By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare Company. Sydney Opera House until May 12, 2012. Canberra - May 17 - June 2. Melbourne June 7 – 23.

Sometimes a production can leave you scratching your head. Did it work? In this case perhaps the answer is almost.

As any student obliged to study Macbeth will know (even almost 30 years ago as is my case) there are three witches around the cauldron at the beginning of this tragedy. “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble“ they recite.


Music: Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave based on William Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Opera Queensland. QPAC Concert Hall.13 April 2012. Conductor: Nicholas Braithwaite


Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni & James Rado. Music by Galt Macdermot. North Queensland Opera and Music Theatre, Townsville. Director: Brian Edmond. Choreographers: Kylie Ball & Rachel Cook. Vocal Director: Tony Woodhouse. Musical Director: Ryan Christoffersen. March 28 – 31.

A youthful cast made the most of the tribal love rock musical Hair during its season at Townsville’s Civic Theatre. Two relatively “new to the musical stage” actors, Lachlan Dalby and Emily Edwards tackled the lead roles of Claude and Sheila with enthusiasm. More experienced young actors Adam Mullamphy as Berger, Kevin Wright as Woof, Katherine Shield as Jeanie and Jeremiah Pau as Hud all paraded their talents to much acclaim.


Music: John Kander. Lyrics: Fred Ebb. Based on book by Christopher Isherwood. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Alan Jeffrey. Musical Director: Marian Bisset. Choreographer: Leiz Moore. April 13 – 28, 2012.

Cabaret, the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society BIG production for the year, started on the right note with the right vibe. Audience expectation of a big name show, famous as a movie, can have a negative side. Any disparity between expectation and the real thing was dispelled instantly. The pivotal Emcee character (Jeff Michel) commanded and gained audience attention immediately. With his seductive, raunchy smile and moves, Michel was riveting and totally looked the part.

Breaker Morant

Newly revised script by Kenneth G Ross. The TheatreTroupe. Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre (NSW). April 12 – 21.

This military courtroom drama, based on Kit Denton’s novel, stands alongside Rusty Bugles and Simpson in bringing the theatre of war to the stage. The fact that Harry Morant’s story lives on, and that the injustice of his execution still rankles, is a telling reflection on the politics of war. As well, Morant and Hancock have come to symbolise the less-regulated, more laid back, daring Aussie ‘diggers’ that were the bane of many British officers in The Great War.


Music: Charles Strouse. Lyrics: Martin Charnin. Book: Thomas Meehan. John Frost/Power Arts/QPAC/Two Left Feet Production. Director: Karen Johnson Mortimer. Musical Director: Peter Casey. Choreography: Kelly Aykers. Lyric Theatre, QPAC from April 12, 2012.

Miss Hannigan hates ‘em, but last night the audience adored them. Annie’s orphans, headed by Chloe Thiel in the title role, and the scene-stealing moppet Kennedy Foley as Molly, walked away with the show. Their precision-drilled routines, their powerhouse vocals, and their drive gave the show its momentum and its heart.

Anthony Warlow made Oliver Warbucks a likeable curmudgeon, Nancye Hayes was a salty Miss Hannigan, with Todd McKenney (Rooster) and Chloe Dallimore (Lily St Regis) a couple of stylish con-artists.

Unpack This

Written and staged by Geoff Paine with Ross Daniels. MICF. Chapel Off Chapel (Vic). Until April 12 - 29, 2012.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is such a moveable feast that, like good Chinese food, you devour the flavours but are always hungry for more. And while some offerings are easily forgotten once the taste has gone, some linger on the palate and you know your appetite is completely satisfied.

Contact! The Netball Musical

By Angus Grant. Librettist: Kate Schmitt. Part of Arts Centre Melbourne's creative development initiative (Vic). Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Fairfax Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. Director: Cameron Menzies. Music Director: Angus Grant. Choreographer: Julia Sutherland. April 11 – 29, 2012.

There is a reason we sing the important stuff. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’, religious songs, or serenading a loved one adds gravity to our words. This is what makes Contact! The Netball Musical by Angus Grant, so very funny.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Adapted for the stage by 
Anna Crawford & Mark Kilmurry, based on the book by Michael Rosen
& illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). April 10 – 22, 2012

The Histrionic

By Thomas Bernhard (translation by Tom Wright). Director: Daniel Schlusser. Malthouse Theatre Melbourne - April 10 - May 5, 2012. Wharf Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company - June 15 – July 28, 2012.

Though it may all be relative, it’s a truism to say there is good theatre and bad theatre; and most theatre falls somewhere in between. Then there are the nights of magic; theatre which is so special and exhilarating that you scarcely dare talk about them for fear of discovering how the magic was done, and destroying the illusion. These nights are few and far between and, like a child allowed to stay up late, you don’t want the night to end.

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