Reviews

Footloose The Musical

Based on the original screenplay by Dean Pritchard; Adaptation by Dean Pritchard and Walter Bobbie; Music by Tom Snow and Lyrics Dean Pritchard. Javeenbah Theatre Co. Nerang, Gold Coast. Directed by Amy-Louise Anderson and Jocelyn Moore-Carter. May 23rd to June 7th, 2014

With a sell-out production on their hands, Javeenbah’s Footloose is fast paced, full of life and a sure-fire hit, led by “Pocket Rocket” Jackson Brash as Ren, Lauren Steiner as the rebellious Ariel, Jy Etherington as the awkward Farm Boy Willard, Nathan Skaines as the bigoted Rev Shaw Moore and a supporting cast of well rehearsed adults and youngsters.

Love Letters

By A.R. Gurney. HIT Productions. Directed by Denny Lawrence. Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre (The Q). 21–24 May 2014 and touring nationally

Love Letters takes the unusual format of the reading by their character authors of a correspondence between two lifelong friends, both at various times desperate to become lovers and more.  The correspondence could work as a short story, but then you’d be missing something vital, because the subtle body language infuses the dialogue not only with life but also with what shines between the lines.

 

Ghosts

By Henrik Ibsen. Director: Gale Edwards. MTC. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner/ May 17 - June 21, 2014

Ibsen, that most modern (for his time) playwright of poetic perfection, is somehow made to seem outdated and melodramatic in this poorly realised production full of altered text and linguistic anachronisms.

Loves & Hours

By Stephen Metcalfe. Galleon Theatre Group. Domain Theatre, Marion (SA). May 22-31, 2014

Adelaide’s Galleon Theatre Group has a happy knack of successfully producing comedies that are outside mainstream amateur theatre fare. The company’s productions are often quirky, darkly funny or decidedly tongue-in-cheek. Helped by Erik Strauts’ excellent direction and a fine ensemble cast, Galleon’s Australian premiere of Stephen Metcalfe’s Loves & Hours is all of this and more.

Urinetown The Musical

Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis. Music and lyrics by Mark Hollman. Dural Musical Society. Dural Soldiers Memorial Hall. May 18 – 31, 2014.

A powerful businessman bribing a corrupt politician for control of water resources; no it’s not the latest ICAC song and dance, it’s Urinetown The Musical.

Urinetown is a Broadway musical so satirical that it even sends up its own rather dodgy title, as it tells the story of how a long-lasting drought leads to pay-per-pee public toilets controlled by a corrupt monopoly.

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare. Black Swan State Theatre Company. Directed by Roger Hodgman. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. 17 May - 1 Jun, 2014.

As You Like It is a striking production, with high visual impact and top-notch performances.

 

The Magic Hour

By Vanessa Bates. Queensland Theatre Company. The Bille Brown Studio, 20 – 31 May 2014; The Street Theatre, Canberra, July 4 - 6, and touring.

Six fairy tales are transplanted into modern Australia, reimagined from the points of view of female bit parts, Rosencranz and Gildenstern are Dead style, who are bad, ugly, or overlooked in the originals. Fairy tales make wonderful fodder for exploration of assumptions built in to cultures – you can tell a lot from who is baddy, who is the goody, whose story is told and who is left behind. There’s that mix of magic, morality tale and the grotesque, reawakening images and fears from childhood.

Musicals in Concert with Rachael Beck

Directed by Marina Del Basso. Riverside Theatre, Perth Convention Centre, WA. 18 May 2014

Rachael Beck shone in the single concert at the Perth Convention Centre, which also highlighted the talents of over two hundred young West Australian performers.

Musicals in Concert is an innovation of the Australian Performing Arts Network (APAN), to bring an outstanding musical theatre performer to Perth, to perform alongside developing performers. Previous stars have been Lucy Durack and Todd McKenny.

The Young Tycoons

By CJ Johnson. Directed by Michael Pigott. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Eternity Playhouse. May 16-June 15, 2014.

Australians have long been fascinated by their country’s dynasties and the way these families’ personal interests often collide with their business pursuits. So it was little surprise that The Young Tycoons, about the efforts of two heirs to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, was a huge success in 2005, and sold out on return in 2006.

The White Prince

Directed, Choreographed and Produced by Stephen Agisilaou. Vertical Shadows Dance Company. Arts House/ Meat Market. 16 - 24 May, 2014.

There are some exquisitely mesmerising images in this dreamlike production which will stay with the audience forever. Stephen Agisilaou is a man of taste, and constantly pushing the envelope, that is why he is a marvellous asset to the Melbourne Arts scene. In The White Prince he shuns the idea of linear narrative to permit the audience to create the story from the visuals unfolding, allowing their imaginations to interpret what is on the stage. Ultimately this is the production’s undoing.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.