No Pay? No Way!

By Dario Fo. A new adaptation by Marieke Hardy. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Feb 10 – Apr 4, 2020.

The audience was greeted by the exterior of a non-descript double storey apartment block in Italy in the 1970’s. What happened to the façade, to bring us inside the working class abode was positively thrilling – especially for those sitting near the front. 

Les Misérables

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg. Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Original French text byAlain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. Additional Material by James Fenton. Adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. Packemin Productions. Riverside Theatre, Paramatta. February 14 – 29, 2020

This is a brilliant production! The standing ovation it received on opening night was thoroughly deserved. The direction is brilliant. The voices are superb. The action is dramatic. It is everything a production of Les Misérables should be – and what one expects of a Packemin production. The fact that the season is almost sold out is indicative of the esteem in which the company is held by its western Sydney audiences.

2 Cats Drove Into The Cuckoo's Nest

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Upstairs @ The Histo. Feb 17 – 26, 2020

Ralph Hadzic and Steve Davis are not your average ‘cats’. Former ‘Fat Cat’ performer, Hadzic and Davis, aka ‘Mr Squiggle’, a name bestowed after the 2019 Fringe, have developed a one-hour show that is rather like a talking diary of memories, reminiscences and personal encounters.

Made up of two distinct parts that intersect when Davis and Hadzic head off to Los Angeles to interview and record a range of celebrities, it is a very different, warm and gently funny style of Fringe show.

Jordan Anthony. This Is Me!

De Parel Spiegeltent, Woodside Pleasure Gardens, Russel Square, Northbridge, WA. Feb 15-16, 2020

Jordan Anthony is a fifteen year old Perth musician who had an epic 2019. The youngest male in the eighth season of The Voice, Jordan, the final competitor in Team Delta, reached the Final 4 in the competition. Later in the year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation selected Jordan as Australia’s representative in Junior Eurovision. Jordan performed for Australia in Poland last November.

Through Tim Burton’s Eyes

Fierce Entertainment. Directed by Jasmine Stewart -Yates. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. 16 Feb 2020

Through Tim Burton’s Eyes was a dance cabaret tribute to the films of Tim Burton. It played for a single performance on the final night of FringeWorld.

Performed in front of AV images from Burton films, we saw a range of dance genres from performers Jasmine Stewart -Yates, Ashlee Morehead, Bobby Stewart -Yates, Jacinta White, Natalie Leisfield, Jennifer Collins, Lauren Page and Vanessa Johnson. Featuring some quirky and innovative choreography, the dancers had some strong technical skills, although timing in group numbers wasn’t always perfect.

The Grapes of Wrath

By John Steinbeck. Adapted by Frank Galati. Canberra REP, directed by Chris Baldock. Canberra REP Theatre. 13–29 February 2020.

Using an amazing array of props on a set that’s a work of art, REP’s production of The Grapes of Wrath does justice to a masterpiece of writing and of adaptation that, set without compromise in a prolonged drought in the midwestern United States during the Great Depression, reveals, with finesse and genuine compassion, the best and the worst of humanity.


Summer Shorts

By Alice Gerstenberg, Noel O’Neill, Suzannah Churchman and Bob Charteris. Directed by Carmen Dohle, Noel O’Neill, Suzannah Churchman and Bob Charteris. Melville Theatre, Stock Rd, Palmyra, WA. Feb 13-22, 2020

Summer Shorts is a series of four very different one act plays, three with local authors, playing at Melville Theatre. A good night of variety and entertainment.

Lennon Through a Glass Onion

John Waters with Stewart D’Arrietta. Adelaide Fringe. Star Theatre. February 14 & 15, 2020

Actor John Waters has been a part of the Australian theatre and television industry since 1969. His longevity in his chosen field is testament to his enormous talent. Born in London, he played in a blues band in his youth, before moving to Australia where he landed a lead role in the musical Hair. Not content with being just a character actor, he is also a skilled musician and singer.

Bubble Show for Adults Only

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Empire Theatre – Gluttony. February 18th – March 14th, 2020

If you thought playing with bubbles was just for kids, then think again. ‘Bubbleology’ is a new genre and it is being performed in a late night-time slot for good reason.

Performers Kurt Murray and Iulia Benze have concocted a mixture of cabaret, burlesque, slapstick and absurd antics to bring a new twist to the art of blowing bubbles. Not for the prudish, this show has more sexual innuendo than a Carry-On film.

Idris Stanton – Wham Glam Circus Man!

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. Wonderland Spiegeltent at Gluttony. Feb 15 to March 15, 2020

‘Triple Threat - a person, especially a performer or sports player, who is proficient in three important skills within their particular field.’ Not many performers have it, but when they have, their work is a joy to watch!

Idris Stanton in Wham Glam Circus Man! has it in buckets. When you think of circuses, one of the last things that comes to mind is Glam Rock. Idris seamlessly blends them into one and creates a show that delights adults and children alike.

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