Reviews

Possum Magic

Based on the book by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas, adapted by Eva Di Cesare and Sandra Eldridge. monkey baa theatre company. Touring nationally – link for dates at end of review.

Monkey Baa has a dedicated commitment to introducing kids to good theatre by bringing the Australian books they love authentically to stage. It continues that commitment with this delightful interpretation of Mem Fox and Julie Vivas’ treasured story about faith and identity.

Glittergrass

Fringe Wives Club. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Beckett Theatre, Malthouse. Mar 28 – Apr 21, 2019

A feminist, mind-bending hootenanny rocks the Malthouse at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The magisterially talented and zany Fringe Wives Club are back to entertain and enlighten us, as we shake our booties to the ground with their fabulous new show Glittergrass.

The Complete History of Comedy (abridged).

By Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. Brisbane Arts Theatre. Directed by Lake Desumma and Braydon Mengel. March 30 - April 27, 2019.

The interesting concept of the play was, as the name implied, a journey through history looking at how our style of comedy evolved from the Ancient Greeks, such as Plato, to what it is today. Obviously, it had to be abridged for such a long period of time but references were made to many of our present day news attracting people – mainly politicians. I am sure that many of the references to famous, or infamous, people of the past lost some effect as they were not known to many.

The Good, The Bad and The Elderly

By Tanya Losanno. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Shell Room, Malthouse Theatre. Mar 28 – Apr 21, 2019.

The Good, The Bad and The Elderly is a quaint and heart-warming comical  personal journey by Tanya Losanno; a twice Moosehead recipient, she performs at this years Melbourne Comedy Festival. The show explores identity, diaspora and caring for elderly parents, all to the tune of Ennio Morricone - the Italian composer famous for his movie soundtracks.

The Sound of Musicals

Conceived and Directed by Shane Caddaye. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport. 29th March – 14th April, 2019

GCLT have a winner with their second show of the year. The Sound Of Musicals covers the 60 years that the theatre has been presenting musicals as part of its Playbill and this production covers approximately 40 songs from some of their 35 musicals in a concert format.

Shane Caddaye narrates and leads a cast of 5 ladies and 2 other men in this nostalgic trip down “musical memory lane”.

The artists are Michelle Cook, Steffanie Kriz, Naomi Mole, Elizabeth Johnson, Ali Wilby with Brad Kendrick and George Pulley, in addition to Shane.

Steel Magnolias

By Robert Harling. Directed by Lea McCall. The Link Theatre, Northam, WA. March 29 - Apr 7, 2019

Chinquapin, the setting of Steel Magnolias, is a fictional country town, based on Natchitoches, Louisiana, a town of 18 thousand people, known for its lovely river, hospitality and relaxed lifestyle. Northam, WA is only a third the size, but could be described in a very similar way, and is an excellent setting for this well-known Robert Harling play.

Caravan

By Donald McDonald. Theatre on Chester, Epping. March 29 – April 20, 2019

Joy Sweeney calls on her memories of the movie The Long, Long Trailer and an early production of Caravan (it was first produced by The Ensemble Theatre in 1983) to explain her fascination with caravans – even though she has never been on a caravan holiday! But obviously, the play struck a chord.

Once in Royal David's City

By Michael Gow. New Theatre, Newtown, NSW. March 19 – April 13, 2019.

Michael Gow tells his stories via believable characters and tight dialogue, especially when the messages are just a little bit angry, just a little bit critical, just a little bit emotional. Through his young protagonist, Will Drummond, Gow uses the theatre to raise issues that affect us all – inequality, exploitation, illness, loss. And in true political theatre style, he uses real situations and vulnerable characters who reach past the stage to tell us that “the war might be endless, and it’s probably already lost but that’s not a reason to give up”.

Dusty

Songs recorded by Dusty Springfield, book by John-Michael Howson, David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow. Northern Light Theatre Company (SA). Shedley Theatre, Elizabeth. March 29 – April 13, 2019

Dusty Springfield is credited with saying, ‘It's marvellous to be popular, but foolish to think it will last.’ Little did she realise that her fame would last and she would become a pop icon whose music is still popular today.

Northern Light Theatre Company took a gamble presentingDusty. The show relies on a singer/actress who can belt out 24 of the pop legend’s hits plus carry out numerous wig and costume changes while still giving us a realistic character, from Dusty’s early beginnings through to fame, demise and resurgence.

Reagan Kelly

Written by Lewis Treston. Directed by David Hill. Presented by Rocket Boy Ensemble. Sue Benner Theatre. 20 – 30 March, 2019

Pretend to be normal and everything will get better. There would be few of us in the arts sector incapable of relating to that feeling. While Reagan Kelly is a fresh, Brisbane-based, laugh-a-minute comedy, that’s one of the deeper sentiments lying beneath the ample chuckles. Lewis Treston’s darkly clever script is packed with witty one-liners, ‘so funny because it’s true’ moments and surprises, the audience can barely catch their breath at times.

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