Reviews

Puss in Boots

By Ben Crocker. Tea Tree Players (SA). 23 November-8 December, 2018

Puss in Boots is this year’s pantomime by the Tea Tree Players, one of the oldest community theatre groups in Adelaide. Written by Ben Crocker and directed by Robert Andrews, and with a cast of thirty mostly young people, it is an absolute delight.

Fefu and Her Friends

By Maria Irene Fornes. Joh Hartog Productions. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 22 Nov – 1 Dec, 2018.

If you seek a theatrical journey that is unusual and ambitious, then this is the show to choose. There is a lot on its mind, and a great deal that it sets out to encompass and communicate to an audience – possibly too much for one play. On the other hand, it may well be a work rich enough to benefit from repeat viewings – but however many times you choose to see Fefu and Her Friends, and regardless of how well you feel you comprehend it, you’re unlikely to forget the experience in a hurry.

Private Lives

By Noël Coward. St Luke’s Theatre, Brisbane, 23 November to 1 December, 2018

St Luke’s is a community theatre group that has been presenting productions at Tarragindi for 60 years. With a reputation for providing top quality family entertainment, they certainly succeeded with their final play for the 2018 season – the Noël Coward favourite, Private Lives. This is community theatre at its best – a vigorous and vocal audience add to the warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Looking for Love

By Raymond Hopkins. KADS. Directed by Ken Harris. KADS Town Square Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. Nov 16 - Dec 1, 2018

KADS’ production of Looking for Love is a contemporary modern drama that has clear audience appeal, with the feel and style of post war farces - with action that includes hiding the local vicar in the bedroom!

After over twenty years of marriage, Molly Beale is deserted by her husband. Her best friend Fiona talks her into a six step programme for coping after a failed marriage, which leads not only to her husband begging to return, but the complication of two other extremely keen suitors.

Managing Carmen

Written by David Williamson. Directed by Bianca Butler Reynolds, New Farm Nash Theatre. November 16 – December 8, 2018.

This is another play by Williamson centred around football and one player in particular as his aggressive manager pushes him so he, the manager, can make as much money as possible. Even though the player, Brent Lyall, is an exceptional player, he is a disaster walking in other aspects used to raise money, such as commercials. His manager, Rohan Swift, hires one “lady” to be his girl friend and another to teach him how to relax and live his life. A dirt seeking journalist, Max Oldfield, senses something is amiss and wants to bring everyone down.

Wonderful World

By Richard Dresser. Melville Theatre, Palmyra, WA. Directed by Geoffrey Leeder. 23 Nov - 8 Dec, 2018

Richard Dresser’s dark comedy about family relationships is playing to packed houses at Melville Theatre.

Set on an almost bare set, with minimal furnishing, this is a cleanly directed production that allows the acting to shine. Opening, literally with a bang, with a clap of thunder, this is our first taste that this comedy about family relationships might be a little stormy and not quite what we expect.

The Measure of a Man

By Gavin Roach. Feast Festival. Holden Street Theatres – The Arch. November 22-24, 2018

The Measure of a Man is the second instalment of gay performer Gavin Roach’s anxiety trilogy. This is a one-man show that we are to assume is his own harrowing story about his sexuality and his dysfunction in the bedroom.

Roach has gone through his life basing his self-worth on the size and performance of his penis. Though dealing with physical symptoms, it is clear early that his deep-seated insecurities have also impacted on his mental health.

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

By Ridiculusmus. Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. Nov 20 – 25, 2018

Can you envision what life would be like when you’re really, really old?

Well, the dynamic independent theatre maestros of dead pan comedy Jon Haynes and David Woods (Ridiculusmus) have created a pair of tender frail over-ripe 120 year olds in their new show Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

In a hilariously funny show revealing the traps of old age, Haynes and Wood take the snail pace movement of time and space to reflect on the disabilities of an ageing body, while creating an awareness of negative attitudes surrounding senescence

80 Minutes No Interval

Written & directed by Travis Cotton. Hot Mess Productions. Theatre Works, Acland Street, St Kilda. 21 November – 2 December 2018

80 Minutes No Interval runs eighty minutes without an interval.  It’s a theatre joke.  In Travis Cotton’s play’s first scene, Lewis (Mr Cotton), a wanna-be novelist, currently a theatre reviewer, intends to propose to his girlfriend Claire (Martelle Hammer).  But Claire reveals that she hates theatre and catalogues all her reasons why.  It’s pointed, on the money and very funny.  What Claire wants is a story - something eighty minutes, no interval!  But there’s more.  With a wink to the audience and a sort of

bare

Music by Damon Intrabartolo. Lyrics and book by John Hartmere. Hand in Hand Theatre. Directed by Claire Mossel-Crossley. Nexus Theatre, Murdoch University, Perth. 22- 25 Nov, 2018

I feel it is important to preface this review by saying that my enjoyment of this production was spoilt for this show by an audience that were rude, immature and selfish. When I saw this musical ten years ago in Perth, the subject matter, which includes a homosexual relationship between two young men in a Catholic Boarding School, might have been more controversial, but the audience (in a community theatre) were seemingly unfazed. I am shocked and saddened that in 2018, in a university setting, that boys kissing is met with laughter and derision.

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