Reviews

Flood

By Chris Isaacs. Adelaide Fringe 2019. Presented by Cabbages and Kings Collective. Noel Lothian Hall. 2-17 March 2019

Six young friends reunite for a New Year’s trip to the outback, driving to the middle of nowhere, where they find a perfect waterhole, re-discover old friendships and desires, and struggle with the consequences of an impulsive act.

Chris Isaacs’ play drops these six white, middle class teenagers into the systemic racism and ignorance towards indigenous Australians, and whilst the perspective is solely that of the naïve friends, it’s not a cultural misappropriation.

We Will Rock You

Music and lyrics by Queen. Story and script by Ben Elton. Directed by Madeleine Johns. Redcliffe Musical Theatre. March 1 – March 3, 2019

The music of Queen seems to be the flavour of the times and here it is presented through the rather convoluted story devised by Ben Elton. The play is set in the future where individuality no longer exists. Under the control of the Killer Queen, everyone wears the same style clothing and there is no original thinking and no music. However, a group of Bohemians is searching for the music and mysteries of the past from their meeting place, the Hard Rock Café. They have given themselves names of old time rock stars.

After You’ve Gone

By Sue Ingleton. Old Mill Theatre, WA. Directed by Trevor Dhu. February 15 - March 2, 2019

This Australian play by Sue Ingleton is an unusual show that is part mystery, partly an examination of relationships in Australia immediately post war, and includes some dream sequences and dance moments.

The Magic Flute

By Mozart. Adelaide Festival. Komische Oper Berlin. Barry Kosky and 1927. Adelaide Festival Centre. March 1-3, 2019

Opening the Adelaide Festival, The Magic Flute is a theatrical experience comparable to no other. This joyful offering - acollaboration between Komische Oper Berlin and London-based 1927 - is a psychedelic tour de force.

Liften

Adelaide Fringe 2019. Lift Dance Theatre. Brighton Performing Arts Centre. February 22nd – March 3rd, 2019

Since Lift Dance Theatre was established in 2009, Artistic Director Alan Todd has brought his wealth of experience to the group to create original dance works for the stage. Choreographers Phoebe Fisher and Elly Roadnight also perform as dancers within the company.

Premiering at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe, Liften is a celebration of the group’s tenth anniversary. Two separate works blended together, Ostium and Immensae, focus on body and human awareness.

Arbus & West

By Stephen Sewell. Melbourne Theatre Company. Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. February 22 – March 30, 2019.

To quote Mae West, “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”

The legendary Mae West, in all her glitz and glamour, holds the spotlight in the new MTC production of Stephen Sewell’s Arbus and West, which unravels the truths and fears between two great American artists.

It is 1971. Mae West (Melita Jurisic), performing in Vegas, is scathingly dismissive of Diane Arbus’ (Diana Glenn) tragic suicide. The fascinating ‘true story’ of Arbus & West harks back to their first and only meeting in 1964.

Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Regent Theatre, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne. Opening Night, 2 March, 2019.

The story of the rise to fame of Frankie Valli (born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio) is an intriguing one. It taps into the stereotypical images of Italo-American culture where the entertainment industry has strong links to petty criminals as well as the criminal underworld. Valli is of the same ilk as icons such as Frank Sinatra, who inspired the young Valli to enter the music industry.

Emma

By Jane Austen, adapted by Sandra Fenichel Asher. Villanova Players (Qld). Director: Mary Woodall. Ron Hurley Theatre, Seven Hills. 1-9 March 2019

Jane Austen’s novels have been critic-proof ever since they were first published in the early nineteenth century. Her chic-lit world of romance amongst the English aristocracy has been remarkably popular with readers, especially young women, for generations.

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society, Tasmania. Director: Benedicta McGeown. The Playhouse Theatre. March 21-16, 2019.

This production attempts “radical changes to the script” but Wilde’s scintillating dialogue sparkles, even through mouthfuls of muffin. Young director Benedicta McGeown has searched for contemporary connections in the play but the ubiquity of social hypocrisy needs no reimagining. McGeown may have altered how the show looks but the actors still allow the words do the work. Each well-known bon mot finds its target.

Two

Written by Jim Cartwright. Directed by Mark Killmurry. Presented by Ensemble Theatre. QUT Gardens Theatre, 1 – 2 March, 2019

There are few actors who could rise to the challenges of Jim Cartwright’s Two as well as Brian Meegan and Kate Raison. Under the directorial guidance of Mark Kilmurry, the duo seamlessly flits between over a dozen recognisable characters in this engaging play. They show great teamwork and trust and outstanding focus when faced with a rowdy audience.

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