La Boheme

Opera by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto: Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scenes de la vie de boheme by Henri Merger. Opera Q. Director: Craig Ilott. Conductor: Guy Noble. Assistant Director: Jason Barry-Smith. Designer: Penny Challen. Lighting Design: David Walters. Conservatorium Theatre, Brisbane, 12 July – 2 August 2014 and touring.

La Boheme is indestructible. No matter how many times it is updated or reimagined Puccini’s power to move an audience with his musical brilliance is still overwhelming. Opera Q’s production is a classic example. Reset on Christmas Eve 1913, this collection of impecunious Parisian Bohemians thrills us all over again.

The Flock and the Nest

By Glyn Roberts. St Michael’s Grammar School and Red Stitch Actors Theatre present a Red Stitch Writers Production. St Michael’s Drama Studio. 10 – 19 July 2014

The Flock and the Nest serves the purpose of stunning learning vehicle and great showpiece of what can be accomplished when a theatre company collaborates with a school on a purpose-written text by a spirited young Playwright.  

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of Macbeth

By David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr. Directed by Gail Storm. Marloo Theatre, Greenmount, WA. July 4-19, 2014.

Darlington Theatre Players' Production of The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of Macbeth, is a delightful piece of dribble that is very entertaining and a pleasant way to while away an afternoon or evening.

The cast appear to be having a ball in this play within a play, as the Farndale women compete in a festival competition under the gaze of respected adjudicator George Peach - played in a a very funny performance by Ray Egan.

The King and I

Music by Richard Rodgers. Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 11. Directed by Christopher Renshaw. From 12th June, Princess Theatre, Melbourne.

“Some shows date quickly, and revivals serve to point out their shortcomings. Others simply grow better with age, their magic beguiling generation after generation. The King and I is the epitome of the latter. This exquisitely mounted show may well be the best musical you ever see, and I really do mean EVER.”

The Hatpin

By Peter Rutherford and James Millar. Directed by Graeme Johnston. Musical Direction by Paul Lawrence Olsen. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. 11-26 July 2014

This relatively new Australian musical by WAAPA graduates Peter Rutherford and James Millar is being performed for the first time in Western Australia at the atmospheric and era-appropriate Old Mill Theatre in South Perth.


By Lionel Bart. Eltham Little Theatre. Director/Choreographer: Amy Jenkins. Musical Director: Emily Crawford. July 11 – 27, 2014

There was much to enjoy in ELT’s production of Oliver! ELT generally perform straight plays and a junior musical each year. These have been very successful, but it is many years since they have mounted a musical for all ages.

The show opens with the kids singing “Food, Glorious Food”, and the singing was as good as I’ve heard from juniors in a musical. However, they could have been directed to show more expression and animation on stage. Other chorus numbers were musically just as good.

The Effect

By Lucy Prebble. Sydney Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre Company. Wharf 1 Theatre, Sydney. Director: Sarah Goodes. 10 July – 16 August 2014

You’ve probably seen Angie Milliken on the cover of the current Stage Whispers holding a gleaming human brain. The ‘alas poor Yorick’ moment is from Lucy Prebble’s adult investigation into love, depression and drug trials; and Ms Milliken engages the brain in a desperate conversation even more troubled than Hamlet’s.

The Sound of Music

Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. ICW Productions. Directed by Mark Barford, Musical Direction by Ian Westrip. Regal Theatre, Subiaco WA. 10-19 July, 2014

The Sound of Music opened to a deservedly enthusiastic reception at The Regal Theatre. This is a production with with distinctly professional production values and a wonderfully lavish feel and is strongly directed with warmth by Mark Barford.

Ettie's Boys

By Ian McGrath. Moore Books SA. The Arch, Holden Street Theatres, Adelaide. Director: Tony Moore. Designer: Shannon Norfolk. July 11 - July 27, 2014.

An Adelaide premiere is always a matter of interest for the local theatre critic. Courage is needed in order to present patrons with something new and unfamiliar, rather than relying on tried-and-tested properties. Has the risk paid off, the experiment succeeded?

Book of Days

By Langford Wilson. New Theatre, Newtown (NSW). Australian Premiere. July 8 – August 9, 2014.

New Theatre continues to impress with its choice of plays, directors, actors and designers. This production of Pulitzer Prize winner Langford Wilson’s Book of Days is no exception. It is as fast-paced as the script demands, and the tight ensemble under the perceptive direction of Elsie Edgerton-Till makes this production one that shouldn’t be missed.

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