Mental As Everything

Australian Premiere. Presented by Under The Microscope. Adelaide Fringe. Queen's Theatre At The Lab. Playhouse Lane, Adelaide. March 2-4, 2018

Imagine seeing courage sharing a stage with cabaret. Tucked away in the city, far from the bright razzamatazz of Fringe activity in Adelaide’s East End, an unassuming performance brilliantly showcases this rare mix and it’s taken my breath away.

Mental As Everything stars Damon Smith and Adam Coad. Each suffers from a mental health issue, but they face it head on in this show, a production that melds mental health with music in a unique, entertaining and impactful way.


Adelaide Festival. AC Arts Main Theatre. 2 - 5 Mar, 2018

Split is a tour de force of dance. The opening night audience was one that clearly appreciated and understood dance. Split opened to a full house, and as seems to be fashionable, started eight minutes late.

La Traviata

By Giuseppe Verdi. Opera Australia. Directed by Elijah Moshinsky. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. March 1- 27, 2018

The standing ovation for this revival of La Traviata is for one, primary reason: the star, Nicole Car. This young Australian soprano is triumphant in her debut as Violetta.

The other lead actors are good too - and this is a fine Opera Australia production, even if it feels past its prime. But what stands out is Car’s wonderful voice: warm, gorgeous and able to power through any scene, even in her character Violetta’s most vulnerable moments.

Kalamunda, Here I Come

By Noel O'Neill. Directed by Caroline McDonnell. KADS Town Square Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. Feb 14 - Mar 3, 2018

Kalamunda, Here I Come, by West Australian author Noel O’Neill, had its World Premiere and a successful run at the Irish Theatre Players in late 2016. KADS now present this show in its “spiritual home, in Kalamunda.

Noel O’Neill, who is Cork born, and often has an Irish flavour in his writing, now lives in Kalamunda and tells the tale of a young Irish woman who is considering a move across the world to the strange sounding Kalamunda. A kitchen-sink drama of the best kind, it deals with family life and is warm and funny.

Fiddler on the Roof

Book by Jospeh Stein. Music by Jerry Bock. Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Rockdale Musical Society. Rockdale Town Hall. March 2 - 11, 2018.

The characters of Fiddler on the Roof remind the world of the effects of oppression in one of the most effective ways possible – through theatre and music. Though set in the mythical, 19th century town of Anatevka, the effects of change and discrimination faced by that small community are not too far away from the changing and troubled places in the world today.

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare. Melbourne Shakespeare Company. Victoria Gardens. Mar 2 - 4, 2018.

Twilight is a magical hour in the gardens, especially on a balmy March evening sipping my chardonnay and enjoying the magnificent Twelfth Night, the new production by Melbourne Shakespeare Company performed in the sumptuous Victoria Gardens.


By Brett Dean (musical score) and Matthew Jocelyn (libretto). A Glyndebourne Festival Opera Production. Adelaide Festival 2018. Festival Theatre, Adelaide. March 2 - 6, 2018

Hamlet (the opera) is one of the jewels of the Adelaide Festival of Arts. It is a juggernaut, featuring an orchestra of 70, a cast of approximately 60 and a set that is monumental.

The Festival Theatre was packed to the rafters on the first night of this long-awaited opera and anticipation was at a peak. The audience was not disappointed.

The real heroes of this opera are Shakespeare, Brett Dean (musical score) and Matthew Jocelyn (libretto).

A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer

By Bryony Kimmings and Brian Lobel with Kirsty Housley. Complicité Associates. Directed by Kirsty Housley. Canberra Theatre Centre 28 February - 3 March, 2018; Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne 7 - 18 March; Seymour Centre, Sydney 22 - 29 March.

“Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick,” wrote Susan Sontag in Illness as Metaphor. In A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer, Bryony Kimmings leads the audience by the hand from the kingdom of the well into the kingdom of the sick in a way that’s both gentle and deceptive. Initially there’s a kind of amateur drama informality with self-effacing humour and rock songs. At this point the cancer is theoretical—viewed through books and activists’ quotes.

I Still Have No Friends

Adelaide Fringe. Presented by SAYarts. Devised by On The Fringe. Written by Alan Grace. Directed by Claire Glenn. Tandanya Theatre, 253 Grenfell St, Adelaide. 28 Feb - 4 Mar, 2018.

Knowing that this is a show enacted by youth performers, the title might lead you to expect a well-mannered examination/dramatization of teenage loneliness and/or online bullying. What we get instead is a pretty fierce and frightening depiction of human relations that, when faced with the sudden breakdown of society as we know it, descend into the kind of tribalism that signals a very bleak future indeed.

Annie Get Your Gun

Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. Old Nick Theatre Summer School. Darren Sangwell (Director). Glenn Schultz (Musical Director). Maddie Smith (Set Designer). Hobart College. February 23- March 3 2018

Annie Get Your Gun is a show this author needed to see twice. Every February, Old Nick, as part of their annual Summer School, produce a high-quality energetic production which never fails to disappoint. 

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