The Madwoman of Chaillot

Based on La Folle de Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux. Translated & adapted by Maria Plumb & Rod Thompson. Villanova Players. Director: Rod Thompson. Seven Hills Theatre, Seven Hills, Brisbane. 25 Aug – 9 Sep 2018

Villanova’s production of The Madwoman of Chaillot is not only a 70th birthday celebration for the group but also a celebration of their return home to their old, but now refurbished theatre after spending the last four years at Yeronga. That their audience were happy to be home was indicated by the almost full house.

We Will Rock You

Music and Lyrics by Queen. Story and Script by Ben Elton. Redcliffe Musical Theatre. Directed by Madeleine Johns. August 24 – September 9, 2018.

This rock musical, as written by Ben Elton, is set in the distant future where everybody thinks, acts and dresses the same, under the control of Killer Queen. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden and rock music is all but unknown. A group of Bohemians, who meet at The Hard Rock Café, struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and live music. Galileo, with his flashes of dreams, and his friend, whom he calls Scaramouche, lead us on the road of discovery. That road is mainly through the music of Queen - and what a great musical way to travel.

Bernstein At 100

Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Alondra de la Parra. Soloist: Andreas Haefliger. Brisbane Chorale, Canticum Chamber Choir, Voices of Birralee. Concert Hall, QPAC. August 25, 2018.

You would have to have been living under a bush not to know that this year marks the 100th birthday of American composer Leonard Bernstein, with major symphony orchestras around the world celebrating it.

The Marvelous Wonderettes - Dream On

By Roger Bean. Ballina Players, Players Theatre. Directors: Paul and Sue Belsham. 24th August – 9th September, 2018.

Following on from their successful season last year, the Players are presenting the sequel which brings us another 10 years down the track in the lives of this High School quartet and into the 70’s.

Ballina has been fortunate in being able to present 3 of last year’s cast: Candace Baldwin, Helen Jarvis and Jo Fletcher (recreating their original characters) together with Mel Strawbridge and supported by a number of cameo appearances from some of the people in their lives.

Sunday in the Park With George

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by James Lapine. WAAPA Third Year Music Theatre. Directed by Tyran Parke. Geoff Gibbs Theatre, WAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. 25 Aug - 1 Sep, 2018

As WAAPA’s Third Year Music Theatre students near the end of their time at WAAPA, this musical about creative fulfilment and the plight of the artist is either a highly appropriate or a very daunting choice of subject matter. A highly polished, beautifully presented production, it showcases the talents of this cohort and their creative contemporaries beautifully.

The Harp in the South Parts 1 & 2

By Ruth Park. An adaptation for the stage by Kate Mulvany. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. Aug 16 – Oct 8.

This epic adaptation of Ruth Park’s famous trilogy of novels about love and life in the slums of Surry Hills is a triumph.  

Actor and writer Kate Mulvany spent three years forging generations of the Darcy family and their neighbours into five and half hours of compelling, heart-warming theatre (excluding intervals).

The storytelling is so fluid, the transitions from crowd scenes to vignettes across David Fleischer’s revolving stage so seamless, it looks like director Kip Williams has been working with Mulvany since she started. 

Dear Frankie

By Niamh Gleeson. Gromurph Productions. Directed by Frank Murphy. Kidogo Art House, Bathers Beach, Fremantle. 22-26 Aug, 2018

This production is the Australian premiere of Dear Frankie, an Irish bio-play based on the life of Frankie Byrne, a real-life public relations consultant and radio personality who presented the agony aunt programme “The Women’s Page” on Radio Eireann for over twenty years.

Dark Emu

Devised by Bangarra Dance Theatre. Based on the book by Bruce Pascoe. Directed by Stephen Page. Choreographed by Stephen Page, Daniel Riley, Yolanda Brown and the Dancers of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. QPAC Playhouse Theatre, 24 August – 1 September, 2018

Bangarra Dance Theatre’s latest production lives up to their reputation for creating compelling contemporary dance. The talented athletes making up the cast of 18 indigenous dancers should be applauded for their focus, passion and skill. These amazing artists under the guidance of Artistic Director Stephen Page are presenting enlightening history straight from Bruce Pascoe’s prizewinning book Dark Emu, Black Seeds: agriculture or accident? It’s wonderful to see such a unique work, telling the stories of Australia’s first people.

Hotel Bonegilla

By Tes Lyssiotis. Directed by Laurence Strangio. La Mama. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton VIC. 22 August – 2 September 2018

Here’s another revival of this often revived 1983 play by Tes Lyssiotis.  It still has much to say about Australia and Australians and immigrants and immigration, especially when given such a lively and engaging production as this.  The differences between the history – post WWII migration – and now is that back then Australia needed and invited white immigration, but now…  The similarities are the same - false expectations against Australian ineptitude, incomprehension and racism. 


By Kat Moritz. La Mama. La Mama at Trades Hall, Meeting Room 1, Carlton VIC. 23 August – 2 September 2018

A couple (Michelle Robertson and Monty Burgess) lounge on a bare platform.  It is up to our imaginations to create the physical world of these people.  They may be married, they may not, but it seems – maybe – that they may have been together too long.  They’re recognisable people – people you might know – people who might be you.  They’re entering middle age, they’ve ‘let themselves go’ a little, and their lives have settled into a familiar if empty routine.  There’s a superficially relaxed, unhur

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