The Astral Plane

Written and Directed by Charlie Garber. Produced by Rebecca Blake and Jessica Pantano as part of the 25A Initiative. Belvoir Street Downstairs Theatre. 14-29 June, 2019

This review is going to be problematic. I'm going to overthink it. It will end up being all about me. Because I'm a navel gazer. A deep thinker. A writer. And an actor. And a flipping director. And a wannabe world saver. And I'm deep. So deep. Are you drowning yet? That's how deep I am.

Well Shut My Mouth

By Brenton H Whittle. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Arts Theatre. June 20-29, 2019

Every now and then a theatre critic can feel a little conflicted after attending a play review. As I left the Arts Theatre I was still not sure what to make of Brenton H Whittle’s brand new work.

Modern Maori Quartet – Two Worlds

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Space Theatre. 21st-22nd June 2019

The Modern Maori Quartet return to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival after their successful debut in 2018.  Looking dapper in their red and black outfits they could cut it with the ‘rat pack’ but their roots are firmly in the Maori tradition of singalong parties.

They bring us a tale ‘between two worlds’, a story of four men in a kind of purgatory waiting between death and the eternal afterlife. The booming female god-like voice requests each of them tell their story, to end their waiting.

The Crossing

Conceived and performed by Kayah Guenther and Gavin Webber. Additional creatives Ben Ely and Chloe Ogilvie of The Farm. HOTA Gold Coast. 22nd-23rd June, 2019. Then Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

If you haven’t experienced the magic and originality of The Farm, or the extraordinary charisma of Gavin Webber, then you haven’t fully experienced theatre.

Beachside Stories

Melbourne Writers' Theatre. Directed by Elizabeth Walley. Studio Theatre, Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park. 13th –22nd June, 2019.

This is a delightful collection of stories of five key figures in the City of Port Phillip. Each person is a kind of local star or celebrity in their own right and this project acknowledges their outstanding contribution to their community.

Kate Miller-Heidke

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Thebarton Theatre. June 22, 2019

The petite, sparkly Kate Miller-Heidke stepped onto the stage with her trademark ‘princess tiara’ and wowed the audience from start to finish. Accompanied by husband Keir Nuttall on guitars, Iain Grandage on piano and cello and backing singer Jess Hitchcock, Heidke had the audience laughing and spellbound by turns.

Drew Downing’s Ultimate 90’s Playlist

Melbourne Cabaret Festival. Chapel off Chapel. June 20 – 22, 2019

Drew Downing’s Ultimate 90’s Playlist is a nineties rock-concert-cabaret show performed by the charismatic crowd pleaser Drew Downing, backed by a fine ensemble of musicians and singers.  The show begins with a medley mix beginning with “Barbie Girl” (Aqua) and breaks into “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (Deep Blue Something).


Music: Richard Rodgers. Book & Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II. Savoyards. Director: Robbie Parkin. Musical Director: Jacqueline Atherton. Choreography: Natalie Lennox. Iona Performing Arts Centre, Wynnum, Qld. 22 June – 6 July 2019

Ever since it was written, Oklahoma! has been a popular and much produced title on the community theatre circuit. Savoyards have done it four times, the last in 2005, and since the show is now back on Broadway (admittedly in a more radical version), it’s time to re-look at the original again, which director Robbie Parkin has done with this production.

How does it stack up today?

David Campbell Back in the Swing of Things

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Thebarton Theatre. June 20 2019

Thebarton Theatre is not usually a place one associates with Cabaret. The art form requires connection between the performer and the audience and the creation of a rapport, while threading stories are told. Thebarton Theatre is set up in rows, very tightly seating its patrons. A show like David Campbell- Back in the Swing of Things could very easily have become a concert. This was not the case on opening night as this talented showman wove his magic. He had the place jumping and the audience eating out of his hand.

Storm Boy

By Tom Holloway, adapted from the novel by Colin Thiele. Melbourne Theatre Company & Queensland Theatre production, in association with Dead Puppets Society. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. 17 June – 20 July 2019

It began as a much-loved novel in 1964; then it was a much-loved movie in 1976; then Tom Holloway adapted the novel in 2013; then another not-so-loved try-hard movie in 2019; and now this MTC production of Mr Holloway’s text, directed by Sam Strong.  You might ask, ‘Why?’, but adaptations and revivals are the go at present, the original story is ‘timeless’ and still timely, and Mr Strong hopes that this production will bring children to the theatre.  I think he’s right: it will.

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