Reviews

Stars of Track and Field

By Amanda Miha. La Mama (Vic). Director: Darren Vizer. July 29 – Aug 9, 2015.

Stars of Track and Field sounded like my sort of gig, having been a practising athlete for my entire adult life. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This edgy drama about a dysfunctional family centres on the mother, who was preparing to sprint in the Olympics when involved in a car accident which left her with a broken body and shattered dreams.

Private Lives

By Noël Coward. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport.. Director: Roger McKenzie, July 25th to August 15th, 2015

Quoting NoëlCoward, "I've sometimes thought of marrying - and then I've thought again.”

Private Livesopened at GCLT, preceded delightfully - and appropriately - with French chanteuse Huguette Raman performing pre-show in the bar-foyer.

Coward's plays are a unique style; his wit is in portraying and sending up the questionable manners and sophisticated posturing of the 1920’s - 30's idle rich. In this case it is two couples who aren't quite sure to whom they want to be or whether they want to remain married.

The Insomnia Project

Written, composed and directed by Natasha Moszenin.. La Mama Courthouse (Vic). July 29 - August 9, 2015

Devised from personal experience by Natasha Moszenin, this piece captures the tortuous afflictions that sleep deprivation causes. A powerful piece of theatre, without being heavy handed, The Insomnia Project treats the problem seriously without taking itself too seriously and genuinely allows itself to discover moments of irony and humour.

Anything Goes

Music & Lyrics: Cole Porter. Book: Timothy Crouse and John Weidman based on the original by P.G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse. Producer: Opera Australia & John Frost. Director: Dean Bryant. Musical Director: Peter Casey. Choreography: Andrew Hallsworth. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. July 25 – Aug 16, 2015

I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve it but with Anything Goes the musical gods have sent us the most glorious musical-comedy package in years. A perfect cast bring Cole Porter’s quintessential piece of 1930s fluff brilliantly to life.

Legends

Performed by Tom McLean, Elliot Roberts, Carly Milroy and Chris Chosich. Directed by Harley Hefford. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. July 21 – 26, 2015

Sketch comedy is currently enjoying a resurgence (if it ever truly went out of style) and the cast of Legends had the intention to"explore myths and legends ranging from the Boy who Cried Wolf to Prometheus, Atlas to Humpty Dumpty and much more."

Betrayal

By Harold Pinter. State Theatre Company of South Australia. Directed by Geordie Brookman. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. 24 July-15 August, 2015

One of great British playwright Harold Pinter’s most innovative, thought provoking and subtly humorous scripts is given an extremely plodding, unimaginative and heavy-handed staging from the State Theatre Company of South Australia. Some bravura acting from the leading players and the compelling wit of Pinter’s words are the only things that save it from being a complete disaster, as the intrusive, monotonous soundtrack, coupled with some really leaden direction, serves to drain so much life out of the story being told onstage.

Lea Salonga in Concert

Cannon Hill Anglican College Auditorium, Brisbane. Sunday 26 July 2015,

It’s not every day a Broadway star and a Disney Princess performs in Brisbane, so it’s not surprising that the audience were waiting with anticipation for superstar songstress Lea Salonga to step on to the stage.

The Perfectionist

By David Williamson. Adapt Enterprises Pty Ltd. Director: Ross Vosvotekas. Assistant Director: Mark Milton. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 24 July-8 August, 2015.

Human relations, human foibles, human obsessions, human systems of family and government - all of these themes continue to provide rich and relevant material for dramatists, but not every play dealing with this kind of subject matter proves equally durable down the tracks of time. Adapt Enterprises have, happily, demonstrated David Williamson's The Perfectionist to be a work of enduring strength and intrinsic interest, more than thirty years after its premiere production.

I Am A Miracle

By Declan Green. Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse (Vic). 18 July - 9 August, 2015

I Am A Miracle is a journey through unexpected territory that culminates in a rousing and satisfying resolve. It is constituted of three distinct stories, and it finishes pretty much where it started, integrating all these stories in a satisfying whole that is somehow more than the sum of its parts.

Declan Green’s script is poetic and often visceral in its descriptiveness.

Death and The Maiden

By Ariel Dorfman. Directed by Leticia Caceres. MTC. Sumner Theatre. Southbank. 18th July - 22nd August, 2015

Ariel Dorfman’s powerful and visceral play, set in a post Fascist, newly democratic, South American country (Dorfman is from Chile), is full of passion and intensity and themes of vengeance, paranoia, forgiveness and moral ambiguity. Or it should be. Please do not judge it by this lack-lustre, passionless production.

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