Reviews

Sami in Paradise

Based on The Suicide by Nikolai Erdman. Adapted by Eamon Flack and The Company. Belvoir Theatre, Sydney. Director: Eamon Flack. 1–29 April 2018

There was a real crackle of enthusiasm in the run-up to the official opening performance of this play at the Belvoir. Written in 1928, Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide is considered one of the finest comedies to have emerged from the early phase of Communist Russia. Never, to this day, played in Russia, it remains happily, blissfully above the run of normal drama — a real one-off. 

God of Carnage

Written by Yasmine Reza. Translated by Christopher Hampton. Directed by Leonie Walsh. Presented by Sunnybank Theatre Group. Sunnybank Theatre, 6 – 21 April, 2018

If you’re looking for an enjoyable, relatable, laugh-out-loud comedy, God of Carnage is not to be missed. As is often the case, the show’s hilarious foundations begin with an excellent script. What Sunnybank Theatre did with that foundation simply amplified the excellence of the written words.

Upon arrival, the first thing that hit us was the outstanding attention to detail in the set design. The costuming was also very well chosen and together, they both spoke volumes about the characters before a single word was uttered.  

Rose Callaghan – No Way Rosé

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Forum Melbourne – Ladies Lounge. Mar 29 – Apr 22, 2018.

Rose Callaghan is the real deal!

A woman from the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne who speaks home truths and more. She confronts the pressing issues of Generation Y with vigorous and animated honesty, all while sipping on her glass of Rosé.

A Fringe winner in 2016 for her debut show; No Way Rosé is the final trilogy installment currently at the Melbourne International Comedy festival.

Frankenstein

By Nick Dear. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Arts Theatre – 5-14 April, 2018

Nick Dear’s 2011 adaptation of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein is a brilliant inversion of the original novel. For a start, the dramatic narrative is told from the Monster’s point of view. Victor Frankenstein’s sin is not the creation but rather his abandonment of the Monster; it is the drama of ‘nurture’ (or lack of) not ‘nature’ that is major theme of the play.

Harvey

By Mary Chase. Castle Hill Players. Pavilion Theatre, Castle Hill. April 6 – 28, 2018

A movie starring James Stewart and five television productions have made Harvey famous on the big and little screen. But the original play by Mary Chase has also had a long and enviable stage history. After opening on Broadway in 1944 it ran until 1949, with a total of 1775 performances. Openings followed in London (1949) and Paris (1950). It was revived on Broadway in 1970 and London in 1975, both with James Stewart recreating his movie role. More recent revivals (Broadway 2012, London 2015) indicate the enduring appeal of this ‘treasure’ of the 1940s.

Puppetry of the Penis

A-List Entertainment. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. April 3 – 8, 2018

The famous Puppetry of the Penis show is back for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

A far-reaching phenomena, this is a one-of–a-kind show, it will astonish, titillate and shock. It beats any naked-arty-performance hands down! This is the real deal and so damn funny. A wholesome groundbreaking concept that clinched the taboo of male genitalia and set it free.

Fierce

By Jane E. Thompson. Theatre Works (VIC). Director: Alice Darling. Producer: Julia Truong (J.T. Production Management). Set and Costume Designer: Yvette Turner. March 28 - April 8, 2018

As part of the Theatre Works 2018 season, Fierce asks: Can women be good enough to compete in male sports?

Fiercetackles not only the position of women in sport but also the way women’s sports get sidelined.

After all, when was the last time we had a public holiday for the Grand Final of the women’s league?

Swings at Dusk

By Prue Blake, Matthew McCartney, and Darcy Fleming. Leaky Bucket (VIC). Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018. Tasma Terrace. March 28 - April 8, 2018

Let me warn you up front: Swings at Dusk will not appeal to everyone.

You’ll kinda wanna be younger. And feel trapped in the belief of the Baby Boomers and Gen X whereby you need to exchange time for money.

Leaky Bucket gives you a walloping hit of youthful energy mixed a dose of the disengagement of an office drone.

The Children

By Lucy Kirkwood. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Mr 29 – May 19, 2018.

Playwright Lucy Kirkwood says she writes about “things where the roots of the emotions and ideas go deep and the branches go high”. In The Children she looks at personal and political decisions made in the past – and their effects on the present and the future. She questions a range of values and why we hang on to them in the face of “changes that are enormous and frightening”. 

The Big HOO-HAA! Melbourne

By Candice D’Arcy, Dan Debut, Mark Gambino, Caitlin McNaughton, Anna Renzenbrink, Elly Squire – with MC Brianna Williams. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Melbourne Town Hall, Backstage Room. 30 March – 21 April 2018

Live wire MC Brianna Williams (a last-minute replacement, but you’d never know) lights up the pocket size stage with her grin, her spiel and her fast interactions with a full house audience.  Some guy in the audience obligingly supplies what will be a running gag for the show: he nominates his cousin Georgia as a favourite relative in such a way that he then has to back pedal fast: he doesn’t want to root her, she’s just hot… Brianna keeps him on the hook for the rest of the show.  Tonight’s cast – a disparate bunch - run on and jostle

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