Reviews

Carmen & The Firebird

Queensland Ballet and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Playhouse, QPAC. 25 May – 3 June 2018

Queensland Ballet’s new double bill gives us a ravishing Firebird and an earthy Carmen, two entirely different ballets that are stylistically poles apart.

Liam Scarlett’s thrilling ballet setting of Stravinsky’s The Firebird is a worthy successor to his glorious A Midsummer Night’s Dream, also in the company’s repertoire. First staged at the Royal Norwegian Ballet in 2013, the production is true in intent to Michel Fokine’s1910 Ballet Russes Paris premiere but given a contemporary twist.

Appointment with Death

By Agatha Christie. Hobart Repertory Theatre Company. Director: Scott Hunt. The Playhouse. May 18 - June 2, 2018.

Asked if I thought this script outdated and wordy, I immediately refuted the idea. There is something very satisfying and compelling about Appointment with Death, as with all Agatha Christie mysteries. The characters, or their type, are what we have come to expect and the fun is anticipating how the action will play out.

The set (Rogan Josh and Scott Hunt) is clever, considering the difficulty of depicting desert ruins. 

Electro Girl

The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. May 28 – June 2, 2018

Electro Girl is an electrifying, colorful and funny tale of one woman’s journey and personal struggle with epilepsy. Lainie Chait is a forty something Jewish woman, the writer and sole performer, directed by Clare Pickering.

A Migrant’s Son

By Michaela Burger. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. May 28 – June 2, 2018

A Migrant’s Son is a fascinating exploration of a diasporic journey by the multi-talented Micheala Burger, who has written and performed her new cabaret show with genuine spirit and heartwarming vivaciousness.

The journey centres around Burger’s extended family, stemming back to her great–grandfather, when in 1936 a twelve year old Greek girl (her grandmother) sees her father for the first time after a ten year hiatus following her arrival in Australia.

Pop Goes The 80s

QPAC Choir, Choirmaster: Timothy Sherlock and Griffith Musical Theatre Graduates. Concert Hall, QPAC. 29 May 2018.

Pop Goes the 80s was QPAC Choir’s annual concert which took a trip back to the eighties, the era that gave us leg-warmers, Rubik’s Cube and the Walkman. It was also the era in music which saw the rise of synth-pop and superstars Madonna and Michael Jackson. They were all represented in this showcase that featured 180 voices, guest artists from the Griffith University Musical Theatre course, and a nine-piece band.

Stalking the Bogeyman

By Markus Potter & David Holthouse. Neil Gooding Productions and NewYorkRep, in association with Red Line Productions. Old Fitz Theatre. May 23 to June 23, 2018.

There is no messing about with this play, as the publicity promises. The journalist David Holthouse walks into a spotlight to explain that 25 years after he was sexually assaulted as a boy – the ‘bogeyman’ has moved into his neighbourhood, giving him the long cherished opportunity to exact revenge.

The tight space of the Old Fitz works brilliantly for this intense drama. The assault took place in the basement of his home. The ladder reaching down into the square box room evokes a feeling of being trapped. 

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde. Genesian Theatre, Kent Street, Sydney. May 26 – June 30, 2018.

It can be a little harrowing to take on the task of directing such a well-loved and oft’ produced play, but first-time director Trudy Ritchie has obviously approached the challenge with dedicated zeal – and the support of an experienced and creative team of designers. Her production of Earnest captures the elegance and wit of Wilde’s writing as well as the ‘modish’ manners and style of the time. It moves quickly and efficiently without losing the impact of the ripostes and repartee or the hypocrisies that Wilde cleverly exposed.

Haydn’s The Creation

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs accompanied by The Metropolitan Orchestra. Sydney Town Hall. May 26, 2018.

What is it about The Creation that make choirs reprise it year after year? That makes audiences queue down the steps of the Sydney Town Hall on a cold autumn evening to get tickets? Is it the music? Is it the swell of a host of voices? Is it the mixture of the language of the bible and its phrasing set to music? Or is it all of this?

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Music & Lyrics: Frank Loesser. Book: Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert. Murray Music and Drama Club. Directed by Carole Dhu. Pinjarra Civic Centre, Pinjarra WA. May 10-26, 2018

How To Succeed in Business Without Really Tryingobviously had many people trying their utmost to make this show a success, A tight and fun version of this 1961 musical (based on Shepherd Meed’s 1952 book of the same name), it was engaging throughout.

Spamalot

Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle. Music by John Du Prez. Directed. Marie Clark Musical Theatre. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. May 26 – June 2, 2018

Could there be anyone who has not seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Possibly, but even if they haven’t, they will still enjoy Spamalot (my guest did)

The story is simple. King Arthur travels England to find knights to join him in his quest for the Holy Grail. His quest is hindered by many trials and tribulations.

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