Reviews

The Cunning Little Vixen

By Leos Janacek. State Opera of South Australia. Ridley Centre, Adelaide Showground. 18-25 May, 2019

The State Opera of South Australia’s production of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen is an absolute delight and a triumph in more ways than one. For a start, this production is staged in the Ridley Centre in the Adelaide Showground. This is a bold move, a new initiative by State Opera’s new Artistic Director, Stuart Maunder to mount productions in other venues than the more formal Festival Centre. In this case, it is a complete success.

English Baroque with Circa

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, (featuring Jane Sheldon & Lauren Stephenson). Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). Brisbane 21 May 2019

The Brisbane performance of English Baroque marks the end of a three-week tour of Australia that has been earning dazzling reviews. The 90-minute program showcases a sublime selection of tunes chosen by Brandenburg Artistic Director Paul Dyer and Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz, showcasing pieces from star 16th- and 17th-century composers, including Purcell, Handel, Dowland and Corelli, plus a handful of traditional tunes such as Scarborough Fair.

A Hymn to the Hateful

By Finegan Kruckemeyer. Running with Scissors. DreamBIG Festival. Adelaide High School Hall, 20 - 24 May 2019

“It is easier to hate than to help,” says a teenage girl, eagerly explaining the lack of satisfaction in doing good over being bad; one of the fourteen performing this new play by Finegan Kruckemeyer.

Calamity Jane

By Paul Francis Webster and Sammy Fain. Murray Music and Drama. Directed by Tammy Peckover. Pinjarra Civic Centre, WA. May 10-24, 2019.

Murray Music and Drama’s production opens with a tribute and dedication to Doris Day, star of the movie Calamity Jane, who passed away May 13, 2019. I can’t help feeling that she would be touched by the dedication, and would have enjoyed this warm production.

Catch Me If You Can

Book: Terrence McNally. Music and Lyrics: Marc Shaiman and Lyrics: Scott Wittman. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Director / Choreographer: Clay English. 17th May – 8th Jun, 2019

This musical version of the popular movie is based on an incredibly true story and follows the exploits of teenage rebel turned con-man on his journey, passing himself off as a pilot, a doctor and lawyer and briefly as an FBI agent.

As the wily Frank Abignale Jnr (an expert at forging identities and passing dud cheques), Jack Harbour leads FBI agent Carl Hanratty, played by Chris Catherwood, on a merry chase around the USA and beyond; always managing to keep one step ahead until he falls in love and decides to get married which leads to his downfall.

The Pillowman

By Martin McDonagh Directed by John Boyce Brisbane Arts Theatre, Qld. May 18 – June 10, 2019.

It is easy to understand why this script won various awards, as it relates a story that is both intriguing and challenging to the audience. Two detectives  challenge, rather forcefully, a writer, Katurian, whose stories have many similarities to murders that have occurred in the district. We learn that his mentally retarded brother has been involved. It goes from there. Tupolski and Ariel, the police, are determined to find the truth – or rather any truth - before  carrying out their form of justice.

Swansong

By Connor McDermottroe. Theatre Works. May 15 – 18, 2019

Swansong has returned for a short season at Theatre Works before the show heads off for a lengthy regional tour around Victoria, after its sell out seasons in the USA and Melbourne in 2018. Written by Irish Writer/film director Connor McDermottroe, it is directed by local director Greg Carrol.

Delius

Written and directed by C. Aspden Pomfret. KADS. Kalamunda Town Square Theatre. May 10 - 25, 2019

Delius is a World Premiere production, written and directed by local author C. Aspen Pomfret, about the last few years of English composer Frederick Delius, his assistant or amanuensis Eric Fenby and Delius’ wife, German artist, Jelka Rosen.

Death Throes

Written and directed by Julia Croft, Harriet Gillies and Joe Lui. The Blue Room. April 30 - May 18, 2019

Post truth. Post fact. Post power. Death Throes might also be described as ‘Post Theatre”. Described as a ‘perverse performance party inside the void”, Death Throes is a non-narrative exploration for those looking for something different.

Written, directed and performed by Julia Croft, Harriet Gillies and Joe Lui, it features some really amazing and different lighting and sound.

Celtic Mist

Queensland Pops Orchestra, Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane – 18 May 2019

If you aren’t moved by more than 200 people on stage performing any kind of music, then you probably need a check-up. When those performers include the 58-piece Queensland Pops Orchestra, accompanied by the ethereal Celtic vocals and sublime Irish whistle of Sarah Calderwood, a honeyed tenor from Gregory Moore, super-spectral Uilleann Pipes by Kevin Higgins and pitch-perfect, out-of-this-world Pipes by Andrew Roach, you’ll feel energised and uplifted. The magic Celtic Mist should be available on Medicare.

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