Reviews

On Our Selection

Adapted by Rod Anderson from the play by Bert Bailey. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Playhouse Theatre Hobart. Director: Rod Anderson. 14 -29 August 2015

Think On Our Selection and the work of Steele Rudd comes to mind, with remembered and loved characters of the Rudd family – Dad, Mother, Dave, Kate, Joe & Sarah. Director Rod Anderson has adapted the Bert Bailey play for this Hobart Repertory Theatre Society production. Although the play has echoes of the Steele Rudd literary characters it is not the same as his stories. The characters we have come to love from film, radio and theatre are all there, with all the classic Dad and Dave jokes and stories.

Nice Work If You Can Get

Music and Lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. Book by Joe DiPietro. Director: Roger Hodgeman. The Production Company. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. 15-23 August, 2015

Some shows demand a lot from an audience – they believe entertainment comes with a price beyond the value of the ticket. Not this show. This show is an old friend you haven’t seen for ages who is delighted by your presence and says “Sit down, relax and let me make you feel good.” And feel good you do, like you’ve just had strawberries and cream on a summer’s afternoon watching the ocean.

Antony & Cleopatra

By William Shakespeare. Presented by The Little Fish (SA). Directed by Linda Edwards. Marion Cultural Centre, 13-14 August. The Singing Gallery, 20-22 August. Kay Brothers Amery Wines, 29 August, 2015

The Little Fish is an offshoot of the Southern Youth Theatre Ensemble who have gone on to specialise in no-frills productions of The Bard’s work that are typically stripped back to the bare necessities in terms of production values, and usually involve a fair bit of gender-flipped casting in order to accommodate the company’s largely female ensemble.

The Book Of Loco

Presented by Windmill Theatre & Adelaide Festival Centre. Written by Alirio Zavarce. Directed by Sasha Zahra. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, 14-22 August, 2015

2001 was not a very good year for Venezuelan born Australian citizen, Alirio Zavarce – within the space of a few months, his long-time girlfriend dumped him, his mother died of cancer and the 9/11 terrorist attacks spawned a culture of paranoia in which immigrants were regarded with suspicion.

Dedications

Written by John O’Hara and Anthony Harkin. Directed by Anthony Harki. Chapel off Chapel 14th-15th August, 2015. Perth – Downstairs at the Maj 20-22 August. Geelong – GPAC 28th-29th Aug

What a marvellous gift to Cabaret is John O’Hara! When we see musical theatre people on stage – often in smaller roles – we have no conception of the breadth and depth of their talent….it takes Cabaret for them to really expose their gifts (in the nicest possible way). John’s gifts are broader than the sky and deeper than the ocean. In Dedications – inspired by the somewhat Kitsch late night radio show of love songs – O’Hara plays the DJ….

The Women

By Clare Boothe Luce. New Theatre, Newtown. Aug 11 – Sep 12, 2015.

The Women is a satiric commentary on the lives of the wealthy, pampered Manhattan socialites of the 1930s, their jealousies and the malicious gossip that shapes – and destroys – their relationships. Playwright, Clare Boothe Luce, who rose from being a menial worker to become a journalist, writer, member of Congress and ambassador to Italy, was a keen observer and recorder. Most of the rich ‘beauties’ she created for this play have few redeeming qualities.

Remembrance

Victorian Opera. Conductor: Richard Mills. Hamer Hall. August 13, 2015

During this period of the centenary of the First World War there have been several concerts remembering this momentous event in our history. This was perhaps one of the more successful.

Doubt – A Parable

By John Patrick Shanley. Directed by Stephen Wheat. Produced by Ryan Lewis, RL Productions. Chapel off Chapel. August 13th-22nd, 2015.

When a play is as good as Doubt, and it has been filmed starring Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, you might be inclined to think that there is nothing to be gained by seeing it live on stage. Well, you would be wrong and run the risk of missing this terrific production. RL Productions has mounted a gem of a show in Chapel off Chapel’s Loft which really is a must see for lovers of good drama.

Ruby Moon

By Matt Cameron. Samsonite Productions. Directed by Johann Walraven. Fusebox, Factory Theatre Marrickville. August 12 - 23, 2015.

Ruby Moon by Matt Cameron is a contemporary play that explores the grim mythology of the missing child in Australian folklore. The Fusebox at the Factory Theatre is the perfect venue for this intimate, sensitive production of the play by Samsonite Productions, directed by Johann Walraven.

A Social Service

Created & performed by Nicola Gunn and David Woods. Beckett Theatre, Malthouse (VIC). 11 – 29 August 2015.

Nicola, a ‘conceptual artist’ (or a ‘post-conceptual artist, actually’ as she puts it) is installed as ‘artist in residence’ at a high rise housing estate.  She isn’t too sure yet as to what her ‘concept’ is, but that doesn’t inhibit her from being witheringly condescending towards a real resident who already has a substantial project in train.  Middle-class Nicola, who may (or may not) have been acclaimed for her ‘Art’ in the cocooned elite art circles she normally inhabits, naturally wants to ‘involve

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