Reviews

The Flick

By Annie Baker. Outhouse Theatre Co. Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre (NSW). April 5 – 21, 2018

The raked seating of the Reginald Theatre is mirrored by a similar rake of red plush seating. Red and black cinema style carpet stretches up steps to an aisle. Above it, in a high, dark-curtained wall are the windows of the projection box of The Flick, a cinema in Worcester, Massachusetts. Both theatre and cinema black out simultaneously. Loud music heralds the credits of a movie. Lights come up on the empty cinema, littered with spilt popcorn.

Funny Girl

Music: Jule Styne. Lyrics: Bob Merrill. Book: Isobel Lennart. Noosa Arts Theatre Inc.. Director: Ian McKellar. Choreographer: Libbie Hendrie. Arts Theatre, Noosa, Qld. 19 April – 5 May 2018

When Michelle Lamarca as Fanny Brice sang “I’m the Greatest Star” at the beginning of Noosa Arts production of Funny Girl, a frisson of electricity went up my spine and raised the hairs on the back of my neck. I knew that whatever the rest of the performance held, we were in good hands. And with show-stopping performances of some of musical theatre’s greatest anthems, “Don’t Rain on my Parade”, “People” and “My Man”, Lamarca proved she was more than just run-of-the-mill.

Taking Steps

By Alan Ayckbourn. St Jude’s Players. St Jude’s Hall, Brighton (SA). April 19 -28, 2018

What do you do when you are buying a derelict house for your wife but find that she is leaving you? That is only the beginning of Alan Ayckbourn’s 24th play Taking Steps.

Ayckbourn has written and produced more than seventy full-length plays, beginning in 1972. Taking Steps is an early play (1979) and challenging for any company to present. St Jude’s Players have met that challenge and are largely successful.

Bit of Shush

Written & performed by Daniel Connell. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Melbourne Town Hall, Backstage Room. 29 March – 22 April 2018

Daniel Connell is around 195 cm tall and he gets a lot of dumb comments because of it.  ‘Bet you got a great view from up there, mate,’ etc.  Irritating, eh?  Especially when what Daniel Connell really wants is just a bit of shush – and that is so hard to find these days.  You go for a quiet dinner at your local Indian restaurant – and there’s a f**king snake charmer!  A middle-of-the-day tram that should be real quiet has a mad woman on it, shouting in people’s faces, ‘I do what I want!’ 

The Talk

By Gita Bezard. The Last Great Hunt. Directed by Gita Bezard. Subiaco Arts Centre, WA. 11-21 April, 2018

The Last Great Hunt’s The Talk, written and directed by Gita Bezard, is as its subtitle declares “more than just the birds and the bees”. In a world of sexting, the dark web and porn available on your iPhone, is “the talk” from your parents and teachers enough anymore? Was it ever enough?

Three exciting and enigmatic young performers play a group of 15 year old girls, as well as a variety of other characters. 

12A

By James Hazelden. Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018. La Mama Theatre, Carlton. April 18 – 22, 2018

Enter at your own risk!

A new show by the Mystery Radio Theatre crew, this show will leave you cringing with spooky delight as mysterious revisitations of three intertwining tales combine to create this intriguing theatre production titled 12A.

Written, produced and directed by James Hazelden as part of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy festival, it’s currently being performed at La Mama.

La Traviata

By Verdi. Opera Australia. Director: Elijah Moshinsky. Revival Director: Constantine Costi. Conductor: Carlo Montenaro. Arts Centre Melbourne. April 17 – May 11, 2018

La Traviata returned to the Arts Centre to an enthusiastic audience. This was a revival of a production I hadn’t encountered before, but it worked very well. The opening scene was crowded for Violetta’s party, which was a nice contrast to the closing scene at the same venue, with little furniture or decoration.

Tom Vickers and the Extraordinary Adventure of His Missing Sock

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. Directed by Phillip Mitchell. The WA Shipwrecks Museum, Cliff St, Fremantle. April 14-29, 2018

Tom Vickers and the Extraordinary Adventure of His Missing Sock is a World Premiere installation theatre event created by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and the WA Museum. Currently playing at the WA Shipwrecks Museum, it will tour to museums in Geraldton and Albany in May and June. 

Ladylike: A Modern Guide to Etiquette.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne 16-22 April, 2018.

Taste the sensational comedy routines of Louise Beuvink!

Her Australian debut show is here to embrace our shores with her unique feminist-satirical blend of cabaret and stand up. After a complete sell out national tour of her New Zealand homeland, she is assured we will dig her rhythm.

This show is a soda stream blend of fizzy concoctions of domestic and social situations parodying women of all demographics.

Dr Frankenstein

Written by Selma Dimitrijevic. Canberra Rep. Directed by Jordan Best. Theatre 3, Acton, Canberra ACT. April 5 – 20, 2018

What a fascinating choice of play for Canberra Rep’s “Power and Passion” season. Rather than the masculine-based original novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, this new re-telling has changed Victor into Victoria. This play premiered in England last year and it is good to see recent reinterpretations, especially one as well-structured and eloquent as this.

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