Reviews

Happy Days by Samuel Beckett.

Company B / Malthouse. Belvoir Street Theatre.

Yes, this is the play which features a middle aged woman who is half buried in a large mound of earth. It’s one of those iconic images, much like Edward Munch’s The Scream is to the visual arts. Now is your chance to see the play which this image comes from. Belvoir Street is currently presenting Malthouse Melbourne’s production of Samuel Beckett’s classic play in its upstairs theatre.

Scenes from Communal Living

Marko Mustac Productions and Impro Australia. Fusebox at the Factory Theatre (NSW).

Marko Mustac Productions and Impro Australia have come together to put on a fun show around that perennially fertile subject of young people living communally. Scenes from Communal Living is the brainchild of Stewart McCure, a long time impro artist. Marko Mustac directed the show with a cast of six players. They were Emily Beale, Rachel Corbett, Graham Hyland, Steen Raskopoulos, Carlo Ritchie and Susie Youssef.

Pennies from Kevin - The Wharf Revue - On Tour

By Johnathan Biggs, Drew Fortsythe and Phillip Scott. QUT Gardens Theatre, Brisbane 4th & 5th March.

Stage Whispers first saw the Wharf Revue, Pennies From Kevin, during its 2009 Sydney season. We now add Jay McKee's review of the touring production's Brisbane visit. Dvid Spicer's original Sydney review follows.

The Ruby Sunrise by Rinni Groff

Ensemble Theatre, Sydney

Sandra Bates, the Ensemble Theatre's long standing Artistic Director, joined her cast on stage at the end of the opening night performance of young American playwright Rinni Groff's The Ruby Sunrise. It was then that she received a large bouquet of flowers from star actress, Amanda Muggleton. The occasion was that the production of The Ruby Sunrise represented the one hundredth Ensemble production in which Sandra Bates has been involved.

Theatre of Blood

Newtown Theatre (NSW). Friday Evenings at 11pm.

Blood - the title and graphic publicity images promised it – but a single slit throat and a bloodied nose does not a theatre saturate. The show’s producer and linking narrator Steven Hopley raised expectations further, making much ado of issuing plastic raincoats to the front row of the audience – no need – no jugular gusher.

Missing Pieces by Shelley Wall

Damshell Productions. Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst (NSW)

Betrayal takes many forms. In Pinter's classic play of the same title, Jerry has an affair with Emma, the wife of his best friend, Robert. In local playwright Shelley Wall's first play, Missing Pieces, two married women, Jackie and Carla, begin a love affair whilst their husbands, social friends, continue to play pool and drink together each week. Victims react in different ways when a betrayal is discovered. Whilst Robert becomes sullen and withdrawn, Jed in Missing Pieces, acts out violently.

Bliss by Olivier Choiniere

B Sharp / Bareboards. Belvoir Street Downstairs Theatre. Until November 22.

Are you in the mood to see fast paced, vibrant, highly imaginative theatre? Then Bliss, the new production downstairs at Belvoir Street, is your ticket.

Mamma Mia!

Music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaesus. Book by Catherine Johnson Lyric Theatre, Star City, Sydney.

As I sat down to watch Mamma Mia! the thought crossed my mind, if you enjoyed the original stage production and the recently released movie, what would make you want to see it again? When I first saw the stage production, the obvious lumpy bits where Abba songs are dropped in and don’t quite fit the narrative made it a slightly jarring evening for me. Like a shoe that has been worn in, I found myself enjoying the musical more this time. Be aware, though, this is a production which relies on the music, and the story rather than a flashy set.

The Man In Black – The Johnny Cash Story

Twelfth Night Theatre. Producers: Andrew Barker and Simon Myers.

Johnny Cash always opened his concerts with the introduction: 'Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.' His distinctive baritone voice was utterly unique and his demeanor and dark clothing earned him the nickname 'The Man in Black'.

Disney’s High School Musical

Whitehorse Musical Theatre. (Vic). Director/Choreographer/ Costume Designer: Scott Hili. Musical Director: Ben Hudson.

There’s trouble when Troy, the High School basket ball star, and Gabriella, a shy academically gifted newcomer, both want to audition for the High School Musical Juliet & Romeo. Add Sharpay and Ryan Evans, plus all the others who don’t wish this to happen, and there’s a plot and a half. A magnificent stage setting, the entrance to an American High School, changes to the various scenes were excellently executed. Costuming suited both period and country, with lots of changes keeping the cast busy.

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