Reviews

Amazing Grace, New York New York.

Produced and directed by Karen Jemison. Presented by Manilla Street Productions. The National Theatre, 20 Carlisle St, St. Kilda. 31 January - 2 February, 2020.

Amazing Grace returns after its premiere in 2018 with a brand-new show that includes a line-up of over forty calisthenic and musical performers as well as live music by the Amazing Grace orchestra. The selection of numbers is impeccable as is the quality of the performance. The show adopts a Busby Berkeley approach to the choreography which is married perfectly with the calisthenics. 

Outback Angels

By Yvette Wall. Off the Wall Productions. Fringe World. Directed by Scarlett Greenock. Townshend Theatre, Subiaco, WA. Jan 29 - Feb 2, 2020

Outback Angels, a really likeable little show by local author Yvette Wall, was first performed by Stirling Players in 2019, followed by a well-received performance at Youth Fest. It returns, with its original teenage cast, presented by Off the Wall Productions for Fringe World. It is good to see it shared with a larger and wider audience.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

By Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by Noah Smith. Castle Hill Players. The Pavilion Theatre Castle Hill. Jan 31 – Feb 22, 2020

Robert Louis Stevenson’s macabre novella about a dual personality, one good, one evil, was first published in early 1886. A year later the first adaptation for the stage opened in Boston. Many adaptations have followed, both on stage and screen. This adaptation by American playwright Noah Smith is a chilling science fiction thriller that demands meticulous direction, precision acting and accurate, split-second sound and lighting operation.

Post-Mortem

By Iskander R. Sharazuddin. Fringe World. The Blue Room Theatre, Main Space, James St, Perth. Jan 24-Feb 1, 2020

A post mortem is an analysis or discussion of an event - especially to determine why it is a failure.

Post-Mortem is a beautiful blend of physical theatre, dance and strong, well-written dialogue, which explores the relationship of young couple Nancy and Alex. This tight, beautifully choreographed and smoothly executed two-hander packs an emotional punch.

Mamma Mia!

Directed by Lindsay Nobile. Townsville Choral Society. Townsville Civic Theatre, Townsville, Queensland. 30 January to 8 February 2020.

I HAD not seen any productions of this 20-year old jukebox musical before this, but I can see exactly why it has lasted the distance to become the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history.

We live in such uncertain political times and, coupled with a country that is still reeling from the effects of the bushfires and a hesitant first anniversary of Townsville’s floods, Mamma Mia! provided the perfect recipe on a warm and humid tropical night in North Queensland.

Homophonic!

Directed and produced by Miranda Hill. Midsumma Festival, La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton. 30 January – 1 February, 2020.

This is a delightful performance that features 3 Shades Black ensemble and The Consort of Melbourne choir. This annual event, which highlights and celebrates the work of contemporary and historical LGBTIQ+ composers, is now in its ninth year. The collection of highly talented musicians not only produces an exceptional quality of sound and performance, but also creates a positively enchanting atmosphere.

Golden Age Girls

By Amy Fortnum, Jess Clancy and Mav Newman. Fringe World. The Studio, Subiaco Arts Centre. Jan 29 - Feb 1, 2020

From squabbling school girls to duelling divas, Irene and Ruth have competed against each other all their lives. But only one of them can truly be the darling of the retirement home circuit. Accompanied by the ever-present Peter, this is an epic battle of the sopranos.

Bite Me

By Sian Murphy. Fringe World. Directed by Elise Wilson. The Blue Room Theatre, Main Space. Jan 28 - Feb 1, 2020

One of the higher aims of theatre is to make life changing impact on your audience, changing the way they see the world. I think it will be a long while before I enter the fruit and vegetable section of the super market without thinking about Bite Me.

Love

By Finegan Kruckemeyer. Fringe World. Directed by Alexa Taylor. Kaos Room, The Blue Room Theatre, James St, Perth WA. Jan 28 - Feb 1, 2020

Finegan Kruckemeyer's Love is a warm and fun production, set in a small town, with a plethora of wacky characters and a lovely message about love.

When a huge storm threatens the coastal town of Mellingong, residents are asked to evacuate to the Town Hall, taking only their most prized possession - the things Oslo’s Mum calls love luggage. Twelve year old Oslo, community minded at all times, sets out to ensure that the residents’ love luggage is safely transported to the Town Hall, and learns a lot about love on the way.

The Midsummer Carnival

Brisbane Powerhouse, 24 January to 8 February, 2020

Presented by Brisbane Immersive Ensemble and the Brisbane Powerhouse, The Midsummer Carnival is a mix of daring carnival feats, sideshow alley tricksters, cabaret singing, gypsy jazz and audience participation. This short adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream transports that famous tale to the fairgrounds and alleyways of a local travelling show. The Brisbane Immersive talents are many and varied – from acrobatics to singing, to sword-swallowing. The atmosphere is fun and engaging.

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