Reviews

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Directed by Neroli Burton. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth WA. November 29 - December 14, 2013

Exquisite set painting by Tim Prosser literally set the scene for a quality pantomime directed by Neroli Burton, with musical direction by Katherine Friend.

Valerie Henry made Disney's wicked queen look quite friendly, in a gloriously sinister performance as Queen Drusilla, well supported by the scenic painting king, Tim Prosser as King Desmond.

Then There Were 3

By Shelly Higgs and Daniel Alexander. Directed by Shelly Higgs. The Street Theatre (ACT). December 4 – 8, 2013 @ 7.30 and 3.30 matinees, limited childcare places available.

There’s nothing quite like a baby to chew up and regurgitate parents’ lives. Then There Were 3 is a comedy based on a couple who find themselves in an insta-family and who initially do not cope at all. The musician father, played by Daniel Alexander in a semi-autobiographical role, goes into shock from the moment he sees a face emerging from where no face should ever be.

Boeing Boeing

By Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross. Directed by David Nelson. Hackett Hall, Floreat, WA. 15-30 November, 2013.

Boeing Boeing was boasting capacity crowds midweek in its second week of production, testament to its spreading reputation in this very competitive November/December theatre season.

David Nelson revealed great promise in his directorial debut, and though there was occasional directorial mistakes, this was a nicely controlled first production.

Gorgeously and obviously sixties, the set had some lovely attention to detail, most notably a fantastic period telephone.

 

The Tempest

Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by Daniel Lammin. 5pound repertory company. The Owl and The Pussycat. Dec 3rd-7th, 2013.

Here’s the thing:- If you don’t know Shakespeare; if you don’t understand Shakespeare; or if you don’t respect the writing of (arguably) the greatest playwright in history; then, Don’t Do Shakespeare!

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott’s story, adapted by Peter Clapham. Directed by Christine Ellis KADS Town Square Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. 15 Nov - 6 Dec, 2013.

The well-known Little Women is a lovely choice for this time of year, being a play in which much of the action is centered around Christmas celebrations.

Director Christine Ellis has created a cosy and warm production, with a genuine feel-good atmosphere. The single setting was nicely drawn, which created a book-cover stage picture. Liza Moillin's costuming and hair-styling was picturesque and appropriate to the era.

Eurobeat: Almost Eurovision

Book by Craig Christie, Music and Lyrics by Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson. Ballina Players (NSW). Director / Musical Director: Paul Belsham. Co-directors: Warwick Binney, Geoff Marsh & Mike Sheehan. November 15th to December 7th, 2013

Culture comes to Ballina by way of Eurobeat.

This send-up of the European phenomenon Eurovision commenced with the audience wondering what hit them and ended up with full audience participation.

The overall production was under the control of Paul Belsham who engaged 3 co-directors, each of whom produced 3 of the 12 countries entries; giving a fresh approach to each segment.

Theatresports Cranston Cup Grand Final 2013

Enmore Theatre (NSW). November 30, 2013.

Theatresports is an enduring form of entertainment on Sydney's performance calendar. In a fickle market it is a unique beast which has forwarded the careers of many of Australia's top talent - think Andrew Denton, Andrew O'Keefe, Julia Zemiro and The Axis of Awesome just to name a few.

The Book of Everything

By Guus Kuijer, adapted by Richard Tulloch. Directed by Neil Armfield. MTC. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner (Vic). 27 November to 22 December 2013.

Neil Armfield has this wondrous ability as a director to take the charming and make it magical; to find the inner child in all of us; to have us willingly suspend disbelief. I still remember crying with joy and wonder through his 1999 Cloudstreet production, and The Book of Everything, though not quite in the same league, evoked a similar response.

The Full Monty

Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek, Book by Terrence McNally. Phoenix Ensemble. Pavilion Theatre, Beenleigh. 1 – 30 November 2013

To paraphrase one of Jeanette’s deathless quotes from the show: “It’s not the size that counts, it’s what you can do with it.” This applies well to Phoenix’s home theatre (nicknamed ‘The Tin Shed’): They’ve managed to squeeze in 90 seats on stepped levels, leaving half the floor space for a stage. With ingenuity and nous, they made this intimate place work like clockwork for an entertaining musical with a cast of 19 and a supportive five-piece show band (tucked tidily away to one side).

The Phantom Of The Opera

By Andrew Lloyd Webber, Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart. Directed by Karen Francis. Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. Nov 15-17, 2013

The first of a trio of Phantom productions for Perth in the next year, Stray Cats Theatre Company's production has the advantage of not only being first, but having the most appropriate venue - the beautiful auditorium of ManPac being one of the best choices in the west for staging this large scale production.

This was for the most part a beautifully lavish production. Paul Spencer was a sympathetic Phantom, Jake Garner a melodic and handsome Raoul, but Cassie Skinner soared, singing exquisitely in a shining performance as Christine.

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