To Lonely, With Love

Created by Jennifer Monk, Perri Cummings & Lisa Dallinger. Text by Perri Cummings. Directed by Jennifer Monk. La Mama’s 2016 EXPLORATIONS Season. La Mama Theatre. 11, 12 & 13 October 2016.

There’s a lonely fellow in gaol, Roger.  There’s a lonely housewife in an unhappy marriage, Samantha (Sam).  They write to each other.  They tell each other things they tell to no one else – maybe because no one else would care.  There’s also an ‘advice columnist’, a ‘Miss Lonely Hearts’, called Shari who supplies what she probably thinks is advice.  If this all sounds downbeat and a bit weepy, it is neither.  The show’s creators have made something that is – fundamentally – deeply serious and of

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Adapted by Lee Hall from the book ‘The Sopranos’ by Alan Warner. Directed by Vicky Featherstone. The National Theatre of Scotland as part of Melbourne Festival. Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne. 6th-23rd October, 2016

Rib-achingly funny, heart-breakingly poignant, and dazzling in its energy and vitality, Our Ladies is the undeniable hit of this year’s Arts Festival. It isn’t necessary to know Alan Warner’s book (although I certainly want to read it now) to recognise the brilliance of Lee Hall’s adaptation and Vicky Featherstone’s direction. This is superb theatre; joyful, exhilarating, provocative and thought- provoking.


By Peter Weiss. New Theatre (NSW). October 5 – November 5, 2016

Peter Weiss’ intricately written play about rebellion and counter rebellion, profiteering and war, and the cavernous gulf between the rich and poor and the ruled and the oppressed comes to disconcerting new life in this incredible production directed by Barry French.


By Sophocles, adapted by Damien Ryan, Terry Karabelas, Andrea Demetriades & William Zappa. Sport for Jove. Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre. October 6 – November 12, 2016

Sophocles and his fellow Athenians thought it mandatory for every citizen to join the debates of their new democracy – and that included going to the theatre.

It was surely the start of a good tradition.  So, we should all vote, and also go see Sport for Jove’s urgent new version of Sophocles’ Antigone.

Antigone and her siblings were born of her brother Oedipus bedding his mother.  Oedipus of course ended blind and wandering, and Thebes shattered by civil strife between Antigone’s two warring brothers. 

Legally Blonde

Music and Lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Book by Heather Hach. Campbelltown Theatre Group. Director: Angela Cascarino. Choreographer: Brendan Cascarino. Musical Director: Alan Steedman. Town Hall Theatre. October 7 – 29, 2016.

Campbelltown’s Legally Blonde is a big ball of pink frizzy energy. It’s like watching an aerobics class on top of a Mardi Gras float while reading a Mills & Boon – and I mean that as a compliment.

Anything Goes

Music & Lyrics: Cole Porter. Book: Timothy Crouse and John Weidman based on the original by P.G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse. Babirra Music Theatre. Director: Tyler Hess. Musical Director: Anthony Barnhill. Choreographer: Craig Wiltshire. October 7 – 15, 2016

With Anything Goes Babirra have reached new heights. The set was amazing! Walking into the auditorium we found portholes along the walls. There were projections on the side, often depicting video of the ocean. There were a couple of structures with stairs which were rolled into different positions for various scenes.


Tequila Mockingbird

Writer: Nelle Lee. Presented by Shake and Stir Theatre Company & QPAC. Director: Michael Futcher. Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane. 5 - 15 October 2016, then touring statewide

Shake & Stir are presenting this award-winning repeat production from 2013 here in Brisbane as the beginning of a Queensland tour. It's a good choice for further presentation having a superb team at the helm and a well-conceived adaptation of the time-worn themes of racial tension and alcohol in our community, particularly in more tight-knit Australian towns.

The Cartographer’s Curse

National Theatre of Parramatta and Third Space Productions. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. October 5 – 8, 2016.

In this production, the National Theatre of Parramatta (NToP) has created the opportunity for Arab Australian artists, thinkers and performers to create a piece of theatre that calls upon the past as a means of explaining the present and expressing hope for the future.

In the supportive and creative hands of director Paula Abood, six performers have used “imagination, memory, knowledge (and) aesthetics” to devise a theatrical performance that summons the long, involved history of the Middle East through the effects of conflict on a village and a family.

The Big Bad Wolf

By Matthew Whittet. Awesome Festival Directed by Rosemary Myers. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. 5-8 October, 2016

The Big Bad Wolf had to have been one of the sweetest parts of the Awesome Festival. Written by Matthew Whittet, this awesomely cute modern fairy tale was a joy for kids, while still having plenty of appeal for their adult companions.

The Big Bad Wolf really isn’t bad at all, but the people of Alarmsvile fear him all the same, and he is terribly, overwhelmingly lonely. When he meets diminutive, dynamic, seemingly indomitable over-achiever Heidi Hood, it seems an impossible pairing, but they form an unlikely alliance.

The Critic

By Gabriel Bergmoser. Bitten By Productions. Club Voltaire, North Melbourne. 6 – 15 October 2016.

With The Critic, versatile Gabriel Bergmoser gives us a ‘play of ideas’.  The crux of the piece is the very real moral, ethical and indeed aesthetic dilemma of the central character.  It is a dilemma familiar to anyone who reviews any artistic endeavour, a dilemma any reviewer – or the higher status ‘critic’ – confronts with dread: the review of a play, novel, musical composition or artwork created by a friend.  But the dilemma – tell the truth or betray oneself or one’s principles and judgement by lying - is one we all

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