Reviews

Underground

By Christine Croyden. Moving Parts Season 2019. Gasworks Arts Park, 7-9 March; The Bowery Theatre, St Albans - 15 March 7.30pm Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey, 16 March 8pm; Shirley Burke, Parkdale, 4 April 8pm; Knox Community Arts Centre, 6 April 2pm.

Playing to full houses, this is an inspiringly ambitious work by writer Christine Croyden.  Underground is a pastiche of scenes about the life of Nancy Wake a New Zealander - claimed as an Australian.  She worked in the French underground resistance - a highly romanticized occupation.  Wake left Sydney for Paris at eighteen.  Known as ‘The White Mouse’ (die Weisse Maus), she lived a long life - from 1912 to 2011.  Her extraordinary youthful years offer rich and intriguing material to explore for theatrical presentation.

Love’s Labour’s Lost

By William Shakespeare. Melbourne Shakespeare Company. Central Park, Malvern. March 2 – 17, 2019.

Love’s Labour’s Lost is another truly delightful production by the fabulously talented Melbourne Shakespeare Company, performing rain or shine in the lush garden surrounds of Central Park, Malvern.

The Merchant of Venice

By William Shakespeare. Grads. Directed by Lucy Eyre. New Fortune Theatre, University of Western Australia. March 7-16, 2019

The Merchant of Venice is perhaps one of the less frequently performed Shakespeare plays, mostly because of the obvious anti-semitic feeling. This production is set in Venice, but in 1938, and is set alongside anti-Jewish policies in Mussolini’s Italy, the visit of Hitler to Italy and the looming shadow of the Second World War. Played in the beautiful outdoor New Fortune Theatre, which mimics the dimensions of the 1600 Fortune Theatre, on a warm Meditteranean-like evening, it is the perfect setting for some good Shakespearean Theatre.

A Thousand Cranes

By Kathryn Shultz Miller. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019. The Gemini Collective. Theatre One @ The Parks Theatres. 5-11 March, 2019

Kathryn Shultz Miller’s A Thousand Cranes by Adelaide’s ‘cross-art form’ company The Gemini Collective is based on the internationally acclaimed children’s novel Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Canadian-American author Eleanor Coerr.

Set in post-WW2 Japan it is loosely based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki, whose statue holding a golden crane stands in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in modern-day Japan.

Cirque Alphonse: Tabarnak

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Bonython Hall. March 5th – 17th, 2019

Inspired by the village church that was once the gathering place of their small Quebec community, Cirque Alfonse have travelled from Canada to bring us one of the most exhilarating acts of this year’s Fringe. Tabarnak is an expletive used to protest outrage at authority. As the word suggests, it gets your attention.

33 Variations

By Moisés Kaufman. Presented by Cameron Lukey, Neil Gooding & Ellis Productions. Comedy Theatre, 240 Exhibition St, Melbourne. 7 – 24 March, 2019.

This is an exquisite production which has been brought to Melbourne with enormous style and grace. Oscar, Emmy, Tony, BAFTA and Golden Globe winning Hollywood legend, Ellen Burstyn is the lead actor. Burstyn has featured in canonical films such as The Exorcist (William Friedkinand 1973) and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Martin Scorsese 1974). Her career spans decades and more recently she has appeared in Netflix’s House of Cards

Picaresque

Adelaide Festival. World Premiere. Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre. March 8-17, 2019.

Picaresque is as delightful, surprising and satisfying as an exquisite pop-up picture book.

This show, a combination of reminiscences, song, piano accordion music and installation, represents Robyn Archer’s memories of the travelling she has done since leaving Australia for the first time, aged 29 years.

Carmen

Adelaide Festival 2019. Presented by Semperoper Ballett Dresden. Choreographed by Johan Inger Artistic Director Aaron S Watkin. Adelaide Festival Theatre. 8-10 March, 2019.

Ballett Dresden’s version of Carmen is a different beast from the usual versions of this story. This is a fiercely beautiful, at times voyeuristic examination of physical attraction, terrifying jealousy and violence.

Peter Combe in Live It Up and Fry An Egg On a Slippery Dip!!

Adelaide Fringe. Presented by Peter Combe. Corona – The Garden of Unearthly Delights. March 9 – 17, 2019.

I don’t honestly think I can say who enjoyed this concert most, the children or the adults. I think the adults knew more of the words and sang louder than the children, but I can also predict that the children present at this concert will be sharing the songs with their children.

The format was simple: songs and dance. The dance section was provided by a group of talented youngsters from Adelaide’s Theatre Bugs, who seemed to be having as much fun on the stage as the audience was having off the stage.

Heroes

By Tom Stoppard. Adapted from Le Vent des Peupliers by Gerald Sibleyras. Director: Margaret Bell. Centenary Theatre Group, Chelmer Community Centre, Chelmer, Brisbane. 9-30 March, 2019.

Tom Stoppard’s 2005 comedy Heroes is as fragile as the wounded egos of its three protagonists. Set in a French veterans home in 1959, and based on the original play by Gerald Sibleyas, three World War 1 vets plan a fanciful escape from their restricted environment: first to Indochina, then to a picnic outside, and finally to a copse of poplars on the far horizon. That it’ll never happen is in no doubt, but their daily cantankerous musings about it on the porch of the retirement home are the basis of the play.

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