Reviews

Muniak Mulana – Future Spirit

Created and performed by Neil Morris and Brent Watkins. Produced by Deadly Fringe. Producer Laila Thaker. Melbourne Fringe. La Mama Courthouse. Sep 11 – 16, 2018

Dreamtime is an intrinsic part of spiritual life in Aboriginal lore;  belief system interweaving flora and fauna relationships goes back to the ancestral spirits in country.

Muniak Mulana is a poignant and insightful  duo performance piece that looks into the past, delivers the present and looks into the future.  It begins in pre- colonial times when spirituality and beliefs were inextricably linked to the land.

My Family: Not the Sitcom

By David Baddiel. Brisbane Festival. The Tivoli. 14 September, 2018

When David Baddiel’s Dad swears or does something offensive in public, the comedian whispers an apologetic: “Sorry, sorry, so sorry – he’s not well – he suffers from Pick’s disease.” But secretly, Baddiel admits, he knows the riotous behaviour has nothing to do with the illness – it’s just how his Dad always acted up – only amplified!

The Wharf Revue 2018: Déjà Revue

Written and created by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe. Sydney Theatre Company. Riverside Theatres Parramatta, September 13 – 15, 2018, and touring.

The 2018 Wharf Revue is hitting the road from Parramatta – and why not? It’s the cultural hub of the West; a host of faithful followers have almost booked out the first three-nights of the tour; and Riverside audiences are more than receptive to political satire – they have a Powerhouse of puns to prove it! What better place to perfect its topical pace before the Revue makes its way to the Wharf in November via Penrith, Nunawading, Belrose, Wollongong, Canberra and Wagga Wagga! 

The Graduate

Adapted by Terry Johnson, based on the novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Townsville Little Theatre. Court Theatre, Townsville 11 – 15 September, 2018

The genesis of The Graduate began as the now classic film directed by Mike Nichols back in 1967 – and it was this film (together with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which he directed the previous year) that really made his name. And for those who were around at time, it was the film’s soundtrack that unleashed the work of Simon and Garfunkel to the wide world – particularly with the two songs, “The Sound of Silence” and of course “Mrs Robinson”.

Actéon

By Charpentier. Lost and Found Opera. Directed by Brendan Hansen. UWA Aquatic Centre, Nedlands WA. 12-15 Sep, 2018

Lost and Found Opera use a ‘found’ space, the swimming pool at the University of Western Australia, to present Charpentier’s 1684 chamber opera, in a production that is fascinating, beautifully interpreted and a joy to watch.

Tomfoolery

The words and music of Tom Lehrer. Adapted by Cameron Mackintosh and Robin Ray. Loaded Productions. Director: Theresa Borg. Gasworks Theatre, Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park, Vic. September 12 – 22, 2018

Tomfoolery is a musical revue written in 1980 to celebrate the songs of Tom Lehrer, songwriter and satirist, who was popular in the 50s and 60s for his biting wit. His clever lyrics are not always in the best taste, but always funny and often poking fun at the politics and issues of the day.

Biladurang

By Joel Bray (Creator/Performer) and Kate Carr (Composer). Brisbane Festival – The Johnson Hotel – 12-15 September, 2018

“Thanks for coming along and having a yarn,” says Joel Bray to his small, but capacity audience of around 20 people as they leave his ‘hotel room’ at The Johnson Hotel in Spring Hill. Audience members respond like new-found friends and privileged party crashers: “Thanks for the champagne!” – some even hug the performer: “Thanks for sharing your story” – not the usual way you exit a theatre performance. 

Queer Lady Magician

By Creatrix Tiara. Women’s Circus. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Gasworks Arts Park. 12 – 15 September 2018

After an introduction by an MC (Sonia Marcon), Queer Lady Magician relies on a familiar trope: the talented performer, Queer Lady Magician (Creatrix Tiara) is beset by her jealous assistant, Chadbury (Bradley Storer), who’s determined not just to sabotage Queer Lady Magician, but to eliminate her and take over the show.  The assistant to the assistant, Caliope (Chelsea Byrne) is coerced into this nefarious plan and looks entirely dubious about it.

Luna Gale

By Rebecca Gilman. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Susanna Dowling. 7 September – 13 October 2018

Luna Gale is the impressive name of the baby brought to an Iowan hospital by her messed-up teenaged parents. High on crystal meth, the mother bounces off the walls trying to summon help while the father sits in slumped, comatose silence. Enter the weary social worker with her forms and lists to begin her 91st entry in the desperately underfunded world of child protection services. 

Songs for a New World

Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Auckland Music Theatre. Directed by Minouk van der Velde. 12th – 15th September, 2018.

Songs for A New World - It's about one moment. It's about hitting the wall and having to make a choice... or take a stand... or turn around and go back. These are the stories and characters of today, the Songs for a New World.

Written at age 25, Songs is the first musical from Tony Award winner, Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Bridges of Madison County). This collection of his early songs examines life, love and the choices that we make.

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