Reviews

Ying Tong by Roy Smiles

Caloundra Chorale and Theatre Company (Q). May 14 – 30.

Roy Smiles’ stage study of Spike Milligan in the final year of The Goon Show was performed in an ingenious set that drew the audience into the befuddled mind of the institutionalised writer/performer. The four actors were splendidly cast, both for their acting talent and for their physical likeness to the Goon member each played.

Footloose by Dean Pitchford, Walter Bobbie, Tom Snow and Kenny Loggins.

Whitehorse Musical Theatre. Director, David Parsons; Musical Director, Julia Buchanan; Choreographer, Meriki Comito.

Dancing has been banned in Bomont, and when teenager Ren and his mother move there from Chicago it is up to Ren to do something about it. Footloose is a pleasant American musical, set in the fifties, and based on the 1984 movie of the same name. A great production moved very smoothly, with wonderful professional performances from the cast, though the sound was a little too loud, distorting the voices at times.

Miss Saigon by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr.

CLOC Musical Theatre. Director: Chris Bradtke. Musical Director: Michael Loughlin. Choreographer: Lynette White.

Based on the Puccini opera Madama Butterfly, Miss Saigon is set against the final frenetic days of the Vietnam War in 1975. CLOC has attracted a cast of 40 from 21 countries (yes including Australia). The magnificent production featured amazing two storey sets. Also particularly effective, the sound effects made you feel the helicopter was actually flying overhead. Bianca Baykara gave a first class, emotional performance as Miss Saigon, Kim. She has an excellent voice, a great stage presence and worked well with Mark Doran (Chris).

Yeomen of the Guard by Gilbert and Sullivan

Gilbert and Sullivan Society (Victoria). Director: Robert Ray. Musical Director: John Ferguson. May 2.

I attended the Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s last performance of Yeomen of the Guard and it was disappointing to see a half empty auditorium when many had been offered cheap tickets. Having left my run late I paid $44, which is a lot to pay for an amateur show, which is out of copyright.

THE ROLE MODEL by Bruce Hoogendoorn

BOObook Theatre. Scott: James Doolan; Wanda: Denise Kuchmar; Louise: Stephanie Osztreicher; Adam: William Ridley; Jack: Adam Brown; Kate: Anuroop Sabharwal; Director: Sue Lindsay; Set and costumes: Naomi Wong; Lighting Design: Patrick Gooden.

With codes of almost every discipline struggling with their public image, Bruce Hoogendoorn's The Role Model is a timely exploration of the punishing and very public dilemmas associated with a sporting hero's fall from grace.

Let The Sunshine by David Williamson

Ensemble Theatre (until July 4), subsequently touring to Penrith, Taree, Canberra and Geelong.

Two Noosa couples mix socially without much liking each other. The men, a radical film-maker exiled to Noosa after a discredited documentary, and a white sandshoe developer - the women, old school acquaintances, a year apart at school, at odds thanks to book club politics. Add their apparently incompatible 30-something off-spring, struggling muso and hard-nosed rising corporate lawyer and mix the gene pool.

Inside Out by Mary Rachel Brown

Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre

The subject of Mary Rachel Brown’s play Inside Out, which took out the 2008 Rodney Seaborn Playwright's Award, is mental illness. A mother and her young adult son share a flat together and have the usual trying relationship. The son is at Arts College and makes a mess of their flat by drawing manically on the floors and walls, aggravating his mum. Their relationship takes a turn for the worse when the son’s behaviour becomes ever stranger, and mum realises that action needs to be taken.

Bondi Legal by Tony Laumberg

Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst.

Bondi Legal tells a classic underdog story. Steven McGrath plays a lawyer just starting out in his career. He takes a job as a locum, covering for a lawyer who is going on holidays. The first day on the job he finds out that the lawyer has left him with a bomb. He has to appear in court to act in a case where a mother is taking on a large pharmaceutical company in a case where the claim is that her daughter’s racing mare lost some of its hair after using one of its products.

When the Rain Stops Falling

Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Writer, Andrew Bovell; Designer, Hossein Valamanesh; Composer, Quentin Grant; Director / Dramaturg, Chris Drummond.

Diverse forces have forged this new Australian theatrical epic through its generous creative gestation, commenced in 2005. Innovative Adelaide theatre company Brink Productions’ 2008 Adelaide Festival triumph When The Rain Stops Falling opened in Sydney shortly before its London premiere.

God Of Carnage by Yasmina Reza

Queensland Theatre Company & Black Swan State Theatre Company. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. May 4. Director: Michael Gow

Yasmina Reza’s new play, God Of Carnage, starts with a premise ripped straight from the headlines – schoolyard bullying – in which two couples come together to discuss the action of their sons, Bruno and Ferdinand, where Bruno ended up with two broken teeth. The parents, Michel, a wholesaler of household goods, and Veronique, a writer who’s latest cause is what’s happening in Africa, and Alain, a corporate lawyer, and Annette, a wealth manager, meet at the home of Michel and Veronique.

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