Reviews

Disclosed

By Caitlin Richardson. Three River Theatre. Earl Arts Centre, Launceston. Director: Peter Hammond. 12 – 15 November 2015.

Three River Theatre presented the premiere of a new work written by Caitlin Richardson at the Earl Arts Centre in Launceston in November 2015, a psycho-drama/historical play with a big theme. Disclosed is an investigation into the effects of isolation on those in captivity, in the new form of prison where ideas about the exercise of power were appearing in the colony of Tasmania and around the world. Physical violence was being replaced with more subliminal methods of bureaucratic control.

Don’t Dress For Dinner

By Marc Camoletti. Directed by Chris McLean. Heidelberg Theatre Company. 20th Nov – 5th Dec, 2015

Farce was once the mainstay of popular theatre but, like most things, it was sidelined by more deep and intense, navel gazing, drama. Fortunately, Community Theatre recognised its entertainment value, and some of the best farces of the late 20th century grace the stages of our amateur theatres on a regular basis.

Heidelberg Theatre Company has a gem of a director in Chris Mclean, and he, in turn, has mounted a gem of a production in Marc Camoletti’s Don’t Dress For Dinner.

The Sleeping Beauty

The Australian Ballet. Sydney Opera House. Nov 27 – Dec 16, 2015.

Classical ballet is surely desperate for a new picture book.  The Australian Ballet’s new The Sleeping Beauty, the first full production choreographed by its long-term artistic director David McAllister, is the company’s fourth version. 

After showing in Melbourne and Perth, it has just opened in Sydney.  And like so many re-workings around the world, this Sleeping Beauty closely honours the original Marius Petipa choreography so acclaimed back in the Tsarist days of 1890. 

King Lear

By William Shakespeare. Sydney Theatre Company. Directed by Neil Armfield. Roslyn Packer Theatre. November 28 2015 to January 9, 2016.

We were teased by the pre publicity into thinking that Geoffrey Rush (King Lear) would strip down on stage – revealing his crown jewels in public for the first time since jumping on that trampoline in the movie Shine. It would spoil the experience for me to reveal if this was false advertising or not.

What was naked for the whole production was the stage. First black in the first act. Then a  brilliant foggy blinding white in the second, as a metaphor for having everything taken away from you.

Silhouette

By Simon Brett. Directed by Fred Petersen. Garrick Theatre, Guildford, WA. Nov 18 - Dec 5, 2015

The Australian premiere of Silhouette, a thriller by Simon Brett, is to be Fred Petersen's swan-song as a director and this well-structured, well-performed play makes a good farewell piece.

Interestingly structured, with t Act II set chronologically immediately before Act I, the events of the murder at the centre of the play are gradually revealed.

Quartet

By Ronald Harwood. Directed by Terry Hackett. KADS Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. 13 Nov - 5 Dec 2015

Quartet is set in a home for retired opera singers and at times feels a little like a cross between Sex and the City and The Golden Girls with its sexy and funny themes, interspersed with operatic music.

The Listies Ruin Xmas

Creator/ Performers: Richard Higgins and Matthew Kelly. Set and Costume Design Consultant: Marg Horwell. Lighting Designer: Amelia Lever-Davidson. Beckett Theatre, Malthouse: 25 November to 13 December, 2015

The Listies are presenting a lovely fresh and very engaging Christmas show for everyone, except perhaps ‘old grumps’.  No, seriously, it is a very funny, joyful, silly and heartwarming show for everyone.  Grown-ups of all ages and kids can have heaps of fun and laughs together.

This show continues the tradition of Malthouse Theatre putting on a children’s show every year.

Moonlight and Magnolias

By Ron Hutchison. Directed by Loretta Bishop. 1812 Theatre, Upper Ferntree Gully (Vic). Nov 19 – Dec 12, 2015

There can’t be anyone who doesn’t know of the blockbuster movie “Gone With The Wind”, particularly among theatre-lovers. 1812 ends its 2015 season with a blockbuster production of its own. Ron Hutchison’s play is a farce – and the events it is based on (in Ben Hecht’s autobiography) are farcical in themselves. Hecht was a legendary screenwriter of the 30s, 40s, and 50s….the Golden Age of Hollywood. When David O.

Social Climbers

By Roger Hall. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport. Director: Helen Maden. Nov 21- Dec 12, 2015

What do you get when you take 6 women (in varying stages of their personal journeys), an isolated bush hut, alcohol and 4 days at the mercy of the elements and wild life? A hilarious piece of theatre!

Helen Maden has taken this play and talented cast and created a memorable piece of theatrical magic. The séance scene (pictured) is a fine example.

The ensemble cast bounce of each other (and everything that they bump into) with flare and take the audience along for the experience.

The Nun and the Highwayman

By Simon Farley. La Mama, EXPLORATIONS, 205 Faraday Street, 26, 27 & 28 November, 2015

This is an intriguing premise for a play and allows for a variety of religious, moral, ethical and political themes to be explored. Farley describes it as a weird play but the encounter he imagines is not unlike that experienced by the soldier John McBurney (Clint Eastwood) in the film The Beguiled (Seigel 1971). Rescued by his enemy McBurney is forced to use his charm and wits to survive his ordeal and, in doing so, in some ways discovers the depths of his depravity.

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