Reviews

Giselle

The Australian Ballet, with Orchestra Victoria. Arts Centre Melbourne. 30th August – September 8th, 2018

Seeing The Australian Ballet perform Giselle is like coming home. If your home is a peasant village or forest graveyard that is. There is something delightfully comforting in seeing a narrative ballet you know so well. Yes, the story in and of itself is somewhat old-fashioned as is the concept of just so much mime in dance, but not everything old should be thrown away. This is never more evident than in the beautiful story-book scrim which transports you into the world beyond.

Rules for Living

By Sam Holcroft. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Arts Theatre. South Australian Premiere. August 30-September 8, 2018.

Stem Cell scientist Sam Holcroft broke all the rules for predictable career progression when she did a complete role twist and became a playwright, but such twists have served her well; not only has she been very successful and awarded in her role reversal, but a talent for twisting a narrative has been bestowed on her too.

plenty serious TALK TALK

Dance Bites 2018. Form Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres. Aug 30 – Sep 1, 2018

No-one could better describe the premise behind Vicki Van Hout’s clever, creative – and philosophical – piece of theatre than the performer herself:

Even if I am on stage by myself, as an artist, I am never truly alone, as I am bound to bring my family, my community, my peers and mentors to work with me. In this piece, I decided to place the usual behind-the-scenes action of the indigenous arts making process front and centre …

The Secret Singer

By Joanna Weinberg. Lawrence Jackson and John Feitelson in association with Darlinghurst Theatre. Eternity Playhouse. August 28 – September 9, 2018

The real life secret singer Jenny Simm addressed the audience after the show, telling them that watching the performance made her feel like she had been knighted by the Queen.

Her sunny disposition in real life, and through the character portrayed on stage, is delightful.

The musical is a love letter from the writer/composer/director Joanna Weinberg to Jenny and the way their lives intersected, when the thrice married and much abused New Zealander approached her for singing lessons.

Dialogues Des Carmëlites

By Francis Poulenc. Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Director: Jane Davidson. Conductor: Richard Davis. Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford Convent. Aug 30 to Sep 1, 2018

Poulenc’s opera Dialogues Des Carmëlites is one of the masterpieces of the twentieth century. It is a powerful opera set during the French Revolution, based on an actual incident when some Carmelite nuns were sent to the guillotine.

That Eye, the Sky.

Book by Tim Winton, stage adaptation by Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh. State Theatre Company of South Australia. Dunstan Payhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. 24 August - 16 September, 2018.

As a critic who sees a lot of theatre it is not often I come away from a play unsure how I feel about the show. However, I was strangely conflicted in exactly that way immediately after opening night of State Theatre SA’s staging of the Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel That Eye, the Sky.

Stuff Happens

by David Hare. WAAPA Final Year Acting Students. Directed by Gregg T. Daniel. The Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. 24 - 30 Aug, 2018

David Hare’s Stuff Happens is a historical, political drama about the U. S. Invasion of Iraq. Dealing with real life events and people, it is performed as an ensemble piece by the Final Year Acting Students at WAAPA.

Performed on Riley Tapp’s clean, panelled stage, projections and vision help create a myriad of locales including The White House, Downing Street and hotel rooms. The rapidly changing settings are also differentiated by Bradley Hodgkiss’ lighting, with sound design by Matthew Clark and composition by Patrick Middleton adding emotion.

Lovesong

By Abi Morgan. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. Directed by Denny Lawrence. August 21 to 23 September, 2018

Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre’s version of Welsh playwright Abi Morgan’s perceptive and deeply moving play Lovesong is wonderfully cast, perfectly paced, and beautifully produced.

The Fall - All Rhodes Lead to Decolonisation

Big World Up Close program at Arts Centre Melbourne. August 28 to September 2, 2018

Coming to us from The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and presented by students who were directly involved in the action, The Fall is vital, vibrant, massively relevant to our multi-cultural modern world and totally worth catching.

It is a rousing, honest and reflective work of ‘docu drama’ by a group of young people, about a student revolution at Cape Town University that aimed to remove a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes – #RhodesMustFall movement.  This campaign also sparked debate about removing a statue of Cecil Rhodes in Oxford.

Legally Blonde

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Book by Heather Hach. APAN Entertainment and HAMA Productions. Directed by Nicole Stinton. Musical Direction by Frank La Cava. Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. 24 Aug - 2 Sep, 2018

APAN Entertainment and HAMA Productions’ production of Legally Blonde is huge, lavish and unapologetically pink, bursting onto the stage with youthful energy and a heap of enthusiasm.

The show looks great, with a solid set that transformed smoothly throughout and stunning costumes.

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