Reviews

Becoming Bill

Book, Music & Lyrics: Bradley McCaw. Old Fashioned Production. Director: Neil Gooding. Musical Supervisor: Trevor Jones. Musical Director: Melfred Lijauco. Brisbane Powerhouse. 14-25 August 2019

New musicals are a difficult beast to master, but this new Australian work shows promise in its score, book and relatable characters. First time writer/composer Bradley McCaw has written about what he knows – his creative and personal life, and whilst it’s flawed like most of our lives, most of us will relate to the personable problems.

Tick, Tick…Boom!

By Jonathan Larson. Directed by Taylor Broadley. Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana, WA. August 16-24, 2019

Tick, Tick…Boom! is being presented by Koorliny Arts Centre in its smaller, intimate theatre space. Presented cabaret style, with a thrust stage that juts into the audience space, this venue is a great choice for this three-hander.

Originally written as a rock monologue for Jonathan Larson, this auto-biographical musical tells the story of his disappointment with turning thirty, having yet to achieve success as a composer of musicals - and of the workshop premiere of his well-received but unsuccessful dystopian musical Superbia.

The Apparatus

Adapted and Directed by Humphrey Bower. The Studio, The Blue Room Theatre, Perth WA. August 13-31, 2019

The Apparatus is a performance based on the works of Franz Kafka. Essentially a one man show, performed by adaptor and director Humphrey Bower, with some assistance from assistant director/stage manager/support performer Tim Green, it explores themes of absurdity, paranoia and torture, with links to issues of immigration, border protection and masculinity.

An Inspector Calls

By J B Priestley. Therry Dramatic Society. Arts Theatre, Angas St, Ade;laide 15 – 24 August 2019

Good theatre provokes and makes us think. An Inspector Calls is a parlor play which will leave you pondering, posing more questions than it does answers. Whilst being a play of social comment, pitting capitalism against socialism, it is riddled with dramatic irony and a plot which is very different to most murder mysteries.

The Nerd

By Larry Shue. Serial Productions. Directed by Joe Isaia and Rob Warmer. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. Aug 9 -24, 2019

Serial Productions is a small theatre company dedicated to the production of comedies. Their latest production, at the Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, is a quality ensemble production of a clever play.

The show centres around the unexpected arrival of Rick Steadman at the home of unassuming architect Willum Cubbert. Although they have never met, Rick had saved Willum’s life in Vietnam, and this very strange, possibly most annoying man on the planet, throws the life of Willum, and tenants Axel and Tansy, into havoc.

Stepping Out

Written by Richard Harris. D & S Media Productions. Directed by Shea Wicks. Assistant Director & Stage Manager: Chris Cherry. Choreography by Ashlea George, Jane Hart and Caroline McNamara. Laycock Street Theatre August 14 -16, 2019. The Art House, Wyong August, 23 & 24, 2019.

Even if you have had no experience at all with Stepping Out, you will quickly gauge the plot line and anticipate the inevitable 'big finish'. No matter, the journey is definitely worth it. A group of talented performers will guide you skilfully to the climax.

This is really an ensemble performance, led auspiciously by Karen Snook as Mavis, as everyone makes a solid contribution to the team effort.

Let Men Tremble

Directed & designed by Steven Mitchell Wright. The Danger Ensemble. Theatre Works, St Kilda. 14 – 25 August 2019

Let Men Tremble is ‘inspired by’ Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel, The Scarlet Letter, the story of Hester Prynne in 17th century Salem.  She has a child out of wedlock, refuses to identify her lover, and is punished with imprisonment, humiliation and by being forced to wear the letter ‘A’ (for ‘Adulterer’) on her breast for the rest of her life. 

The Holy Kickons

By Servo Pie. Ron Hurley Theatre, Seven Hills Hub, Brisbane. Bris Funny Fest. 7 August to 1 September, 2019.

Bris Funny Festis an independent fringe festival that showcases local up-and-coming talent with performances in cafes and bars across the city. Servo Pie have taken over the Ron Hurley Theatre for two nights.

The Witches of Eastwick

By John Dempsey and Dana Rowe. Phoenix Ensemble, Beenleigh (Qld). July 26 – August 17, 2019

Eastwick is one of those morally uptight, gossipy little New England towns (where everyone knows everyone else's business) that have been sent up on stage and screen many times before. Three single women in the town — artist Alexandra (Samara Marinelli), musician Jane (Lara Boyle) and nervous, bookish Sukie (Danika Saal) — are tired of conforming to the town's moral code, as dictated by town matriarch Felicia Gabriel (Susan Stenlake), and discuss their ideal man over a few drinks.

Wild Cherries

By Daniel Keene. Directed by Beng Oh. La Mama Courtyard, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton. 14 - 25 August, 2019.

Daniel Keene’s story of contemporary forms of slavery is very confronting. He locates several characters in an unspecified location and makes it easy to imagine this harrowing social injustice occurring in familiar territory. This is what helps to evoke some of the more disturbing elements. His language is also extremely powerful. The characters are all trapped in a nightmarish circumstance that could be reminiscent of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi genre. The point being that such dystopian futures are already here.

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