Australia Day

By Jonathan Biggins. Canberra Repertory Society. Directed by Cate Clelland. Theatre Three, 3 Repertory Lane Acton. 16 November – 2 December 2017

Culture clashes, racism, political correctness, internal hypocrisy, political intrigue, farce and a truly horrific school band combine to make Canberra Rep’s Australia Day a hilarious experience. This Jonathan Biggins hit from a few years ago is set in the small country town of Coriole, where a committee is meeting to organise the 2013 Australia Day celebrations.


Written and Directed by Kellie Silver. Javeenbah Theatre, Nerang, Gold Coast. 17TH November to 2nd December, 2017

Obsession is the creation of local playwright and author Kellie Silver - an interesting story, full of twists and intrigue and an old violin.

A young married couple move into a house that has been in the family for a very long time. The previous occupant was the wife’s grandfather and is very much a “fixer upper”.

Mary Poppins

Book by Julian Fellowes, Music and Lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman. New Songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Ballina Players Theatre, Ballina. Director: Sue Belsham. 17th November – 10th December, 2017.

This popular musical is Ballina’s final offering for the year. It’s full of colour, great performances and proving to be a great favourite with all.

Sue Belsham has managed to capture the magic, and with Leanne Broadley’s musical direction and Jaime Sheehan’s choreography, has delivered a bright and memorable show.

Leading the cast are two Gold Coast Area Palm awarded performers, Veronica Lovejoy in the title role, ably complemented by Brian Pamphilon as Bert.

Master Class

By Terrence McNally. Directed by Adam Spreadbury-Maher. Subiaco Theatre Centre, WA. Nov 18 - Dec 2, 2017

In Terrence McNally’s Master Class, the audience have to opportunity to attend a master class with opera superstar Maria Callas. Do not be concerned about the fact that Miss Callas passed away in 1977; the amazing Amanda Muggleton has embodied her with passion and intensity.

The audience becomes the class and Maria teaches with a fury and self-belief that can only come from a true Diva. Amanda Muggleton’s performance is outstanding, and deserved the standing ovation on Opening Night.

Calendar Girls

By Tim Firth. Based on the motion picture by Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth. New Farm Nash Theatre, Brisbane. Directed by Brenda White. November 17 – December 9, 2017.

This is an ideal time of the year for this play, as we are being inundated with thousands of calendars from which to choose.

Present Laughter

By Noël Coward. The Mount Players. Directed by Andrew Meldrum. 17 November – 3 December 2017

This production is spiced with moments of real theatre magic.

Interesting how NoëlCoward’s work seems to be experiencing something of a serious comeback.  Present Laughter is currently being played on Broadway and starring Kevin Klein.

Rainbow Man

By Peter Dawncy. Composer: Owen James. Director and Set Designer: Dann Barber. Costume Designer: Christie Milton. Lighting Designer: Caitlyn Staples. Goodnight Darlings. 45Downstairs, Melbourne. 15 – 26 November 2017

As the curtain rises we find Bibsby (James Cerche), former thespian, in a run-down cemetery tending to the graves, and caring for two beings.  Garm (Cait Spiker) and Derb (Ben Walter) are siblings, literally stuck half way between this world and the grave, and demand attention from the depressed Bibsby, who would rather they just go back to sleep. They argue and rant, and rant and argue. The unsettling presence of a ghostly mother figure (Alex Aldrich) circles the stage and eventually joins the action with a grounding solemnity and an impressive show of puppetry.

James and the Giant Peach

By Richard Geirge, from the book by Roald Dahl. Directed by Christine Ellis. KADS Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. Nov 17 - Dec 3, 2017

James and the Giant Peachwas a late replacement in KADS 2017 Season, but this nicely realised little fantasy performed by a troupe of enthusiastic youngsters was a lovely addition.

This Roald Dahl play with music is loyal to, and conscious of, its source material and is narrated by two very involved narrators, the gentle, and smiling Imogen Bates and the beautifully spoken, highly animated Jana Haering - who also provides ukulele accompaniment.

Leo Rimmer, in the title role, makes a likeable James and is an engaging hero.

Australia Day

By Jonathan Biggins. New Theatre. November 14 – December 16, 2017

In the imaginary town of Coriole, a committee of six has the task of organising the annual Australia Day Celebrations. They are character types one might find among the members of any organisation, country or city - an aspiring politician, a green feminist, a redneck denialist, a token ‘new’ Australian. To put them together on the Australia Day Committee of a small country town provides the basis of comic satire, for which playwright Jonathan Biggins is well known.

There’s Something About Mary(s)

Written by Cassie George and Michael Mandalios. Musical Direction by Luke Volker. Studio 188 Ipswich. November 18, 2017

After seeing some tragically untalented cabaret performers in my life, I admit to approaching There’s Something About Mary(s) with some trepidation. Thankfully, performer Cassie George and musician Luke Volker presented a top-class, rib-tickling and energetic act. It was everything you want from a cabaret show.

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