Reviews

No Pay? No Way!

By Dario Fo. A new adaptation by Marieke Hardy. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Feb 10 – Apr 4, 2020.

The audience was greeted by the exterior of a non-descript double storey apartment block in Italy in the 1970’s. What happened to the façade, to bring us inside the working class abode was positively thrilling – especially for those sitting near the front. 

Les Misérables

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg. Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Original French text byAlain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. Additional Material by James Fenton. Adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. Packemin Productions. Riverside Theatre, Paramatta. February 14 – 29, 2020

This is a brilliant production! The standing ovation it received on opening night was thoroughly deserved. The direction is brilliant. The voices are superb. The action is dramatic. It is everything a production of Les Misérables should be – and what one expects of a Packemin production. The fact that the season is almost sold out is indicative of the esteem in which the company is held by its western Sydney audiences.

A Butterfly Effect

Adelaide Fringe. First Draft. Bakehouse Theatre. 17 – 22 February 2020

The ‘butterfly effect’ is where a small change at a point in time creates a significant change in the outcome.

A Butterfly Effect is a frustrating sixty minutes observing four people stumble through a wandering commentary on their character’s lives.

Every Brilliant Thing

By Duncan Macmillan. Adelaide Fringe. The Bus Stop. 18 Feb - 21 Feb, 2020.

I rarely leave my living room to go to the theatre in a living room, but ​Every Brilliant Thing​ is just what the name describes. Beginning its life as a short story by Englishman Duncan Macmillan and now performed by Canadian Michael Torontow, it is the story of one troubled boy becoming a man, one whose whole life is spent dealing with depression and suicide. Sounds miserable, but this artful monologue is entertaining, uplifting, informative and deeply insightful.

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde. Adapted by Jon Haynes, Jude Kelly & David Woods. Merlyn Theatre, The Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank. 14 February – 8 March, 2020.

The ingenuity in this production of Wilde’s most famous farce is not in its re-interpretation of the text but in its capacity to fully expose all the underlying allusions. Jon Haynes and David Woods, renowned for their comedy work with the independent theatre company Ridiculusmus, set themselves an almost impossible task. The two comedy actors take on all the parts in the play, executing some very demanding and often challenging costume and character changes. The result is hilarious, enthralling and induces side-splitting laughter.

Once Upon A Fractured Fairytale

By Joondalup Entertainers Theatre School. Directed by Ros Boyer. Musical direction by Chelsea Gibson. The Big Top, Woodside Pleasure Garden, Russel Square, Northbridge, WA. Feb 8-16, 2020

Once Upon A Fractured Fairytale was written and performed by 10-18 year old students of the Joondalup Entertainers Theatre School, and is a bright and complex story of fairytale characters gone awry. 

Tartuffe

By Moliere, adapted by Liz Lochead. Adelaide Fringe. Ed Littlewood Productions, in assoc. with Holden Street Theatres, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh & Stephen Dunn Theatre Fund (UK). The Arch, Holden Street Theatres. 18 Feb-15 March, 2020

Moliere’s Tartuffe (or The Hypocrite) was first performed in Paris in 1664 and was one of Moliere’s most successful as well as controversial plays. Subsequently, it is now regarded as one of the greatest ‘classical’ comedies with a relatively constant performance history throughout the world over the past four hundred-odd years.

The Gods, The Gods, The Gods

By Phil Grainger (Music) & Alexander Wright (Lyrics). The Flanagan Collective, Gobbledigook Theatre (UK) and Hartstone-Kitney Productions. Black Box Theatre, Adelaide Botanic Gardens. 18 Feb-14 March, 2020

The Gods, The Gods, The Gods is the thrilling third installment about classical myths by The Flanagan Collective & Gobbledigook Theatre (UK), who have previously wowed Adelaide audiences with their brilliant versions of Orpheus and Eurydice. This time their focus is on the classical Gods themselves, a collection of dubious creatures whose place and meaning in the modern, as well as classical world is brought into question.

Hayley Sugars: Songs of Desire

Part of Opera Queensland’s Intimate Concert Series. Conservatorium Theatre, Griffith University, South Bank. Friday, February 14, 2020

Hayley Sugars sets out to tell the truth about love in her intimate Opera Queensland recital that kicked off on Valentine’s Day, and it was not all easy listening.

Using her own words as well as those of the masters, she sang her way through tales of first love, secret love, unrequited love, lost love and doomed love.

Josephine

Adelaide Fringe. Dynamite Lunchbox and Hartstone-Kitney Productions. Black Box Theatre, Adelaide Botanic Garden. February 14 – March 1, 2020.

Josephine Baker had a hit with “J’ai deux amours, (mon pays et Paris)” in France. It says a lot about how this dancer, chanteuse and cause célèbre felt about her place in the world. Born in St. Louis in 1906, Baker arrived in Paris in 1925 to appear in La Revue Nègre.

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