Performed by Tim Quabba. Melbourne Fringe. Belleville, Globe Alley. Lighting and Sound by Zach Navarre. 26 September -1 October, 2016

Tim Quabba delivers an improvised stream of consciousness performance within the conceit of a dream. He takes cues from sound and lighting changes and the subtleties of audience reactions and creates characters and small narratives from them. We were presented with The Father, Alberto the dog, Fidel the eagle, a young couple contemplating love messages in the sky and the obsession of the age – data.

Black is the Colour

By Daniel Keene. Deafferent Theatre. Director – Jessica Moody. Arts House – North Melbourne Town Hall – 24 September – 1 October 2016

This is an awesome first production by Deafferent Theatre.  It is a wonderful opportunity for Deaf and hearing friends to come together to experience dialogue and interaction in Auslan performed by two expressly engaging and consummate performers.  Their work is crisp and vibrant and clearly supported with captions. 


OzAsia Festival. Tutti Arts (Australia) & Stepping Stone (Malaysia). Riverdeck, Adelaide Festival Centre. 22 September – 1 October, 2016

BEASTLY is a truly wonderful ‘free’ event and is perhaps unlike anything else in the current terrific OzAsia Festival. It is an interactive installation art project as well as offering pieces of performance art. I am a big fan of installation art works, especially if they are interactive. It is in these cases that one becomes an active member of the audience rather than passive. From experience, there is always an initial sense of confusion that invariably leads to a form of experiential clarity and insight.

World War T

Written & directed by Blair Moro. An International Collaboration presented by Singles Awareness Productions. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Courthouse Hotel, 86-90 Errol Street, North Melbourne. 24-27 September 2016.

Attacking Donald Trump is like shooting fish in a barrel.  Crass, ignorant, lying, racist, misogynist...  Yeah, yeah.  A sitting duck.  Nevertheless, we’re all obsessed and afraid: this crazy could become the most powerful man in the world.  Given that there’s not much Australians can do about it, maybe the best thing is to laugh.  That’s what this show does – with heaps of energy, verve, slapstick, sly insight and occasional wit. 

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Music: George Gershwin. Lyrics: Ira Gershwin. Book: Joe DiPietro inspired by material by Guy Bolton & P.G. Wodehouse. Savoyards Musical Comedy Society. Director: Sherryl-Lee Secomb. Musical Director: Geoffrey Secombe. Choreographer: Desney Toia-Sinapati. Iona Performing Arts Centre, Wynnum East, Qld. 24 Sep – 8 Oct 2016

Nice Work If You Can Get It is a much-reworked version of George and Ira Gershwin’s 1920’s musical Oh, Kay! Every convention of a twenties musical comedy is pulled into service, from showgirls popping up out of a bath, to mistaken identities, disguises, and as many hoary old jokes as Joe DiPietro could cram into his script.

5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche

Written by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood. Directed by Nathanael Cooper. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Lithuanian Club North Melbourne. Sept 24 – Oct 1, 2016.

The Melbourne premiere season of the Off-Broadway 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche is here for the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016 after a critically acclaimed Australian premiere last year in Brisbane and sell-out seasons in Chicago and New York. This award winning show starring Catherine Alcorn, Lauren Jackson, Ashlee Lollback, Lauren O’Rourke and Bianca Zouppas is showing at one of Melbourne’s hidden gems, the Lithuanian Club North Melbourne and it’s a must see.

The Toymakers

Book and Music by the Company Members. Doublemask Youth Theatre Co. Murwillumbah Civic Centre. Conceived, produced and directed by the company under the Guidance of Artistic Director: Lachlan Glasby. 23rd – 24th September, 2017

As I have reported in previous reviews, this remarkable company of teenagers create every aspect of their production.

Their latest offering is The Toymakers; set in a shanty town during the great depression in New York City. While one immediately thinks of Annie: that is where the similarity ends. The first act was a little slow while the scene and plot were established, but once that was out of the way, the show settled down to and intriguing piece of theatre.

What the company lacked in expensive trappings they more than made up for in enthusiasm and energy.

Murder on the Pacific Diamond

Presented by The Sparrow Men. Performed and devised by Marcus Willis & Andy Balloch. Melbourne Fringe Festival. The Improv Conspiracy – Theatre, Level 1, 19 Meyers Place, Melbourne. 24, 25, 27, 28, 30th September, 1 & 2 October, 2016.

This dynamic performance is a testament to the allure and power of improvised theatre. Willis and Balloch play Detectives Conway and Smitherson, who set out to help the audience uncover the mystery behind the murder of Dame Elizabeth Heinrich. The crime occurs aboard the luxury cruise liner, The Pacific Diamond. With the aid of only a few sound and lighting effects, and almost no props, Willis and Balloch are able to evoke the setting with ease and panache.

Nobody Owns The Moon

Directed by Michael Barlow. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, WA. Sep 24 - Oct 8, 2016

Nobody Owns the Moon is a World Premiere production by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, based on the book of the same name by Tohby Riddle. A poignant and moving new work, it is perhaps the last new work to feature the talents of co-creator Noriko Nishimoto, who died earlier this year.

Darker in theme, subject matter and design than most pieces for young people, Nobody Owns the Moon touches on themes of loneliness, homelessness and greed, but is ultimately joyful and hopeful.

Singin’ In The Rain

Music and lyrics by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. Screenplay: Betty Comden & Adolph Green. Lunchbox Theatricals, David Atkins Enterprises, Michael Cassel Group, Teg Dainty Production. Director: Jonathan Church. Musical Director: Adrian Kirk. Choreographer: Andrew Wright. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. From 23 Sep 2016

Phantom has a crashing chandelier, Miss Saigon has a helicopter, and Singin’ in the Rain has, well, rain - buckets of it. When the orchestra strikes up that well-known classic riff and Don Lockwood starts humming “dum, de, dum, dum” a frisson of excitement tingles the audience and we’re in musical comedy heaven. The classic scene where the character splashes through the pouring rain closes the first act on a high.

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