Reviews

Dance Better at Parties

By Gideon Obarzanek. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf 2 Theatre. April 3 – May 11, 2013.

This compassionate two-hander about why a bloke wants to learn ballroom dancing was one of the stories used by choreographer Gideon Obarzanek in his 2004 dance work with Chunky Move, I Want To Dance Better At Parties.

Now no longer running his Melbourne-based dance company, Obarzanek returns to this story for what is his first text based work.

 

One Scientific Mystery or Why Did The Aborigines Eat Captain Cook?

By Victoria Haralabidou. TAP Gallery. April 9 – 14, 2013.

Victoria Haralabidou's first play is full of mystery and is an interesting attempt at exploring fleeting relationships between human beings and our need to connect and be connected.

Staged at the Tap Gallery (which can only be described as one of the last bastions of fringe theatre and art in Sydney) this production has a top-notch cast and crew.

People

By Alan Bennett. National Theatre Live (cinema screening of Britain's National Theatre production). Participating cinemas nationwide on April 20 and 21.

Set in a decaying stately home in Yorkshire, Alan Bennett's People is the story of former model Dorothy Stacpoole, who must decide what is to become of the place now she's unable to maintain it in her old age. Her archdeacon sister wants it to go to the National Trust but Dorothy is horrified by the idea, preferring to entertain the thought of selling to a shadowy group of investors on the promise that they will keep the public out ("PST - People Spoil Things" is the credo of their oily representative).

A Clockwork Orange

By Anthony Burgess. Directed by Alexandra Spencer-Jones. Action To The Word. The Malthouse, Melbourne, from April 9, 2013; Seymour Centre, Sydney from April 23; Subiaco Arts Centre (WA) from May 7; The Playhouse, Canberra from May 22 and Cremorne Theatre, QPAC (ALd) from May 28.

I’ve been struggling to find the words to review something, which is so visually simple, and yet so utterly compelling. When Anthony Burgess wrote his novella A Clockwork Orange over 50 years ago he had no idea the impact and cult following his tiny text would have.

PR!CK The Musical.

Written by Tracy Harvey. Directed by Pip Mushin. The Flying Saucer Club (Vic). April 5 – 14, 2013. As part of MICF.

The title is provocative and very funny. The show is also very funny, but nowhere near as provocative despite having a storyline that involves a hero with a broken penis, a heroine who is plain (not really) but blossoms,  and a bum doctor who secretly lusts for  a twittery busted…..sorry, bitter and twisted…nursing manager who turns out to have given away their baby…who in turn, turns out to be……No, I’m not going to spoil it for you.

Cinderella

Music: Sergei Prokofiev. Choreography: Ben Stevenson. Conductor: Andrew Mogrelia. Queensland Ballet. Playhouse, QPAC, 5-20 April, 2013

Queensland Ballet started off its year with Cinderella and judged by the audience response it was a popular choice. The season had been sold-out before it began.

The first ballet under the leadership of its new artistic director, Li Cunxin, this production of Cinderella was created in 1970 by Ben Stevenson for National Ballet in Washington DC, who has been present in Australia during the restaging by Texas Ballet Theatre’s Tim O’Keefe.

Driving Miss Daisy

By Alfred Uhry. Directed by David Esbjornson. Comedy Theatre, Melbourne. From April 6th, 2013.

I am not going to review this astonishing night of theatre. Critics across the world have been topping each other with superlatives, and even inventing new words for this production. Any extra evaluation is superfluous.

Stage Whispers has previously reviewed this remarkable production during both its previous seasons in Brisbane and Sydney.

Instead, I would like to offer a heartfelt “Thankyou” to everyone involved.

Luminous Flux

Tasdance. Choreographers: Tanja Liedtke (Enter Twilight) and Byron Perry (Light Entertainment). Riverside Theatre, Parramatta. April 5 & 6, 2013.

Wikipedia defines luminous flux as the “perceived power of light adjusted to reflect the various sensitivity of the human eye to detect different wave lengths of light” – a fitting title for this production from the feisty Tasdance ensemble. It is contemporary, abstract, physically exacting , visually compelling – and very exciting.

Frankenstein

Adapted by Nick Dear from the novel by Mary Shelley. Ensemble Theatre Production. Sydney Opera House March 27 – April 13, 2013 and Ensemble Theatre, April 17 – May 4, then touring nationally.

Regular Stage Whispers reviewer David Spicer took to the Red Carpet with his daughter Rebecca, currently studying the novel Frankenstein for her HSC, for opening night of Frankenstein at the Sydney Opera House. She shares her perspective, having dissected Mary Shelley’s original in HSC English classes.

Trivia

By Stephen Vagg. Brisbane Arts Theatre. 23 March – 20 April 2013

It’s always exciting when a new play arrives and even more so when it is set locally about familiar characters.

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