Shakespeare’s Best Bits

Written and Directed by Glenn Elston. Shakespeare Under The Stars. Botanical Gardens, Melbourne. January 8 - March 12, 2016.

Caution – There are Snakes in the Botanical Gardens! A group of 6 Python creatures (of the Monty kind) are capable of injecting lethal laughter and if they don’t murder you with mirth there is even a giant Asp that will be let loose on you after it demolishes Cleopatra.

Deadly 60 Live

Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. 11th and 12th Jan, 2016

Deadly 60 is one of the most popular children’s television shows in the world, and the face of the show naturalist UK born Steve Backshall has brought his passion to the stage with a 70 minute presentation of his many adventures across the globe.

Within seconds you are drawn in by his enthusiasm for what he describes as the greatest job in the world. His extensive knowledge about his subject matter is astounding and even though the presentation is aimed at a younger audience, it is fair to say that I too learned something in this productive hour.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare. OZACT 2015 -2016 Summer and Autumn Tour (Vic).

The concept of outdoor productions of Shakespeare has been pioneered in Victoria by OZACT. Established in 1995, this touring repertory theatre company includes seasoned performers and Shakespearean experts as well as fresh new talent to deliver highly accessible and entertaining performances. OZACT has the well-earned reputation of being Australia's leading environmental Shakespeare company and is able to transform some of Victoria’s most stunning outdoor locations into natural stages.

Meow Meow's Little Mermaid

The Sydney Festival. Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent. 17 – 23 January 2016, Malthouse Theatre, Merlyn Theatre, 28 Jan - 14 Feb 2016 and Perth International Arts Festival, Octagon Theatre UWA, 24 - 28 Feb 2016.

Meow Meow is back at the Sydney Festival with another Spiegeltent sell-out cabaret, this one based on Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid, but only in name. The mermaid theme does however give her fins to flex, and to soar on trapeze and dive to the depths of imagined worlds, and sometimes dark sentiment. She begins, you see, by mourning her love life.

Back To The 80's

By Neil Gooding. Packemin Youth Productions. Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. January 8 – 23, 2016

Packemin Youth presented an energetic spectacle for their opening 2016 season with the Jukebox musical Back To The 80's. Produced by Neil Gooding (playwright of the show) the opening night performance went off with a bang apart from a few minor technical glitches, and showcased a multitude of some of the best youthful talent from all over Sydney.

Ghost: The Musical

Music & Lyrics by Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard. Book & Additional Lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin. Based upon the screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin. Directed by Matthew Warchus Festival Centre, Adelaide, January 9-31, 2016, then touring to Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

When I told friends and acquaintances that my next assignment for Stage Whispers was covering the Australian Premiere of Ghost: The Musical, the typical reactions I received were guffaws of disbelief from those who regard the movie as a schmaltzy relic of a bygone era and indignant cries of “BUT HOW???” from the film’s diehard fans. This reaction is kind of understandable.

Carnival of the Animals

Circa and QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival. Playhouse, QPAC. Jan 9 – 13, 2016.

An enchanting circus performance inspired by Camille Saint-Saens renowned composition, this 50 minute production of Carnival of the Animals is the perfect break for the family these summer holidays.

Cirque Adrenaline

Produced by QPAC in association with Tim Lawson and Simon Painter. Concert Hall, QPAC. January 7 – 17, 2015

With over 30 elite athletes and performers, Cirque Adrenaline brings together a combination of intense acrobatics and death-defying stunts in a performance that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Disco Pigs

By Enda Walsh. Throwing Shade Productions. Fusebox Studio at the Factory Theatre. January 7 – 9, 2016

Enda Walsh and Throwing Shade Productions deserve a far bigger audience than the six of us who graced the opening night performance of Disco Pigs. A succinct but harsh little play, it requires a tight, energetic, ‘kick arse’ performance that leaves the audience – and the actors – decidedly fazed, and Andrew Langcake’s production does just that.

It’s fast, hard-hitting, decidedly disturbing – and a tribute to actors Courtney Powell and Jeff Hampson who take on the roles of two unlikely (and not very likeable) characters.


Created by Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan and Robert Wilson. Thalia Theatre, Hamburg. Sydney Festival. Carriageworks. January 7 – 12, 2016.

The Sydney Festival has opened its 40th year - and the last by its Flemish artistic director Lieven Bertels - with an appropriately, surreal, circus-sized music theatre telling of a great German classic.

Based on the landmark early social drama by the young Georg Buchner in 1836, Hamburg’s Thalia Theatre has re-conceived the acclaimed version created by director Robert Wilson and composers Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan in 2000. 

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