Reviews

We Get It

By Marcel Dorney & Rachel Perks, co-created by the performers: Tamiah Bantum, Amy Ingram, Kasia Kaczmarek, Maurial Spearim, Sonya Suares and Emily Tomlins. Elbow Room for MTC Neon. Southbank Lawler, Melbourne. 9-19 July 2015.

Within the loose framing device of a television reality show or talent quest, five actors – each going by their real life names – compete for the right to have a career as a performer.

Real Women

Book & Lyrics by Jacqueline Ozorio. Music by Matthew Samer. Director Michelle Miall. Cabaret @ The Cremorne, QPAC. 13 June 2015.

Real Womenis an hilarious new mini-musical comedy from Brisbane duo Jacqueline Ozorio and Matthew Samer. Filled with real life stories sourced from women on social media, the musical is presented as a series of character driven vignettes. The show pokes fun at the double standards facing us every day, and is about the way our minds and bodies are shaped, and how that affects our relationships to each other and to ourselves. With no real set, costumes or props to speak of, this work manages to stand on its own, entirely on the strength of the music, script and lyrics.

Noises Off

By Michael Frayn. Director: Alex Lanham. Arts Theatre, Brisbane. 4 Jul – 15 Aug 2015

Arts Theatre couldn’t have chosen a better play than Noises Off to celebrate their 1000th production. Ever since it premiered in 1982, Michael Frayn’s comedy has been called the “funniest play ever written” and this production goes a long way to proving that point.

Bear with Me

Windmill Theatre. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. July 7 – 19, 2015.

The key to children’s theatre is simplicity; words and concepts that are easily understood. Bear with Me is a delightful introduction to theatre for the young ones in the family. Songs that are easily learnt encourage the audience to join in, thereby promoting confidence in their abilities. Creative play works their young minds and the faces of the many children is testament to the fact the show is working. Add to the mix the security of everyone’s favourite teddy bear and you have an interactive production that is both challenging and entertaining.

The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein

Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks. Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. Directed by Steven Kent. ARC Theatre (Vic). Banyule Theatre, Heidelberg. July 3rd-11th, 2015

It takes a brave theatre company to programme a musical no-one has seen in any form (though clearly much has been gleaned from the film Young Frankenstein) and which has never been performed in the state before. It’s even braver when the musical happens to be by the idiosyncratic vaudevillian Mel Brooks. Let me give huge bouquets to the terrific Heidelberg based ARC theatre for letting us see Young Frankenstein for the first time.

Blueback

By Tim Winton, adapted by Peta Murray, Directed by Phillip Mitchell. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, WA. July 4-18, 2015

Blueback, a lovely adaptation of the novel by Tim Winton, is being revived at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre in Fremantle. The theatrical retelling by Peta Murray, is a visually focused, gentle story, perfect for a school holiday reprieve.

Possibly stronger than its previous incarnation, Blueback is presented by actors Bec Bradley and St John Cowcher, who perform almost wordlessly to a beautifully constructed narrative, supplemented by music by Don Hopkins.

The Dapto Chaser

By Mary Rachel Brown. Apocalypse Theatre and Griffin Independent. SBW Stables Theatre (NSW). July 1 – 25, 2015.

When Four Corners broadcast footage of widespread dirty deeds in the Greyhound racing industry, the producers of this play must have been as pleased as a puppy when its master returns home after a long trip.

Here was life imitating art, just a month or so before its run  ‘around the track’ in Sydney.  

Some good old fashioned research helped shape this play. The Dapto Chaser was deeply influenced by Mary Rachel Brown’s time speaking to people involved in the Dapto Dogs near Wollongong (south of Sydney ) .

Men

By Brendan Cowell. The Old Fitz Theatre (NSW). June 30 – July 25, 2015

The first 30 minutes of Brendan Cowell’s Men is painful. Jules (Sean Hawkins) struts around like the sun shines out of his backside, as if humans were placed on earth to marvel at his greatness. Bob (Ben O’Toole) peacocks around like the million dollar package down his pants is God’s gift to women. Guy (Jamie Timony) mopes around trying to kill himself because he feels the weight of the world’s injustices firmly on his shoulders. Three stereotypical strands of the same man? I think so, but that’s not entirely the point.

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts

Adapted for the stage by Shake & Stir Theatre Company. Directed by Ross Balbuziente. Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane. 4 – 11 July 2015.

There is nothing better than hearing a theatre full of children laughing. Wait! Yes there is. It’s a theatre full of adults and children all laughing together at the same things. And that is precisely what you get with Shake & Stir and La Boite Theatre Company’s co-production of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts. This production has just returned to Brisbane for a school holiday season as part of a national tour, which sees them perform up and down the east coast of Australia.

Bajazet

By Vivaldi. Pinchgut Opera. City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney. July 4 – 8, 2015

Since 2004, Pinchgut Opera has been reviving lesser-known operas of the 17th and 18th century. Each production is freshly created, from locating a forgotten work to researching its performance practice. It is then brought to vital new life accompanied by the authentic period instruments of the Orchestra of the Antipodes conducted by musical director Erin Helyard.

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