David Suchet—Poirot and More: A Retrospective

Co-created by David Suchet and Liza McLean. Starring David Suchet. Interviewed by Jane Hutcheon. Kay and McLean Productions. Canberra Theatre, 20 – 21 January 2020 and touring

Of course you know David Suchet from his role in Agatha Christie’s Poirot. With 70 episodes from 1989 to 2013 and much loved by a fan base who know every detail that Christie wrote, Agatha Christie’s Poirot has been so successful that it’s impossible to think of the character without picturing Suchet in the role. What you might not know is that prior to his television career, David Suchet was a successful actor in the Royal Shakespeare Company with multiple Olivier nominations.

Bran Nue Dae

By Jimmy Chi and Kuckles. Opera Australia / Opera Conference. Riverside Theatre Parramatta from Jan 16 - Feb 1, 2020, then Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide.

Bran Nue Dae has achieved the rarest of feats for an entirely original Australian musical – a second national tour.  Previously this level of success had only been the domain of Australian written jukebox musicals.

This joyous production, filled with hummable tunes, endearing performances and quirky choreography hits the mark and justifies a consortium of Australian Opera companies decision to revive the work, first staged in 1990.

The first act felt a little lumpy – with the transition of song to dialogue not always seamless. 

War Horse

Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford in association with Handspring Puppet Company. Regent Theatre, Melbourne. 14 January – 8 February 2020

A story that begins with the rivalry between two farmers.  One wins an auction and buys a foal he can ill afford – and the foal is a ‘hunter’, not a farm horse that could pull a wagon or a plough.  Nevertheless, the farmer’s son Albert (Scott Miller), only sixteen, calls the horse ‘Joey’ and the two are soul mates, bonded forever.  Suddenly it’s 1914 and there’s an urgent need for horses, thousands of them – and Joey is sold and gone.  And when Joey is gone, our hearts sink.  Albert is bereft, heartbroken, of cou

The Ladykillers

By Graham Linehan. Genesian Theatre, Sydney. Jan 18 – Feb 15, 2020

This play is an adaptation of a 1955 film of the same name where Alec Guinness starred as a bogus ‘Professor’ who led a gang of hardened criminals on a bank heist – and met a sad end in the home of Mrs Wilberforce, who had unwittingly rented them a room in her bomb-damaged house near a railway line.


By Existence Theatre Productions. Directed by Bello Benischauer. Room 204 at Girls School, Wellington St, Perth. Jan 17-25, 2020

It took me a while to warm to the experience that is Stormwater. This multi-sensory dramatic experience is at first both a little overwhelming and disjointed, but I found myself completely drawn into this story of a family reunited under stressful circumstances.

Dil and Do

Devised & performed by Nicola Rosbo-Davies & Dominique Croset. The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne. 13 – 18 January 2020

Dil (Nicola Rosbo-Davies) is some sort of young, smiling blonde Sexpo huckster, blandly demonstrating sex toys which will help women better enjoy life and enhance their ‘relaxation’.  She uses puppets representing male genitalia, female pudenda, little joke penis statues and finally a bigger than life size vibrating dildo. 

Discharged (Number 2s)

Written and directed by Zulieka Khan. FringeWorld. Girls School, Wellington St, Perth. January 17-25, 2020

If you’ve driven passed new FringeWorld hub, (The Old) Girls School on Wellington St, you may have seen Triage Cabaret’s Zulie Khan, dressed as a wartime hospital matron on some of the advertising. It would seem that FringeWorld believes that this show is one of their key attractions - and so they should. Discharged (Number 2s), is a top-notch cabaret that will appeal to anyone who has ever worked in a hospital, been to a hospital or who has a pulse.



Pelican Productions. Michael Murray Centre, Westminster, SA. January 11th – 19th 2020.

For the last 16 years Pelican Productions have held a very popular summer music theatre camp in South Australia.  The camp ‘creates an environment where young people can participate in music, acting, dance and stagecraft, intensive rehearsals and workshops’. Besides making new friends and having a heap of fun, a major output of the camp is the culminating music theatre show. This year they had so many camp participants, some from as far away as Darwin, that they have four separate troupes, performing two shows a day, over a four-day period.


By Leah Filley and Harry Thompson. LongPlay, Fitzroy North. January 13 & 15, 2020.

There are times in one’s life when the mullygrubs can kick in and turn into suicidal thoughts. Mullygrubs is a dark, brooding comedy examining the demands of modern living. Written and performed by Leah Filley and Harry Thompson, it was nominated for Best Theatre at the 2019 Melbourne Fringe, and is headed Adelaide Fringe.


Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics: Based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ by T. S. Eliot. Additional material: Trevor Nunn & Richard Stilgoe. Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC). Director: Robert Coates. Choreographer: Jacqui Green. Musical Directors: Justin Jacobs (Orchestra Master) & Ned Wright-Smith (Conductor). Costume Designer: Sean Rentero. Set Designer: Dann Barber. Lighting Designer: Linda Hum. Sound Designer: Steve Cooke. National Theatre, Melbourne. January 17-25, 2020

If you think that the world’s longest running dance musical has outrun its nine lives, think again!  Director Robert Coates and his team have put together a reimagined production that is a sumptuous feast for the senses. Hats off to this production team. Personally I think it’s the best production of Cats I’ve seen since it’s Australian premiere in 1987.

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