Reviews

Twist

By Miles Tredinnick. Director: Kyla Booth. Tea Tree Players Theatre. 8-18 February, 2017.

Sometimes an ending that satisfies, surprises, and delights can go a very long way towards lifting a show into the winners' circle, and such is the case with Twist, a play operating in similar territory to classics like Sleuth and Deathtrap. If only playwright Miles Tredinnick's dialogue, plotting, and characterisation had been at least a little stronger and more distinctive than they are.

600 Seconds

Fringe World. The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, WA Feb 7-10, 2017

600 Seconds, presented by The Blue Room’s Summer Nights, is a wonderful ‘taster plate’ of Fringe World Theatre. In six ten minute shows you get a diverse sampling of genres, styles and feelings.

Presenters are given one simple rule. You have 600 seconds. There are two different line-ups on alternating nights, and the audience has no idea what they are going to see.

Triage! A Nursing Cabaret

Written and performed by Zuleika Khan. Directed by Sally Bourne. Bok Choy Ballroom, The Noodle Palace, Fringe World, Perth WA. Feb 4-19, 2017

The sold-out audience at Triage! A Nursing Cabaret find themselves in the packed-to-the-brim Emergency Room at The Noodle Palace Community Hospital. Presided over by Division One Registered Nurse Züle, you have never had this much fun in hospital.

The Way Things Work

Written and directed by Aidan Fennessy. Red Stitch Actors Theatre, St Kilda. 31st Jan – 5th Mar, 2017.

When you have a fine and intelligent two hander script, and two mature actors at the top of their game, there is no greater pleasure than a night at the theatre.

Red Stitch launches its 2017 season with an absolute cracker of a production, possibly the best in several years. The play might have been written for the venue (but it wasn’t), so perfectly does it fit the space.

Paradise Lost

Written by John Milton, adapted and performed by Christopher Samuel Carroll. Bare Witness Theatre Company. Belconnen Arts Centre, ACT, January 26 – 28, 2017, then Fringe World, Perth, Jan 31 – Feb 4, and Adelaide Fringe, Feb 16 – 25.

This one-man performance is an ambitious adaptation of Milton’s classic poem Paradise Lost. While it is not studied at school as much as in previous generations, its resonances still linger through imagery and quotes. The adaptation includes both arcs of the poem: the fall of Lucifer from Heaven, and the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Djuki Mala

Fringe World. Directed by Joshua Bond. Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Pleasure Gardens, Northbridge, WA. Jan 27-Feb 14, 2017

Djuki Mala are the group formerly known as The Chooky Dancers, who came to fame after their 2007 Zorba the Greek YouTube video went viral. Performing in Perth for the first time, they are delighting capacity crowds with their Fringe World show.

Opening with traditional indigenous dance, from their homeland Elcho Island, Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, from the outset the show is tight, well choreographed and vibrant.

in/compatible – a tale of dysfunction

Fringe World / Fairly Random Inc. Directed by Ian Toyne. Flaming Locomotive, Injector Room – State Theatre Centre of WA. Jan 31 – Feb 4, 2017

This collection of ten-minute plays about sexual dysfunction among young adults, was presented by Fairly Random Inc. and The Flaming Locomotive. Varied, insightful and clever, they provided a slightly eclectic evening that entertained and sparked conversation.

Absolutely

Allan Girod. Fringe World. Flaming Locomotive, Driver Room, Art Gallery of WA. Feb 3-4, 2017

Described as “a giant-hearted story from a giant-sized storyteller”, this gorgeous little one-man show feels a bit like a warm hug. A beautiful, honest sharing of humanity.

The Shoehorn Sonata

By John Misto. Squeaky Dog Productions. Directed by Joanna Joy. Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre (782 Kingsway, Gymea, Sydney). 3-9 February 2017

When John Misto wrote his play The Shoehorn Sonata in 1995, the Australian Government had not yet built a memorial to the forty-one Australian army nurses who suffered during World War II. It wasn’t until 1999 that a memorial was finally built in Canberra.

Labels

Directed by Joe Sellman-Leava. Worklight / Fringe World. Blue Room Theatre, Perth, WA. Jan 28 - Feb 4, 2017

Joe Sellman-Leava captivates his audience in this award-winning one-man show about labels that are placed upon people and the wider issues of racism, immigration and displaced people.

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