But Wait… There’s More

Circus Oz. Canberra Theatre. 23–26 September 2015

Though its programme cover suggests that But Wait… There’s More is touring a repetition of the performance it last presented, most of its acts are in fact fresh ones.  This production has something for everybody: a good deal of skylarking and costumery aimed at children, more than a suggestion of raunchiness aimed at adults, rap for young admirers of U.S.


By GWL Marshall-Hall. Lyric Opera of Melbourne. Director: Jessica Harris. Conductor: Pat Miller. David Williamson Theatre, Prahran. September 25 – 30, 2015

Lyric Opera continues to explore obscurity with the first staged version of G. W. L. Marshall-Hall’s opera, Stella, in over 100 years. The Englishman Marshall-Hall was brought out to Australia as founding Ormond Professor of Music at the University of Melbourne and had a profound impact on the musical life of the city. This is believed to be the first opera written in Australia.

Written at the time of Puccini and Massenet, Stella is very melodic and pure verismo. The title character had a couple of beautiful arias and there were some lovely ensembles.

The Streets

Teater Garasi. Oz/Asia Festival. Space Theatre, Adelaide. 24th-26th Sep, 2015

Performance collective Teater Garasi bring the streets of Jakarta to Adelaide and they do so with a frenetic energy. From the moment you are ushered into the performing space you are a part of the show. Hawkers selling their many wares, a karaoke singer with her mobile amplifier and the locals going about their daily activities. The background noises are structured yet offer a feeling of chaos.

The Boy At The Edge of Everything

By Finegan Kruckemeyer. Directed by Peter Houghton. MTC – Lawler Theatre. 23rd Sept – 3rd Oct, 2015.

In the Intergalactic Book of Alien planets, Earth is described thus – “The blue bits are water – the green bits are land.” Succinct, simple, and perceptive – as is all of this beautiful and hysterically funny play – aimed at children but a delight for adults whose inner kid is still alive and kicking.


By Eric Idle and John Du Prez. Queen’s College Music and Drama Society. Director: Christian Sullivan. Musical Director: Trevor Adelson. Union Theatre, University of Melbourne. September 23 – 26, 2015.

Spamalot is one of my favourite shows and this production did not disappoint. The young cast was energetic, funny and showed wonderful comic timing to have the audience in stitches. Some roles usually played by males were played by females, but this did not detract from the enjoyment.

Raja Noureddine was the bemused King Arthur and worked well with the over-the-top Lady of the Lake, played by Elle Richards. Her big voice matched her big personality.

The 52-Storey Treehouse

A play by Richard Tulloch
Adapted from the book by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton. Sydney Opera House. September 20 - October 8, 2015 then touring Australia and returning in January 2016.

The long line of young children patiently waiting to have their books autographed after the show by children’s author superstar Andy Griffiths made you realise what a phenomenon this writer has become.

The book signings – advertised in advance on his website - are well drilled, no selfies, no personal messages and the line will only go for one hour.

Time is short when your imagination is always running wild and you are working on the next blockbuster.

The Fall of the House of Usher

Adapted from Edgar Allan Poe’s short story by Jack Neary. Castle Hill Players. The Pavilion Theatre, Castle Hill. Sep 25 – Oct 17, 2015.

Cobwebs hang from heavy rafters pushing down on a mysterious, dark room. Grim family portraits stare from a murky green wall. Wisps of smoke trail over worn, dusty furniture. An atmosphere of bleakness hovers and invades …

City of Angels

Book by Larry Gelbart. Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by David Zippel. Rockdale Musical Society. Directed by Christie Wykes. Choreographer: Joseph Nalty. Rockdale Town Hall. Sep 18 – 27, 2015

Cy Coleman’s score for City of Angels, a fusion of Broadway and jazz, is a real treat. Splendid voices and band do great justice to the music of this rarely performed musical at Rockdale Musical Society. Very occasionally the Matthew Reid’s bold, brassy and thoroughly enjoyable orchestra overwhelms the voices, though it’s basically only an issue where music underscores spoken passages (some of it seemingly pre-recorded, and spoken too quickly).

Gruesome Playground Injuries

By Rajiv Joseph. Melbourne Fringe Festival. L1 Studios - 1/377 Little Bourke Street. 21 - 25 September, 2015.

This play provides substantial emotional challenges for a performer; Kayleen (Katarina Viva Schøller) and Doug (Nicholas Jaquinot) are troubled individuals whose relationship is based on their self-destructive natures. The story is cleverly vignetted at various points in their lives, moving backward and forwards chronologically to give a glimpse into the minor and major catastrophes that frequently bring them together.

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Cate Clelland. Theatre 3, Acton, A.C.T. 17 September – 3 October 2015.

This universal Shakespearean tale, generally classed as one of Shakespeare’s comedies, has a strong element of emotional seriousness that challenges acting ability every bit as much as its comedic moments do.  Light moments certainly exist in profusion; but jolly camaraderie between superior and inferior officers holds an uneasy truce with military requirements of obedience, and lovers’ suspension of disbelief in magic easily yields to mistaken jealousy and rash response.  The balance between levity and gravity is a challenge; adversity easily becomes melodr

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