Reviews

Spamalot

Book and lyrics by Eric Idle. Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle. Regals Musical Society.

Spamalot is a musical that is heaven sent for community theatre. In fact I think it suits the amateurs better than the professionals. I say that having seen Spamalot on Broadway and now in the Rockdale Town Hall. The musical was of course lovingly ripped off from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The original movie was low budget. The Python crew claimed creating simulated horses hooves with clashing coconuts (the classic radio sound effect) was cost-based.

Apocalypse Bear Trilogy

A Stuck Pigs Squealing Production presented by the Melbourne Theatre Company in association with the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts. Directed by Brian Lipson and Luke Mullins; Set and Costume Designer Mel Page; Lighting Designer Richard Vabre; Sound Designer/Composer Jethro Woodward; Video designer Martyn Coutts. With Brian Lipson, Luke Mullins and Katherine Tonkin. Lawler Studio, Melbourne until 24 October 2009.

Apocalypse Bear Trilogy is a dark and hilarious comedy, very much of its time – now. As an uncompromising theatrical exploration of existential angst, it is full of fascinating hints, suggestions, ambiguities and shadows.

High Society

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, Book by Arthur Kopit, Additional Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, CLOC Musical Theatre. Directed by Chris Bradtke; Musical Director Bev Woodford; Choreographed Movement by Tailem Tynan; Set Design by Brenton Staples; Costume Design by Nancy Matthews; Lighting Design by Stelios Karagiannis; Audio Design by Alan Green. With Kelly Windle, Trevor Jones, Richard Perdriau, Rachel Juhasz, Peter Dennis, Peter Smitheram, Anne Pagram, Pip Smibert and Madeleine Corbel. Alexander Theatre, Melbourne until 17 October.

In our precious world of Music Theatre, there are people who really know what they're doing and people who don't: and from the moment you set eyes on Mr Staples' stunning (and magically transformational) set and Mr Karagiannis's utterly flawless lighting of it, you will rightly anticipate that CLOC Musical Theatre's production may just well set a new benchmark. And so it does, eventually, to become a wonderful achievement of which the company should be incredibly proud.

Which only leaves the bit about the people who don't know what they're doing.

The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan

Opera Australia. Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Director: Stuart Maunder.

More Yuk Yuk than Yum Yum

The True Story of Butterfish by Nick Earls

Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane. 1-25 October

One of Australia’s favourite authors, Nick Earls has had four previous books adapted for the stage by other writers. Butterfish is his first venture into play writing. He developed both book and play in parallel.

Earls’ appeal is his skill for developing lovable, self-deprecating Aussie males in the 18-40 year-old range. Butterfish doesn’t disappoint in this regard.

Short + Sweet + Song

Pilgrim Theatre, Sydney.

It begins with a brief musical revolving around the intrigues of championship miniature golf – Chess meets Putt Putt - if you like - and ends with the chirpy Imelda – The Musical (Marcos), derivative of Evita, Chicago and Barnum. In between there’s a spectrum of very good, ordinary, and … new musical theatre writing. Short + Sweet + Song, nine (supposedly) 10 minute maximum bites of musical theatre, though a mixed bag, is worth a visit. The best pieces are engaging, and the worst are, thankfully, short.

Brand Spanking New

New Theatre, Newtown (NSW)

There's a new season of Brand Spanking New at the New Theatre, put together by the season's Artistic Director Augusta Supple. 'Brand Spanking New' is divided into two separate weeks of short new Australian plays. I went along to Week One of the season and was impressed with some clever short pieces and some fine performances.

The Accused by Jeffery Archer

Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. The Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Peter McIntosh.

The Accused is a courtroom drama with a few differences, including an intention to dispel our notions of the “real legal world” as seen on television. An interesting feature: the audience IS the jury. With the imperative: “You are the Jury. Guilty or Not Guilty?

Billy Twinkle: Requiem for A Golden Boy

Playhouse, Sydney Opera House until Octobe

The world's master of marionettes, Canada's Ronnie Burkett, is back in Sydney with his new show, Billy Twinkle: Requiem for A Golden Boy. It has been an incredible journey for Burkett who has been captivated by the world of puppetry from age seven, when he looked up puppetry in his world book encyclopedia. Burkett formed his adult orientated puppetry company, Ronnie Burkett's Theatre Of Marionettes, in 1986.

Paris

Music & Lyrics: Jon English & David Mackay. Savoyards. Iona Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane. Opened September 26, 2009. Director: Liz Quinn. Musical Director: Steven McKay. Choreographer: Kaitlin Bell.

The best thing about Savoyards Brisbane community theatre premiere of the rock opera Paris, were the performances of Justin Tamblyn and Kellie Ireland as Paris and Helen. Their duets, “Perfect Stranger” and “For Better or Worse,” were highlights of the production. Justin Tamblyn has the looks to go far, and has the perfect pop musical theatre voice - thrilling in its upper register. Likewise the very pretty Kellie Ireland with her sure and true soprano. Together they were the perfect leads.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.