Hot Shoe Shuffle

Story and concept by David Atkins and Max Lambert. Original choreography by David Atkins and Dein Perry. Book by Larry Buttrose and Kathryn Riding. Birdie Productions. Bryan Brown Theatre, Bankstown. April 24 - May 2, 2015.

It was a new theatre company, inside an almost new venue and cripes the man who wrote it, is sitting in the audience right in the middle of the third row. That would be enough to set the butterflies fluttering in the sturdiest of stomachs.

No wonder that afterwards one of the performers burst into tears off stage. It was prompted by the standing ovation led by David Atkins at the curtain call.

Storm Boy

By Colin Thiele, adapted by Tom Holloway. Sydney Theatre Company / Barking Gecko Theatre Company. Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company. 24 April to 17 May 2015, then touring to Wollongong, Geelong, Canberra, Mandurah and Perth

Tom Holloway’s sensitive adaptation of Colin Thiele’s timeless story of a boy and a pelican has returned to Sydney before beginning a national tour. Under the direction of John Sheedy, Storm Boy, Mr Percival and the great sweeping sand dunes of the Coorong itself come to life on the evocative landscape suggested by Michael Scott-Mitchell’s set and the incredible puppets he has designed.

Disney’s Beauty & The Beast

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice. Book by Linda Woolverton. Adelaide Youth Theatre. Directed by Paula Williams. Star Theatre, Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Adelaide. April 23-26, 2015

Fans of the evergreen Disney musical should not be put off by the fact that this is a youth theatre production. Most of the young cast deliver performances of astonishing depth and range, that are comparable to the work of professionals twice their age. Though the production values aren’t on the level of a Broadway show, they are still impressively polished for an amateur production.

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Geisner, Based on the Comic Strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz. Hills Musical Company (SA). Stirling Community Theatre. April 24 – May 9, 2015

The Peanuts gang came to the attention of the public during the 1950s, through the popular comic strip by cartoonist Charles Shulz. The 1967 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Clark Gesner was based on those loveable characters; a few songs he had put together to accompany humorous and touching skits.

Le Noir: The Dark Side of Cirque

Executive Producer: Tim Lawson. Director/Choreographer: Neil Dorward. Resident Director Mathieu Laplante. Adelaide Festival Centre. April 22- May 2, 2015

Sexy and slick, the fabulous event that is Le Noir is circus for grownups.

Displaying superb skills, Le Noir’s extraordinarily talented lineup includes several performers who are veterans of Cirque Du Soleil. This is not another Circus Soleil though, but more a mix of circus and sultry burlesque. There is no attempt to disguise performers as other-worldly creatures as occurs in Circus Soleil. Instead, their human attributes are flaunted in their top notch skills and sensual costuming.

Summer Rain

Book and lyrics by Nick Enright, music by Terence Clarke. The Theatre On Chester (Epping, NSW). Director: Joy Sweeney. Musical Director: Mark Pigot. Choreographer: Janina Hamerlok. Apr 10 – May 2.

Every so often a community theatre company makes a choice in their repertoire that absolutely delights me. This is one.

It’s an all too rare joy to hear a musical theatre score with an authentic Aussie voice and vernacular, something that the late Nick Enright had an absolute flair for.

Theatre on Chester celebrates Summer Rain with Joy Sweeney’s splendidly crafted intimate production, balancing just the right mix of exuberance, sensitivity and sentimentality, helped by a set and lighting which utterly evoke dry outback heat.

Black Diggers

By Tom Wright. Queensland Theatre Company. Directed by Wesley Enoch. Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne. 22-26 April, 2015

The first sound that rang out at the official ANZAC Day dawn service in Canberra on April 25 (today) was a didgeridoo. Those who heard it said it was reminiscent of gun shots. It’s a powerful symbol of how far we have come as a nation in recognising Indigenous Australians, and specifically, the Indigenous men who served in WWI at Gallipoli, and other battlefields in France, Belgium and Palestine.

Madame: The Story of Joseph Farrugia

A Torque Show production, presented by Vitalstatistix in association with State Theatre Company SA. Burnside Ballroom. April 21-May 2, 2015

Torque Show’s Australian premiere of Madame: The Story of Joseph Farrugia is fast-paced, frank, funny, often poignant and ultimately liberating theatre. It is also unlike anything I’ve seen before.

The culmination of a long-term project for Torque Show in collaboration with Emma Webb of Vitalstatistix Theatre Company, together with State Theatre Company SA, Madame is created/directed by Ross Ganf, Ingrid Weisfelt and Vincent Crowley.

Tigers Be Still

By Kim Rosenstock. Directed by Byron Bache/Boutique Theatre. Brunswick Metanoia Theatre (Vic). April 21st – May 2nd, 2015

We all live with tigers inside us – whether they be anger, greed, jealousy or, as in this play, depression – that will devour us if we don’t master them. Kim Rosenstock’s endearing, bittersweet play (with an obligatory “happy ending”) about a dysfunctional family of women all dealing with depression, is full of charm and laughs and “moments” (the entire play is made up of vignettes, some as short as 30 seconds) and works well on a superficial level.


By Julia-Rose Lewis. A La Boîte and Belvoir production. Directed by Kristine Landin-Smith. Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane. 17 April - 2 May, 2015

Samson is a story about three adolescents growing up in country Queensland. With the death of a friend and a new addition to the town, many of their beliefs and hopes are side tracked as they explore more questions about the meaning behind some of life's multi-layered tapestries.

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