltime Chicago gangster who aims to takeover the city's grocery trade during the great depression.

Forbidden Broadway

Created and written by Gerard Alessandrini. Directed by Anne Somes. Free Rain. Q Theatre, Queanbeyan, New South Wales. Mar 7 – 22, 2014.

Free Rain has presented a most entertaining evening full of Broadway fun and wicked humour which will appeal to fans of musicals and  those who have enjoyed (or endured!) personally being in productions. It is expertly directed by Anne Somes and musical director Nicholas Griffin. Jacquelyn Richards’ choreography is fun and vibrant (and particularly knowing for the Fosse tribute!)

Other Times

By Ray Lawler. Villanova Players. Director: Leo Wockner. The Theatre, Seven Hills TAFE, Morningside, Brisbane. 14-29 March 2014

Villanova’s first play for 2014 is another by Ray Lawler’s from his Doll trilogy. Other Times picks-up on the characters of the Carlton boarding house a few days after the end of the Second World War. Barney and Roo are demobbed from the Army and take-up where they left-off with Nancy and Olive before they were enlisted, Bubba is now a teenager, and Emma is still the same old grouch.

The Wonderful World of Dissocia

By Anthony Neilson. Underground Productions, Queensland Uni Drama Club. Schonell Theatre, Qld Uni. St Lucia, Brisbane. Director: Sampson Smith. March 6th – 15th, 2014.

What an unusual piece of entertainment. This show takes the audience on a topsy-turvy journey to the World of Dissocia – a strange place inhabited by odd-balls. With a plot hard to follow at times, good diction was an asset in this production and the cast threw themselves into their various characterizations with gusto as the audience witnessed the rise and demise of Lisa in search of her precious “lost hour” which she had experienced on a trans Atlantic flight.

 

The Judas Kiss

By David Hare. Directed and designed by Jason Cavanagh. Co-director Celeste Cody. Lighting designer Rob Sowinki. Presented by Mockingbird Theatre. Theatre Works until March 22, 2014. (Vic.)

David Hare’s searching drama about Oscar Wilde’s very public fall from grace, holed up in a London hotel awaiting arrest to face of a charge of gross indecency (Act 1) and his despair in both poverty and exile in Naples after his release from two years imprisonment (Act 2), is a mighty, flawed jewel of theatre literature.

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