Reviews

The Wharf Revue: UNR–DACT–D.

By Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe, and Phillip Scott. Sydney Theatre Company. Directed by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe. The Playhouse, Canberra. Tuesday 12 November – Saturday 23 November, and touring.

The Wharf Revue is always good for an evening’s laughing appreciation of cleverness at the expense of any politician self-important enough and loud enough to deserve it and one or two others who will forever remain engraved upon our memories, and it has returned to Canberra in 2019 in its latest incarnation, The Wharf Revue: UNR–DACT–D.

 

Little Miss Sunshine: the musical

Book by James Lapine; Music & Lyrics by William Finn. New Theatre, Sydney. Director: Deborah Jones. 12 November - 14 December 2019

Christmas comes early to Newtown as the New Theatre presents the Sydney premiere of this delightful small-scale musical. Based on the 2006 movie that gave Toni Collette her break into Hollywood, Little Miss Sunshine covers an 800-mile family road trip to California where Olive, the youngest member, can compete in a beauty pageant and be ‘the first Miss America from New Mexico’.

Sidesault at the Melba 2019: A Festival of Experimental Circus.

Circus OZ, Melba Speigeltent, 35 Johnston St, Collingwood. 7-17 November, 2019.

The festival comprises of six performances showcasing both individual and group shows. Mutating RootsSubjective Spectacle and Common Dissonance are three shows which can be seen from 14-17 November. The shows offer very different perspectives on similar themes. They all have a very meditative and reflective approach which draws heavily on dance, movement and performance art and the slow, introspective pace is often disarming.

I’m With Her

Director & Lead Writer Victoria Midwinter Pitt. Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Sydney. Nov 9 - Dec 1, 2019

After some criticism a number of years ago, Sydney’s Darlinghurst Theatre Company has focused on increasing the number of women’s voices on stage. This new Australian play does that with full force - it’s created solely by women and is entirely about women. It hits the mark too.

Flight Memory

Music by Sandra France. Text by Alana Valentine. World Premiere. Directed by Caroline Stacey. The Street Theatre, Canberra. 14 – 17 November 2019

How extraordinarily poignant is the black box? Unable to save the people it records, it holds the last moments of people’s lives in the hope of preventing future deaths. For families of crash victims, it provides the most meagre of solaces: the answer to the question “why”. Based on a biography of David Warren, the Australian inventor of the black box, Alana Valentine’s latest project Flight Memory is a tale of sadness, persistence, guts, loss and triumph, underpinned by that poignancy.

Matrix

Expressions Dance Company & BeijingDance/LDTX. Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). 13-16 November 2019

If a matrix is something ‘from which another originates’ then this absolutely defines the creative collaboration between Queensland-based Expressions Dance Company (EDC) and Beijing’s LDTX dance companies. This box-fresh creation is part of a unique five-year dance exchange programme between Australia and China, and the second joint creation of EDC and LDTX.

Scarborough

By Fiona Evans. The Burrow, Fitzroy. 12 – 17 November 2019

Two different, separate couples go for a clandestine (‘dirty’) weekend at Scarborough – a beach resort sort of place.  I guess Fiona Evans called her play ‘Scarborough’, because a beach resort evokes the idea of the temporary escape – either from ‘real life’ or even reality itself.

Nunsense A-Men!

Book, Music and Lyrics by Dan Goggin. Matt Byrne Media. Holden Street Theatres, Hindmarsh. 7-30 November, 2019.

The Nunsense franchise has been reliably entertaining all manner of audiences from a wide range of countries, for a good many years now - and in a variety of formats, not merely on the stage.

It’s difficult to argue with such widespread and sustained success, especially given that comic taste is such a personal and subjective matter – but there is surely cause to wonder whether this particular show might be due for retirement, or at least an overhaul of sorts.

Nunsense

Book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin. Directed by Jean Bowra. Redcliffe Musical Theatre, 25 October – 10 November, 2019

The Little Sisters of Hoboken need help. Their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God has accidentally killed the majority of the nuns in the convent with her tainted vichyssoise and the convent can’t afford to bury all the dearly departed. Now it’s up to some of the remaining Sisters to raise the funeral funds with a talent show.

Madwomen Monologues

The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. November 11 – 23, 2019

Madwomen Monologues is back for another season of scintillating new short plays by local women writers. Launched in 2011 by the creative team at Baggage Productions, the growing support and submissions they receive each year have been astonishing. One act plays with one-act performers makes this annual event unique and compelling. They are currently running two programs of six plays at The Butterfly Club.

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