Reviews

Little Shop of Horrors

Music: Alan Menken. Book & Lyrics: Howard Ashman. Based on the film by Roger Corman and the Screenplay by Charles Griffith. Director: Dean Bryant. Musical Director: Andrew Worboys. Choreographer: Andrew Hallsworth. Luckiest Productions & Tinderbox Productions. Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane. 1 - 12 June 2016

Little Shop of Horrors is on everyone’s favourite list of cult musicals. The 60s spoof of the horror movie genre in which an innocuous plant grows to an enormous size when it’s fed human blood, was Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s first hit musical and one of their best.

Blonde Poison

By Gail Louw. Directed by Jennifer Hagen. The Lawler, Southbank Theatre. June 1st-11th, 2016

A fascinating, if little known, true story; a strong performance from a revered Australian actress, and a subject that must never be allowed to be forgotten, help to counter the weaknesses of Gail Louw’s play, which vacillates between pedestrian and melodramatic without any progressive emotional arc in its repetitious 90 minutes of exposition.

Tribes

By Nina Raine. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). June 1 – July 2, 2016

This is another theatrical ‘scoop’ for the Ensemble. It’s a formidable piece of writing that demands robust direction and dynamic performances. Director Susanna Dowling and her cast have achieved both.

From the first surprising sentence, to the last touching moment, this production is gutsy and passionate, the characters unaffectedly authentic and brutally honest, the direction tight and the pace immaculately controlled.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore

By Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, based on the book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman. Castle Hill Players. The Pavilion Theatre. June 6 – 25, 2016

Who’d imagine that a play based on talking about clothes would work – and be interesting and funny and even a little sad? But in the capable hands of director Meredith Jacobs and five feisty female performers, it does!

The Literati

By Justin Fleming after Molière’s Les Femmes Savantes. Griffin / Bell Shakespeare Company. SBW Stables Theatre. May 27 – July 16, 2016

Justin Fleming has a knack for this.  For the Australian stage, he’s translated and masterfully adapted Moliere’s Tartuffe and The School for Wives, and here reworks Moliere’s Les Femmes Savantes

Directed by Griffin’s Lee Lewis, it’s a co-production with the Bell Shakespeare Company, with five powering performances delightfully squeezed onto the modest Griffin stage.

The Cat and the Canary

Directed by Paul Treasure. Roleystone Theatre, WA. May 27 - Jun 4, 2015

Roleystone Theatre President and director of The Cat and the Canary Paul Treasure has some unusual passions. These include a love for classic film and film history and an interest in finding rarely performed plays which are in the public domain. With The Cat and the Canary, Paul takes the original play that has spawned multiple film adaptations and brings it to the stage as if it is an early film.

Recess! - The Musical

By Keith Jackson, Gerald Castle and Michael Vigilant. Directed by Jodie Innes. Phoenix Theatre at Memorial Hall, Hamilton Hill, WA. May 20-28, 2015

Recess! is essentially a string of "Teacher, Teacher!" jokes, with a fragment of storyline, turned into a musical. Presumably originally aimed at Middle America, it is an inoffensive, pleasant little comedy, intended to have broad appeal.

Phoenix's young cast consists of high school students from Years 7 to 12, who bring a broad range of experience to this show.

The Trolleys

By Sara West. Directed by Andie Holborn. Playlovers. Hackett Hall, Floreat, WA. May 20-29, 2016

Playlovers' The Trolleys is an alternate universe or possibly post-apocalyptic story, set in a world inhabited only by children. A gang of six, who call themselves The Trolleys, struggle to survive in a hostile world, but their lights are fading and nobody knows why…

The Herringbone Saga

Written and directed by Bob Charteris. KADS Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. 6-28 May, 2015

The Herringbone Saga is a locally written play and this production is a world premiere of the show as a full-length piece — directed by the author Bob Charteris.

The script began as one-act-play "At Home With the Herringbones" which was well received at DramaFest in 2014, winning a People's Choice Award. This play now forms the first act of the full length play. The second act (which could also be performed as the one Act play "The Curse of the Herringbones") is part sequel, part prequel and part sister production to the original play.

The Tragedy of King Richard III

By Marcel Dorney and Daniel Evans, based on Shakespeare's play. Directed by Daniel Evans. La Boite Theatre Company . The Roundhouse, Brisbane. 21 May - 11 June, 2016

This adaptation of Shakespeare's famous play has been designed to ask a lot of questions. Seemingly inspired by the excavation of King Richard's skeleton in a Leicestershire car park in 2012, the writers have abandoned the use of previous contemporary outlooks and have attempted to devise a new concept of theatre, viewing certain aspects from different angles whilst incorporating a little 'shake, rattle and roll' into the mix. Bones not included.

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