Reviews

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Jason Nash. New Farm Nash Theatre. Brisbane. May 11 – June2, 2018.

Initially the play relates the disputes and power struggles that occurred in families at the best of times and the worst times, after deaths in the families. Thus Orlando is removed by his brother Oliver, Rosalind by her uncle Frederick and Duke Senior also by Frederick. That is just the start of the intrigue and the relationships that develop. Rosalind disguises herself as a boy (Ganymede) and travels with cousin Celia as Ganymede’s sister Aliena to the Forest of Arden where all the exiles have gathered.

Wild

By Mike Bartlett. Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. 5 May – 9 June, 2018

Wild is a fresh, clever, pacey, engrossing work.  In fact you don’t know what has hit you when you walk out of the auditorium.

As a probe of the public/private realm, that highlights just how vulnerable we are to scrutiny in all aspects of our lives, it is very timely.  It suggests that even those of us who have lived only a small percentage of our lives on/with social media are still vulnerable to not having the luxury of keeping any dark secrets in the proverbial closet.

Kiss of the Gallery Guard

By Carol Dance. Scene Theatre Sydney. Philharmonia Choirs Hall, Walsh Bay. May 11 – 26, 2018

This delightful little play looks at how our ideas change with age and experience. The fact that it does so through one woman’s shifting perceptions of a painting over eleven years, makes it a refreshingly different take on an age-old theme – as does the style of the play. Set on an empty stage, the play takes place is a series of art galleries that have a pianist playing in the foyer. The music (played by Philip Eaves) supports – and transports – the action from Sydney, to London, to New York.

A Prudent Man

Written and Directed by Katy Warner. Presented by Adam Fawcett and A Lab Kelpie. Gardens Theatre, 11 – 12 May, 2018

What would happen if a right-wing politician was faced with the consequences of his rhetoric? It’s the tantalising proposition that forms the basis of this hard-hitting but hilarious black comedy. While the politically charged script will be too close to reality for the comfort of our right-leaning readers, if you’re a centrist or a leftie, you’ll love it. The problem is, it’s the right-wing that could most benefit from deeply considering the massages in Katy Warner’s clever script.

Hir

By Taylor Mac. Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA. Directed by Zoe Pepper. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. May 10-27, 2018

Black Swan’s 2018 Season is made up of a series of “conversations” between two productions. In the first concurrent pairing, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’, Taylor Mac’s relatively new play Hir sits beside Australian classic Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, which is playing upstairs in the same building. Both plays feature men who return ‘home’ to find things irrevocably changed and both deal with themes of masculine identity.

Glorious!

By Peter Quilter. HIT Productions. Directed by Denny Lawrence. The Q, Queanbeyan - 3–5 May 2018 and touring

Peter Quilter’s 2005 play Glorious! is the story of singer Florence Foster Jenkins, a soprano who for three decades gave private concerts and made recordings, apparently unaware that she was singing out of tune.  Quilter’s play takes a wonderfully ironic approach to Jenkins’s obliviousness, using double entendres to great effect.

 

Troilus and Cressida

By William Shakespeare. Secret House. The Depot Theatre, Marrickville. May 9 – 19, 2018

Dubbed one of Shakespeare’s problem plays, people – when they bother at all – debate that Troilus and Cressida is some genre mash of tragedy and comedy, satire or history.

Sean O’Riordan and his epic cast of 19 come close to a better, more radical truth.  This is a nihilistic world with vain empty characters; whether Trojan or Greek, all whores to love or war. 

O’Riordan has Homer’s warrior stars all strutting out in a celebrity fashion parade, which nicely sums it up.

The Dogs Logs

By C J Johnson. Javeenbah Theatre Co., Nerang, Gold Coast. Director Jocelyn Moore-Carter. May 11th – 26th, 2018

Have you ever wondered what your dog is thinking?  I know I often see how dogs are treated and think to myself “and these people call themselves dog lovers?”  Tonight at Javeenbah’s performance of The Dog Logs we had some insight into how dogs think and the part we humans play in their lives.

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll

By Ray Lawler. Black Swan State Theatre Company. Directed by Adam Mitchell. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre, Centre of Western Australia. May 5-20, 2018

Director Adam Mitchell began his process with a conversation with Summer of the Seventeenth Doll author, Ray Lawler, who 65 years after creating this classic, is still refining this beloved text.

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde. WAAPA 3rd Year Acting Students. Directed by Dan Bird. The Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA, Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, WA. May 4-10, 2018.

As you entered the Roundhouse Theatre for The Importance of Being Earnest, you encountered signs warning of adult content. While Oscar Wilde’s comedy of manners is undeniably clever, it would not usually be considered that wild or ill-mannered. It is our first indication that this production is a little different.

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