Reviews

Jake’s Women

By Neil Simon. Galleon Theatre Group (SA). Domain Theatre, Marion. April 30-May 9, 2015.

The intriguing set is the first indication that Galleon Theatre Group’s latest comedy Jake’s Women will be unusual. Dramatic in red and black, dressed impeccably and instantly thought provoking with its single regular doorway and multiple curtained entranceways along the back wall, it ensures one immediately thinks it must have come from a vivid imagination.

That may or may not be the case, but the plot of this lesser-known of Neil Simon’s plays is all about just that; an overactive imagination.

A Murder is Announced

By Agatha Christie. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. The Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Don Gay. May 1 – 16, 2015

Casting! Casting! Casting! Director Don Gay surfaces every year for the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society to direct an Agatha Christie murder. Audiences are pleased to support the tradition, Hobart Repertory boosts its coffers due to the attendance numbers, and actors get the chance to experience the stylised Christie structure and to work with one of Hobart’s best and most popular directors.

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll

By Ray Lawler. State Theatre Company SA. April 24-May 16, 2015

South Australia’s State Theatre Company brings Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll vividly to life with its fine and untraditional production of the classic 1950’s Australian play.

‘The Doll’ is set in Carlton, Melbourne and is a tender and often raw observation of human relationships and how they inevitably change over the years. It’s a story about love and friendship, sadness and regret and the harsh realities of life, but ultimately it’s a stark affirmation that nothing lasts forever.

Blue Italian & Nil by Sea

By Katie Pollock. Producer: Peter Fray. Director: Rachel Chant. Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney. April 29-May 17, 2015

Swept Away by the Blue Sea...

Timeshare

By Lally Katz. Malthouse Theatre. Director. Oliver Butler. Merlyn Theatre. April 23 – May 17, 2015

This ridiculously funny work, riddled with cliché and infused with strange surrealist unreality and imagery, was enthusiastically received on opening night.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

By Nassim Soleimanpour. Tasmanian Theatre Company. Hobart, Pop Up Theatre. April 23- May 9, 2015.

Theatre is meant to be intriguing, and the Tasmanian Theatre Company promotion for Nassim Soleimanpour’s play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit certainly was. I was approached to review the play, and some provisos, or cautions were given: don’t be a spoiler (don’t say what happened) and don’t be political, or at least, be sensitive to the politics.

Tukre’

Form Dance. Lennox Theatre, Riverside Parramatta. April 29 – May 2, 2015.

Tukre’, which means pieces in English,is choreographed and performed by Raghav Handa. Born in Australia of Indian heritage, Handa uses movement and music to recall and revere the artistry of his ancestors, who for over a hundred and fifty years, painstakingly created jewellery from gold and precious stones. Handa says “I came to appreciate the ‘tension’ that builds when a jewellery maker maintains a speed and precision of movement to cut a jewel or shape molten metal ..”.

Flak

Written and Performed by Michael Veitch. Presented by Ellis Productions. The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. 28 April – 2 May, 2015 and touring.

If the Lancaster bomber you were piloting five miles over Sweden suddenly disintegrated in a flash of white light, would you have the wherewithal to think: “Now might be a good time to open my parachute”? Bruce Clifton did, surviving to be interviewed by Michael Veitch, along with about fifty other WWII pilots. A life-long aviation geek, Veitch compiled these into his best-selling history of combat aviation, Flak. For this show, Mr Veitch has adapted the five most remarkable of these stories.

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare, Directed by Peter Evans. Bell Shakespeare. Fairfax Studio. Melbourne Arts Centre. April 24 - May 10, 2015.

Last year Peter Evans brought us a version of “The Dream” that was sheer magic. This year however, his wand has a definite crack in it and, try as it might, the cast was unable to weave a spell to transport us. Don’t misunderstand – it is a very good quality production, but it isn’t breathtakingly special in a way we have come to expect from this company.

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.

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