Reviews

Arsenic and Old Lace

By Joseph Kesserling. Darlington Theatre Players. Directed by Brendan Tobin. Marloo Theatre, Greenmount, WA. May 3-25, 2019

Darlington Theatre Players are having a lot of fun with this mid 20th century classic about two lovely old ladies who are a little bit too enthusiastic about mercy killing.

Wondered

Written, Produced and Directed by Elodie Boal. Presented by Mira Ball Productions and Trent Sellars. The Sideshow. 10 - 17 May, 2019

The Mad Hatter’s tea party gets a gothic horror twist in the delightfully dark Wondered. Appearing at the back of a hyper-hip café in Brisbane’s West End for the Anywhere Theatre Festival, this creatively twisted tale is certainly no children’s story. The Mad Hatter is more like a psychotic hatter, putting Alice, the Cheshire Cat and the Tweedles in terribly hot tea indeed.

Windigo

Lara Kramer Danse. YIRRAMBOI Festival. Upstairs Studio, Dancehouse, 150 Princes Street, North Carlton. 10-12 May, 2019

Indigenous performer, choreographer and multidisciplinary artist Lara Kramer creates a highly visceral text that is intentionally provocative. This show embraces the political potential of theatre and its ability to raise consciousness. Windigo’s apocalyptic atmosphere is unapologetically portrayed as a direct result of colonial culture and the subsequent dispossession it has caused.  

Don’t Dress for Dinner

By Marc Camoletti. Tugun Theatre Co, Gold Coast. Director: Rianna Hartney-Smith. May 9 – 25, 2019

What a laugh! What a hoot! What a play! Tugun’s current offering Don’t Dress for Dinner is a wonderful mix of humour, great performances and good direction.

Written by Marc Camoletti (he also wrote Boeing, Boeing), it is brim-full of comedy and slapstick, reminiscent of the good old days of farce. The scene is a refurbished barn conversion, two hours from Paris, with workable barn doors that seemed to be mastered by everyone except the home owner!

Boy Out of the Country

By Felix Nobis. Company of Rogues. Bondi Pavilion. Directed by Erica Lovell. May 9 – 25, 2019

This production has an intriguing credit for an Olfactory designer, which I learnt afterwards was for an essence of eucalyptus that was lightly sprayed on the audience as they entered the theatre.

Whilst the scent wasn’t quite strong enough to register with me, other senses were aroused during the performance.

The Dinner Party

Expressions Dance Company. Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane. 10 - 18 May, 2019 and touring.

If you’ve ever been to a social gathering where you’ve felt a bit awkward or out of control, you’ll relate to The Dinner Party. The action takes place around a large table, commandeered by elegant hosts played brilliantly by Jake McLarnon and Lizzie Vilmanis.

Moving Mountains

By Lawrence Roman. Galleon Theatre Group (SA). Marion Cultural Centre. May 9-18, 2019

Lawrence Roman’s Moving Mountains is a fun frolic in the hands of Galleon Theatre Group and very enjoyable, although even with ‘light bulb moments’ created by pings of sound, the meaning behind the play’s title is never particularly obvious. Perhaps it is mostly that the lead character, Charlie Fuller, has to do a lot of manoeuvring to keep his multiple and concurrent sexual dalliances secret from his daughter, as well as separate from each of the women involved with him.

One Man, Two Guvnors

By Richard Bean. Richmond Players. School of Arts. Saturday May 11, 2019 – 8pm, Friday May 17 – 8pm, Saturday May 18 – 2pm & 8pm.

Think Britain in the 1920s! Flappers and tappers! Gangsters and pranksters! Think colourful, busy beachside Brighton! That’s exactly where director Carol Dicker has taken this production of One Man, Two Guvnors, Richard Bean’s madcap adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s eighteenth centurycommedia dell’arte play, Servant of Two Masters.

Highway of Lost Hearts

By Mary Anne Butler. Directed by Kat Dekker. Presented by Minola Theatre. The Amphitheatre at Seven Hills Hub (Qld). 9 May – 18 May, 2019

A woman trying to heal the empty wound where her heart once sat, travels thousands of kilometres through the harsh Australian outback. In true ‘road movie’ fashion, her physical journey also comes with a journey of self-discovery and healing. She encounters a variety of familiar Australian characters as she drives across the country with her trusty dog.

Kinetics

By Sue Wylie. MANPAC Community Partnership. Directed by Kim Angus. Fishtrap Theatre, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. May 9-12, 2019

Kinetics, being performed for the first time outside the UK, at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, is a true story of a woman in her fifties, with Parkinson's Disease, who encounters a teenage boy, who is into Parkour.

Produced by Sue Edge, who also has Parkinson’s disease, the show seeks to spread awareness of the condition, while also being a fascinating show. Both named Sue, and both teachers, the writer, and producer have quite a few things in common, including being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at 50 and 51 respectively.

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