Reviews

The Bureau of Untold Stories

By Sean and Holly Brymore. Brymore Productions / FringeWorld. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park. January 17-19, 2020

The Bureau of Untold Stories is one of a handful of shows which kicked off FringeWorld 2020, with performances on the morning of the first day - and what a delightful way to kick off a festival of many stories. 

Carmen

Music: Georges Bizet. Text: Henry Meilhac & Ludovic Halevy. Revival of 2016 Production. Direction: Constantine Costi from original direction by John Bell. Choreography: Amy Campbell from original choreography by Kelley Abbey. Opera Australia. Sydney Opera House. 11 January – 26 March, 2020.

OA’s brilliant production of Carmen reminds us why opera remains popular. This show has it all: drama, music, passion, beauty, energy, and the ability to give us that buzz you can get only from live theatre. I was dazzled by the movement, dancing, pageantry, and blaze of colours.

Anthem

By Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves, Christos Tsiolkas and Irine Vela. Directed by Susie Dee. Sydney Festival. Produced by Arts Centre Melbourne and Performing Lines. Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney, January 15-19, 2020

Twenty-one years after creating the landmark Who’s Afraid of the Working Class, four playwrights and a composer have come together again. The circumstances are different — they’re now firmly established as some of the country’s best writers and this time they’ve been commissioned by Melbourne’s Arts Centre rather than its Workers Theatre. The success of this play is also on a different level.

I’m a Phoenix, Bitch

By Bryony Kimmings. Sydney Festival. Sydney Opera House. January 14 – 17, 2019.

Bryony Kimmings’ well-travelled show – from recent Brisbane and Melbourne Festivals and sell out runs in London and Edinburgh – must really take it out of her.

She’s specialised in autobiographical performance art that previously unearthed dark subjects like her own trail of sexually transmitted diseases, her concerns about tween culture, and her boyfriend’s depression. 

Peepshow

Circa. Director: Yaron Lifschitz. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 14-25 January 2020

Circa Contemporary Circus have become a phenomenon since being first established in 2004, having toured the world and performed in over 40 countries to over one million people. Peepshow, their latest show, premiered in Lismore in March 2018 and has since toured regionally across Australia and throughout Europe including London, Berlin and France and comes to Brisbane for the first time after performances in Austria and the Netherlands.

Alice In Wonderland Jr

Adapted from Lewis Carroll’s novel, with music and lyrics by Sammy Fain and Bob Hilliard, Oliver Wallace and Cycoban, Allie Wrubel and Ray Gilbert, Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livington. Gosford Musical Society Jnrs. Laycock Street Theatre Community Theatre. Jan 14 – 18, 2020.

Alice In Wonderland Jr is, at its heart, a story about finding oneself. Lewis Carroll’s story is universally loved, having been adapted and readapted since the turn of the last century. If you are unaware of the plot – Firstly, how? Secondly, it’s a unique adventure story following a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole and wakes up in a Wonderland filled with all sorts of crazy characters.

Room on the Broom – Live on Stage

CDP Kids presents a Tall Stories production. Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. 10 – 15 January. 2020.

Room on the Broom has flown into Melbourne for the summer holidays. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award winning children’s picture book has been reimagined for the stage. Four theatrical performers and a talented team of stage creatives combine physical theatre, music and clever puppetry to bring this marvelous tale to life.

Captain Hook’s Revenge

Pantomime written by Richard Coleman. Director Jean Bowra. Musical Director Karen Matthews. Mousetrap Theatre Redcliffe, Qld. Jan 10 – 19, 2020.

This production is an interesting and exciting way to start the year as it allows the young, student performers a chance to show and develop their skills.  Captain Hook! We remember what a nasty type he was and here he is joined by an Indian tribe, Peter Pan, a family of three kidnapped from England and, of course, a crocodile. The plot had more twists and turns than a mountain road but it was presented in such a way that the audience was on track. In fact, the audience members became part of the show at times

Every Brilliant Thing

By Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe. Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney. Director: Kate Champion. 10 - 26 January 2020

Less than a year later, Every Brilliant Thing makes a great return visit to the Belvoir stage but, instead of being a one-woman show (with Kate Mulvany), it’s now headed by a man. Steve Rodgers has only recently been playing the grumpy Walter Matthau role in The Odd Couple at the Ensemble. Here he’s the opposite: kindly and compassionate, uncertain of the future, clutching desperately to every brilliant thing about life that he can imagine.

Dr Doolittle Jr

Book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Players Theatre, Ballina. Director: Peter Harding. 10th – 25th January, 2020

Ballina’s Youth production this year is Dr Doolittle Jr, an adaptation of the popular Twentieth Century Fox movie and staged by and for young people.

With a cast ranging from 8 to 17, director Peter Harding has crafted the production to the talents of his large junior company.

In only his second experience on stage, the Doctor was in the capable hands of Declan Lodge, a youngster with a big future, who was suitably supported by Erica Little, Elisha Lodge, Evie Sargent, Reuben Addington, Hugo Addington, Nichole Travers and Riley Evens.

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