Reviews

The Neighbourhood

By Todd MacDonald, Aleea Monsour and Ari Palani. Presented by La Boite Theatre Company, Multicultural Australia and Empire Theatre. Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane. 8 to 29 February, 2020

The universe needs more productions like The Neighbourhood. In a world premiere for La Boite and Empire Theatres, this show’s positive tone and sparky creativity is a welcome antidote to negativity and fear in discussions around immigration and racism. Here, the headlines are real people. The talented cast welcome everyone in, and draw on their own very personal truths to add humanity to the equation. Complex and painful stories are not shied away from, but The Neighbourhood is an excellent entry point for some to start a positive and meaningful conversation.

Viagara Falls and the 70 Year Old Virgin

By Janet Findlay & Alan Youngson. Sunnybank Theatre Group, Sunnybank, Qld. Director: Alan Youngson. 14-29 February 2020

Farce is one of the staples of community theatre and this new title, which premiered last year at Ipswich, follows the rules of the genre; a set with plenty of doors to slam, a convoluted story involving sex, cross-dressing, and characters with funny accents. Viagara Falls ticks all the boxes. Aimed at the seniors market, there are enough giggles and laughs to satisfy undemanding audiences who just want a good night out.

At Affinity’s End

Written and directed by Amanda Crewes. Fringe World. The Actors Hub Studio, Kensington St, East Perth, WA. Feb 11, 2020

At Affinity’s Endis an unusual love story that charts the anatomy of a relationship over a period of eight years. Audiences become invested with this couple and share their laughter and tears, in this touching play with lovely writing and thought-provoking themes.

Post-Mortem

By Iskandar R. Sharazuddin. Ellandar Productions & 45North. Adelaide Fringe. Holden Street Theatres. February 11 -23, 2020

UK based theatre companies Ellandar Productions and 45North have joined forces to bring us an illuminating tale of young love. As the title would suggest, it examines the remnants of a failed relationship, whilst dissecting the causes and behaviours associated with its breakdown.

The Aspie Hour

By Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley. Directed by Fiona Scott-Norman. Musical direction by Rainer Pollard. The Blue Room Theatre - Main Space, James St, Perth Cultural Centre. Feb 11-15, 2020

The Aspie Hour is one of those shows that had me texting people on the way back to the car, saying “Book for this show NOW!”, only to discover that it is sold out. Very different, very strong and very funny, we can only hope that this show returns to Perth in the near future.

MissCast Again

Written and directed by Dixie Johnstone. Fringe World. Lotteries West De Parel Spiegeltent, Woodside Pleasure Gardens, Russell Square, Northbridge. Feb 11-16, 2020

Some of our favourite Musical Theatre performers perform songs that they are "wrong for”, whether they be the incorrect gender, age or colour to perform these roles under ‘normal’ circumstances. Zealous Productions’ MissCast Again is an entirely new show based on the premise of last year’s very successful MissCast. 

Confessions of a Mormon Boy

By Steven Fales. Midsumma Festival. February 7 – 9, 2020

An international one man show - Confessions Of A Mormon Boy - a true story, has returned to Australia for the Midsumma Festival. It’s performed and written by Steven Fales, who exudes a charming stage presence, matched with a big cheesy smile and loads of gay Mormon pride.

Faust

Music by Charles Gounod. Librettists : Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. Opera Australia. Sydney Opera House. February 14 - March 11, 2020

This is an extraordinary production of an opera which might not boast the best known tunes in the genre, but jolts the senses with musical lighting. The first act is rather grim. Faust, weary of life, is stopped from taking his own life by the light of dawn and the appearance of Satan (Mephistopheles). He does the famous deal with the devil, where his hedonistic demands will only be met if he agrees to hand over his soul.

Heathers

By Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy. HAMA Productions. Fringe World. Directed by Olivia Collier, vocal direction by Veronica Bravo. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth, WA. Feb 6-9, 2020

HAMA Productions’ Heathers played to full houses during its short Fringe World run, and it deserved its success, a well produced and tight show, with some strong performances.

Using the full depth of Studio Underground’s stage, the show was played on an almost bare stage, usually using only rostra and lighting to set each scene. Costuming was “traditional”, reflecting both the source film and the original Broadway production, with colour used very well.

The Actress

By Peter Quilter. Directed by Carryn McLean. Stirling Theatre, Morris Pl, Innaloo, WA. Feb 7-22, 2020

Peter Quilter is known for his plays about theatrical women, including End of the Rainbow, about Judy Garland, and Glorious, about amateur opera diva Florence Foster Jenkins. The Actress’ central character is the fictional Lydia Martin, but is another wonderful role and very interesting story.

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