Reviews

Pride & Prejudice

Adapted for the stage by John Spicer from the novel by Jane Austen. Canberra Repertory. Director: Duncan Ley. Theatre 3; 24 Feb to 17 Mar 2012.

The Lesbian Variations

By Gina Schien. Blancmange Productions. Directors: Stephen Carnell and Amelia Tranter. Slide Cabaret, Oxford Street, Sydney. February 25, 2012. Additional performances announced - Saturdays March 24 & 31; April 14; May 5 & 12.

The Merchant of Venice

By William Shakespeare. Genesian Theatre Sydney. February 18 - March 31, 2012.

It’s a great sign when people are lining up to buy tickets to a sold out performance. It’s an even better sign when the curtain opens and all preconceptions of a dusty performance of Shakespeare are washed away by a fiendishly clever set.

The Genesian Theatre was stripped back to the church wall with the stage filled with the word Venice in flashing lights. Looking down on them is a stained glass window of Jesus on the cross from the church building itself.

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare. La Boite. Roundhouse Theatre (Qld). Feb 24 - Mar 24, 2012.

La Boite do it again: another hit!

This show has everything, from bone-crushing wrestling to love stories, songs, and broad comedy.

Director, David Berthold, commented once he could produce anything in the round at La Boite. He’s gone one better; the action takes place in the entire theatre, involving the audience as well in the irrepressibly joyous action.

The Seed

By Kate Mulvany. Melbourne Theatre Company (Vic). Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. Director, Anne-Louise Sarks; Set and Costume Design, Christina Smith; Lighting Designer, Matt Scott. 17 February – 4 April, 2012.

The Seed, by Kate Mulvany, is a play about the uncomfortable truths that exist in all families, and the disempowering and intrusive nature of war.

Rose, a writer travels with her father from Australia to meet her Irish grandfather in Nottingham, hoping to be rewarded with the Maloney family history. Sifting through the family folklore, Rose’s questions lead her into uncomfortable truths about herself, her family, and ultimately into greater appreciation of their imperfect family bonds.

Painting with Words and Fire

By Keith Gow. The Wooden Leg (VIC). Revolt Melbourne. Design: Andre White. Lighting: Ryan Hodge. Musician: Claire Healy. Feb 15 – 25, 2012

The Loading Dock at the Revolt Melbourne in Kensington is an ideal space for Painting with Words and Fire. So up close and personal is the setting that you need to be prepared to be eyeballed by the actors themselves, giving you the feeling that their characters are talking directly to you. It can be a little confronting, but thrilling.

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2012

Our reviewers are out and about at the Adelaide Fringe.

Soap – The Show

The Garden of Unearthly Delights, 19th Feb – 18th March

Markus Pabst’s circus genius returns to the Adelaide Fringe via his resurrected 2007 creation SOAP – The Show. Pabst is one of the kings of cabaret variety, having directed La Clique as well as many of his own highly successful shows.

Tribes

By Nina Raine. Melbourne Theatre Company. Director: Julian Meyrick. Set Design: Stephen Curtis. Costume Design: Louise McCarthy. Lighting Designer: Matt Scott. Composer/Sound Designer: Tim Dargaville. MTC Theatre, Sumner. 4 February to 14 March, 2012.

This production of Tribes is a fascinating and absorbing amalgam that examines the constricting heart of a dysfunctional family - EastEnders almost meets Eugene O'Neil. 

An apparently academic and artistic family gather for dinner in their dwelling - as designated by the use of the whole of the vast Sumner Theatre stage –suggesting minimalism and affirming the free thinking milieu of the residents.  They seem to be able to talk about anything and do.

Babyteeth

By Rita Kalnejais. Belvoir (NSW). Director: Eamon Flack. February 11 – March 18, 2012.

Babyteeth is a story about a dysfunctional family and the hangers-on who tag along for the ride. Of course ‘dysfunctional family’, nothing new there right? Who hasn’t seen that story before? But what makes Babyteeth so interesting is that while you see each character as being enmeshed in an ensemble you also see them as individuals, starkly drawn with hideous and noble traits all at once.

The White Divers of Broome

By Hilary Bell. Black Swan State Theatre Company. Director: Kate Cherry. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. Jan 28 - Feb 16, 2012

This World Premiere play by Hilary Bell explores the pearling industry in Broome around 1912, the effect of the White Experiment - a plan to introduce white pearl divers - and the looming introduction of the White Australia Policy and its potential threat to the pearl-shell trade.

Featuring a large cast for a new play, the fourteen performers create an outstanding ensemble with some well drawn performances.

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