Reviews

Pippin

Book: Roger O. Hirson, Music and lyrics Stephen Schwartz. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Director: Trent Ivett. February 19th to Mar 12th, 2016

In this age of noise and gimmicks, it’s refreshing to come across a great “old fashioned” show with a great sing-a-long score and a variety of colourful costumes.

Pippin first came to Broadway in 1972 and, since then, has had a number of international tours and revivals.

Spotlight’s staging is around a carnival trailer surrounded by a black stage, which became a trifle boring (considering their last production was also basically black).

Cougar Morrison, RAWWR!

Directed by Clint Strindberg. Connections Nightclub, Fringe World, Northbridge, WA. Feb 17-21, 2016

Cougar Morrison was one of the hottest cabaret productions of Fringe World 2015 and it would seem that word has got out. This year's opening night played to a packed house at Connections, with an eclectic and enthusiastic audience.

Neel Kolhatkar

Arkaba Hotel. Adelaide Fringe. 20-21st Feb, 2016

You-tube and social media sensation Neel Kolhatkar is one of Australia’s favourite comedians at the moment. His millions of views guaranteed him a sold out show and if tonight is anything to go by a successful season.

The Punter’s Siren

By Gina Schien. Blancmange Productions. Blood Moon Theatre, The World Bar, Kings Cross. February 17 – March 5, 2016.

Gina Schien’s short but pithy little play is a crowd pleaser. It’s suggestive, provocative and very funny. Director Stephen Carnell brings his 2012 production back to the stage for Mardi Gras, with his original cast. Together they do the play proud.

Cinderella

Ballet by Alexei Ratmansky. Music: Sergei Prokofiev. Australian Ballet. Lyric Theatre, Brisbane. 19-24 February 2016

Alexei Ratmansky is the most sought-after classical ballet choreographer in the world today. Currently under contract to the American Ballet Theatre until 2023, it was indeed a coupe for the Australian Ballet to secure his services to re-imagine his take on the world’s most popular fairytale, which he originally created for the Marinsky Ballet in 2002.

Love and Hate

Written and Directed by Damon Lockwood. The Art Gallery Theatrette, Perth Cultural Centre, Fringe World, Perth, WA. Feb 9-20, 2016

Love and Hate is three short plays with the themes of love and hate, all written and directed by Damon Lockwood. Superbly acted, they work well together to form a thought provoking production.

Damon Lockwood has created three plays, which are strikingly different in style, narrative and feel.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare. Sly Rat Theatre Company. Pipemaker’s Park, The Living Museum of the West, Maribyrnong. 19-28 February 2016.

Sly Rat Theatre Company provides a very entertaining and fulfilling outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s comedy. They are able to elicit much of the charm and humour this play has to offer and occasionally provide intense moments of drama that contrast well with the light-hearted elements. Puck (Brendan Ewing) moves on faun hooves that give his movement and persona an unusual quality and make him a very unearthly being.

The Vaude-Villainous Mr Gorski

Gluttony – The Speakeasy. Adelaide Fringe. February 12th-21st, 2016

Daniel Gorski’s alter ego The Vaude-Villainous Mr. Gorski is proof that the Fringe caters to all ages. He is charismatic and manic as he barely takes a breath to deliver 45 minutes of sheer mayhem.

Dressed in an over-sized red pin-striped suit, complete with a painted on twirling moustache, he is not unlike a caricature of a gangster of yesteryear. Police sirens grab your attention as he madly enters the performing space; he is wanted by authorities for being outrageously funny.

Sylvia

By A.R. Gurney. Pymble Players. February 17 – March 12, 2016

A play about a dog always has the possibility of being a crowd pleaser. If the dog is also a character, and the play is a comedy, that could be a double whammy, especially if the play is directed well and the ‘dog’ is energetic and convincingly lovable!

Such is the case with Pymble Players’ first play of the year.

The Blind Giant is Dancing

By Stephen Sewell. Belvoir. February 23 – March 20, 2016

Stephen Sewell wrote this political drama in 1983 as Australia slipped into recession and drought and faced economic changes which, while enhancing wealth for some, forever shifted the moral debate around our national and community behaviours. 

Despite illusions of freedom, capitalism he says always finds a way to win.  This surviving Marxist talk, and allusions to Allende’s lost democracy in Chile just a decade earlier, may date this play but only superficially.

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