Reviews

No Privacy

Moore Books SA. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Holden Street Theatres. Directed and written by Tony Moore. 14-28 February, 2015.

This is the type of enterprise that sums up what the spirit of the Fringe Festival should be all about. It begins with a premise of noble intent, then develops into an acutely insightful and beautifully empathic examination of a life fallen from grace, fallen between the cracks. It is also quietly engrossing, and as satisfying as any light entertainment that you might otherwise be seeking out at the Fringe.

Cut

By Duncan Graham. Adelaide Fringe. Holden Street Theatres. Feb 10 – Mar 14, 2015.

Nothing is more intimate than being seated inches from an actor’s performing space. Nine seats either side of what appears to be a runway, audience members appear uncomfortable, but as we soon discover, that is the point. Plunged into darkness for what seems an eternity, I am acutely aware of my breathing; an uneasiness envelops me, a feeling that lasts the duration of the performance.

Suddenly Last Summer

By Tennessee Williams. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Feb 9 – Mar 21, 2015.

Fifteen years after The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams wrote yet again in 1958 about his family nightmares: his lobotomised sister, his controlling, repressed mother and his own struggles as a homosexual poet.

Menagerie was given on outstanding production by Belvoir last year; now Kip Williams masterfully directs Suddenly Last Summer for the Sydney Theatre Company, in what is, compared to Tennessee’s other works, a rare revival. 

Noises Off

By Michael Frayn. Directed by Robert Andrews. Tea Tree Players Theatre. February 4-21, 2015

The Tea Tree Players present an impressively spirited and technically inventive take on Michael Frayn’s much beloved meta comedy, which chronicles a dysfunctional theatre troupe’s accident prone attempts to stage a second rate bedroom farce .

Once Were Leaders

Performed and written by Max Gillies. Sydney Opera House, February 9 – 14; Arts Centre Melbourne, March 13 - 28; with Brisbane and Darwin seasons to follow.

How perishable is political satire? That is the question which looms large when a master comedian revives sketches that date back more than 50 years.

The amusement depends on your age, perspective and interest in politics. For me seeing Max Gillies impersonate Sir Robert Menzies was fascinating but having not been around to see him as PM meant it sailed over my head.

How The Other Half Loves

By Alan Ayckbourn. Tugun Theatre Co. Tugun Village Community Centre, Golf Coast. Director: Annie Lotocki. February 12th – 28th, 2015

Set in two London apartments simultaneously, this farce looks at the way some people cover up extramarital affairs at the expense of innocent third parties and Annie Lotokie’s production was grand and middle-class at the same time, as was the interesting set. The elegance of Frank (Chris Hawkins) and Fiona (Viviane Gian) Foster’s lavish decor as opposed to Bob (Adam Skelton) and Teresa (Peta Simeon) Phillips’ meagrely furnished abode was visually great and workable.

Sweet Charity

Book by Neil Simon. Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Hayes Theatre Co.. Directed by Dean Bryant. The Playhouse, Canberra. 11–21 February, 2015

What an imaginative, skilled production Dean Bryant has devised of this work from which come “Hey, Big Spender” and several other musical hits; and what able talent has pitched in to make it the thoroughly delightful experience it is.  

Papillon

Presented by Highwire Events & Entertainment. Adelaide Fringe. Creative Producers, Elena Kirschbaum & Idris Stanton. Directed by Derek Ives. Gluttony (The Lotus Palace). Februrary 13 – March 13, 2015

Papillon is a joyous fusion of circus, physical theatre and cabaret. Though none of the various stunts are particularly original or groundbreaking, they are performed with impressive athletic finesse and endearingly cheeky good humour.

Chunderbelly

Adelaide Fringe / Matt Byrne Media. Maxime’s Wine Bar, Norwood. Feb 11 – Mar 15, 2015

The popular television drama Underbelly was a huge success in Australia and many documentaries and specials have popped up in response to its popularity. Matt Byrne is wearing many caps for his latest offering including that of writer, director, producer and actor. Chunderbelly is a spoof that focuses on the Moron family from the western suburbs of Birkenhead. His script pokes fun at the absurdity that lies at the belly of all crime families.

Rabbit Hole

By David Lindsay-Abaire. Arts Theatre Cronulla. Director: Cheryl Butler. February 6 – Mar 21, 2015

Richly deserving of its Pulitzer for Drama, Rabbit Hole shares thejourney of married couple Becca and Howie as they grieve over the accidental death of their four-year-old son, killed when he chased his pet dog in front of a car.

A sparse, poignant drama about grieving, it’s also rich in very human wit and ultimately opens the door to hope, evoking empathy, while eschewing the maudlin and melodramatic (the playwright provides three pages of precise instructions to ensure this).

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.