Reviews

Cranky Bear

Based on Australian Nick Bland’s picture book, The Very Cranky Bear . Patch Theatre Company. Odeon Theatre, Norwood (SA), from August 4, 2014 followed by Regional and Metro schools tour through September.

With 42 years’ experience, Patch Theatre Company have perfected the recipe for high quality children’s theatre. The auditorium was abuzz with the chatter, excitement and anticipation of youngsters eagerly awaiting the performance of Cranky Bear. Based on the children’s book The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland, director Dave Brown and company have put together a delightful, interactive piece which was entertaining to young and old alike.

Journey’s End

By R.C. Sherriff. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Director: Robert Jarman Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. 8–16 August 2014

In this year of the centenary of the outbreak of WW1, Hobart Repertory Theatre Society is to be congratulated for presenting Journey’s End, written by R.C Sherriff, as an observation of the futility of war, rather than as a glorification of war.

Joan Again

By Paul Gilchrist. subtlenuance in association with Sydney Independent Theatre Company. Old Fitzroy Theatre. August 5 – 23, 2014.

Apparently there were at least four imposters who claimed to be a ‘resurrected’ Joan of Arc in the twenty years after her fiery execution. In this play, Paul Gilchrist has imagined yet another ‘appearance’ in an impoverished little French village where a family struggles to survive raising ducks to provide feathers for pillows. Theirs is a thankless existence broken only by the stories that some of them weave.

The Tap Pack

TheatricHals and The Tap Pack in association with Hayes Theatre Co. Hayes Theatre Co, Potts Point (NSW). August 1 – 17, 2014.

The Tap Pack is the love child of Jesse Rasmussen, Jordan Pollard and Thomas J Egan, who have combined the style of those kings of cool the Rat Pack and the raw rhythmic dance that is tap. It's a great idea in theory, however what the creators have done is make the mistake of hanging a series of dance numbers on a unimaginative narrative.

Arcadia

By Tom Stoppard. Canberra Repertory. Director: Aarne Neeme, AM Theatre 3, Acton 1–16 August 2014.

Occasionally a work comes along that is captivating either in its mystery or in the cultural and scientific wealth it shares.  This is both.  The joy of sharing with fellow audience members such wealth and engaging in such mystery makes it all the richer, a kind of cooperative–competitive sport with no losers.

 

Mr Kolpert

By David Gieselmann, translated by David Tushingham. Pantsguys Productions. ATYP Wharf Studio 1 (NSW). 30th July – 16th August 2014

This show has anarchy, a definite post-modern morality and full frontal nudity, of both sexes, but the safest thing to say, is that this show is hilarious. You begin by walking in and seeing an actor monitor two electric puppies rotating and gyrating on the floor and immediately you are disarmed and charmed. Then he leaves. Then a peculiar couple come on and live house until their guests for the evening arrive. This is no drawing-room comedy. This is black comedy … pitch at times.

Walking into the Bigness.

By Richard Frankland. Directed by Wayne Blair & Chris Mead. Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, August 1 – 23, 2014

Walking into the Bigness recounts stories from the life of Richard Frankland, the indigenous Australian singer-songwriter, poet, filmaker, activist and playwright.

David Harris: Time is a Traveller

Musical Director: David Cameron. Chapel off Chapel. 6-8th August, 2014

Time and time again we see that being a great singer is not enough to ensure a following. It takes something more, beyond the actual talent, and those that have it are in the minority. It’s a gift, and you can’t manufacture it. If anyone is confused about what the elusive nature of “Star Quality” is, they have only to see David Harris romance his audience for a solid 90 minutes to understand.

The Magic Flute on Tour

By Mozart. Opera Australia. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta- August 4 & 5, 2014 and touring nationally.

This last – and quirkiest – of Mozart’s operas has always been the ideal vehicle for introducing opera to the young and the young at heart. This production – adapted, translated into English and directed by playwright Michael Gow – certainly makes the most of the comic aspects of librettist Schikaneder’s story and characters and the correspondingly magical fun that Mozart had with the music.

Lady Sings It Better

Blackcat Productions. Hayes Theatre Co. Sunday 3 and 10 August 2014. Also at The Factory on October 4.

Four Ms wiggle and riff on the misogyny of male music

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