Reviews

Suddenly Last Summer

By Tennessee Williams. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, East St Kilda VIC. 5 October – 4 November 2018

Stephen Nicolazzo and designer Eugyeene Teh are the ideal choice to give this Southern Gothic piece a heightened, stylised reality.  There’s an ironic, riskily comic mode at first, but when the luminous Kate Cole takes over the story and the stage, the darkness and horror of this fable close in and dominate to the shattering conclusion.  

The Graduate

Adapted by Terry Johnson, based on the novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Matt Byrne Media. The Studio, Holden Street Theatres. October 10-27th, 2018.

Multi-award winning British dramatist and director Terry Johnson adapted and presented The Graduate to the stage in 2000. Based on the 1967 American romantic comedy-drama film rdirected by Mike Nicholls and written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingha,  based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Webb, the film has legendary status and remains in America’s top 20 significant films. The play, too, has had success on both the West End stage and on Broadway.

Bells and Whistles

By Fiona Stewart. Victorian Seniors Festival. La Mama at Trades Hall, Meeting Room 1, Carlton. October 10 – 14, 2018

As part of this year’s Victorian Seniors Festival, Fiona Stewart has created Bells and Whistles, a whimsical play revolving around three sisters and their dying elderly mother. Louisa (Fiona Stewart) invites her two siblings (Annie Stanford and Felicity Sloper) to celebrate her sixtieth birthday in the old family home.

Pelleas and Melisande

By Claude Debussy. Victorian Opera. Conductor: Richard Mills. Director: Elizabeth Hill. Palais Theatre, St Kilda. October 11 – 13, 2018

Victorian Opera has made a practice of working with educational institutions for their mutual benefit, and with Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande it was the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). This opera requires a large orchestra, and the students did themselves proud and gained valuable experience.

Shrek The Musical

Music by Jeanine Tesori, with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. Based on the Dream Works animation motion picture and book by William Steig. PRIMA (Pine Rivers Musical Association Incorporated) production. Directed by Miranda Selwood. Redcliffe Cultural Centre. October 5-14, 2018.

Shrek doesn’t mince words and neither will we: if you’ve got a fluffy butt, and even if you haven’t, take it to the Redcliffe Cultural Centre this weekend and you won’t regret it.

The school holidays might be over but this production of Shrek The Musical deserves the attention of everyone who has ever loved the Dream Works fairytale about an ogre who is forced to rescue a princess in a tower in order to reclaim his swamp.

Trustees

Written by - Natalia Kaliada & Nicolai Khalezin (Directors of Belarus Free Theatre) with Daniel Schlusser and the cast. Melbourne International Arts Festival. Becket Theatre – Malthouse. 28 Sep – 21 Oct, 2018

With a closing inference that the nightly news is actually a panacea, Trustees speaks to the politically aware and concerned about some of the most difficult and pressing issues we are grappling with but, arguably, not really doing enough towards rectifying.  It rips open personal experience and expresses desperation about the damage we have rendered and are rendering on each other.   More often than not this is expressed through the use of the human body as metaphor.

Men At Arms

By Sir Terry Pratchett. Adapted by Stephen Briggs. Brisbane Arts Theatre. Directed by Sally Daly. Oct 6 – Nov 3, 2018.

In this Discworld, the formation of the Thieves and Assassins Guilds has made The City Watch almost redundant - no more than a gang of thugs and bullies. However, our attention is mainly focused on the Night Watch which was reduced to a handful of undesirables and thieves who have very little to do. This changes when Carrot, with a simple and naïve vision of justice, joins the watch team and also when the Patrician orders that new recruits from ethnic minorities can join.

Watt

Adapted from the novel by Samuel Beckett by Barry McGovern & performed by Mr McGovern. Melbourne International Arts Festival. Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse. 4 – 11 October 2018

Barry McGovern is a mesmerising presence; he is in complete control of his material and his performance.  Alone on an almost totally bare stage for sixty minutes – and telling a rambling, discursive and dissatisfying tale – he compels attention by his concentration, the modulations of his rich voice and the minimalist use he makes of his body – particularly his eyes, which can suddenly light up… and then go dull, resigned again to the hopeless fate of his eponymous ‘hero’.  His most vigorous movements demonstrate the way Watt walks – a co

Let Me Finish

By Charlotte Otton and collaborators. Directed by Phoebe Sullivan. The Studio, The Blue Room Theatre, Perth. 2-20 October, 2018

Let Me Finish is a vibrant, dynamic, devised production about being a young woman in 2018, from dating and relationships through to self-image and the struggle to be heard.

Unapologetic and outspoken, this is an episodic piece of theatre that takes the experiences of the cast, growing up and living as young women in our society. With the help of some gorgeous photos, we get to know these very likeable young women and get a snapshot of their lives. There is also a hint of a love story woven into the plot. 

‘night Mother

By Marsha Norman. Directed by Gino Cataldo. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. 5-20 October, 2018

If you are seeking good theatre, rather than “a good time”, Old Mill Theatre’s ‘night Mother is a great choice. 

Audience numbers are not great for this expertly acted production of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama, and to be honest, the subject matter is not for everyone, as it deals with suicide.

This intense two hander is a successful directorial debut for Gino Cataldo, who shows much promise in this sphere. The performances he has extracted are excellent.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.