Reviews

Super Woman Money Program

By Elizabeth Davie. Adelaide Fringe. Gluttony- Little Sparrow. March 2-9, 2019

Super Woman Money Program, delivered with pizazz and pathos by Elizabeth Davie, is one of the particularly raw and thought-provoking pieces in the Fringe. Davie confronts us through comedy, song and storytelling about the harsh financial realities of being a woman. She raises the audience’s awareness that women truly are disadvantaged when it comes to superannuation-building as they are the ones who stop work to have and raise children, whilst their husbands continue to thrive in the work force.

Man With The Iron Neck

By Ursula Yovich. Legs on the Wall. Adelaide Festival 2019. Dunstan Playhouse, Festival Centre. 8-11 March, 2019

Legs on the Wall's Man With The Iron Neck by Ursula Yovich is based on the book by Josh Bond, and is about youth suicide within a tight and loving indigenous Australian family.

Co-directed by Josh Bond and Gavin Robins with a terrific cast of indigenous Australian actors, including Ursula Yovich, this an extremely moving, poignant and spectacular production about something that is relevant and important to us all.

Twelfth Night.

The Handlebards. Adelaide Fringe. The Bally, Gluttony, 5-17 March 2019

Four men playing every part (with a little help from a willing audience) race hilariously through the famous Shakespearean comedy of misdirected love and gender swaps, Twelfth Night. Colour-coded in knee-high socks and braces, they engage the audience with warmth and wit and keep them there through ninety minutes that pass too quickly.

Teechers

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019. Main Hall at Australian Education Union South Australia. March 7 -10, 2019

“It’s a fact of life that all teachers dance like idiots”. So says one of the actors in the play Teechers. I am a teacher and I have to confess this is largely true.

Teechers by John Godber was originally conceived for 2 males and 1 female, the female to play 21 roles. In this production it is played by 3 females.

Picnic at Hanging Rock

By Joan Lindsay, adapted by Tom Wright. Darlington Theatre Players. Directed by Rob Whitehead. Marloo Theatre, Greenmount, WA. 1-16 March, 2019

If you are looking for muslin dresses and pan pipes, this is not the Picnic at Hanging Rock for you. But, if you would like to see some creative story-telling, dynamic use of sets and strong narration, you will love Darlington Theatre Players’ Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Connected – The Rock Musical.

Book, Music and Lyrics by Craig Christie. Director: Kim Spargo. Choreographer: Nina Richards. Platform Academy. Adelaide Fringe. Nexus Arts. 7-9 March, 2019.

The impact on schoolchildren of the internet in general, and social media in particular, would appear to make for a potentially terrific stage musical that could combine education with entertainment. The Adelaide premiere of Connected does not quite convince this reviewer of it being a first-rate show, coming off as too uneven in quality, with regard to flaws both in the basic material and some specific elements of this particular production.

Manus

By Leila Hekmatria and Keivan Sarreshteh. Adelaide Festival 2019. Verbatim Theatre Group (Iran). AC Arts Main Theatre. 7-10 March, 2019

Manus by the Verbatim Theatre Group from Iran is a harrowing but extremely important work of ‘political theatre’.

Manus relates the stories of 8 Iranian refugees, detailing their journey from Iran to respective Australian detention centres in Nauru, Manus Island, and Papua New Guinea. It is told in Persian with subtitles projected on the back of the stage, as well on a beam in the ceiling for those sitting at the back of the auditorium.

M: Kaddish for the Children

By Deborah Leiser-Moore. Footscray Community Arts Centre. 28 February – 9 March, 2019

M: Kaddish for the Children is a truly unique personalized response to the story of Medea, presented as part of ‘Woman, Art & Politics 2019’, Footscray Community Arts Centre.  

Ancient Greek Euripides’s play Medea, first produced in 431 BC, was based on the myth of Jason and Medea.  Daughter of a barbarian king, Medea defies her family to marry Jason.  A soothsayer and sorceress, she helps him gain the magic Golden Fleece. 

Next To Normal

Music by Tom Kitt. Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey. Directed by David Harrison. Brisbane Arts Theatre. February 23 – March 23, 2019.

Am I normal? Or next to normal? This challenging musical play posed these questions in such a way that the audience came to understand more of the mental illnesses we all can face. It centres on the Goodman family, with mother Diana suffering from worsening bipolar and depression and the devastating effect this condition has on her family. Her drug treatment has not worked and then she tries the rather dubious shock therapy recommended – but to what effect. The other family members display the effects that such an illness can have on the loved ones nearest to the sufferer.

By Heart

By Tiago Rodrigues. Adelaide Festival. Teatro Nacional D. Maria II. The Odeon Theatre 5 – 10 March, 2019

By Heart is a tender, delicious, funny, intimate and pleasing performance, written and performed by Tiago Rodrigues. He tells us stories that connect and resonate with the audience in the same way a piece of music enfolds an audience in its sound and the experience of seeing something beautiful spellbinds all who witness it.

This is a simple story at heart. It is a love story about the love of a Grandson for his Grandmother and her love of literature. It is also a performance about connections that are strange and wonderful, challenging and awe-inspiring.

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