Music & Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul Book: Peter Duchan. Bankstown Theatre Company. Director: Meg Day, Musical Director: Clare Moroney, Choreographer: Lauren Nalty. Bankstown Arts Centre. March 16 – 24, 2018.

Bankstown’s Dogfight is not just a great show, it’s a powerful and emotional experience.

Meg Day’s direction and set design, Clare Moroney’s musical direction, Lauren Nalty’s choreography, Rod Bertram’s evocative lighting and sound, the orchestra’s playing, and John Plaege’s props all combine to make an effective and professional-looking production. Add to that a cast in which there is not one weak link and you can get ready for the heartstrings to be pulled.

Oedipus Schmoedipus

By post (Zoë Coombs Marr, Mish Grigor and Natalie Rose). The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre. 14 March 2018 and touring thereafter

Imagine taking all the “important” plays of the great Western Canon and stripping them right down to the meaty bits—the bits where people die. Well, you don’t have to imagine, because it’s been done already by Zoë Coombs Marr, Mish Grigor and Natalie Rose in Oedipus Schmoedipus.

La Bayadère

Music: Ludwig Minkus. Libretto: Sergei Khudekov & Marius Petipa. Queensland Ballet and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Director & Choreographer: Greg Horsman, after Marius Petipa. Conductor & Musical Arrangement: Nigel Gaynor. Playhouse, QPAC, 17 March 2018

It’s been nine years since Queensland ballet-lovers have had the chance to see La Bayadère, when Paris Opera Ballet staged Rudolf Nureyev’s production of it at QPAC for the first International Series in 2009.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

Music: Jimmy Roberts. Book & Lyrics: Joe DiPietro. Savoyards - Name of Project (NoP) initiative (Qld). Director: Gabriella Flowers. Musical Director: Danika Saal. Choreographer: Desney Toia-Sinapati. Star Theatre, Manly. 17 - 24 March 2018

This long-running Off-Broadway revue was a perfect fit for the Savoyards audience - a middlebrow look at male-female relationships presented in a series of sketches and songs that covered nerds on a date, macho posturing, baby-talking parents, geriatric romance and others. Not the wittiest or incisive work in the world, the music mines the pastiche basket and lite rock, the lyrics rhyme (even if falsely at times), but it’s genial and undemanding.


By David Auburn. FREEFALL Productions. Directed by Derek Walker. The Q, Queanbeyan. 14–17 March 2018 and touring NSW and VIC

David Auburn’s Proof addresses the perennial problem of overestimating our knowledge, particularly our knowledge of others’ limits.


human requiem

By Johannes Brahms. Adelaide Festival. Rundfunkchor Berlin. Staged by Jochen Sandig and Sasha Waltz & Guests. Ridley Centre. March 14 – 18, 2018

human requiem (no capital letters) was the most amazing way to finish off the 2018 Adelaide Festival. This was the counterweight to delving the depths with warring kings, revengeful brothers and murderous uncles.

The examination of the human condition continued in the music of The German Requiem by Brahms, which takes its listeners on a journey that reminds us that we are mortal and will therefore die.

There is grief, that this is so, followed by gratitude for the life lived and acceptance that death is part of life, wonder and joy.  

Don Quichotte

By Jules Massenet. Opera Australia. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Mar 16 – 28, 2018

Of Jules Massenet’s some 25 operas, Don Quichotte is one of his few to be still produced – and yet until now never in Australia.  

With the name role of Cervantes’ legendary old knight, tilting at windmills, the opera is a star vehicle, so it was a shock on opening night when Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto was announced as ill, and replaced by the young Australian understudy Shane Lowrencev.


Adelaide Festival. Bangarra Dance Theatre. Dunstan Playhouse. 15th – 18th March 2018

Woollarawarre Bennelong was an Eora man, from the Wangal clan in the Port Jackson area. In 1789 he was captured by order of Governor Phillip and taken to Sydney, essentially to enable the study of the “savage”. However, Bennelong learnt English and became a crucial intermediary between his clan and the colonial forces.

Carrie The Musical

Based on novel by Stephen King. Music by Michael Gore. Lyrics by Dean Pitchford/ Book by Laurence D Cohen. PRIMA. Directed by Drew Der Kinderen. Wongara Cultural Centre, Northgate. March 16 – April 1, 2018

Carrie, the central figure of the musical, is growing up unaware of the development of her body nor the school and world in which she lives. This is mainly due to the rigid control by her mother who is a religious fanatic, in the worse sense possible. Unfortunately, the school class members are intolerant and abusive to her. Sound familiar to the present day, with bullying so prevalent across much of our society? In one fight with her mother she learns she has telekenesis power and we learn later what that means.


Adelaide Fringe Festival. House of Sand. Holden Street Theatres/The Studio. February 28th – March 17th, 2018

The production company House of Sand is the creative brainchild of siblings Eliza and Charles Sanders. Having already won several awards for their collaborations, their strong works have not gone unnoticed and with Castles it does not take long to see why.

Entering the performance space, the audience is met with a strong female body clad only in black underwear. It appears that she is tangled up in her own arms, fighting to free herself from the constraints of her own mind. Deathly silence is broken only by the sounds of frustration.

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