Reviews

Things I Know To Be True

By Andrew Bovell. St Jude’s Players (SA). August 8th – 17th 2019.

It is so encouraging that St Jude’s Players have chosen to embrace and present high quality, contemporary Australian theatre. Geoff Britain is at the helm of Things I Know To Be True, and having directed the award winning Andrew Bovell play, When The Rain Stops Falling, also for the Players, he has embraced this production with skill and insight.

Les Misérables

Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg. Lyrics: Herbert Kretzmer. Original French Text: Alain Boublil & Jean Marc Natel. Additional Material: James Fenton. Griffith Musical Theatre 3rd Year Students. Director: Allister Smith. Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Peter Morris. Conservatorium Theatre, Southbank, Brisbane. 8-17 August 2019

Griffith Musical Theatre has joined forces with the Queensland Conservatorium to present the largest fully-staged production in the world of Les Misérables. With a cast of 80 and two symphony orchestras it is indeed a grand production and when the company lift their voices in glorious song in “At the End of the Day”, “Do You Hear the People Sing” and “One Day More”, the result is thrilling musical theatre and brings tears to the eyes.

Bonachela / Nankivell / Lane

Sydney Dance Company 50th Anniversary Triple Bill. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide. August 8 – 10, 2019

Without reservation, the dancers of Sydney Dance Company are stupendous.  They are infinitely watchable, superb technicians and consummate artists.  In this program celebrating the company’s fiftieth anniversary they perform three works by three Australian choreographers: Gabrielle Nankivell, Melanie Lane and SDC’s Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, now in his tenth year at the helm.

Life of Galileo

By Bertolt Brecht, adapted by Tom Wright. Belvoir St Theatre NSW. August 3 – September 15, 2019

Tom Wright’s adaptation thrusts Brecht’s portrait of this towering if flawed hero of science into a modern world of besuited bureaucrats and miked-up security guards.  

The churchmen (except for Peter Carroll’s gloriously berobbed Pope) are largely replaced by today’s goons of fear-mongering politicians and spin doctors, dismissing “the facts of science” as dangerous ideology.  And yes, we think of climate change deniers; which thankfully Wright doesn’t overplay.   

L’Appartement

By Joanna Murray-Smith, Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from 3 to 31 August 2019

Acclaimed playwright, Joanna Murray-Smith has premiered her new play L’Appartement at QPAC’s compact Cremorne Theatre. The production also marks her debut as director. L’Appartement is a sharp, witty and highly entertaining play that takes present-day dilemmas in domestic politics and personal ethics and watches them explode when two succinctly sketched couples collide. Weary married couple Meg and Rooster escape the Brisbane burbs to rekindle some of their spark on a romantic mini-break in the universal city of love.

Lady Beatle

Naomi Price with the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band. Written by Adam Brunes & Naomi Price. Dramaturg: Daniel Evans. The Little Red Company. Roundhouse Theatre, Kelvin Grove. 7-10 August 2019 and touring.

Brisbane’s powerhouse of song Naomi Price (Rumour Has It/Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) is back again blistering the Roundhouse stage with her Beatles tribute Lady Beatle, accompanied by her original band of musicians, the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - Mik Easterman (drums), Andrew Johnson (bass), Michael Manikus (piano), and Jason McGregor (guitars).

Amdram Is Murder

By Karen Ince. Mousetrap Theatre Redcliffe Qld. Directed by Karen Christl and Susan Harding-Smith. July 27 – August 11, 2019.

This performance was different in many ways. What we see is the Murrumba Amateur Drama Group (MAD) busily rehearsing their next play, “Weekend at Wimpole Manor”, a period murder mystery. On the surface, it seems to be a typical village theatre group but underneath, jealousies lurk and the group harbours someone capable of murder. Now for the difference. The audience sat in groups at tables – to dine and drink – and each group was given a questionnaire about what was happening.

The Ghetto Cabaret

By Galit Klas. Kadimah Yiddish Theatre. Fortyfivedownstairs. August 1 – 18, 2019.

The Ghetto Cabaret is a moving tribute to all the people who survived or perished in World War Two and a stark reminder of the resilient human spirit in troubled times. This show has been written, created and performed by Galit Klas and directed by Gary Abrahams in collaboration with Kadimah Yiddish Theatre and Kadimah Jewish Culture Centre.

Pyjama Tops

By Mawby Green and Ed Feilbert. Harbour Theatre. Directed by Tina Barker. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. July 26 - Aug 4, 2019

Harbour Theatre’s Pyjama Tops, based on Jean de Letraz’s 1950 French farce “Mou Mou” was a sexy, old-school farce with mistaken identities, attractive women, crime and corruption and a spot of bed hopping.

Director Tina Barker has designed a simple but practical single set, with impressive scenic art by Melissa Bassett. Rob Tagliaferri and Callum Hunter light the stage well, with solid sound design by Vanessa Gudgeon. Tasha Jane’s wardrobe suggests the 50s, which gives us a time period that matches the dialogue and style of the show.

Storm Boy

By Colin Thiele, adapted by Tom Holloway. Queensland Theatre. The Playhouse at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from 31 July to 17 August 2019.

Queensland Theatre’s Artistic Director, Sam Strong, is at the helm of this hugely successful stage version of the Aussie classic Storm Boy. He has brought together a highly skilled team where everyone has played their part in forging an exhilarating visual theatre experience. The magical set design by Anna Cordingley – sand dunes and beach shacks – brings to life the Coorong setting, bolstered by stunning projections and drone images from Justin Harrison, with sparkling lighting by Matt Scott.

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