Reviews

Young Frankenstein

By Mel Brooks. Gosford Musical Society. Laycock Street Community Theatre, North Gosford. July 28 to August 12, 2017

With book, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, Young Frankenstein was never going to be anything but bold, bawdy fun, and Gosford Musical Society accomplish this visually with impressive lighting design and costume co-ordination. Supporting the entertaining atmosphere was the catchy score, flawlessly delivered by Musical Director David Kimpton and his orchestra.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, Lyrics by Tim Rice, Directed by Carmen Heath. Musical Direction by James Bovill. Mousetrap Theatre, Redcliffe. July 28 – August 12, 2017

This musical retelling of the story of Joseph, the favourite son of Jacob, has added flair to the original biblical story. Joseph is sold into slavery by his envious brothers but his ability to foretell the future through his vivid dreams leads to his rise from prison, acceptance by the pharaoh and final reconciliation by his suffering brothers. This type of musical, where there is very little spoken dialogue through-out, is far more challenging and Mousetrap Theatre has risen to that challenge.

Marathon

Written by Edoardo Erba – English Version by Colin Teevan. Presented by Adapt Enterprises Pty Ltd. Directed by Ross Vosvotekas. Bakehouse Theatre Adelaide, July 26 – August 6, 2017.

Marathon, despite its name, is a pacy 55 minutes. The rhythm of the actors’ feet running on the stage gave this short two-hander a pulse that was at times quite hypnotic. The physically demanding nature of the play means that the audience, like the runners, are constantly propelled forward towards the finish line.

Merciless Gods

By Dan Giovannoni, adapted from short stories by Christos Tsiolkas. Little Ones Theatre & Darebin Arts Speakeasy. Northcote Town Hall, Northcote (VIC). 25 July – 5 August 2017

Merciless Gods tells merciless stories.  There are eight stories here, each with its own burden of pain, each one taking the audience (if we care to go) into depths of sorrow, into places and emotions that are faced unflinchingly.  The stories are linked by theme and some characters recur.  As we might expect, many of the characters are of first generation non-Anglo ethnicity and gay – outliers, misfits and desperates.  This is not an easy night of theatre; it is confronting, even threatening, in its dark truthfulness.     

Technicolor Life

By Jami Brandli. The Depot Theatre, Marrickville. July 26 – Aug 12, 2017

In her commitment to giving voice to female protagonists, playwright Jami Brandli makes “no apologies for writing complicated, big, sometimes messy and often times funny, plays about women”. Far from being messy,Technicolor Life is very cleverly crafted and is yet another play that meets Depot Theatre’s aim to challenge its audiences.

Rice

By Michele Lee. Griffin Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre. SBW Stables Theatre. July 21 – Aug 26, 2017.

Michele Lee writes plays only about women of colour.  And that’s just fine: there’s enough already about the white blokes.  Rice is about an ambitious, self-obsessed executive working for Australia’s largest rice producer, the granddaughter of a West Bengal immigrant, and a Chinese cleaner with heaps of her own business and family problems.

Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday

By Roslyn Oades. Malthouse Theatre and Melbourne Festival production. A Performing Lines tour for Road Work. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. July 27 to 29, 2017 and touring.

Winner of the 2014 Green Room Award for outstanding writing/adaptation for the Australian Stage, Roslyn Oades’ and her cast use her very unusual ‘headphone verbatim’ documentary theatre technique to explore both coming of age … and ageing.

West Side Story

Music: Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim. Book: Arthur Laurents. Griffith University Musical Theatre Students in association with Queensland Conservatorium. Director: Kris Stewart. Musical Director: Heidi Loveland. Conductor: Peter Morris. Choreographer: Christopher Horsey. Conservatorium Theatre, South Bank. 27 July – 5 August 2017

2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Queensland Conservatorium and what better way to celebrate than to bring together students from the Griffith University musical theatre course and the conservatorium in a production of West Side Story which also turns 60 this year.

Blackrock

Written by Nick Enright. Presented by La Boite and QUT Creative Industries. Director Todd MacDonald. Roundhouse, La Boite Theatre. 22 July – 8 August, 2017.

The latest production of Blackrock (nee A Property of the Clan) is a result of a collaboration between Queensland University of Technology and La Boite Theatre Company. It sees eight third year acting students join three seasoned professionals on stage to bring to life Nick Enright’s AWGIE award-winning drama. It’s a harrowingly emotional story requiring focus, commitment and a lot of trust between the cast and crew.

The Book of Revelations

Written and performed by Alison Richards. Presented by Black Hole Theatre at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 19-30 July, 2017.

Alison Richards has a gentle voice and presence in this quietly fragmented space. The staging of this performance is unique and borrows from theatre, opera, installation and performance art. The attention to detail and the meticulous aesthetics are very pleasing. Each aspect of the setting elicits the idea of a life full of history and memories and how our surroundings are a constant reminder of who we are, where we have been and where we may be headed. 

 

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