Reviews

FRANKENSTEIN

By Nick Dear. Ensemble Theatre Production. Director Mark Kilmurry. Original music by Elena Kats-Chernin. Street Theatre, Canberra, May 7 – 11, 2013, then touring to various venues through Victoria, Tasmania, Qld and NSW, finishing in Wollongong on August 10.

Frankenstein, based upon Mary Shelley’s classic gothic tale, is a daring and confronting re-imagining that fills the senses. In this 110 minute, one act play, the emotions, morals and empathy of the audience are held captive in silence and awe.

Mother, Wife, and the Complicated Life

Book and Lyrics: Amity Dry. Music: Amity Dry & Mark Simeon Ferguson. Popjam Productions. Designer/Director - David Lampard. Musical Director - Mark Simeon Ferguson. Lighting Design - Emily VanWinkle. Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran - 1st to 5th May, 2013. Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre, Sydney - 23rd May to 1st June 2013.

In this new musical we enter the world of four friends, each at a different stage of the marriage and motherhood experience.   Lily (Rosanne Hoskings) is the thriving restaurant owner, married to a loving husband and mother of two;  Bec (Nikki Aitken) is the stay at home mum with three kids under 3; Jessie (Rachel McCall) is hanging out for her boyfriend to propose so she can stop hiding the bridal magazines and Kate (Amity Dry) is the career woman who finds her planned future altered dramatically by an unexpected pregnancy.

They’re Playing Our Song

By Neil Simon, Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer-Sager. HIT Productions. Director / choreographer: Terence O’Connell. Musical Director: Robyn Womersley. Theatre Royal, Sydney, May 3 & 4, 2013, and touring.

Touring productions, pared back to the basics, in this case, two talented music theatre performers, supported on keyboards by their accomplished musical director, have their own distinct joys.

In a charm piece like They’re Playing Our Song, you can sacrifice the sets, but never the performances.

Frankenstein

By Mary Shelley, adapted by Brenna Lee-Cooney. Fractal Theatre. Brisbane Arts Theatre. 3 to 18 May, 2013.

Everyone has heard of Frankenstein but few know the story. Here is your opportunity!

Fractal Theatre’s version attempts to perform the original so you can understand Mary Shelley’s rather naïve novel, now a literary classic. Fractal also uses an amazingly versatile stage design that adds to the horror of the story. Their cast features some of Queensland’s top actors to narrate the story. That alone justifies your visit.

All My Sons

By Arthur Miller. Newcastle Theatre Company, Lambton. Directed by Janet Nelson. April 27 – May 11, 2013.

NTC celebrates 55 years of community theatre in the Hunter region this year. Their third production is Arthur Miller's first Broadway smash – All My Sons.

Hot Shoe Shuffle

Music & Lyrics: Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Peter Allen, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer and others. Book: Larry Buttrose & Kathryn Riding based on an idea by David Atkins and Max Lambert. David Atkins Enterprises Production. Director: David Atkins. Choreography: David Atkins & Dein Perry. Musical Director: David Stratton. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane, 4-25 May 2013, later Sydney and Melbourne.

 

Thunderous applause, whoops, whistles, cheers and a standing ovation greeted the revival of David Atkins Hot Shoe Shuffle when it opened last night in Brisbane on the first leg of its new national tour.

If you love dynamic, muscular dancing then this is the show for you. A cast of new faces brought enormous energy and continued virtuosity to the art of tap dancing that can only be described as brilliant.

When the Rain Stops Falling

By Andrew Bovell. National University Theatre Society. Directed by Ellie Greenwood and Gowrie Varma. A.N.U. Arts Centre 1–4 May 2013

With the constant sound of rainfall as a backdrop, When the Rain Stops Falling uses inexplicable character traits and events to weave a multigenerational tale of the effects of crippling losses upon generations to follow.

Blak

Bangarra Dance Theatre. Artistic Director: Stephen Page. Music David Page and Paul Mac. Set Design Jacob Nash. The Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne. May 3-11, Wollongong May 17-18, Sydney Opera House June 7–29, Canberra Theatre Centre July 11-13 and QPAC Brisbane July 18–27.

Bangarra’s latest offering emerges out of consultation with tradition communities in the Northern Territory in February this year. Blak consists of three portraits titled ‘Scar’, ‘Yearning’ and ‘Keepers’.

How I Learned To Drive

By Paula Vogel. Director: Chris Baldock. MockingBird Theatre Company (Vic). Brunswick Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre. May 3 – 18, 2013.

The combination of a Pulitzer Prize winning play and an exemplary new theatre company, in the hands of an extraordinary and empathetic director produces an evening of theatre that will never be forgotten.

4000 Miles

By Amy Herzog. atyp Under The Wharf, MopHead and Catnip Productions. atyp Studio 1, The Wharf, Walsh Bay. May 1 – 18, 2013

Vera is a 91-year-old ex-hippie Marxist. Leo is her grandson, who has just completed a bicycle ride across America. He arrives at Vera’s Manhattan apartment at 3am, unexpected, exhausted, smelly. It doesn’t seem like the beginning of a play that would win awards and be playing across the world within a year, but the relationship created between these two beautifully drawn characters, and the depth of the ground they cover, proves Amy Herzog to be a playwright of immense talent and perception.

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