The Grumpiest Boy in the World

Victorian Opera. Director: Cameron Menzies. Conductor: Simon Bruckard. Malthouse Theatre. October 2 – 4, 2015.

Victorian Opera does some amazing work. They appear to have many streams, all running concurrently. This opera involved their Youth Opera performers. It was also a world premiere.

All the performers were between fifteen and twenty-five and full of the exuberance of youth. They were also well drilled. The venue worked well, as younger members of the audience could observe the orchestra in the open pit as well as the action on stage.

Swan Lake

National Russian Ballet. The Concourse Theatre Chatswood, October 2, 2015 and touring nationally

There is often a sense of anticipation about a production from an international ballet company, and, while it may not be fair to our own Australian ballet, productions from overseas attract, it seems, a wider audience. So much so, that many of the houses for the Russian Ballet Tour are booked out, as was the opening night of Swan Lake.

Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker

Rehearsal Room, Adelaide Festival Centre. OzAsia Festival. 30 September - 3 October, 2015.

The title may suggest social satire, or even a wild parody of some kind - but Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker is almost beyond categories. Beyond words, perhaps...

Upon entry into the arena of the 'Berserker', socks and shoes are required to be cast off, ponchos are deployed for our own protection and preservation, and earplugs are ominously provided...

As it turns out, a sensible precaution. Spinal Tap's amplifiers may go to eleven, but for this particular troupe, 'eleventyleven' would barely begin to describe the din they create!

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Emma Sproule. Dionysus Theatre (Vic). McClelland College Performing Arts Centre. Oct 2nd to 10th, 2015

Emma Sproule is one of the most innovative directors in the world of community theatre, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Dionysus’ new production of arguably the Bard’s greatest tragedy.

Dirty Dancing

By Eleanor Bergstein. Adelaide Festival Theatre. October 2-25, 2015

Adelaide’s Dirty Dancing enthusiasts are turning up in excited droves to see the dance show that’s based on the iconic movie that starred the late Patrick Swayze.

Ten years after its world premiere in Sydney, the stage show remains a worldwide hit. It’s not deep and meaningful theatre and it’s not strictly a musical; in fact the stars of the show don’t sing and the plot is almost incidental to the main focus, the dance moves, but the fans on opening night loved it.

Quick Death and Slow Love

Written & directed by Richard Murphet. La Mama, Carlton (VIC). 30 September – 11 October 2015.

Quick Death isn’t about Death and Slow Love is not about Love.  Well, not exactly.  This pair of clever one-act plays present images, catchphrases, and, yes, wittily chosen clichés that represent death and love, chiefly in cinema, but also in literature, and therefore, possibly, in our easily influenced imaginations.  Much laughter springs from the audience’s recognition of these tropes – but the underlying intention is deadly serious.  Richard Murphet is demonstrating for us how these representations, beguiling as they

The Return

By Reg Cribb. University of Adelaide Theatre Guild. Little Theatre, University of Adelaide. October 3-17, 2015

Contemporary psychological thrillers are difficult for theatre companies to stage because the tension that must be present to unsettle and therefore satisfy audiences can be difficult to achieve and even harder to sustain. When the script contains a liberal amount of dark humour the task of balancing the laughs with maintenance of suspense is a very challenging one indeed.

Patient 12

By Kevin Summers. The Bakery, 1812 Theatre (Vic). 1st - 24th October, 2015

With the hundredth anniversary of Gallipoli this year, there are none of us left to even give a second thought on how Australian Society suffered and survived during, and in the follow up to World War 1. It is left to playwrights, like Kevin Summers, to prick our consciences (and our memories) by reaching us emotionally through drama. Patient 12 is not an easy play to perform or watch. A young soldier, with his face blown off, is in a Melbourne Repat hospital and is going to die. There is no way to identify him except for an initial tattooed on his chest.

The Red Balloon

Adapted from the Albert Lamorisse film by Hilary Bell. Black Swan Lab. Directed by Chrissie Parrott. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, WA. Oct 1-17, 2015

Black Swan Lab’s World Premiere of The Red Balloon, is based on the 1956 Albert Lamorisse short film of the same name, and has been adapted for the stage by Hilary Bell. Directed by Chrissie Parrott, it is a loving homage to the source material and is a gentle, tender piece that relies more on aesthetics than words.

Edward II

By Christopher Marlowe. Sport for Jove. Seymour Centre. October 1 – 17, 2015

Christopher Marlowe’s account of Edward II of England condenses the twenty turbulent years of his reign into an exposé of love and lust, politics and power.

Fie on love that,

Hatchet death and hate.’Kent: Scene Act V, Sc iv

Director Terry Karabelas: “Marlowe explores how excess and passion always lead to catastrophe and destruction. (It is) an historical tragedy…that transcends time and speaks to our contemporary world where the personal is political and the political is always driven by the personal”.

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