A Perfect Specimen

By Nathaniel Moncrieff. Black Swan Lab. Directed by Stuart Halusz. Theatre Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. 30 Jun - 17 Jul 2016

A Perfect Specimen is a product of the Black Swan Lab, which may be described as Black Swan’s more avant-garde or experimental wing. This lavish, fully fleshed production brings great quality to the downstairs theatre at the State Theatre Centre.

The true story of ‘ape woman’ Julia Pastrana, star of a travelling exhibition, and her husband and exhibitor Theodore Lent, it is set during 1859/1860 in Russia as they travel with the show. Written by Perth born playwright Nathaniel Moncrieff, this is the West Australian premiere.


Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, WA. Directed by Philip Mitchell. July 2 - 16, 2016

Splat! returns to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre this school holidays and is a high energy celebration of play, friendship and imagination.

Puppeteer actors, Rebecca Bradley, dressed in yellow and emerging from a triangle and Immanuel Dado, wearing red, with a penchant for squares, befriend  Yvan Karlsson, who wears blue and appears from a circle. Together they use dance, acrobatics clowning and puppetry to explore relationships between the objects around them and with each other, and at one stage take us on a mesmerising journey through space.

The Pigman’s Lament

By Raoul Craemer. Directed by Paul Castro. Presented by The Street Theatre, Canberra. 24 June – 3 July, 2016. World Premiere.

The Pigman’s Lament is an intense, surreal monologue. Raoul Craemer spent part of his childhood in India with an Indian mother, but his father was German, and his grandfather a facist who died on the Russian front. The piece focusses on the grandfather as a secret, almost shameful part of Craemer’s own history.

L’Amante Anglaise

By Marguerite Duras. Directed by Laurence Strangio. fortyfivedownstairs. June 21 – July 3, 2016.

To say that truth is stranger than fiction is a mere homily when one looks at the story behind this fascinating play. Yes, a woman of slight build did murder her fat, deaf and dumb, cousin in 1949… or says she did. But how could she dismember the body and subsequently throw pieces from the railway bridge under trains? And what happened to the head?


By David Hare. Directed by Dean Bryant. MTC. Southbank Theatre. June 18 – July 23, 2016

David Hare’s Skylight is a truly beautiful play, perfectly structured and marrying political ideology with a love affair that cannot be rekindled. It has been a favourite of mine since its inception more than twenty years ago.

The Last Galah

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Festival Centre. June 25, 2016

Matilda Waltzes into Finale for Successful Adelaide Cabaret Festival

The final celebration of Adelaide’s 2016 Cabaret Festival had plenty of Aussie touches as befits The Last Galah, the title of the night. There was Eddie Perfect in blue singlet and shorts, looking amusingly incongruous by also wearing formal white tails. His co-Artistic Director Ali McGregor teamed up with The Birds to start the show and began in an eye-boggling galah-themed shiny pink, grey and white creation. She outdid this later with a jacket covered in souvenir-shop koalas.

Noble Cause & Boiled Cabbage

Written & Directed by Tony Moore. Holden Street Theatres, Hindmarsh. June 23-July 2, 2016

Local playwright and impresario Tony Moore here presents two short pieces, one a drama, the other a comedy, as a double feature.

Time Over Distance Over Time

Liz Roche Dance Company. Parramatta Riverside Theatres. June 22 – 25, 2016.

The idea behind this production is bridging the gaps that occur when one chooses, for whatever reason, to move away from home and friends. The program notes explain that six dancers will “wrestle with the physical and emotional distance they encounter while living at opposite ends of the planet”.

By its very nature much contemporary dance is esoteric, relying on the audience’s ability to relate to the movement, the interaction of the dancers and the use of space, and perhaps take from it a more personal interpretation of the performance.

The Addams Family

Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Directed by David Wynen. Federation University of Australia. Theatreworks St Kilda. June 18 – 25, 2016

Despite some technical problems causing a delay which stretched the interval to 40 minutes on opening night, some nicely measured performances and an excellent band under the musical direction of Rainer Pollard made for a pleasant night’s entertainment. In truth, The Addams Family is not a great musical. It has a poor script and a very average score, and has failed to make its mark in the professional world of Musical Theatre, but the cast attacked it with great energy and enthusiasm and there were more positives than negatives in the production.

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

By Tennessee Williams. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Directed by Barry Hill. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. June 23-July 2, 2016

It hard to know sometimes, if one should laugh or cry when attending The Adelaide Rep’s latest production – an unnervingly intense look at a dysfunctional family coming apart at the seams as, gathered together for the birthday celebration of their elderly patriarch, years of pent up resentment and bitterness come to the boil in a succession of vicious, but sometimes witty arguments.

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