Reviews

Go Back For Murder

By Agatha Christie. Therry Dramatic Society. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. February 7 – 16, 2019

Therry are well regarded as providers of varied, quality theatre designed to entertain both a loyal membership audience and the general public. Agatha Christie murder mysteries are renowned as crowd pleasers and it was Therry that successfully won the Australian rights for The Mousetrap, also directed by veteran Director, Norm Caddick, in 2011. It must be noted, however, that all Agatha Christies are not created equal.

Q

Written and Directed by Aleksandr Corke. La Mama – The Courthouse 6 – 10 February 2019

Q is a strong contemplative black comedy about making the most of life.   It makes its point with crystal clarity through looking at the immediate journey of those who have just died.   Excellent ‘post grad’ theatre, it is beautifully produced and well rehearsed – a smooth production.  The acting is even and credible.  All performers have a solid grasp of their characters and work as a team.  A significant amount of the dialogue is complex however performers don’t seem to be daunted or tripped up by this. 

Dance Hall

By Finucane and Smith. Presented by ETCETERA and Canberra Theatre Centre. The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre. 7 – 9 February 2019

Blending top class circus feats, performance art, glam burlesque, song, dance, humour, full frontal nudity and a truck load of sequins, Finucane and Smith’s Dance Hall is an exhilarating, gender-bending, surreal, messy, wild, acrobatic extravaganza.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

By Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields, and Henry Lewis. Lunchbox Productions, in association with Mischief Theatre. Directed by Adam Meggido. Canberra Theatre. 6–10 February 2019 and touring nationally

The writing team whose debut script brought the house down around The Play That Goes Wrong has gone and done it again.

 

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

By Jim Cartwright. Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Sydney. Directed by Shaun Rennie. Feb. 1-24, 2019

One of Australia’s greatest musical theatre stars, Caroline O’Connor, is the drawcard for this intimate production of the British play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice. O’Connor is a force on stage so is perfect to play the overbearing and often-drunk Mari Hoff, mother to the wondrous Little Voice. There are cheers for O’Connor as she enters the stage and launches into tempestuous dialogue.

Boy Zoned

By Ryan Hunt and Heather Jerems. Paper Haus. Fringe World. Directed by Heather Jerems. The Circus Theatre, Fringe Central, Perth Cultural Centre, WA. Feb 5-10, 2019

Boy Zoned is a new juke box musical, making its premiere at FringeWorld. It features Boy Zoned, the hottest boy band cover band in the world, as they undertake their “huge” stadium world tour.

A parody of boy bands of the 90s, it is very funny, but also features amazing harmonies, excellent singing and all of your favourite 90s boy band dance moves.

Chocolate Blues

By Jake Dennis. Fringe World. Downstairs at the Maj, His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth. Feb 5-9, 2019

Chocolate Blues is a cabaret of classic blues numbers including songs made famous by Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday, expertly sung by Jake Dennis.

The musical numbers are superb, with Jake’s voice a mixture of chocolate, brown sugar and honey. Gorgeous tone, with the power to fill a much larger room. A performer whose personality shines through his songs, with wry humour, sexiness and charm.

Feeling very “late night” for a 6pm performance time, this is an easy to watch, relaxing show, with broad appeal.

Party Snake

Written and directed by Kotryna Gesait. Performed by Lachlan Martin. UMad Productions. Hare Hole @ Hares & Hyenas, 63 Johnson Street, Fitzroy. 5 – 7 February 2019

It’s almost dawn – on stage - as our drag queen narrator teeters on stage to begin her monologue.  The voluminous red wig, the sweeping false eyelashes, the dramatic make-up with a slash of lipstick are all the classic drag signs – complicated by a beard.  The stunning elegance of the simple evening dress is just a little undercut by the near cliché challenging aggression – intended to shock, to forestall criticism and delivered full throttle in a whiskey-and-cigarettes snarl – of booze, drugs and lots of sex.

600 Seconds

Fringe World. The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, WA. Feb 5-9, 2019

600 Seconds is a short works development program presenting works-in-progress from emerging artists and artists who are experimenting with new ideas. Quintessentially Fringe, it is an experimental zone as well as being pure short form theatre. As an audience member it is likely that you will not connect to all of the pieces, but its short and sweet nature means that a completely different moment is always just around the corner.

Love Letters

Written by A.R.Gurney. Directed by Ray and Gloria Swenson. Brisbane Arts Theatre. Feb 3 – 14, 2019.

This play is a unique experience for the audience as it is invited to absorb the emotions and storytelling completely by the spoken word. There is no managed stage movement at all.  The two characters, Melissa and Andrew, met in childhood and we follow their lives and dreams from notes, letters and cards that they wrote right through to their twilight years. We engage with their dreams and disappointments, their awkward adolescence, their mature misgivings and, of course, their many missed opportunities.

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