Reviews

Closure

By Ron Blicq. Direction: Gary Kliger. Centenary Theatre Group. Chelmer Community Centre, Chelmer, Brisbane. 9-30 May 2015

Canadian based English writer Ron Blicq got the idea for Closure when he heard a BBC radio documentary about men and women in the UK whose mothers had a relationship with Canadian servicemen during World War 2 and who now wanted to find their fathers to seek ‘closure.’ Blicq drew on his experience as a navigator in WW2 flying in Mosquito fighter/bombers with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Sondheim On Sondheim

Written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Manilla Street Productions. Directed by Chris Parker. Melbourne Recital Centre. Sat 23rd May, 2015

When you have eight of Australia’s top Musical Theatre performers, including a bona fide legend, words and lyrics by the greatest force in Musical Theatre in the past sixty years, plus a small but beautifully formed orchestra under an exquisitely sensitive Musical Director, it isn’t surprising that the result is pure bliss for any Sondheim fan. It’s also beautifully directed by Chris Parker, in his usual pursuit of excellence in all areas of the production. Oh, and that’s without the starring role, played by Sondheim The Man himself.

Evita

By Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Willoughby Theatre Company. The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. May 22 – 31, 2015

Willoughby Theatre Company’s lavish Evita is top notch community musical theatre, with outstanding production values complemented by strong casting and performances, tightly-drilled choreography, a professional orchestral sound from the pit and excellent technicals.

Rabbit Hole

By David Lindsay-Abaire. Javeenbah Theatre Co, Nerang, Gold Coast. Director: Barry Gibson. May 15th – 30th, 2015.

Barry Gibson presented a first class production with the drama Rabbit Hole, the story of a young couple grieving the accidental death of their four year old son.

Alice’s Adventures In Operaland

Victorian Opera. Director: Libby Hill. Conductor: Phoebe Briggs. Playhouse Theatre, Arts Centre, Melbourne. May 23, 2015

Victorian Opera was created not so much to replace the Victorian State Opera, but to fill gaps in the operatic canon and educate the public. This has included involving community choirs from the country, performing in schools and a young artists’ program which leads to a Master of Music (Opera Performance) associated with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

The Waiting Room

By Kylie Trounson. Melbourne Theatre Company. Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre, Melbourne.. 15 May to 27 June 2015

If nothing more The Waiting Room is a lyrical homage by playwright Kylie Trounson to her father, IVF pioneer Alan Trounson.  Our collective social history and Kylie’s personal history, in relation to the development of IVF, is placed under the microscope and framed by the music of the era.  Over all the script is drawn with sincerity and the production full of humanity.

My Love Had a Black Speed Stripe

Based on the novel by Henry Williams. Presented by Fractal Theatre Productions at the Ipswich and Anywhere Festivals 2015. Adapted and Directed by Brenna Lee-Cooney. Brisbane 13-23 May and Frankston 26 – 29 August, 2015.

The theme of this play struck a personal chord with me because coincidentally I recently decided to abandon life on the suburban highway and its environs in preference to the comforts of public transport; and one of the reasons relates to life on the road and the typical so-called Ugly Australian who enjoys venting his spleen with the accelerator pedal and causing chaos in his wake.

 

Ned - A New Australian Musical

Music and Lyrics by Adam Lyon. Book by Anna Lyon. Book and Set Design by Marc McIntyre. Directed by Gary Young. World Premiere. Ulumbarra Theatre Bendigo. May 21 – 30, 2015.

Quite simply, this is the best completely original, entirely Australian musical ever. Read on and I will explain why.

Putting it on at a brand new theatre was ludicrously ambitious. This made the triumph in respect of entertainment, music, staging, drama and performance even sweeter.

Masquerade

By Kate Mulvany, from the book by Kit Williams. State Theatre Company and Griffin Theatre Company in association with Adelaide Festival Centre and Windmill Theatre. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. May 20 – 31, 2015.

A contemporary tale of love and loss mixed with a fairy tale of epic proportions, playwright Kate Mulvany’s journey with the book Masquerade began when she was a child and later in life when she had the opportunity to meet the author Kit Williams. A story with an abrupt ending is given new life as Mulvany puts her spin on this magical story.

Babushka: Doll

Created and performed by: Alicia Cush, Bethan Ellsmore and Judy Hainworth. Director: Caroline Dunphy. Produced by Little Black Dress Creatives. Judith Wright Centre. 20-23 May, 2015

It was cabaret night at the Judy this last week with a trio of ladies flaunting their post academic frustrations of varying talents with an evening of anything from opera to pop/rock in a Where-Do-I-Go I-Can-Do-That theatrical bash with a doll theme.

Being a creative collaboration between the artists themselves and the production team this was a personal exposé of women in contemporary society today, touching on elements of feminism, image, career and motherhood (and the mortgage)

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