Reviews

The Cat Empire

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Festival Centre Theatre. June 10, 2018

If you suffer from S.A.D. or Seasonal Affective Disorder, the best medicine available at the moment is The Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Cat Empire concert was a powerful tonic, packed with energetic, sunshine music that had the entire theatre dancing in their seats and then up on their feet, cheering, singing and clapping along to the music.

Hansel and Gretel

By Engelbert Humperdinck. Victorian Opera. Conductor: Simon Bruchard. Director: Elizabeth Hill. Playhouse Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. June 9 – 12, 2018

Victorian Opera appears to produce more shows for its younger audience than for adults. Fortunately Hansel and Gretel, quite a long opera, was reduced to just under an hour and worked well.

The young cast did sterling work. Cleo Lee-McGowan and Shakira Dugan were the two children, and very convincing they were. Kirilie Blythman played the mother, frustrated by her disobedient children. Stephen Marsh was the father, singing beautifully, but I was expecting him to be more tipsy on his entrance.

Saint Joan

By George Bernard Shaw. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. June 5 – 30, 2018

Director Imara Savage (with young writer Emme Hoy) has boldly condensed George Bernard Shaw’s 1923 epic to half its length, and added a handful of evocative monologues giving greater voice to Joan herself.   

With pale Sarah Snook centre-stage, surrounded by eight male and black-robed judges, priests or princes,  this country girl is doomed from the start. 

The Modern Maori Quartet

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Banquet Room Adelaide Festival Centre. June 9 – 11, 2018.

The Modern Maori Quartet met when they sang and played together at garage parties where they enjoyed it so much they decided to put on a suit and try their luck in other venues. I, like the rest of the audience am very glad they did.

They have an engaging and open approach with their audience and a tight musical sound. The quartet mixes Maori language songs with classic numbers and some great crooning numbers. 

Macbeth

By William Shakespeare. GRADS. Directed by Grant Malcolm. Dolphin Theatre, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA. June 6-9, 2018.

GRADS' very short run of “The Scottish Play” featured many of Perth's foremost "Shakespearian" actors, and a thoughtful academic direction from Shakespeare aficionado Grant Malcolm. 

The Mathematics of Longing

Written by Suzie Miller. Co-created by Todd MacDonald, Suzie Miller, Ngoc Phan, Kate Harman, Gavin Webber and Merlynn Tong. Presented by La Boite, The Farm and The Uncertainty Principle. La Boite Roundhouse Theatre, 02 – 23 June, 2018

The Mathematics of Longingis a profoundly beautiful, meaningful experience. It seamlessly combines art, science, mathematics, drama, physics, music and dance. The result is a unique theatrical experience. The show’s text intertwined with physical theatre, explores the biggest of the big issues to the point where one feels smarter from having sat in observation in the darkened Roundhouse Theatre.

Fury

By Joanna Murray-Smith. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. Red Stitch, St Kilda East. 29 May – 1 July 2018

Two private school boys, Joe (Sean Rees-Wemyss) and his mate Ethan (whom we never see), deface and vandalise a mosque.  Joe’s happy but complacent parents, medical research scientist Alice (Danielle Carter) and stalled novelist Patrick (Joe Petruzzi) are horrified – but more by the completely unexpected vandalism and graffiti than by the beliefs behind them.  At least it seems that way since this shaming disruption comes at a bad time: Alice is about to receive an award for her research, the result of years of work and struggle and Joe’s actions won’t refle

Me, Myself and Everyone Else - Christina Bianco

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Banquet Room Adelaide Festival Centre. June 8 - 10, 2018

Christina Bianco is a four foot eleven inch dynamo. Obviously excited to be making her debut at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, she swept a full house along on an A to Zee journey of divas.

From Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich, Billie Holliday and Judy Garland to Lisa Minelli and Julie Andrews, she used her love of these highly individual performers to produce a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

Glorious Misfits

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. June 9 – 11, 2018

Set in the multipurpose Space Theatre, Glorious Misfits is visually stunning, in your face, funny and entertaining all at once!

Artistic Director Ali McGregor has gathered seven of her favourite performers from the circus, burlesque and cabaret and formed a vaudeville show that has something for everyone.

The show is all around you, among the audience and on the stage, all set under a glittering mirror ball and multi coloured lighting.

 

South Pacific

Music: Richard Rodgers. Book & Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein 2nd. Queensland Musical Theatre Production. Director: Deian Ping. Musical Director: Gerry Crooks. Choregrapher: Ruth Gabriel. Schonell Theatre, St Lucia, Qld. 6-10 June 2018

Musicals from Broadway’s “Golden Age” were written for a different era and a different set of cultural and societal differences. Mostly their portrayal and treatment of characters, by today’s standards, can seem outmoded and outdated. South Pacific is no exception. Revolutionary at the time for it’s depiction of racism, to a contemporary audience it seems heavy-handed, yet it’s the racism spine (and exceptional score) that gives South Pacific its strength and longevity on stage.

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