Reviews

Puss In Boots

By Ben Crocker. Directed by Douglas Sutherland Bruce. Garrick Theatre, Guildford, WA. Nov 28 - Dec 14, 2019

Pantomime season is well and truly upon us, and while there are a few pantos yet to open, Garrick Theatre’s Puss in Boots will be hard to beat for quality this season. This is a huge production, despite the tiny stage, and features a baker's dozen of ‘principal roles’ with quite a few featured appearances.

Lots of songs in this pantomime, which are well performed under the musical direction of Lyn Brown, who leads a 4 piece band. Siobhan Vincent does well to choreograph over twenty dancers, of very varied skill, in a restricted space.

Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There

By Lewis Carrol adapted by Rosemary Nursey-Bray. Murdoch Theatre Company. Directed by Jordan D’Arcy. Studio 411, Murdoch University, WA. Nov 28-30, 2019

Murdoch Theatre Company’s production of Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There was a sweet journey across a chess board with some fabulous characters with appeal to both adults and children.

In the first square we met Alice, played with conviction by Natalia Myslinkska, who anchors this adventure rather nicely. We get our first glimpse at Matthew Moynihan’s chessboard inspired set and Sabrina Wyatt’s effective lighting design.

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol

By Alan McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr. Stirling Players. Directed by Carole Wilson. Stirling Theatre, Innaloo, WA. Nov 22 - Dec 7, 2019

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society (FAHETGDS) series, is a collection of ten plays, all featuring the ladies of a drama club as they struggle to put on a classic play. In Stirling Player’s latest production, in an appropriate choice for the season. The ladies tackle A Christmas Carol.

Krapp’s Last Tape

By Samuel Beckett. Red Line Productions. Old Fitz Theatre, Woolloomooloo. Nov 26 – Dec 14, 2019

Brian Thomson’s set and Veronique Bennett’s lighting at the Old Fitz embrace Krapp, providing him with the dim space and light he craves: “The new light above my head is a great improvement. With all this darkness around me I feel less alone.”  

Sixty shabby filing drawers tower like a wall over him. A ladder propped beside allows him access to the uppermost drawers. His battered desk is centred under “the new light”. Its globe dims each time he moves away. 

West Side Story

Book by Arthur Laurents. Music by Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Opera Australia and GWS Productions. Adelaide Festival Centre. 29 November- 6 December, 2019

Opening on Broadway in 1957, West Side Story revolutionised the American musical. Here was amazing music, wonderful choreography and the most famous love story ever told - Romeo and Juliet - all set against the grimy, working class west side of New York. It had everything- passion, rivalry, racism, violence and love.

Raoul Wallenberg Saved Me and Five Minutes to Midnight

By Neil Cole. Chapel off Chapel, Prahran. 27 November – 8 December 2019

These two plays, companion pieces, concern history that risks being lost - or is indeed unknown to many people.  Both feature real people – neurologist Professor Frank Vajda, the late Kitia Altman, survivor of Auschwitz, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and ‘Final Solution’ administrator Adolf Eichmann.

Coram Boy

Adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson from Jamila Gavin’s novel. bAKEHOUSE Theatre and KXT. Nov 22 – Dec 7, 2019

In England and America Coram Boy has been played on vast stages with large casts, lush costumes, a chorus and an orchestra. It’s an epic tale, set in eighteenth-century England, with Dickensian themes and characters – a perfect vehicle for a main stage extravaganza!

Bang! Bang!

Choreographed by Shona Erskine and Scott Elstermann. The Blue Room Theatre, Northbridge WA. Nov 26 - Dec 14, 2019

Bang! Bang! is a theatrical dance double header playing at the Blue Room. Called Bang! Bang! for the themes of murder, melodrama and well, murder, the title might also apply to the fact that both these shows are little bangers.

Her Hour Upon The Stage

By Lucy Seale. Shakespearean Jeans. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. Nov 27 – 30, 2019.

The Melbourne based theatre company Shakespearean Jeans, established in 2017 by Lucy Seale together with Nicola Dobinson, have taken it in their stride to come up with a wonderful reinvention of Macbeth.

Matriarch

Written by Sandy Greenwood and Oliver V Cowley. Directed by Jasmin Sheppard. Presented by QPAC as part of Clancestry 2019. Cremorne Theatre, 27 - 30 Nov 2019

Upon entering the Cremorne, you’re greeted with a huge representation of Australian Aboriginal artwork projected on screen at the back of the stage. Beneath it, simple but effective set design of natural elements – grasses, rocks, shells – along with indigenous art depicting a creek on the floor immediately transport you to the bush. A soundtrack of bird and animal calls, and live didgeridoo played by Minjarrah Jarrett further enhance the mood as the performer, Sandy Greenwood emerges on stage.

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