Reviews

Scaramouche Jones

By Justin Butcher. HOTA - Home of the Arts – Gold Coast. October 30 – November 2, 2019

There is nothing in theatre more powerful than an actor at the pinnacle of his performing ability, seamlessly melding art and craft to perfection: Colin Friels is that actor. He and Justin Butcher’s Scaramouche Jones come together at a moment in both their lives where they truly connect, and it’s a theatrical marriage made in…well, you know how clichés go.

Stuck in the Narrowest Path

OzAsia Festival. Contact Gonzo & Zephyr Quartet. Dunstan Playhouse Foyer, Adelaide Festival Centre. 29-31 October, 2019.

One always wishes to support and acknowledge risk-taking and experimentation in theatre, but one must also be prepared to give honest feedback when a risky experiment fails to pay off.

Jekyll & Hyde

Music: Frank Wildhorn. Book & Lyrics: Leslie Bricusse. Concertworks. Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 25 & 26 October & Darling Harbour Theatre, ICC Sydney, 2 November, 2019

The 25th Anniversary concert performance of Jekyll & Hyde drew a capacity and highly appreciative crowd in Hamer Hall.

Players from the MSO in pared-down orchestral ensemble - under the confident and stylish direction of Vanessa Scammell - deftly crafted the fraught, gothic atmosphere demanded by Frank Wildhorn's music.  Although the instrumentalists took up much of the Hamer Hall stage, their musical presence and ensemble with the singers - as the vocal performers roamed over a series of catwalks, platforms and staircases - was impeccable.

The Dark Master

By Niwa Gekidan Penino. OzAsia Festival 2019. The Space, Adelaide Festival Centre. October 29 – 31, 2019.

Adelaide’s weather is heating up, and the OzAsia Festival is winding down for 2019.  In The Space, aromas from Japanese cooking permeate the theatre as The Dark Master unfolds and the onstage kitchen heats up with fiery blasts whenever alcohol is added to the cooking.

UnHOWsed

By Tashmada and Voices Of The South Side. Theatre Works. 23 October – 3 November 2019

UnHOWsed is the sharing of experiences of homelessness by eight older women.  It commences with the strikingly powerful singing by Karen Corbett of “Some Say (I Got Devil)” by Melanie Safka. Corbett’s voice reaches out and richly fills the St Kilda air around Theatre Works with a sense of defiance and liberation.

Ladies in Black

Book by Carolyn Burns from the novel by Madeleine St John. Music and Lyrics by Tim Finn. Directed by Leo Bradley and Elizabeth Morris. Presented by Villanova Players. Ron Hurley Theatre, 26 October – 10 November, 2019

The Australian musical Ladies in Black has fast become a favourite of audiences around the nation for its heart-warming story, wonderful music and fabulous fashion. This delightful coming of age story set in 1950s Sydney is now being produced by one of Brisbane’s longest-standing independent theatre groups, Villanova Players.

Second Coming

Writer: Andrew R Kelly. Swan Hill Theatre Group. Memorial Hall, Swan Hill. October 20 – 26, 2019.

Second Coming has taken Swan Hill by storm.  It is a great little show and word has it that the last three performances were fully booked out.  It’s a passionate and truly entertaining production that is full of puns, laughs and chuckles that reference our Australian Culture.   Created by a strong multi-talented team of theatre makers, many of whom double up in performing as well as creative roles, this show really packs a punch.

White Pearl

By Anchuli Felicia King. Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta and Sydney Theatre Company. Lennox Theatre, Riverside, Parramatta. Oct 24 – Nov 9, 2019

The cast of White Pearl seizes the stage in a rush of words, energy andattitude in a ‘go girls’ performance that they sustain for 90 fast-paced minutes. There is no room for laxity in Anchuli Felicia King’s fiercely modern play.

Once Upon a Mattress

Music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer. Marie Clark Musical Theatre (SA). The Goodwood Institute. October 25th – November 2nd, 2019.

This old-fashioned musical has lost none of its charm. Based on the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen and later inspired by the book Once Upon a Mattress, it first opened off Broadway in 1959. 

It is refreshing when companies are willing to produce lesser known musicals. Director Lauren Scarfe and Musical Director Katie Packer were made aware of it by a mutual friend and so their love affair and journey with this tale began.

The Glass Menagerie

By Tennessee Williams. Directed by Brenda White. Brisbane Arts Theatre. October 19 – November 9, 2019.

Tennessee Williams’ famous memory play The Glass Menagerie, his first great hit, premiered in Chicago in 1944 before transferring to Broadway. The story is told directly to the audience by Tom Wingfield, the son of the battling family living on the edge in St. Louis. It is his memory of his battling life while supporting his mother Amanda, a southern belle in her youth, and his super shy, physically handicapped sister Laura who builds her glass menagerie. The problem is to find a beau for Laura.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.