Reviews

Leap of Faith

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Glen Slater. Book by Janus Cercone & Warren Leight. Based on the Motion Picture “Leap of Faith” produced by Paramount Pictures and written by Janus Cercone. North Shore Theatre Company. Director: Chapin Ayres. Musical Director: Andrew Beban. Choreographer: Olivia Cathro. Independent Theatre, North Sydney. October 5 - 14, 2018.

This production is full of charm, heart, and professionalism.

Director Chapin Ayres brings out both the emotional truth of the script and some great performances from the cast. I felt that Ms Ayres understands what the show is about, both in terms of its spirit and how to stage it.

Julius Caesar

By William Shakespeare – adapted and directed by Adrienne Costello – heartBeast Theatre – Spring Hill Reservoir, Brisbane. 5–20 October, 2018

The dark underground caverns of the Spring Hill Reservoir are the perfect location for this new interpretation of Julius Caesar – the ultimate cautionary conspiracy tale. Presented by Brisbane-based, indie company, heartBeast Theatre, this is a streamlined version of one of Shakespeare’s most famous pieces dealing with the corrupting forces of power.

It's Not Too Late (until you're dead)

By Sally Hardy. post-human productions. Star Theatres. October 4th – 6th, 2018

It is exciting to attend new and interesting theatre in Adelaide and post-human productions, an emerging contemporary theatre company, is committed to performing relevant, thought-provoking theatre for 21st century audiences.

Maggie Stone

By Caleb Lewis. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Eternity Playhouse. September 30 – October 21, 2018

Successfully premiered in Adelaide in 2013, Caleb Lewis’ play ambitiously explores how wealth, debt and charity can strangle real empathy for those to whom we lend or give.

Maggie Stone is an opinionated, bigoted loans officer who lives alone with a lizard. In that jokey Aussie way, Maggie is a suburban racist; but she learns a lesson after the death of an African immigrant whose desperate request for a minor loan she’d rejected.  

What the Butler Saw

By Joe Orton. New Theatre, Sydney. October 2 – November 3, 2018.

Director Danielle Mass has brought Orton’s provocative attack on hypocrisy somersaulting into 2018 with her cunning cross casting and precision-based direction. She has swept together the farce and the facetious in a production that heightens Orton’s comic genius – and the contemporary relevance of the inequalities that he satirised so subversively … and so well.

Potted Potter

Created by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner. Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and James Seabright for Potted Productions. QPAC Playhouse Theatre, South Bank. October 2-7, 2018

Chocolate cake and silly string are smeared on the floor, along with a hat, a book, some googly eye glasses, an orange wig, pigtails and the Devil’s horns.

Stages from New York to London have looked like this after welcoming Potted Potter to town.

British actors Daniel Clarkson and Scott Hoatson won’t lie to you, it could have been grander, but their retelling of all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes is a silly business and the budget for delivering silliness to a brilliant standard cannot be calculated in Muggle terms.

Lie With Me

By Liz Hobart. Presented by the Brave New World Theatre Company. Director: Warwick Doddrell. The Old 505 Theatre, Sydney. 2 – 13 October 2018

On the smell of an oily rag comes the Brave New World Theatre Company’s production of Lie With Me by Liz Hobart. They’ve been at it for over 2 years and the programme lists 23 people, including the three current actors, who have contributed to the script. With a setting that consists of thrown together bits and pieces – chairs, microphones, a projector, a table covered with clothes that becomes a body in a hospital – the Sound Design of Ben Hinchley is the hero here.

Love Bird

By Georgina Harris. La Mama. La Mama at Trades Hall, Carlton VIC. 3 – 7 October 2018

Love Bird is ridiculous – or ‘absurd’ as director Phoebe Taylor’s program note has it – but it is great fun, funny and underneath its nonsense it has something to say about ‘love’ in several manifestations.  A talented cast commit to the absurdity and – as when farce works best – play it straight.

The Architect

By Aidan Fennessy. Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. 27 September – 31 October 2018

Aidan Fennessy’s The Architect is a comedy drama about dying – and dying with dignity - but it’s also, almost as much, about class.  Helen (Linda Cropper), a retired literature teacher, and her lawyer partner John (Nicholas Bell), both in their sixties, live in a spacious, open plan house in a leafy suburb.  But Helen has inoperable brain tumours.  John wants to go to an event in England but of course doesn’t want to leave her alone.  She’ll need a carer and if the right one can’t be found, he won’t go. 

Funny Girl The Musical

Music: Jule Styne. Lyrics: Bob Merrill. Book: Isobel Lennart. Theatre and Company. Riverside Theatres Parramatta. September 28 – October 6, 2018.

Theatre and Company's second production, following their rousing inaugural production earlier this year of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, was another smashing hit.

Funny Girl The Musical is the semi-biographical piece based on the life and career of Broadway star Fanny Brice and her fiery relationship with entrepreneur Nick Arnstein.

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