Good Works

By Nick Enright. Directed by Iain Sinclair. Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Sydney. Nov 4 - 29, 2015.

If only Australian plays were revived more often. This production of Good Works, written by Nick Enright in 1995, proves the value of our own storytelling on stage. It’s not the most powerful play in dramatic terms but it resonates strongly. The story is completely engaging throughout, even though it’s complicated, fast and sometimes difficult to follow.

City Of Angels

Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by David Zippel. Book by Larry Gelbart. Directed by Martin Croft. Playhouse Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. Nov 5th-8th, 2015

Very few things in life are truly worth waiting for; but Life Like’s professional stage debut of Broadway’s 1989 artistic triumph, City Of Angels, must top the list and delivers on every level. A stunning cast is complemented by astonishing creative forces and enhanced by a brilliant live band which the amazing Kellie Dickerson handles with all the aplomb of Stan Kenton at his best (though no doubt she’s a far better pianist). There are even sax and trumpet solos to rival Lee Konitz and Clark Terry respectively at their peak.

A Taste of Tinseltown

Free-Rain Nightclub, Directed by Cate Clelland, with musical direction by Nicholas Griffin. Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre. 4–7 November 2015

A Taste of Tinseltown is the second of two nightclub-style pilot productions by Free-Rain Theatre in two weeks, hot on the heels of its comic play The Art of Teaching Nothing.  Whereas the last production featured songs from Broadway stage productions, this production's numbers come from Hollywood films.  Although on this occasion several of the performers were probably better actors than singers, the singing was, as in the Nightclub's previous production, Buzzing Broadway,  by and large very good; and some was outstanding.  Again


The Australian Voices, Artistic Director: Gordon Hamilton. Devised by Jacob Ballard, Sam Boyd, Jenna Coda and Gordon Hamilton. Brisbane Powerhouse. 1st November, 2015

The Australian Voices are worthy of a mention in a theatre magazine like Stage Whispers because, though being a choir, the whole creative interplay is far more than just a standard concert; it's more like 'music being set to verse', rather than the traditional vice-versa, a theatrical experience from a choir who can also predominantly act. Additionally we can also see and hear how even the spoken word, amidst other sounds, can expand the mind to appreciate the infinite possibilities and versatilities of the human voice-box.


By William Shakespeare. National Theatre Live. Cinema Nova, Carlton (VIC) 7 – 18 November 2015 - and elsewhere.

Benedict Cumberbatch is Hamlet – which is undoubtedly the reason the live show in London is the hottest ticket in London this year or possibly ever.  (100,000 tickets sold in minutes, months before the show opened).  The play Hamlet is over 400 years old and arguably the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays, but cast ‘Sherlock’ and it becomes the hottest ticket in town. 

La Cenerentola

By Rossini. CitiOpera (Vic). Director: Theresa Borg. Musical Director: Trevor Jones. Hawthorn Arts Centre. Nov 4 – 8, 2015

CitiOpera evolved from Melbourne City Opera, following a changing of the guard, but this was the first production I have encountered since. Things didn’t look too promising with the orchestra on the floor with the audience and a pocket-handkerchief stage.

We Can Work it Out

By Gabriel Bergmoser. Club Voltaire, 14 Raglan Street, North Melbourne. 3-14 November 2015.

Reincarnating four of the most famous musical figures in history seems like it could be a rather risky project but Bitten By Productions have proven that revisiting these musical icons is an intriguing and worthwhile enterprise. The script uses a good mix of humour and drama to illustrate the collision course the Beatles were headed towards at the peak of their career as a band.

Rachael Leahcar – The Colours of my Life

Star Theatre (SA) – November 1, 2015

In an industry filled with pretence and fabricated personalities it is refreshing to be in the audience enjoying a performer who is authentic, sincere and incredibly talented.

If the name Rachael Leahcar is familiar it is because her image and story was emblazoned across our television screens in 2012, as part of the singing sensation ‘The Voice’, but as you soon come to realise, there is a lot more to this woman.

Buzzing Broadway

Free-Rain Nightclub. Directed by Cate Clelland, with musical direction by Nicholas Griffin. Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre. 30 October – 1 November 2015

Buzzing Broadway is a kind of low-key cabaret, with a little food included, playing in the Canberra Theatre’s intimate Courtyard Studio.  Though the stage simply doesn’t support the glitz and polish that you might hope for in a sampling of Broadway numbers, there was an engaging presence in the cast that made such peripheral concerns hardly noticeable.


Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of practical cats by T.S Eliot. Capitol Theatre, Sydney. From November 1, 2015, then touring nationally.

A pre-show announcement informed the audience who was conducting the live band. It immediately became obvious why it was necessary to tell us the band was live. The new streamlined three keyboard dominated nine part orchestrations sound in part like a backing track.

It makes sense for one of the songs updated by Andrew Lloyd-Webber – a rap version of Rum Tum Tugger – to have this highly synthesized sound. At other times for those who have seen Cats before it was disconcerting.

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