By Mary Anne Butler. Lab Kelpie. fortyfivedownstairs. 15 -25 November 2018.

Broken plays with time, coincidence and consequence.  Events play out of chronological sequence enabling juxtapositions of their emotions.  The audience must hold the pieces in mind – until they come together in a moving and satisfying whole. 

An horrific car accident isn’t a plot point: it’s dramatised in all its physicality, terror and pain.  An abortion isn’t a plot point; it too is dramatised, heightened by the graphic language that describes it, in its agony and regret. 


Ballet by Jules-Henry Vernoy de Saint-Georges from Theophile Gautier. Teatro Alla Scala Ballet Company. Choreography: Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. Choreograhic restageing: Yvette Chauvire. Music: Adolphe Adam. Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Coleman. Director: Frederic Olivieri. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. November 14 -18, 2018

With endless curtain calls and multiple bravos, Teatro Alla Scala Ballet Company closed QPAC’s International Series with a ravishing Giselle. Claimed as one of the world’s prestigious ballet companies, Giselle proved beyond doubt they deserve that accolade.

Six Degrees in Melbourne

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre. Directed and Designed by Mazz Ryan and Adele Shelly. Carlton Courthouse. 13 – 25 November 2018

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre always presents a stimulating and rewarding program.  One doesn’t necessarily attend their shows to watch slick theatre but more pertinently for the satisfaction of exploring, and dwelling, on interesting stories.  Most recently their programs have been comprised of monologues. However this year Six Degrees in Melbourne is made up of six ‘two handers.’  They are set in and around Flinders Lane and each one of them is intriguing.


By Sarah Ruhl. Red Line Productions and Mad March Hare Theatre Co. Old Fitz Theatre. November 15 – December 15, 2018

American playwright Sarah Ruhl re-tells the famous tale of Orpheus descending to the underworld to retrieve his dead bride by keeping our focus firmly on Eurydice.

Her play has a gentle poetic humour as the romantic musician pines on earth for his love  while below Eurydice, reconciled in death with her father, seems happy without her boy, now searching her past and dead future.

Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue

By Noëlle Janaczewska. Q Theatre. Allan Mullins Studio, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre. Nov 15 – 24, 2018

Noëlle Janaczewska is an Australian playwright, poet and essayist who specialises in writing about people and events that “have been overlooked or marginalised in official records”. In this play she has taken as her inspiration the history of Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest and through it “traces the roots of Sydney’s early Modernist thinking and offers a fresh take on Emu Plains in the 1950s”.

The Wild Party

Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe and music and lyrics by LaChiusa. Based on the narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March. Little Triangle. Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre. Nov 15 – 24, 2018

Infamous jazz age showbiz parties, descending into booze and drug fueled orgies, drive this musical and the 1928 narrative poem which inspired it.

Moral Panic

By Rachel Perks. Dramaturg Emma Valente. Directed by Bridget Balodis. Darebin Arts Speakeasy. Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre. 14 – 24 November 2018.

Waiting at the tram stop after a performance of Moral Panic, I overheard a young woman say excitedly to a friend, ‘Did you see that?  It just got to me on so many levels!’  I agree.  Moral Panic may not make ‘sense’ in terms of the logic the playwright and director Bridget Balodis wish to eschew, but the play does ‘get to you on so many levels’.  There are passages where I struggled to get the literal meaning of what was happening on stage, but something – a line, an image, a suggested emotion – keeps gett


Music: Richard Rodgers. Book & Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein 2nd. Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs. Beenleigh Theatre Group (Qld). November 16 – December 1, 2018

Oklahoma! takes place outside Claremore in the Oklahoma Territory in 1906. It tells the tale of a farm girl, Laurey (Samantha Paterson), and her courtship by two rivals, the wholesome, clean-cut Curly (Connor Hawkins) and the sinister, frightening farmhand Jud Fry (Lachlan Clark). As is the case in the Rodgers and Hammerstein book musical mode, there is a secondary plot, in this case, impetuous cowboy Will Parker (Josh Cathcart) and flirtatious (“I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No”) Ado Annie (Terri Woodfine).

Seussical Jr.

Music by Stephen Flaherty. Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Based on the works of Dr Seuss. Directed by Shirley Budinger and Paula-Mary Camilleri. Mousetrap Theatre, Redcliffe, Qld. November 16 – 25, 2018.

As the name of the musical implies, Seussical Jr is designed for young performers up to the age of 16 and is based on many Dr Seuss stories such as “Horton Hears a Who”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Horton Hatches the Egg”. Thus Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat and all the favourite Dr Seuss characters come to life onstage in this musical extravaganza with the young performers. Even for those who have not read all the books, the characters are intriguing to follow with the singing, costumes and movement.

Man of La Mancha

By Dale Wasserman. Music by Mitch Leigh. Lyrics by Joe Darion. St Jude’s Players (SA). St Jude’s Hall. November 15-24, 2018

St Jude’s Players regularly pack their venue with loyal and enthusiastic patrons and such was the case on the recent opening night of an unusual production for St Jude’s, not its regular fare of drama or comedy, but instead, a musical… in this case, Man of La Mancha.

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