Reviews

I Call My Brothers

By Jonas Hassen Khemiri. Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles. Melbourne Theatre Company Education. Southbank Theatre, The Lawler, 16 April to 1 May 2015, then Regional Tour, 4 May to 18 May 2015.

I Call My Brothers is an intelligent, probing and poetic work that explores some of the rippling shock waves resulting from an inner city bombing.  It is superbly presented with all aspects woven together to create complex tapestry. Layer on layer of story un-folds through the unreliable perceptions, of the main protagonist Amor (Osamah Sami), gradually informing the audience. It feels like a rich rewarding journey of chasing, sometimes fleeting, meaning and is full of revelation.

Orphans

By Lyle Kessler. Red Line Productions. Old Fitz Theatre. April 14 – May 9, 2015.

Red Line Productions are on a red-hot streak and Orphans at the Old Fitz is no exception. At last the Old Fitz is housing consistently good work. AT LAST. One more time. AT [expletive] LAST.

Spring Awakening

Book and lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik, original play by Franz Wedekind. Fresh Bred. Directed by Craig Griffen, Musical Direction by Joshua James Webb. Dolphin Theatre, University of Western Australia. April 10 – 18, 2015.

Spring Awakening, presented by Fresh Bred, was a spectacularly sung production, performed with excellent energy by a unified young cast.

Performances were strong throughout. Finn Alexander was very engaging in the central role of Melchior, giving a well-rounded portrayal. Cal Silberstein was a likeable and sympathetic Moritz and Madeline Crofts created a sensitive, beautifully vocalised Wendla.

Cautionary Tales for Children

Based on the verse of Hilaire Belloc. Arena Theatre for the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Speigeltent – Arts Centre. April 12 – 19, 2015.

Cautionary Tales for Children is a wonderfully dark and ironic, lively vibrant work.  This staged performance, based on the verse of Hilaire Belloc, is beautifully rendered by Arena Theatre and performed with entertaining aplomb by Virginia Gay, with Mark Jones on the Piano.  There is never a dull moment as one segment just flows into the next.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Music & Lyrics: Richard & Robert Sherman. Book: Jeremy Sams & Ray Roderick. Pelican Productions. Directed by Jen Frith & Kylie Green. The Scott Theatre, Adelaide. April 19-26, 2015

Pelican Productions’ staging of children’s favourite “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” offers not only thrilling spectacle, but also a lot of genuine heart. It is a testament to the high quality of the amateur dramatics talent pool in Adelaide, that their work here can proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with most professional productions mounted today.  

Hail Mary

Written and directed by Noel O'Neil. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. April 10-24 2015

Hail Mary is a new comedy about nuns, billed as "a story about everyday miracles…". Written by local playwright Noel O'Neil, it is set in Western Australia and is being very well received in its World Premiere run in South Perth.

Set in the present, these rather progressive nuns, unusually clad in pre-Vatican II habits, make the ladies from Nunsense or Sister Act look quite sedate as we follow their quest to save their convent and the way they deal with an appearance of the Virgin Mary on the roof.

Deathtrap

By Ira Levin. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Eternity Playhouse. April 14 – May 10, 2015

There is a good reason why Ira Levin’s Deathtrap is the longest running thriller on Broadway - it’s a cracker of a story within a story that hinges on the element of surprise, therefore I will avoid giving away the plot.

But even if you have seen it before or are a fan of the brilliant film starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve you will not be disappointed by Darlinghurst Theatre’s rendition of this classic tale.

Boys Will Be Boys

By Melissa Bubnic. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf 2 Theatre. 16 April to 9 May 2015.

Confronting, visceral, brutal this play jolts the audience into the not-so-pleasant world of the uneven gender battleground of big business – in this case the trading floor … stocks, currency, percentages.  It pulls no punches, allows no compromises. It exposes every possible dirty trick that can be played by unscrupulous men in positions of power – and every demeaning sacrifice ambitious women might be forced to make as they try to win “in a boy’s world”.

Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show

Producers: Howard Panter and John Frost. Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star: April 15 - June 7, 2015.

The original Australian cast members held a reunion prior to the Sydney opening and shared war stories. We heard that when The Rocky Horror Show opened in 1974 the venue was a genuine scary old building with real life rats running around. The show has moved from a crumbling ruin forty years ago to the sparkling Lyric Theatre in 2015.

Double Bill: Bluebeard’s Castle & Il Segretto Di Susanna

State Opera of South Australia. Directed by David Lampard. The Opera Studio. April 17-18, 2015

The State Opera of South Australia (SOSA) opens its 2015 season with this intriguing double bill of two one act operas – Wolf-Ferrari’s comic Il Segretto Di Susanna and Bartok’s tragic “Bluebeard’s Castle” – which explore the importance of trust in married relationships.

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