Reviews

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Theatre Works. Written and performed by Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn. Adelaide Fringe. Royal Croquet Club. 14 February - 15 March, 2015.

If one of the greatest barriers to the diagnosis and treatment of depression is difficulty in communication between those suffering and those who could possibly help, then this heartfelt and powerful presentation performs a great service on behalf of a challenging subject matter. Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn communicate their inner lives and personal experiences to us, the audience, and by doing so, go some way toward achieving their stated aim of breaking taboos and smashing stigma.

Limbo

Strut and Fret Production House, Underbelly Productions and Southbank Centre. Adelaide Fringe 2015. Garden of Unearthly Delights. Feb 13 – 28, 2015

Limbo showcases an eclectic mix of talented performers, each with their own unique finesse. A sexy cabaret circus that defies expectation. Acts from varying parts of the globe are commanding; connecting with the audience in an almost seductive manner.

WICKED

Music & Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz. Book: Winnie Holzman based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Direction: Lisa Leguillo based on the original staging by Joe Mantello. Musical Direction: David Young. Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, John Frost production. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. Opening Night: 15 February 2015.

Wicked is phenomenal! A blockbuster of such dizzying magnitude in terms of audience adoration that it defies critical analysis. With box-office receipts of over $1 million per week since it opened on Broadway ten years ago, this musical version of what happened in the Land of Oz before Dorothy and Toto came along, is indestructible.

Blood Brothers

By Willy Russell. Enda Markey in association with Hayes Theatre Co. Director: Andrew Pole. Musical Director: Michael Tyack. Designer: Anna Gardiner. Hayes Theatre Co. Feb 6 – Mar 8, 2015.

Blending Greek Tragedy with musical theatre, Blood Brothers’ powerful drama lays open the class divide and devastation of working class poverty in Thatcher’s Britain; not the classic tragedy of mythological Greek royalty, but that of a contemporary underclass.

Blak Cabaret

Malthouse Theatre and SummerSalt. Concept and Creative Production – Jason Tamiru. Text - Nakkiah Lui. 10 – 22 February 2015

Between the two rusting and one old brick facade of the Malthouse Courtyard, place an elevated stage and an exceptional sound system.  Then, as balmy evening is about to fall, add some of Indigenous Australia’s most glorious, honey and velvet voiced, musicians playing and singing their own songs - and this beautifully blended recipe will just ‘take you away’.   

No Privacy

Moore Books SA. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Holden Street Theatres. Directed and written by Tony Moore. 14-28 February, 2015.

This is the type of enterprise that sums up what the spirit of the Fringe Festival should be all about. It begins with a premise of noble intent, then develops into an acutely insightful and beautifully empathic examination of a life fallen from grace, fallen between the cracks. It is also quietly engrossing, and as satisfying as any light entertainment that you might otherwise be seeking out at the Fringe.

Cut

By Duncan Graham. Adelaide Fringe. Holden Street Theatres. Feb 10 – Mar 14, 2015.

Nothing is more intimate than being seated inches from an actor’s performing space. Nine seats either side of what appears to be a runway, audience members appear uncomfortable, but as we soon discover, that is the point. Plunged into darkness for what seems an eternity, I am acutely aware of my breathing; an uneasiness envelops me, a feeling that lasts the duration of the performance.

Suddenly Last Summer

By Tennessee Williams. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Feb 9 – Mar 21, 2015.

Fifteen years after The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams wrote yet again in 1958 about his family nightmares: his lobotomised sister, his controlling, repressed mother and his own struggles as a homosexual poet.

Menagerie was given on outstanding production by Belvoir last year; now Kip Williams masterfully directs Suddenly Last Summer for the Sydney Theatre Company, in what is, compared to Tennessee’s other works, a rare revival. 

Noises Off

By Michael Frayn. Directed by Robert Andrews. Tea Tree Players Theatre. February 4-21, 2015

The Tea Tree Players present an impressively spirited and technically inventive take on Michael Frayn’s much beloved meta comedy, which chronicles a dysfunctional theatre troupe’s accident prone attempts to stage a second rate bedroom farce .

Once Were Leaders

Performed and written by Max Gillies. Sydney Opera House, February 9 – 14; Arts Centre Melbourne, March 13 - 28; with Brisbane and Darwin seasons to follow.

How perishable is political satire? That is the question which looms large when a master comedian revives sketches that date back more than 50 years.

The amusement depends on your age, perspective and interest in politics. For me seeing Max Gillies impersonate Sir Robert Menzies was fascinating but having not been around to see him as PM meant it sailed over my head.

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