Reviews

In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play

By Sarah Ruhl. Black Swan State Theatre. Directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. 20 Oct - 4 Nov, 2018

If it wasn’t for the subject matter of In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, you might describe it as a “nice family drama”. It is funny, fresh and vibrant, and while dealing with quite serious issues, there are no “bad guys”, and although there are “hurts”, they are not intentional.

Chasing Smoke

Presented by Casus Circus and Cluster Arts in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse. Visy Theatre, 24 October – 3 November, 2018

Casus Circus is lifting the carpet under which white Australia’s swept the historically disgraceful treatment of first nation peoples. The country’s first and only indigenous contemporary circus ensemble is doing so in a mixed media performance that combines contemporary and indigenous dance, juggling, storytelling, acrobatics, sketch comedy, art, music and a gigantic lamington.

Julius Caesar

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. Directed by James Evans. Sydney Opera House. October 23 - November 25, 2018

There are few plays that are as relentlessly modern as Julius Caesar. There are so many lines that have entered our language; the idea of bringing down an “ambitious” leader feels so very contemporary. With a diverse cast and some male roles - including Mark Antony - played by women, it feels even more so in this Bell Shakespeare production, now concluding a 28-venue national tour.

Circus Oz: Sidesault at the Melba

The Melba Spielgielent, Collingwood. October 18 – 21, 2018

Circus Oz’s Sidesault at this year’s Melba Festival has featured local and international companies that present experimental works that challenge and push the boundaries of contemporary circus. Three of the works are Jugg Life – Jugg Life Productions, Hell Is Other People by Jess Love (Love is the Drug) and Feed The Horse – Radish by Night - performed by carney infused talented individuals!

Degenerate Art

Written & Directed by Toby Schmitz. Red Line Productions. Old Fitz Theatre, Woolloomooloo. October 17 - November 4, 2018.

Toby Schmitz hits almost all marks as the writer of Degenerate Art, its director and also one of this impressive ensemble – he even plays Goebbels, that master of Nazi propaganda.   

Déjà Revue - The Wharf Revue 2018

Written and created by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe. Sydney Theatre Company. The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre. 23 October – 3 November 2018

The insane pace of intrigue in Canberra of late is a mixed blessing for satirists. While, the material is bursting out of Parliament House on a daily basis, the current news cycle is so crazy that the writers of a show like The Wharf Revue need to sprint to keep up. This was the first show without composer Phil Scott, whose music was so much a part of the revue’s successful formula. And that was even before Drew Forsythe (both a major performer and half of the writing team) fell ill and had to withdraw from performing for six weeks.

Don Giovanni

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. West Australian Opera. Directed by Göran Jävefelt, Rehearsal director: Roger Press. His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth, WA. 20 - 27 October, 2018

Although Don Giovanni was written in 1787, and this Göran Jävefelt production was developed in 1991, this opera is truly an opera for our times. Don Giovanni, a nobleman who uses his power to seduce, and is not averse to raping women or murdering those who stand in his way, is not far removed from power wielding men whose exploits have recently come to light. 

The Campaign

By Campion Decent. Tasmanian Theatre Co. and Blue Cow Theatre Co. Tasmania. Directed by Matt Scholten. Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Arts Centre. October 22-November 3, 2018

The Campaign exudes warmth, humour and optimism. All bitterness is eschewed and the culmination, celebratory.

This is an important play. Many young people today will not have been aware of events of the late 80’s and 90’s which lead to the repeal of legislation discriminatory to the LGBTIQ community and yet these same young people enjoy a world that is more tolerant and inclusive as a result.

One and the Other

Devised & performed by Debra Batton & Sue Broadway. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton VIC. 17 – 28 October 2018

A show put together and performed by a couple of old troupers.  They might prefer ‘middle-aged’, but they shouldn’t mind ‘old’ since that’s the powerful if underlying ‘message’ of this show.  ‘Old’ maybe, but still at it – still lithe, skilled, funny and fierce. 

Heathers the Musical

By Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy. MACMS. Lighthouse Theatre, Macquarie Uni. October 19 – 27, 2018

Macquarie University Musical Society’s performance of this new musical, based on the 1989 film of the same name, was filled with an energetic youthful cast of talented students.

The cult/classic film that has now recently been turned into a TV Series on Stan, has a many themes that stand true in society today - Popularity, Depression and Teen Angst.

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