Reviews

Miss Westralia

By Jake Nielsen, Madeline Clouston, Amelia Burke and Matthew Predny. Directed by Madeline Clouston. The Blue Room Theatre, Northbridge, WA. May 21 - Jun 8, 2019

This “almost” World Premiere is a biographical musical about the first Miss Australia, Beryl Mills, from Geraldton WA, who was crowned in 1926. A musical with the same name, characters and basic concept, by the same authors premiered at FringeWorld 2018, but this version is different in tone and style and runs as a full length show.

Love

By Patricia Cornelius. fortyfivedownstairs (Melbourne). 23 May – 9 June 2019

Love is cutting-edge theatre  a tough, relentless love story about drug addiction and abuse.  Written by Patricia Cornelius fourteen years ago, and performed several times since, it has received numerous awards, including the Wal Cherry Award in 2003.  Here, Cornelius again teams up with long-time collaborator director Susie Dee on this new production.

A Bunch of Amateurs

By Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. Red Phoenix Theatre. Holden St Theatres. May 23- June 1 2019

Red Phoenix’s latest play A Bunch of Amateurs is a must see piece of theatre. This troupe are far from amateur and deliver the sharp, witty lines with skill and perfect timing. The piece, written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman was originally conceived of as a film, starring Burt Reynolds, Derek Jacobi and Imelda Staunton.

A Bunch of Amateurs is about a village drama group in Stratford St John in Suffolk, who, facing financial issues, seek an unusual solution.

Heisenberg

By Simon Stephens. Directed by Tom Healey. Melbourne Theatre Company. Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. 17 May – 3 July 2019

An unusual – and unlikely - love story begins outside London’s St Pancras Station when Georgie Burns (Kat Stewart), an unhappy, over-sharing forty-two-year-old American, picks up Alex Priest (Peter Kowitz), a taciturn, reclusive seventy-five-year-old London butcher.  Her first move - so we’re told because we don’t see it – is to kiss him on the neck.  (It’s a good thing we don’t see it because not seeing it makes it easier to believe.)  That’s the ‘meet-cute’ of the traditional rom-com and Heisenberg does in

Prima Facie

By Suzie Miller. Griffin Theatre Company. SBW Stables Theatre, Kings Cross. May 17 – June 22, 2019

Barrister and prolific playwright Suzie Miller has written a full courtroom battle delivered by just one woman.  Sheridan Harbridge is Tessa, from a working class background but striding success in a privileged world as a criminal defence barrister.  She knows this game.  

She even knows how to play the naïve female interrogator, to induce a confident plaintiff to let run – perhaps a woman alleging sexual  assault – till she trips herself up in confused memories and brings doubt to her charge. 

Puffs

By Matt Cox. TEG Live, in association with Tilted Windmills Theatricals, John Arthur Pinckard and David Carpenter. Pop-Up Theatre, The Showring, Moore Park, Sydney. Director: Kristin McCarthy Parker. 17 May – 30 June 2018

There are two types of people who might go to Matt Cox’s Puffs at the terrific tent-theatre that has ‘popped-up’ in Sydney’s Moore Park: fans of the books and films about the school life of Harry Potter, and everyone else. I put myself in the latter category. I’ve missed the books, viewed one of the movies in the cinema (the first) and managed to escape their myriad, commercial-ridden repeats on television. So, not ideal then.

Cyprus Avenue

By David Ireland. Empress Theatre in association with Redline Productions. Directed by Anna Houston. Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney. May 15 - June 8, 2019

Few Australians would have a solid understanding of Northern Ireland and the full impact of fanaticism there. Over the past 20 years, extremism has been narrowly framed by the media and politicians - usually Islamic extremism or, more recently, that of the far right. But we all fear people who are different - and this shocking and brutal play is a warning of how ugly that fear can become.

Lazarus

By David Bowie & Enda Walsh. Music & lyrics by David Bowie. Directed by Michael Kantor. The Production Company and EY, in association with Mene Mene Theatre. Playhouse, Arts Centre, Melbourne. 18 May – 9 June, 2019.

Lazarus is music theatre of an original and full blast overwhelming kind.  There are eighteen David Bowie songs, across his varied range of genres, satire, a Japanese sequence – in Japanese – a vicious killer, jazz balletdance numbers, a rocket ship, dazzling video projections and visceral sound design.  As a story, Lazarus continues the fate of Thomas Jerome Newton, the trapped alien David Bowie played in Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth.  But it is also Bowie’s own dreamscape metaphorical autobi

Moon Over Buffalo

By Ken Ludwig. Tea Tree Players Theatre. Directed by Jo Allenby. 22 May – 1 June, 2019

In Buffalo, New York, George and Charlotte Hay are fading stars of the 1950s, just surviving with repertory theatre productions of "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Private Lives". Their finances and marriage are on the rocks and their only daughter is about to get married to someone who isn’t in show business.

This 1995 American farce was originally a Broadway showcase for the stage return of Carol Burnett, but its roots are in British comedy: slapstick, confusion, characters having secret dalliances and constantly avoiding each other on stage.

Dropout

True North. DreamBIG Children's Festival. Tandanya, Adelaide. May 22 - 27, 2019

‘There must be another way’ - this is the message that Dropout, presented by True North, leaves its audience to ponder.

In the current environment of dropping out due to dissatisfaction with conventional schooling, this showposes some questions that are pertinent to students, teachers, parents and society in general, usingmultimedia and a cast of around 40 students from the ages of 7 years up, all under the impassioned direction of Alirio Zavarce.

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