Cirque Adrenaline

Produced by QPAC in association with Tim Lawson and Simon Painter. Concert Hall, QPAC. January 7 – 17, 2015

With over 30 elite athletes and performers, Cirque Adrenaline brings together a combination of intense acrobatics and death-defying stunts in a performance that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Disco Pigs

By Enda Walsh. Throwing Shade Productions. Fusebox Studio at the Factory Theatre. January 7 – 9, 2016

Enda Walsh and Throwing Shade Productions deserve a far bigger audience than the six of us who graced the opening night performance of Disco Pigs. A succinct but harsh little play, it requires a tight, energetic, ‘kick arse’ performance that leaves the audience – and the actors – decidedly fazed, and Andrew Langcake’s production does just that.

It’s fast, hard-hitting, decidedly disturbing – and a tribute to actors Courtney Powell and Jeff Hampson who take on the roles of two unlikely (and not very likeable) characters.


Created by Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan and Robert Wilson. Thalia Theatre, Hamburg. Sydney Festival. Carriageworks. January 7 – 12, 2016.

The Sydney Festival has opened its 40th year - and the last by its Flemish artistic director Lieven Bertels - with an appropriately, surreal, circus-sized music theatre telling of a great German classic.

Based on the landmark early social drama by the young Georg Buchner in 1836, Hamburg’s Thalia Theatre has re-conceived the acclaimed version created by director Robert Wilson and composers Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan in 2000. 

The Object Lesson

Created and performed by Geoff Sobelle. Sydney Festival / Perth International Arts Festival. Sydney Town Hall. Jan 7 – 22, 2016, then Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA, Feb 11 - 14, 2016

Boxes – and the objects in them – are the remains of life. And for the esoteric American performance artist Geoff Sobelle, this means they’re ripe for exploration.

You’re invited into his space – in this case, stacks of cardboard boxes installed into Sydney Town Hall – with the suggestion you open some of the boxes, rifle through them and see what you learn.

Jasper Jones

Adapted by Kate Mulvany from the book by Craig Silvey. Belvoir. January 2 – February 7, 2016.

Belvoir is off to a flying start for 2016 with Jasper Jones. Kate Mulvany has proved yet again she can do no wrong with her playful, poignant adaptation of Craig Silvey’s book.

When a parochial country Australian township becomes paralysed by fear following the disappearance of teen Laura, the racist, abusive underbelly of the town is exposed. Jasper Jones and sidekick Charlie’s determination to do good and solve the mystery of Laura’s mistreatment see them unearthing truths that turn dreams to nightmares. 


By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Emma Knights Productions. Four Oaks Farm, Littlehampton (SA). 7th-10th January, 2016

A massive success when it debuted on Broadway in 1943, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first musical Oklahoma!, based on Lynn Riggs play Green Grow the Lilacs, has stood the test of time, clocking up many revivals.

Fiddler on The Roof

Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Book by Joseph Stein. Directed by Roger Hodgman. Princess Theatre Melbourne, January 5, 2015 until end of Feb, 2016, the Capitol Theatre, Sydney from March 24, 2016.

When Tevye and the villagers open the show with a rousing rendition of “Tradition” at The Princess Theatre, they are singing, not just about history, but about the production itself. There’s nothing wrong with this new Fiddler, but there’s nothing new, exciting or innovative either. It’s traditional. If you like your theatre with a little bit of edge (and certainly the story lends itself to drama and edge) then you will be disappointed; ‘on the other hand’ if you’ve never seen Fiddler live before, you will probably love it.

Miss Lily's Fabulous Feather Boa

Directed by Michael Barlow. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, WA. Jan 4-30, 2016

Although I have had the pleasure of seeing Miss Lily's Fabulous Feather Boa before, this incarnation is perhaps even more magical, a gorgeous production aimed at kids, presented and received with joy.

Miss Lily is an exuberant and friendly crocodile, who runs a tropical holiday house. Among the guests are cricket-loving koalas and footy playing wombats, but most in need of Miss Lily's company is 'The Last Poteroo' who is lonely and feeling lost.

But Wait… There’s More

Circus Oz. Under the Big Top, Moore Park, Sydney. Dec 30 2015 – Jan 24, 2016

When you enter the foyer of the Circus Oz big top, there’s a man loudly selling programs, promising that if you buy, you can learn to read, become even smarter and pick up invaluable information to help “understand the show”. At interval, the same man is selling choc tops, again an over-the-top salesman, promising products that will change your life.

Mary Poppins

Music and lyrics by The Sherman Brothers and George Stiles and Anthony Drew. Book by Julian Fellowes. PLOS (Vic). Directed by Karl McNamara. Frankston Arts Centre. December 31st 2015 –January 9th 2016.

It’s becoming a tradition on the Mornington Peninsula….end the old year with a spectacular PLOS production, and Mary Poppins is certainly that – a delightful musical that offers the best of the 1964 Disney film married with additional music (not quite up to the standard of The Sherman Brothers) and with a book by Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes. Essentially it’s the story of the Banks Family, which may be why the PLOS family tells it so beautifully.

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