Reviews

Arcadia

By Tom Stoppard. Canberra Repertory. Director: Aarne Neeme, AM Theatre 3, Acton 1–16 August 2014.

Occasionally a work comes along that is captivating either in its mystery or in the cultural and scientific wealth it shares.  This is both.  The joy of sharing with fellow audience members such wealth and engaging in such mystery makes it all the richer, a kind of cooperative–competitive sport with no losers.

 

Mr Kolpert

By David Gieselmann, translated by David Tushingham. Pantsguys Productions. ATYP Wharf Studio 1 (NSW). 30th July – 16th August 2014

This show has anarchy, a definite post-modern morality and full frontal nudity, of both sexes, but the safest thing to say, is that this show is hilarious. You begin by walking in and seeing an actor monitor two electric puppies rotating and gyrating on the floor and immediately you are disarmed and charmed. Then he leaves. Then a peculiar couple come on and live house until their guests for the evening arrive. This is no drawing-room comedy. This is black comedy … pitch at times.

Walking into the Bigness.

By Richard Frankland. Directed by Wayne Blair & Chris Mead. Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, August 1 – 23, 2014

Walking into the Bigness recounts stories from the life of Richard Frankland, the indigenous Australian singer-songwriter, poet, filmaker, activist and playwright.

David Harris: Time is a Traveller

Musical Director: David Cameron. Chapel off Chapel. 6-8th August, 2014

Time and time again we see that being a great singer is not enough to ensure a following. It takes something more, beyond the actual talent, and those that have it are in the minority. It’s a gift, and you can’t manufacture it. If anyone is confused about what the elusive nature of “Star Quality” is, they have only to see David Harris romance his audience for a solid 90 minutes to understand.

The Magic Flute on Tour

By Mozart. Opera Australia. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta- August 4 & 5, 2014 and touring nationally.

This last – and quirkiest – of Mozart’s operas has always been the ideal vehicle for introducing opera to the young and the young at heart. This production – adapted, translated into English and directed by playwright Michael Gow – certainly makes the most of the comic aspects of librettist Schikaneder’s story and characters and the correspondingly magical fun that Mozart had with the music.

Lady Sings It Better

Blackcat Productions. Hayes Theatre Co. Sunday 3 and 10 August 2014. Also at The Factory on October 4.

Four Ms wiggle and riff on the misogyny of male music

Le Noir - The Dark Side of Cirque

TML Enterprises Production. Creative Producer: Simon Painter. Director/Choreographer: Neil Dorward. Composer: Julian Wiggins. Resident Director: Mathieu Laplante. Lyrics Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. 1-17 August 2014

Le Noir is a show in the nouveau cirque tradition that mixes a series of impossibly breathtaking circus acts with a whole lot of theatrical glitz. It not only dazzles the eye but stops the heart with its jaw-dropping feats of athletic skill and precision. The performers, mostly former alumni of Cirque du Soleil, not only excel in their ability, but also looked incredibly hot in seductive and sexy costumes.

No Man’s Land

By Harold Pinter. University of Adelaide Theatre Guild. The Little Theatre. August 2-16, 2014.

When you have an experienced and knowledgeable director, together with a supremely talented cast, the difficult challenge of staging a Pinter play can turn into a triumph. The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild has all the elements just right with its superb production of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land.

Four Places

By Joel Drake Johnson. The Tap Gallery Upstairs (NSW). 2 July - 10 August 2014

Generational change does not necessarily bring change…

Quills

By Doug Wright. Directed by Chris Baldock. A Mockingbird Production. Arts House – the Meat Markets, North Melbourne. 2nd-15th August, 2014

Oh, if only all theatre companies were as brave as Mockingbird. Good theatre should be more than just entertaining, it should be always evocative and, when possible, provocative and even confronting. Director Chris Baldock doesn’t shy away from any of these in his production of Doug Wright’s seldom-performed gasp-a-minute play Quills, about the (fictitious) last days of the infamous Marquis de Sade in Charenton asylum.

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