Reviews

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

By Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer & Henry Shields, adapted from J M Barrie’s original text. Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, Kenny Wax Ltd & Stage Presence in association with David Atkins Enterprises & ABA present a Mischief Theatre Company Production. Arts Centre Melbourne, the Playhouse. 21 December 2018 – 27 January 2019

Peter Pan Goes Wrong?  It certainly does.  In this show, what can go wrong, goes wrong.  Think of any disaster, mishap, mistake, scenery disaster, wardrobe malfunction, inept and talentless cast, missed cue or dropped line - anything that can befall a live theatre show and in this show it does.  Hilarious.  I don’t think I have laughed so much in the theatre for years.   

Spirit Of Christmas

Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Simon Kenway. Director: Sean Mee. Host: Sofie Formica. Lucy Durack, Josh Piterman. Jaewoo Kim, Hanna Bennett, Jerrod Smith. Spirit of Christmas Choir, Brisbane Birralee Voices. Concert Hall, QPAC, Brisbane. 21-22 December 2018

Carols and community singing have been part of the Australian Christmas tradition for years: Melbourne has Carols by Candlelight, Sydney has Carols in the Domain, whilst Brisbane has Spirit of Christmas, which is now in its 35th year. QPAC’s annual confection of carols and seasonal songs with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra is always a joyous celebration and this year was no exception.

The Nutcracker

Ballet by Ben Stevenson. Music by Pyotr Iiyich Tchaikovsky. Based on The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816) by ETA Hoffman. Queensland Ballet. Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Nigel Gaynor. Voices of Biralee. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. Dec 20, 2018

The Queensland Ballet, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and The Nutcracker are a perfect fit and yesterday’s full-house at the Lyric Theatre showed why Ben Stevenson’s version of this classical ballet has become an annual treat. Fairy tale characters and toys coming to life is the ultimate child’s fantasy and this production delivers on all fronts including a magical snow-storm onstage and in the auditorium as a first-act finale. For many kids, and there were many, it was their first experience of magic in the theatre and they were agog with wonder.

Ned

Book by Anna Lyon & Marc McIntyre. Music & Lyrics by Adam Lyon. Plush Duck Productions. Director /Choreographer: Miranda Middleton. Vocal Director: Sarah Levins. Conductor: Hamish Stening. New Theatre, Newtown, NSW. December 18 – 22, 2018.

Forget your Christmas shopping and see this show instead.

This is a great production of a great show. In a criminally short season, Plush Duck Productions give us the NSW premiere of a new musical based on Ned Kelly. How does it compare to Reg Livermore’s Ned Kelly? It doesn’t. The two shows are like chalk and cheese in tone and execution, and each is as good as the other.

A Christmas Tale

Written & performed by Lisa Dallinger, Tegan Jones, Kelley Kerr Young, Sharon Kulupach, Emma Jo McKay & Constance Washington. Directed by Jennifer Monk. A Girls Act Good Production. The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne. 17-22 December 2018

A mix of nostalgia, satire and physical comedy make up this warm and engaging ‘Christmas’ show, performed by six women in Christmas red and green outfits.  There’s some send-up disco-style dancing.  There are impersonations of iconic Christmas figures: harassed Mums on whom the whole burden falls, but disapproval for anyone who doesn’t ‘celebrate correctly’, drunken uncles at Christmas dinner, in-your-face sales people, a grumpy supervisor of the ‘photo with Santa’ queue.

Christmas Proms

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Festival Theatre. December 14-15, 2018

The annual Christmas Proms is a popular occasion each year in Adelaide. It is part of the city’s celebrations leading up to Christmas and, as such, is well attended.

‘Proms’ traditionally refers to Promenade Concerts, originally connected to outdoor  classical music pleasure concerts during which people would promenade about whilst listening.

Perpetual Frustration Machine

By Stephen Sewell. Theatre Works. 7 -23 December 2018

Slick, powerful, purifying and redemptive, Perpetual Frustration Machine is a spirited energizing show that has been superbly crafted by Zebastian Hunter with playwright Stephen Sewell, sound designer Ian Moorhead and associate director Benjamin Sheen. 

The set (Stephanie Howe) is shiny black with glowing wires falling from a basic grid or circus rig.

The Illusionists

Directed by Neil Dorward. Canberra Theatre Centre 6–16 December :2018 and touring nationally

The Illusionists is a production of The Works Entertainment, the same company that brought us Le Noir - The Dark Side of Cirque, The Illusionists 1903, and Circus 1903 - The Golden Age of Circus, and in fact it features several of The Illusionists 1903’s performers.

 

Be More Chill

By Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz. Manly Musical Society. Star of the Sea Theatre, Manly. December 7 – 15, 2018.

Be More Chill, a new musical by Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, is a high energy show full of punchy musical numbers, with a modern but moving script and lyrics. Performed earlier this year by MMS at The Black Box Theatre as the Australian Premiere production, this production is the return season on the larger stage at the Star of The Sea Theatre.

The plot features student Jeremy Heere, an unpopular nerd as seen by other students, aching to be popular and wanting to win the heart of Christine Canigula.

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare. Melbourne Shakespeare Company. The Rose Garden, St. Kilda Botanical Gardens. Dec 6 – 16, 2018

Through the blooming rose garden, tragedy besets the star–crossed lovers in Melbourne Shakespeare Company’s new production of Romeo and Juliet. Set within the botanical gardens in reputable St Kilda, rival gangs and cantankerous family feuds create havoc for the budding romantic pair.

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