Reviews

A Show From Nothing

Presented by Scriptease. Adelaide Fringe. The Bluebee Room, Adelaide. March 4-7, 2015

With only two chairs to aid them in creating a theatrical scenario, Noah Tavor & Jarrad Parker will be improvising a different one hour comedy each night, for nights at Adelaide’s Bluebee Room.

This Is Not A Love Song

Weeping Spoon Productions. Written by Greg Fleet. Directed by Tegan Mulvany. Live music by Mick Moriarty. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Tuxedo Cat. March 2-15, 2015.

What would you get if the makers of High Fidelity had adapted it to the stage as a jukebox musical? Probably something a lot like This Is Not A Love Song.

Tuesdays with Morrie

By Mitch Albom. The Queanbeyan City Council. The Q Theatre. Directed by Liz Bradley. 3 – 15 March 2015.

Only incorrigible cynics will fail to be moved by this lovely production of Tuesdays With Morrie. Most will be familiar with the story—a successful sports journalist makes weekly visits to his former sociology professor as the older man slowly succumbs to motor neuron disease. The audience is taken through the process of watching someone loved and respected with a terminal illness—an event we all experience but avoid thinking about.

Marathon

Written & Performed by TJ Dawe. Adelaide Fringe. The Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. March 3-7, 2015

It’s listed in the “theatre” rather than the “comedy” section of The Fringe Guide, but TJ Dawe’s witty 75-minute monologue contains a great many side-splitting zingers, and he incorporates some surprisingly energetic physical comedy into his routine as well.

The First Henry

Written and directed by C. Aspden Pomfret. KADS Town Square Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. 13 Feb - 7 Mar 2015

KADS' latest production is the World Premiere of this historical drama centred on the battle to be king, between the sons of William the Conquerer.

Carl Aspden Pomfret has a clear passion for the topic and a wonderful historical grasp. His writing has great merit - although despite being a huge history fan, I feel that this story may have been more effective in a shorter more concise format.

The Business of Murder

By Richard Harris. Director: Sharon White. Nash Theatre @ Merthyr Road Uniting Church, New Farm. 26 Feb – 14 Mar 2015

Richard’s Harris’ The Business of Murder was originally written for television and later adapted for the stage where it had a eight year run in the West End. Despite its success on stage its small-scale television roots are still in evidence in Sharon White’s stylishly modest production for Nash Theatre.

Summer of the Aliens

By Louis Nowra. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Director: Mark Morgan. Playhouse Theatre Hobart. February 27 to March 14 2015

Mark Morgan directed Louis Nowra’s Summer of the Aliens for the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society with a fine cast of energetic actors who understood the play and its characters well.

Louis Nowra’s semi-autobiographical tale of a boy obsessed with aliens is often called a ‘memory play’, which also fits into the ‘coming of age’ category. Summer of the Aliens, more about alienation than aliens, is set during the summer of 1962 in Melbourne.  

Man of La Mancha

Book by Dale Waserman, music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. Squabbalogic. The Reginald, Seymour Centre, Sydney. February 25 – March 21, 2015.

On a rough-hewn platform stage, with its seemingly endless nooks and crannies for musicians and performers, Squabbalogic’s taut, re-envisioned intimate staging of classic Broadway musical Man of La Mancha effectively preserves the epic storytelling dimension of the original. It’s yet another rewarding production from director Jay James-Moody, and one of the most effective uses I recall of the Seymour Centre’s downstairs black box space, The Reginald, including the lighting gantry / walkway.

Tommy

By Pete Townsend and The Who. Adelaide Festival of Arts. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. February 26 – March 1, 2015

Leave all your memories of the 1969 production of Tommy at the door, because it has been given an overhaul. If you are one for tradition then you may gasp at Eric Mingus’s interpretation of this classic score. Forget rock opera for Tommy is scattered with more musical genres than your iPod.

Beyond

Circa. Directed by Yaron Lifschitz. Canberra Theatre 25–28 February 2015 and touring N.S.W., Tas., and Vic. till September 2015

Circus has changed so utterly in the past 30 years that the animal and clown acts that once were its staple have become dim memories overtaken by the modern tendency toward juggling, vertical acrobatics, energetic tumbling, and choreographed slapstick.

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