Reviews

The Secret Singer

By Joanna Weinberg. Lawrence Jackson and John Feitelson in association with Darlinghurst Theatre. Eternity Playhouse. August 28 – September 9, 2018

The real life secret singer Jenny Simm addressed the audience after the show, telling them that watching the performance made her feel like she had been knighted by the Queen.

Her sunny disposition in real life, and through the character portrayed on stage, is delightful.

The musical is a love letter from the writer/composer/director Joanna Weinberg to Jenny and the way their lives intersected, when the thrice married and much abused New Zealander approached her for singing lessons.

Dialogues Des Carmëlites

By Francis Poulenc. Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Director: Jane Davidson. Conductor: Richard Davis. Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford Convent. Aug 30 to Sep 1, 2018

Poulenc’s opera Dialogues Des Carmëlites is one of the masterpieces of the twentieth century. It is a powerful opera set during the French Revolution, based on an actual incident when some Carmelite nuns were sent to the guillotine.

That Eye, the Sky.

Book by Tim Winton, stage adaptation by Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh. State Theatre Company of South Australia. Dunstan Payhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. 24 August - 16 September, 2018.

As a critic who sees a lot of theatre it is not often I come away from a play unsure how I feel about the show. However, I was strangely conflicted in exactly that way immediately after opening night of State Theatre SA’s staging of the Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel That Eye, the Sky.

Stuff Happens

by David Hare. WAAPA Final Year Acting Students. Directed by Gregg T. Daniel. The Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. 24 - 30 Aug, 2018

David Hare’s Stuff Happens is a historical, political drama about the U. S. Invasion of Iraq. Dealing with real life events and people, it is performed as an ensemble piece by the Final Year Acting Students at WAAPA.

Performed on Riley Tapp’s clean, panelled stage, projections and vision help create a myriad of locales including The White House, Downing Street and hotel rooms. The rapidly changing settings are also differentiated by Bradley Hodgkiss’ lighting, with sound design by Matthew Clark and composition by Patrick Middleton adding emotion.

Lovesong

By Abi Morgan. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. Directed by Denny Lawrence. August 21 to 23 September, 2018

Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre’s version of Welsh playwright Abi Morgan’s perceptive and deeply moving play Lovesong is wonderfully cast, perfectly paced, and beautifully produced.

The Fall - All Rhodes Lead to Decolonisation

Big World Up Close program at Arts Centre Melbourne. August 28 to September 2, 2018

Coming to us from The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and presented by students who were directly involved in the action, The Fall is vital, vibrant, massively relevant to our multi-cultural modern world and totally worth catching.

It is a rousing, honest and reflective work of ‘docu drama’ by a group of young people, about a student revolution at Cape Town University that aimed to remove a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes – #RhodesMustFall movement.  This campaign also sparked debate about removing a statue of Cecil Rhodes in Oxford.

Legally Blonde

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. Book by Heather Hach. APAN Entertainment and HAMA Productions. Directed by Nicole Stinton. Musical Direction by Frank La Cava. Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. 24 Aug - 2 Sep, 2018

APAN Entertainment and HAMA Productions’ production of Legally Blonde is huge, lavish and unapologetically pink, bursting onto the stage with youthful energy and a heap of enthusiasm.

The show looks great, with a solid set that transformed smoothly throughout and stunning costumes.

The Madwoman of Chaillot

Based on La Folle de Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux. Translated & adapted by Maria Plumb & Rod Thompson. Villanova Players. Director: Rod Thompson. Seven Hills Theatre, Seven Hills, Brisbane. 25 Aug – 9 Sep 2018

Villanova’s production of The Madwoman of Chaillot is not only a 70th birthday celebration for the group but also a celebration of their return home to their old, but now refurbished theatre after spending the last four years at Yeronga. That their audience were happy to be home was indicated by the almost full house.

We Will Rock You

Music and Lyrics by Queen. Story and Script by Ben Elton. Redcliffe Musical Theatre. Directed by Madeleine Johns. August 24 – September 9, 2018.

This rock musical, as written by Ben Elton, is set in the distant future where everybody thinks, acts and dresses the same, under the control of Killer Queen. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden and rock music is all but unknown. A group of Bohemians, who meet at The Hard Rock Café, struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and live music. Galileo, with his flashes of dreams, and his friend, whom he calls Scaramouche, lead us on the road of discovery. That road is mainly through the music of Queen - and what a great musical way to travel.

Bernstein At 100

Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Alondra de la Parra. Soloist: Andreas Haefliger. Brisbane Chorale, Canticum Chamber Choir, Voices of Birralee. Concert Hall, QPAC. August 25, 2018.

You would have to have been living under a bush not to know that this year marks the 100th birthday of American composer Leonard Bernstein, with major symphony orchestras around the world celebrating it.

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