Reviews

All My Sons

By Arthur Miller. WAAPA Third Year Acting Students. Directed by Tom Healey. Roundhouse Theatre WAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. 1-7 May, 2015

Arthur Miller's All My Sons is presented with passion by WAAPA's Third Year Acting students at The Roundhouse Theatre. A well-rounded production, it brings this post-war American classic to life, with both warmth and raw emotion.

While the audience are asked to suspend belief, with casting that calls for actors to play well above their age, the performances are very convincing and are complete and intelligent portrayals.

 

The Flick

By Annie Baker. Director: Nadia Tass. Red Stitch (Vic). May 1 – 23, 2015.

I find I look forward to Red Stitch productions more than to any other company in Melbourne, so I was disappointed to miss out on The Flick in its 2014 season. Fortunately it is back – with its original cast and creative team, and we’re all the better for it.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Music & Lyrics: Richard & Robert Sherman. Book: Jeremy Sams & Ray Roderick. Regals Musical Society. Rockdale Town Hall. May 1 – 16, 2015.

At its heart Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a good old fashioned operetta with some sweet tunes and a prop that sends tremors through all but the most daring ofcommunity theatre groups.

Some of the more ambitious companies have declined to take the musical for a spin, fearing it too hard to do it justice in the slipstream of the professional season, that boasted the world’s most expensive stage prop.

Into The Woods

By Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Chatswood Musical Society. Director : Leonie Cambage. Zenith Theatre, Chatswood. May 1 – 9, 2015.

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s fairytale musical mash-up needs little introduction just months after Disney’s screen adaptation.

A collection of fairy tale characters venture into the woods in search of their wishes in act one, before finding themselves in a world devoid of happy endings in act two.

Grounded

By George Brant. Red Stitch. Seymour Centre (NSW). May 1 – 16, 2015.

I keep going to the theatre simply hoping for 80 minutes as gripping as Grounded.

It’s superb.

Kate Cole utterly inhabits the role of a female Top Gun who finds herself grounded following the birth of her daughter, part of the ‘Chair Force’, pulling 12 hour shifts at a monitor in a caravan in the Las Vegas desert, controlling a drone, bombing targets on the opposite side of the world.

George Brant’s solo play is rich, dark, dense theatrical poetry. The use and manipulation of language is extraordinary.

Much Ado About Nothing

Written by William Shakespeare. University Of Adelaide Theatre Guild. Directed by Megan Dansie. Little Theatre, University Of Adelaide. May 02-16, 2015

It’s probably impossible to make a play as oft-performed as Much Ado About Nothing feel fresh, but this spirited production from the University Of Adelaide Theatre Guild makes a fair stab at it, and comes about as close as it is humanly possible to get.

Jake’s Women

By Neil Simon. Galleon Theatre Group (SA). Domain Theatre, Marion. April 30-May 9, 2015.

The intriguing set is the first indication that Galleon Theatre Group’s latest comedy Jake’s Women will be unusual. Dramatic in red and black, dressed impeccably and instantly thought provoking with its single regular doorway and multiple curtained entranceways along the back wall, it ensures one immediately thinks it must have come from a vivid imagination.

That may or may not be the case, but the plot of this lesser-known of Neil Simon’s plays is all about just that; an overactive imagination.

A Murder is Announced

By Agatha Christie. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. The Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Don Gay. May 1 – 16, 2015

Casting! Casting! Casting! Director Don Gay surfaces every year for the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society to direct an Agatha Christie murder. Audiences are pleased to support the tradition, Hobart Repertory boosts its coffers due to the attendance numbers, and actors get the chance to experience the stylised Christie structure and to work with one of Hobart’s best and most popular directors.

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll

By Ray Lawler. State Theatre Company SA. April 24-May 16, 2015

South Australia’s State Theatre Company brings Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll vividly to life with its fine and untraditional production of the classic 1950’s Australian play.

‘The Doll’ is set in Carlton, Melbourne and is a tender and often raw observation of human relationships and how they inevitably change over the years. It’s a story about love and friendship, sadness and regret and the harsh realities of life, but ultimately it’s a stark affirmation that nothing lasts forever.

Blue Italian & Nil by Sea

By Katie Pollock. Producer: Peter Fray. Director: Rachel Chant. Leichhardt Town Hall, Sydney. April 29-May 17, 2015

Swept Away by the Blue Sea...

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