Written and directed by David Atfield. World Premiere. The Street Theatre (ACT). 9 – 17 November 2018

“I prefer to call it marriage equality. We don’t get ‘gay married’, we just want to get married like everyone else,” to paraphrase Craig Morrow, the young out gay man at the centre of David Atfield’s Exclusion. In many ways that is an essential truth about this play: it’s not gay theatre, it’s theatre which happens to have a few gay characters. Of course, being same-sex attracted has affected the lives of some of these characters profoundly, and in different ways depending on when they came of age.

Avenue Q

Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. Book by Jeff Whitty. Hills Musical Company (SA). Stirling Theatre. November 9-24, 2018

Avenue Qfirst arrived on stage in 2003 and has been delighting (and shocking) audiences around the world for this past 15 years. Coming from the courageous genius of Jeff Whitty, Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez, it broke the mould of musical theatre by presenting a very adult story in a Sesame Street-like context. Having personally seen Avenue Q three times now, it still causes my ribs to ache!

Andropolaroid 1:1

Yui Kawaguchi. Oz Asia Festival 2018. Space Theatre, Adelaide Nov 9 &10 2018

‘There are times when the simple dignity of movement can fulfil the function of a volume of words’ – Doris Humphrey. The same can be said of Andropolaroid 1:1.

Andropolaroid premiered in 2010 and was based on the personal experiences that Yui Kawaguchi experienced during her emigration from Japan to Germany.

The Flint Street Nativity

By Tim Firth. Red Phoenix Theatre. Holden Street Theatre (SA). November 8-17, 2018.

The ins and outs of worldwide politics are fraught with power plays, back stabbing, bullying and ‘interesting’ interpretation of facts. The fraught characters within the political world include ambitious top dogs and repressed underdogs, together with hard workers and the not so inclined. Tim Firth’s delightfully funny comedy The Flint Street Nativity demonstrates that even among seven- year-olds in any junior school, ‘political’ power play and even similar characters are also present.

Tarantara! Tarantara!

By Ian Taylor, using songs by Gilbert and Sullivan. Malvern Theatre. Director: Andrew Ferguson. Musical Director: Jan Hall. October 26 – November 10, 2018

Malvern Theatre’s Tarantara! Tarantara! was a most enjoyable experience. I caught one of the shows towards the end of the run, and it was a slick, well-oiled production.

The small stage was well used, with three trucks being rolled out swiftly to change the scene and keep the action moving. As one piece of dialogue or song finished, other cast members were in place to move the show forward.

La Bohème

By Puccini. Opera Australia. Director: Gale Edwards. Revival Director: Hugh Halliday. Conductor: Pietro Rizzo. Arts Centre Melbourne. Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre. November 7 – 24, 2018.

There was much to like about this old war-horse. Updated to the 1930s, the set was half an octagon and the sides spun around for different scenes, allowing for smooth transitions.

The opera was very colourful with a great variety of disparate characters inhabiting the chorus. There was a lot of activity in the second act, with an upper level in the café.

Hello My Name Is…

OzAsia Festival. Co-produced by Biennial of Contemporary Arts. Using text by Edward Bond from Choruses After the Assassinations. Directed by Paolo Castro. Nexus Arts, Lion Arts Centre, Adelaide. 7-9 Nov, 2018.

It is a compliment to be able to say of any show that it inspires a reviewer to delve further into personally researching and investigating the events it depicts and the issues it raises, even if the show in question fails to fully satisfy as a complete dramatic experience.

Don Quixote

Music: Ludwig Minkus. Orchestration & Arrangements: John Lanchberry. Teatro Alla Scala Ballet Company. Choreography: Rudolf Nureyev. Choreographic Supervision: Florence Clere. Director: Frederic Olivieri. Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: David Coleman. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. 7-18 November 2018

On their first ever visit to Australia, Teatro Alla Scala Ballet Companycouldn’t have had a better showpiece than Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, long a favourite with Australian audiences ever since he danced it with the Australian Ballet in 1970 and later immortalized on film in 1972. With its swirling caped matadors, castanet clicking gypsies, and a succession of spectacular diverissements it’s a feast of classical dance which this company execute with a grand bravura style.

Say No More

Presented by Tutti Arts. OzAsia Festival. The Meeting Hall, Adelaide Town Hall. 7-10 November 2018.

To create Say No More, a unique cross-artform work, over sixty women of all ages from Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia came together in 2017 to talk about what is happening for them right now as women. Guided by Tutti Arts from Adelaide, ACS Stepping Stone in Penang and Perspektif Kommunitas in Yogyakarta, they developed art, film and live performance within the setting of a wedding reception, which is how we’re greeted when we arrive at The Meeting Hall in Adelaide.

We Will Rock You

Music and Lyrics by Queen. Story and Script by Ben Elton. Peewee Productions. AIS Arena, Canberra. 7-10 November, 2018

We Will Rock You takes place in a future where all communication is by social media, all music is digital, and all dance is pre-programmed by an evil video game boss come to life. Enter Galileo Figaro, a school senior who has visions of an analogue world; Scaramouche, his sceptical, feminist love interest; and the Bohemians—rebels with a dream of a time when people could make their own music.

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