Reviews

Kiss Sigh Shout Laugh Cry Dream

The La Mama Youth Ensemble. Curated by Adam Cass. La Mama Theatre. November 29 – December 10, 2017.

This youth work offers much to a big crew of emerging and developing theatre makers and their audiences.  Although all aspects may not be fully formed or acutely realized, as an ambitious conceptual piece brought to production, it is inspirational and inspiring.

The Seagull

By Anton Chekhov, adapted by Anthony Skuse. Secret House. The Depot Theatre, Marrickville, NSW. December 6 – 16, 2017

Anthony Skuse has adapted this four-act work by Anton Chekhov into an almost two-hour production that retains the melancholy of the thwarted ambitions and tortured relationships of his nineteenth century characters yet brings them into a more contemporary frame. And, a multicultural cast using their native dialects, highlights the universality of the themes, especially the depressing effects failure and despair.

Wicked

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Book by Winnie Holzman. Manly Musical Society. Glen Street Theatre (NSW). Dec 8 – 16, 2017.

The backbone of this production was a spectacular projected animation, which used large moving LED screens trucked across the stage, taking the audience on a kaleidoscope around Oz. The images ranged from the inside of a clock to a hurricane. All were especially vivid due to the intimate seating of the Glen Street Theatre.

The entire multi-media – which must have taken hundreds of hours to program - was custom made by the lighting/set designer Matt Osborne under the talented direction of Declan Moore.

HUMANS

Circa. Playhouse, QPAC. December 6 - 9, 2017

In capturing so many facets of the human spirit and journey, Circa accomplish what many can only dream of in 70 minutes, with acrobatics and physical human strength that has to be seen to be believed.

Creator Yaron Lifschitz brings together the pure essence of life with ten stunning performers showcasing the incredible world of contemporary circus. From tumbles through to performers defying the laws of gravity by balancing on each other, every part of this performance combines to create jaw-dropping and intense theatre.

Committed Quiche

“Fully Committed” by Becky Mode, directed by Shane Mallory and “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” by Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder, directed by Kate Mallory. Ipswich Little Theatre Society. Ipswich Little Theatre, 22 November – 9 December, 2017

Ipswich Little Theatre has all the hallmarks of a community theatre: a great vibe among the audience, lovely, friendly venue staff and even an exciting raffle draw at interval. The thing that sets them apart is their obvious dedication to a very high standard of production. Ipswich Little Theatre aims for a professional standard and succeeds.

Lit by Fire

By Robert Reid. Live theatre aspect of Agni, a mini arts festival, Apollon Studios. Directed by Scott Gooding. Mission to Seafarers - 717 Flinders Street, Docklands. December 6 – 9, 2017

Although not without its difficulties, this is a haunting piece of performance for a number of reasons.  Firstly the space that is the Norla Dome is extraordinary and full of wonder, particularly for first time visitors.  In this rarified ambiance we get to experience the moody entrance of a troupe of medieval players, riddled with and character, singing about a Paper Soldier in a world lit by fire, adapted from a Russian folk song by musical director Tim Wild.

Barbara and The Camp Dogs

By Ursula Yovich & Alana Valentine. Belvoir Street Theatre and Vicki Gordon Music Productions Pty Ltd. December 2 – 23, 2017.

Backed by a take-no-prisoners girl band called The Camp Dogs, the action of this rock-gig musical unfolds in front, across the cheap carpet, tables and lounges which have transformed Belvoir Theatre into a typical pub. It's a muso takeover, with designer Stephen Curtis also having a hand.

Ursula Yovich’s indigenous rough girl Barbara fights and banters with her saucy sister and fellow singer, Renee, in an outrageous script which bristles with Aboriginal strut and comic attack. 

Opera by the Lake

Presented by Glen Ewin Estate. December 3, 2017

A winery and opera in the beautiful surroundings of Glen Ewin Estate on a Sunday afternoon. Who could ask for more?

This event was pitched perfectly. It was simply staged with great acoustics, professional sound and lighting and with pianist Penelope Cashman providing superb accompaniment for the singers.

Menopause the Musical - Women on Fire

By Jeanie Linders. Directed by Alli Pope-Bailey. Crown Theatre, Perth, WA. Dec 5-10, 2017

Stage Whispers joined over 1000 women ‘of a certain age’, and a handful of slightly befuddled gentlemen, for the first night of Menopause the Musical’s short Perth season.

Nearing the end of a tour of single night appearances, mostly in NSW, Perth is the only “sit down” section of the tour and must be a break for the cast from the whistle stop pace of the run. This section ends on December 16, but the show resumes touring in March, including a return to WA.

La Boheme

By Giocomo Puccini. Produced by Co-Opera. Directed by Mario Bellanova. Musical Direction by Brian Chatterton. Various venues. December 1 - 10, 2017

A winery and an opera, now that sounds like too good an offer to pass up. Serafino Winery hosted the latest offering from Co-Opera in their courtyard area. La Boheme seemed to be a perfect choice, as it is mainly set in a small attic room with little furniture.

I have been to several Co-Opera productions and was looking forward to seeing this one, but unfortunately Mario Bellanova’s direction and his lack of attention to the details made this evening less than satisfactory.

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