Reviews

The Pitch

By James Sweeny and Michael Abercromby. Fringe World. The Alex Hotel, James St, Perth. Jan 22-25, 2020

The Pitch had some of the paciest dialogue in Fringe World. A turbo paced comedy with a hefty dose of the bizarre, it played outdoors on the Terrace of the Alex Hotel.

Six Minutes, 6 Ways

Written and directed by Sally Newman. Lyrical Infusion. Fringe World. Townshend Theatre, Subiaco. Jan 24-25, 2020

We see one love story, one set of dialogue, six different ways, in the Fringe World world premiere Six Minutes, 6 Ways from Lyrical Infusion.

Sally Newman’s striking new work blends music and dance with conventional theatre as we watch the same couple at six points in their relationship. The dialogue is also the same each time, although you may not realise that completely at first, given that the context and delivery are so different in each scene.

She’ll Be Right: A Tradie Cabaret

Written and directed by Todd Peydo. Fringe World. Chemistry at the Girls School, Wellington St, Perth Jan 20-26, 2020

Russell “Rusty” Bell at first seems to be your typical Aussie tradie, with his high vis vest, esky of Emu Export and language that would make Grandma blush, but audiences who have joined Rusty, to watch him renovate the old Girls School, have found that within this rough exterior beats the heart of a Broadway Star.

Family Values

By David Williamson. Griffin Theatre Company. Director: Lee Lewis. SBW Stables Theatre. January 17 – March 7, 2020.

A new David Williamson play doesn’t seem an obvious first choice for Lee Lewis’ final production as Griffin’s applauded artistic director.  But look again and you’ll see it’s one of Willliamson’s best, most compelling, heartfelt plays in years. 

Family Values centres on Roger (Andrew McFarlane), a retired justice, who with his wife, Sue  (an ever truthful Belinda Giblin), optimistically welcomes home their three feuding children for his 70th birthday. 

Don Giovanni

By Mozart. Opera Australia. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. January 24 – February 27, 2019

Don Juan first drew lascivious breath in a cautionary moral tale penned by a Spanish monk. Four hundred years on, through the hands of a dozen great artists, he’s evolved into a complex, even heroic God-defying libertine.

David McVicar’s revived Don Giovanni returns him to the shadows as a soulless sexual predator, a joyless sociopath. He’s played by Luca Micheletti, strong of voice, but with none of that amused, cavalier disregard of old; a Don Juan true to our feminist times perhaps, with his female victims shown clearly as just that.

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Jack Wilkinson presented by GJ Productions. Fairfield Amphitheatre, Fairfield Park, Heidelberg Road, Fairfield. 24 January – 1 February, 2020.

This is an enjoyable production of Shakespeare’s comedy and many of the witty elements are beautifully captured. The two leading characters in this production, Benedick (James Martin) and Beatrice (Grace Maddern), are in good hands and the reluctant romance that occurs between them provides much of the amusement in this play.

A Thousand Cranes

By Kathryn Schultz-Miller. The Gemini Collective. Fringe World. Directed by Sarah Williams. The Japanese Gardens, Perth Zoo, South Perth WA. Jan 24-26, 2020

A Thousand Cranes is a bitter-sweet theatrical event that sits beautifully at home in Perth Zoo’s Japanese Garden. A smooth fusion of conventional theatre with dance, acrobatics, music and aerial artistry, this gently-told true story is told with love and enchants its audience.

The Intervention

By Valentin Lang. French Santa. Fringe World. Directed by Elle Harris. The Moon Cafe, William St, Northbridge, WA. Jan 21-26, 2020

Independent theatre company French Santa has two productions in this year’s Fringe World Festival, with the first playing in the intimate theatrical space in The Moon Cafe. The quaint, eclectic decor, and messy, but lived in feel, is perfect for this new work set in a share house.

Housemates Ryder and Maya, decide that their third roomie Steve needs “an Intervention”. They want him to stop selling drugs from the house, and his alcohol consumption is excessive, but is it Steve who really requires the intervention.

Bed Bug Zoo

Written and directed by Suzannah Churchman. Townshend Theatre Subiaco, WA. Jan 22- Feb 1

Sweet, visually fascinating and whimsical, Bed Bug Zoo is a little charmer of a show with lovely messages of friendship and facing your fears. Gorgeous puppets and some lovely storytelling in this new work.

Mia, a school girl with some anxieties, needs to stay overnight at Mrs Mortien’s boarding house, as an “emergency case”. While she is not afraid of monsters under the bed, she finds herself face to face with some fascinating escaped crypto-entomology.

The Visitors

By Jane Harrison. Moogahlin Performing Arts. Sydney Festival. Carriageworks, Bay 20. Jan 22 – 26, 2020

Jane Harrison’s intriguing new play imagines seven Aboriginal men watching and arguing over the arrival of Arthur Phillip and his ships at Botany Bay in 1788.

They’ve arrived from across country and lead warriors on the ready to give resistance. But first, passing the message stick, they hold a formal council of elders. Another plan eventually wins support: they really pity these ugly looking visitors and, expecting that they pine to return their own country, will welcome them, briefly, to theirs.  

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