Reviews

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol

By Alan McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr. Stirling Players. Directed by Carole Wilson. Stirling Theatre, Innaloo, WA. Nov 22 - Dec 7, 2019

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society (FAHETGDS) series, is a collection of ten plays, all featuring the ladies of a drama club as they struggle to put on a classic play. In Stirling Player’s latest production, in an appropriate choice for the season. The ladies tackle A Christmas Carol.

West Side Story

Book by Arthur Laurents. Music by Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Opera Australia and GWS Productions. Adelaide Festival Centre. 29 November- 6 December, 2019

Opening on Broadway in 1957, West Side Story revolutionised the American musical. Here was amazing music, wonderful choreography and the most famous love story ever told - Romeo and Juliet - all set against the grimy, working class west side of New York. It had everything- passion, rivalry, racism, violence and love.

Raoul Wallenberg Saved Me and Five Minutes to Midnight

By Neil Cole. Chapel off Chapel, Prahran. 27 November – 8 December 2019

These two plays, companion pieces, concern history that risks being lost - or is indeed unknown to many people.  Both feature real people – neurologist Professor Frank Vajda, the late Kitia Altman, survivor of Auschwitz, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and ‘Final Solution’ administrator Adolf Eichmann.

Coram Boy

Adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson from Jamila Gavin’s novel. bAKEHOUSE Theatre and KXT. Nov 22 – Dec 7, 2019

In England and America Coram Boy has been played on vast stages with large casts, lush costumes, a chorus and an orchestra. It’s an epic tale, set in eighteenth-century England, with Dickensian themes and characters – a perfect vehicle for a main stage extravaganza!

Bang! Bang!

Choreographed by Shona Erskine and Scott Elstermann. The Blue Room Theatre, Northbridge WA. Nov 26 - Dec 14, 2019

Bang! Bang! is a theatrical dance double header playing at the Blue Room. Called Bang! Bang! for the themes of murder, melodrama and well, murder, the title might also apply to the fact that both these shows are little bangers.

Her Hour Upon The Stage

By Lucy Seale. Shakespearean Jeans. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. Nov 27 – 30, 2019.

The Melbourne based theatre company Shakespearean Jeans, established in 2017 by Lucy Seale together with Nicola Dobinson, have taken it in their stride to come up with a wonderful reinvention of Macbeth.

Matriarch

Written by Sandy Greenwood and Oliver V Cowley. Directed by Jasmin Sheppard. Presented by QPAC as part of Clancestry 2019. Cremorne Theatre, 27 - 30 Nov 2019

Upon entering the Cremorne, you’re greeted with a huge representation of Australian Aboriginal artwork projected on screen at the back of the stage. Beneath it, simple but effective set design of natural elements – grasses, rocks, shells – along with indigenous art depicting a creek on the floor immediately transport you to the bush. A soundtrack of bird and animal calls, and live didgeridoo played by Minjarrah Jarrett further enhance the mood as the performer, Sandy Greenwood emerges on stage.

Sick: What Doesn’t Kill You Make You Stronger.

Conceived and Directed by Gavin Marshal Presented by NICA. 2019 Third Year Ensemble Show, 39-59 Green Street, Prahran. 27 November – 7 December, 2019.

The premise of this performance is a tricky one and seeing the humour in a hospital setting is not easy to achieve. The show hovers somewhere between the comedic and the macabre but more work needs to be done to strike the right balance between the two.

The Odd Couple

By Neil Simon. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Mark Kilmurry. 22 November – 29 December 2019

Neil Simon’s spectacularly famous New York comedy gets the Christmas call this year at the Ensemble. After playing two years on Broadway (starting 1965), there was the brilliant film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, followed by 5 seasons of TV follow-ups (1970-75), further TV adaptations, plus 2 rewrites for the stage. It’s Simon’s most famous play, drenched with gags and one-liners, and the Ensemble - with 8 players on a nifty, packed setting (by Hugh O’Connor) of a 14th floor Upper West Side flat ‑ throws big resources into this production.

The Drill

Women’s Circus. The Drill Hall, West Footscray. Nov 21 – Dec 1, 2019.

The Women’s Circus presents their triennial large-scale production as part of this year’s second Due West Festival in Footscray. It is a nostalgic journey conducted in an original Drill Hall, once used as a military training venue for local young male volunteers before they headed off to battle in World War One.

The Drill Hall is also the residence of Women’s Circus, a committed feminist organization since 1991, who have consistently provided women the opportunity to develop self-confidence and skills using creative circus training methods.

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