Little Black Bastard

Written and Performed by Noel Tovey. Directed by Robina Beard. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton. October 29 – November 1, 2015.

I had no idea who Noel Tovey was when I went to see Little Black Bastard at La Mama Courthouse, but by the time his almost two-hour one-man show had concluded, I felt as though I knew him personally. With startling courage and admirable dignity, he opened himself up to the audience, presenting the most intimate details of his childhood and adolescence. These ran the gamut from tawdry and disturbing to utterly heartbreaking, all delivered with a heartfelt sincerity and emotional depth.

Legally Blonde

Music & lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin. Book by Heather Hach. Directed by Cat Baxter. Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana, WA. 22-31 October, 2015

Nine Lives Theatrical Production Company bumped into Koorliny Arts Centre to present this fun and upbeat musical.

Annika Kononen, a tall, striking natural blonde was a picture-perfect Elle Woods who revelled in the central role. She was nicely paired with Jethro Pitt, making a stirling West Australian debut, as a loveable and convincing Emmet, with a lovely voice.

Foreign Bodies

Written by Andy Harmsen. Directed by Chris Baldock. Sly Rat Theatre Co. The Owl and Cat Theatre, Richmond. October 22 – 31, 2015.

A high profile American female porn star with a long list of credits, who's recently written a tell-all autobiography, is in Mumbai ostensibly to play the goddess Kali in a 'serious' movie role, where she's interviewed by a male journalist from Sydney for the culture section of a magazine.

Monkey… Journey to the West.

Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image. Melbourne Festival at Geelong Performing Arts Centre, The Playhouse. 22-24 October 2015.

Monkey… or How To Tell an Epic Tale from Another Culture of an Epic Journey With Not Much Money But With Energy, Jokes, Puppets, Acrobats and Loads of Imagination.

The Boy From Oz

Music and Lyrics by Peter Allen (and others), book by Nick Enright. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Director: Tony Alcock. Oct 23 – Nov 14, 2015.

Spotlight’s final production for their 60th Anniversary Year was The Boy From Oz. Under the baton of Matt Pearson, the 15 piece orchestra brought all the music to life with a wonderful sound worthy of the calibre of Peter Allen.

Mary Poppins

Music and Lyrics by The Sherman Brothers 
(additional lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe) with script by Julian Fellowes. Gosford Musical Society. Director: Chris King. Musical Director: Christopher Hochkins. Choreographer: Lauren Miller. Laycock Street Theatre. October 23-November 14, 2015

Everyone has their personal history with this fantastical heroine and those annoyingly catchy songs. For me it wasn't the book, nor the film but of one of those read-along books that came with an accompanying vinyl record. It featured narration, songs and sound-bites from the film and a tinkling bell to prompt pre-school me to turn the page. I'd all but forgotten about it until a recent viewing of Saving Mr Banks reminded me of just how huge Mary Poppins was back then. 

The Sleeping Beauty

Ballet by Tchaikovsky. Choreographer: Greg Horsman after Marius Petipa. Queensland Ballet with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Nigel Gaynor. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. 23 – 31 Oct 2015

High on the adrenaline rush of acclaim they received at London’s Coliseum Theatre in August, Queensland Ballet is dancing better than ever. Greg Horsman’s reinterpretation of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece The Sleeping Beauty is a sumptuous evening of classical ballet and a feast for the eye. Originally produced by Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2011, this is the Australian premiere.

In a Soulful Mood

The Julia Messenger Quintet. The Melbourne Recital Centre and Brunswick Industry, as part of the Mood Indigo Series. Saturday October 17, 2015.

In the rarefied environment of the ‘acoustically rich’Salon at the Recital Centre, honoring some of the great women of Jazz and Cabaret, Julia Messenger entranced and delighted her audience.  What a treat it was to listen to Ms. Messenger’s carefully managed voice surfing effortlessly on, in and around the glorious musical accompaniment of Mark Fitzgibbon on piano, James Sherlock playing guitar, Ben Robertson on double bass and Darryn Faruggia, who’s playing I was really taken by, on drums.

With Love From The Trenches

By Vicky Horwood. Cabaret Under The Star. October 23-November 1, 2015

Currently being produced in Adelaide as part of the Cabaret Under The Star festival, Vicky Horwood’s With Love From The Trenches is a very fine example of theatre based on war.

English-born, Adelaide’s well known actor/director Horwood has written the play in honour of the Centenary of WWI and dedicates it to the memory of her grandfather Reginald Sudlow Hawker.  The play has evolved from material she had of her grandfather’s and of a great uncle, together with recently released items from the University of Edinburgh.

The Art of Teaching Nothing

By Kirsty Budding. Free-Rain Theatre. Directed by Cate Clelland. Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre. 22–25 October 2015

This romp has it all: power plays, secret relationships, mystery, sex, more secret relationships, and lots of comedy.  When a new teacher arrives in a school that has given up on genuine education and a faculty beset by mismanagement, inadequacy, and political correctness, she finds encouragement in just two people: the vehemently indifferent young art teacher, and three A-grade students -- and she is instructed from the top to find unfair fault with the work of the absolute star of the year.  But the school’s executive team soon finds itself being pilloried in a

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