Reviews

La Traviata

Music: Giuseppe Verdi. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast..Directors: Melanie Smart, Isaac Moody. 10th – 24th April, 2015.

Spotlight is well-known on the Gold Coast for very successful musicals. Nevertheless it is a bold move to decide to stage opera, albeit a "boutique" version; will the audience accept it?           

This production was especially prepared with an English libretto interpreted by local writer / composer Anthony Gee, and an orchestral reduction for piano, cello and clarinet, arranged by Qld Conservatorium graduate Donnie MacKay. 

Adventures in Hair

Red Violin (14 McKillop Street, Melbourne) Melbourne International Comedy Festival. April 9 – 18, 2015

Who would have thought learning about the 1622 Dutch invasion of Portugese Macau would be a delightful night at the Melbourne Comedy Festival! Laurence Rosier Staines, Michael Richardson and Ciaran Magee introduce us to the main protagonists of this slice of history as they search for a new viceroy and cope with a Dutch invasion, and keep it on track by the gloriously simple solution of changing hats.

Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells For Two

The Street Theatre. Childers Street Canberra. 10-12 April 2015

The only way to keep vinyl records in good nick, my father would tell me, is to never, ever play them. You might wonder just what is the point of having a record you don’t listen to? Dad’s solution was that you should play them just the once in order to make a tape.

Quartet

By Ronald Harwood. The Adelaide Repertory Theatre. April 9 – 18, 2015

Acclaimed playwright Ronald Harwood (The Dresser) wrote this little gem in 1999; inspired after watching a documentary about the opera. Some may be familiar with the Dustin Hoffman directed 2012 film of the same name. The play centres on the lives of four retired opera singers who live in an English retirement village. You could be mistaken for thinking the subject matter might only appeal to the grey set, but you could not be more wrong. Entertaining from beginning to end, directors Sue Wylie and Ian Rigney have done a fine job in breathing life into an already fertile script.

The Good Son

By Elena Carapetis. The Other Ones. Directed by Corey McMahon. Produced by Joanne Hartstone. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 8 April - 25 April 2015.

Though a family may strive to be a healthy, functional, organic being that nourishes its inhabitants and encourages growth, sometimes a family becomes a series of traps, little more than a poisonous snake than is driven to devour its young before swallowing its own tail. The Good Son is a riveting, believable, tremendously impressive depiction of such a family.

Faramondo

By G F Handel. Presented in association with Gottingen International Handel Festival and QPAC's Brisbane Baroque 2015. Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, Brisbane. Director: Paul Curran; Set and Costume design: Gary McCann; Lighting Designer: Gavan Swift. 10-18 April 2015

This presentation of Handel's last great opera is a fitting introduction to Brisbane Baroque 2015. With some demanding vocal virtuosity suitable in the main only for well-trained professionals, it demonstrates the composer in the prime of his style and is a fascinating exponent for those wishing to step back in time and experience what artistic talents (including the great castrato Caffarelli playing the title role) abounded in 1738, the year of its first performance.

4000 Miles

By Amy Herzog. Castle Hill Players. Director: Jewell Homad Johnson. Lighting: James Winters. Sound: Bernard Teuben. Pavilion Theatre Castle Hill. April 10 – May 2, 2015

Vera is a 91 year old ex-hippie activist. Leo, her grandson, who has just completed a bicycle ride across America, arrives at her Manhattan apartment at 3am, unexpected, exhausted, smelly.

Leo is a bit of a rebel. Rather than going to college, he’s achieved the altruistic ambition of celebrating the 4th July right in the centre of the country. But he’s carrying the burden of something that horrific that has happened along the way.

Rich Hall. 3.10 to Humour.

Part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Melbourne Town Hall, 9 – 19 April, 2015

Comedian Rich Hall, well known to Australian TV audiences from his frequent appearances trading quips with Stephen Fry on ABC’s QI, delivered an hour or so of very funny standup to a crowded basement at the Melbourne Town Hall at this year’s Comedy Festival.

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. Directed by Peter Evans. The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre. 7 – 18 April 2015 and touring.

Love makes fools of us, according to this visually beautiful, musically stunning and uproariously funny take. Peter Evans’ As You Like It brings out all the caustic wit and wry observation in the text, and then some, and places it in a nostalgic dreamscape with a retro feel.

The Anzac Project

Dear Mum and Dad by Geoffrey Atherden and Light Begins to Fade by Vanessa Bates. Ensemble Theatre. 2nd April-10th May 2015

These two one-act plays were commissioned by the Ensemble Theatre to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Australia New Zealand Army Corps first national military action, on 25th April 1915, landing onto what is now known as ANZAC Cove in the Gallipoli peninsula on the Turkish coast. The big picture plan was to interupt the German oil supply and draw enemy troops away from Europe. The invasion was a disaster.

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