Reviews

The Seven Stages of Grieving

By Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman. Queensland Theatre Company in association with Grin & Tonic Theatre Troupe. Jason Klarwein, Director. Jessica Ross, Designer. Bille Brown Studio. 17-31 March, 2015

QTC's commencement of their Greenhouse season is with the 20th anniversary of this well-known and travelled Australian work, featuring Chenoa Deemal, in a moving and captivating performance, as the solo aboriginal girl (Chenoa stems from the Thitharr Warra clan in the Cape York Peninsula) expressing her and her peoples' interpretation of certain historical events and the trials and tribulations our First Nation people have endured over time.

Venice in Love

Performed by Rosa Campagnaro and Christian Bagin. Make a Scene. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton, Melbourne. 21 March, 2015 and touring schools.

Venice in Love is an exciting and frequently very funny performance piece in the tradition of Italian commedia dell’arte, created and performed by Rosa Campagnaro and Christian Bagin from the ‘Make a Scene’ theatre company. Ms Campagnaro, who has undertaken specialised training in commedia dell’arte at Accademia Teatrale in Venice, is a polished and engaging performer and created a particularly memorable character in her portrayal of Pantalona, a selfish old woman whose eyecatching costume evoked an old buzzard.

Wet House

By Paddy Campbell. Directed by Brett Cousins. Red Stitch (Vic). March 17th-April 18, 2015

‘Wet House’ – a place where homeless alcoholics can have a roof over their heads and some small sense of family while continuing to drink themselves blind. Not a palatable concept, and confronting to those who prefer to think of alcoholics as faceless aberrations in another time and place. Paddy Campbell worked in such a place and has drawn on his experiences for this, his first play. Parts of it work brilliantly.

Short+Sweet Theatre Gala Finals

Factory Theatre, Marrickville. 20th March 2015

Short+Sweet Theatre’s Sydney 2015 Gala Final brought a whole new meaning to ‘all the awards’ with Tom Green’s Scratch taking away five of the eight awards presented on the night. 

The Pirates of Penzance

Music: Arthur Sullivan. Lyrics: W.S. Gilbert. Additional Lyrics: Melvyn Morrow. Conceived & Directed by Simon Gallaher. Harvest Rain. Musical Director: Robert Clark. Choreographer: Callum Mansfield. Harvest Rain. QPAC Concert Hall. 20-22 March 2015

Harvest Rain’s The Pirates of Penzance is an evening of glorious entertainment where vaudeville, slapstick, buffoonery and lunacy reign.

The new production celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the opening of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) which opened with the same show.

Long Day's Journey Into Night

By Eugene O'Neill. Independent Theatre. Directed by Rob Croser. Goodwood Institute. March 19 – March 28, 2015.

"Family isn't a word; it's a sentence." This reviewer cannot take credit for coining that particular phrase; nor can Eugene O'Neill - but if a tagline were needed to directly and pithily summarise the general mood of Long Day's Journey Into Night, it would probably do well enough.

Handle It

By Laura Jackson. Director: Janys Hayes. Aspiring Musical Theatre Company. The Street Theatre, Canberra, ACT. March 13 – 15, 2015

Handle It is a one act play written and performed by Laura Jackson. It is a fascinating exploration of how Generation Y interacts with the internet and the nexus of intimacy and publicity, showing how badly things can go wrong after one night.  Laura Jackson shows us seven different characters, each with different views and attitudes, and giving a variety of judgment and compassion. 

The Importance of Being Miriam

Directed and Devised by Peter J Adams. Miriam Margolyes and John Martin. Produced by Andrew McKinnon. Arts Centre Melbourne. 19-22 March, 2015, then touring.

Miriam Margolyes is not only a skilled actor, she’s a wonderful raconteur, a true storyteller. For two hours or so last night, in the first performance of The Importance of Being Miriam, she joked, rambled, confided in the audience and at times moved us deeply in a thoroughly entertaining show. Accompanied by the able John Martin on piano, Ms Margolyes was warm, unpretentious and thoroughly engaging.

Saturday Night Fever

Music & Lyrics: The Bee Gees (Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Barry Gibb). Book: Robert Stigwood assisted by Bill Oaks. New Version arranged and edited by Ryan McBride. Director: Madeleine Johns. Musical Director: Sherree Drummond. Choreographer: Brodie Jones & William Motunuu. Redcliffe Musical Theatre & Our Village Production. Redcliffe Cultural Centre, Redcliffe, Qld. 19 March - 12 April, 2015

Ever since the stage version opened in London in 1998, Saturday Night Fever has been in continuous production somewhere in the world. Based on the 1977 movie, which in turn was based on a 1975 New York magazine article Tribal Rights of the New Saturday Night, the story of Brooklyn youth Tony Manero whose love of dancing makes him forget his crummy homelife with a deadbeat alcoholic father the story has resonated with audiences around the planet. Add the iconic disco songs of the Bee Gees and you have a match made in disco heaven.

Dinner

By Moira Buffini. Black Swan. Directed by Kate Cherry. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, WA. 14-29 March 2015

The opening of Black Swan's 2015 season, is a high impact production of Moira Buffini's Dinner - a gorgeously designed and sumptuously performed production.

Billed as a WA Premiere (which overlooks community theatre Playlovers' production of Dinner from around 2006), it is one of the strongest productions to emerge from Black Swan in recent years.

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