Reviews

The Jungle Book

Based on the stories by Rudyard Kipling. Darlington Theatre Players. Directed by Shelly and Luke Miller. Marloo Theatre, Greenmount, WA. Nov 17 - Dec 9, 2017

Shelly and Luke Miler’s directorial debut, for Darlington Theatre Players, is a lavish production with a cast of 33. Not an easy task for a first community theatre show.

The look of this show is amazing. Owen Davis’ set is a stand-out, featuring an impressive, climbable tree with peepholes for people and puppets, as well as lovely portable set pieces - including a village of huts, Monkey City and Pride Rock, all with fabulous attention to detail. Marjorie De Caux’s costumes, both human and animal, are Indian influences and lovely to look at.

Carmen In Concert

Music: Georges Bizet. Libretto: Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halevy, Vesselina Kasarova, Thiago Arancam, Adrian Timpau. Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Alondra de la Parra. Queensland Opera Chorus, Voices of Biralee, Queensland Ballet Guest Dancers. Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Concert Hall, QPAC. 25 Nov 2017.

Carmen, the world’s most popular opera, was a good choice for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s final 2017 Gala. Performed as a concert, it was a bells-and-whistles grand affair with a Children’s Chorus, the Opera Q Chorus, guest dancers from the Queensland Ballet, students from Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, and three acclaimed international artists making their Australian debuts in principal roles - indeed, a surfeit of riches.

Vivid White

By Eddie Perfect. Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. 18 November – 23 December 2017

Eddie Perfect’s musical is an adventurous romp, a satire on the obsession with ‘owning your own home’ in the overheated property market.  In the show’s dystopian future, there are ‘owners’ areas’ complete with armed guards to keep the renter riff-raff out.  But the show is also a satire about satire.  Just what is satire?  Is it necessary?  Empowering?  And can it save the world?

desert, 6.29 pm

By Morgan Rose. Dramaturg Tom Healy. Developed through Red Stitch’s INK new playwriting program. Red Stitch, Actors’ Theatre, East St Kilda, Melbourne. 14 November – 14 December 2017

A bloke in a work shirt, outside in his garden, belts out a song into the ‘microphone’ of his garden hose.  Inside, a tired woman comes home from work and lapses into a detailed-but-romantic private sexual fantasy… until her prickly, depressed daughter walks in.  They’re all expecting the son for the weekend…  Like old times.  He’s moved out (escaped?), but he will turn out to live in his own world too. 

 

Brideshead Revisited

By Evelyn Waugh. Adapted to the stage by Roger Parsley. Directed by Rob Croser. Independent Theatre. Goodwood Theatre, Adelaide. 17-25 November, 2017.

Displaying the resourcefulness and intelligence that are hallmarks of Independent Theatre’s literature adaptations, Brideshead is revisited upon us in the form of a stage version that seems certain to satisfy fans of the source material, though it may strike newcomers and/or agnostics as a period piece that does not quite break out of its time or place to become as relevant for modern viewers as it would like to be.

Night Slows Down

By Phillip James Rouse. Produced by Don’t Look Away Theatre Co and bAKEHOUSE Theatre Co. Director: Phillip James Rouse. Kings Cross Theatre, Sydney. 17 November – 9 December 2017

Here’s a play about the drowning of a capital city via Global Warming hurricanes, the mass shooting of workers and the end of civilisation as we know it. It runs for 75 minutes and has but three characters, one of which is in custody (‘arrested and detained pending further investigation’) for most of the action. This is a first play from excellent director Phillip James Rouse so let’s forgive him his Orwellian excesses. It’s pretty good.

Vale

By Nicki Bloom. State Theatre Company South Australia. Dunstan Playhouse. November 17-December 3, 2017

A search for the meaning of vale brings up two main definitions, a valley and a farewell. In Nicki Bloom’s play Vale, the term is also used as both a surname and the name for a group of boutique hotels.

The curtains open and we are presented with a shiny, gold and white penthouse suite which is the ‘home’ of Joseph (Mark Saturno) and Tina Vale (Elena Carapetis) awaiting the arrival of their daughter Isla (Tilda Cobham-Harvey) and her boyfriend, Angus (James Smith). It is New Year’s Eve and the traditional family party has yet to start.

Verdi Spectacular

State Opera SA. Adelaide Town Hall. November 21/22, 2017.

The great Giuseppe Verdi once said, “The artist must yield himself to his own inspiration, and if he has true talent, no one knows and feels better than he what suits him.”

Verdi obviously knew what suited him and so does Opera SA with their latest offering Verdi Spectacular.

Conductor Stephen Mould has constructed a night of some of Verdi’s most famous overtures, solos, duets, trios, quartets and chorus numbers, all backed by the illustrious Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

A Very Kransky Christmas

The Kransky Sisters. Alex Theatre, St Kilda. November 20 – 26, 2017  

The joy and the genius of the Kransky Sisters is that they worked out their shtick a long time ago: three other-wordly innocents locked in a genteel, impoverished, somewhat faded (probably by daylight savings) faux-gothic world in Esk, rural Queensland.   

Nunsense

By Dan Goggin. 1812 Theatre. Director: Trish Carr. 16th Nov – 9th Dec, 2018

For their final season of the year 1812 Theatre have included a musical into their repertoire.

Nunsense is a long running Off Broadway musical that is farcical in nature, but chaotic in content.

The plot revolves around five nuns from the convent of the Little Sisters of Hoboken. They have gathered their ‘talents’ in order to raise money to bury four of their colleagues who are being stored in the school cafeteria's freezer. 

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