Reviews

Blasted

By Sarah Kane. Malthouse Theatre – The Merlyn. 24 August to 16 September, 2018

Whether you love, hate or are completely overwhelmed by it, there is no doubting that Blasted is an astonishing production of an extraordinary play.  The text by once ‘enfant terrible’ of British Theatre Sarah Kane had its first production at the Royal Court Theatre in 1995.   

This particular rendition boasts a stunning set by Marg Horwell and is directed with exquisite finesse by Anne Marie Sarks

Pawn Again Christian

By Annie Lee. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. September 3rd - 8th, 2018

There is a lot to be said about one’s early years and how indoctrination can play a big part in shaping one’s life. Annie Lee has us in awe of her mind-boggling journey in her first solo show, Pawn Again Christian.

Hallelujah sister and all praise to anyone who can escape the strict confines of a Jehovah’s Witness upbringing. Lee was raised in Launceston and spent part of her childhood living with her family in a lighthouse, only to dream of rooms with corners and having real friends who would not ostracize her for neighborhood door-knocking.

Dry River Run

Opera by Paul Dean. Director/Librettist: Rodney Hall. Queensland Conservatorium. Conductor/Chorus Master: Associate Professor Nicholas Cleobury. Assistant Director/Choreographer: Delia Silvan. Conservatorium Theatre, Southbank, Qld.1 Sep 2018

Paul Dean’s new Australian opera Dry River Run is a powerful and epic piece of theatre. Commissioned by the Queensland Conservatorium, the original work has a libretto by Rodney Hall and is a period folktale based around the outback milieu created by Henry Lawson’s poetry and Barbara Baynton’s short-stories. Set at the time of Federation, the tragic story revolves around the wife (Gladys) and daughter (Veronica) of a recently deceased popular pastoralist, his land-holdings Dry River Run, and his brother, the Reverend Callaway.

She Loves Me

Book by Joe Masteroff. Music by Jerry Bock. Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Hayes Theatre Co. August 24 – September 22, 2018

Musical Theatre tragics, myself included, long found the relative local obscurity of this Broadway musical from the creators of Fiddler on the Roof hard to grasp, having listened rapturously and repeatedly to the original stellar cast recording. After decades of ‘cult’ status, award winning Broadway and West End revivals have spread awareness of this 1960s charm show, now receiving an intimate professional production at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre.

Run For Your Wife

By Ray Cooney. Gold Coast Little Theatre. Director: Dorothy Henderson. Sep 1- 22, 2018.

Farce is described as a boisterous comedy and this production had it all: a laugh-a-minute script executed by a very talented cast under the direction of an equally talented lady!

Voices and Vines

Golding Wines Lobethal. Saturday September 1, 2018

Voices and Vines was a beautiful way to experience the beauty of both well-known and not so well known vocal pieces. Set in the lovely sandstone barn at Golding Winery, this was another example of how fortunate South Australia is with its wealth of world-class singers and the ever-increasing number of interesting, beautiful and acoustically appropriate venues in which they can be showcased.

Voices and Vines featured soprano Karina Bligh, mezzo soprano Charlotte Kelso and guest artist, bass Lachlan Scott, who were accompanied perfectly by Mark Sandon.

The Misanthrope

By Molière. A new version by Justin Fleming. Bell Shakespeare. Playhouse, Sydney Opera House. August 28 – September 28, 2018

Magic happens when Bell Shakespeare collaborates with director Lee Lewis from little Griffin Theatre up at Kings Cross – and even more when Justin Fleming brings the text.

Thrice he’s proved a master at adapting Molière’s old satires and couplets into a contemporary vernacular.  

Here Fleming takes on Molière’s most famous play (circa 1666) about the man who despises the false flattery and conniving of his peers yet pines for a faithless love-rat called Cymbeline.  

Giselle

The Australian Ballet, with Orchestra Victoria. Arts Centre Melbourne. 30th August – September 8th, 2018

Seeing The Australian Ballet perform Giselle is like coming home. If your home is a peasant village or forest graveyard that is. There is something delightfully comforting in seeing a narrative ballet you know so well. Yes, the story in and of itself is somewhat old-fashioned as is the concept of just so much mime in dance, but not everything old should be thrown away. This is never more evident than in the beautiful story-book scrim which transports you into the world beyond.

Rules for Living

By Sam Holcroft. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Arts Theatre. South Australian Premiere. August 30-September 8, 2018.

Stem Cell scientist Sam Holcroft broke all the rules for predictable career progression when she did a complete role twist and became a playwright, but such twists have served her well; not only has she been very successful and awarded in her role reversal, but a talent for twisting a narrative has been bestowed on her too.

plenty serious TALK TALK

Dance Bites 2018. Form Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres. Aug 30 – Sep 1, 2018

No-one could better describe the premise behind Vicki Van Hout’s clever, creative – and philosophical – piece of theatre than the performer herself:

Even if I am on stage by myself, as an artist, I am never truly alone, as I am bound to bring my family, my community, my peers and mentors to work with me. In this piece, I decided to place the usual behind-the-scenes action of the indigenous arts making process front and centre …

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