Reviews

The Real Inspector Hound

By Tom Stoppard. Theatre on Chester, Epping NSW. July 19 – August 10, 2019

Written in the early 1960s, The Real Inspector Hound satirises the theatre critics of the time – of which he was one – and the melodramatics of Agatha Christie-style murder mysteries. Mercifully, the verbose critics of the post war newspapers that Stoppard lampooned are long gone, and though some critical jargon and cliché still survives, I’ll try hard to avoid it.

Maps and Journeys: Navigating by the Sky

Southern Cross Soloists & QPAC in association with Queensland Music Festival. QPAC Concert Hall. 21 July, 2019

It’s easy to hear why the Southern Cross Soloists are considered one of Australia’s leading chamber orchestras. Maps and Journeys represents yet another show in which the group both enlightens and entertains with great technique and passion.

This performance took the crowd on a journey through a program of music and oratory themed around the rich wayfinding traditions of our first nations people, compared with the European navigational techniques. Both cultures find common ground in the use of stars and constellations in finding our ways to our destinations.

Are You Being Served?

By Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft. Directed by Andrew Watson. Stirling Theatre (WA). Jul 19 - Aug 3, 2019

Are You Being Served? is a fun little romp of a show, based on the TV series of the same name. In Stirling Players’ production, the character recreation is so strong that there are gasps of recognition as each new character arrives.

Kate’s Story

By Life on Hold Productions. Directed by Siobhan O’Gara. Victoria Park Centre for the Arts, WA. July 13-27, 2019.

Kate’s Story is part of an arts event called ‘The Other Side” centred on the problem of homelessness. Victoria Park Centre for the Arts plays host, not only to the play, but to a Perth-centric photography exhibition and a curated musical playlist looking at issues of homelessness, poor mental health, broken family relationships and disturbed childhoods.

Veronica’s Room

By Ira Levin. Directed by Georgina Kling. Melville Theatre, WA. July 5-20, 2019

Veronica’s Room is described as spine chilling thriller, and it is a well-crafted story designed to have the audience on the end of their seats.

A Room of One’s Own

Adapted for the stage from the text by Virginia Woolf and directed by Peta Hanrahan. Sentient Theatre presented by La Mama Theatre & fortyfivedownstairs. Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne. 17 – 28 July 2019

Peta Hanrahan has made a theatrical adaptation for four actors of two lectures Virginia Woolf gave at the women’s colleges – Newnham and Girton – at Cambridge University in 1928 on ‘Women and Fiction’.  In 1929, those lectures became the famous book.  The premise is the famous line, ‘A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.’

A Doll’s House Part 2

By Lucas Hnath. Directed by Caroline Stacey. Presented by The Street. The Street Theatre, Acton, Canberra. June 14 – 23, 2019

“I’m not that same person who left through that door” – Nora

What if Nora came back? What would people say? And what could possibly draw her back to the house, scene of so much said and unsaid in A Doll’s House by Ibsen? This play brings back characters we thought we knew, and challenges what we imagined happened after Nora left.

Caroline Stacey’s direction has led to a fine production, with high values shown in the acting, staging, lighting and sound. All elements work together to create a jewel of a play.

Bitch, Antigone

By Steven Dawson. Out Cast Theatre. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. July 18 – 20, 2019.

The Out Cast Theatre is the first and longest running LGBQT+ friendly company in Australia. Their new show Bitch, Antigone is currently on at the Butterfly Club, ahead of the Edinburgh Fringe 2019.

A Night at the Theatre

A series of Five Comic One Act Plays by David Ives. STARC Productions. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 17-27 July, 2019.

I always think it is a really good thing when you have been to the theatre that when you leave you need to discuss it and you keep discussing what you have seen all the way home and then you think about it when you are lying in bed.

A Night at the Theatre is a series of comic one act plays by David Ives, the leading American writer of Absurdist theatre. Theatre of the Absurd usually does not get much of an airing, so it is both interesting and worthwhile that STARC Productions presents these short and technically difficult plays.

La Bohème

By Puccini. Opera Van Diemensland & Cordelia’s Potted Operas. Directors: Martin Buckingham and Stee Cordilia. Conductor: Alan Cook. Abbotsford Convent (Vic). July 7, 2019.

There are an amazing number of opera companies, amateur, semi-professional and professional, now operating in Victoria. Opera Van Diemensland started in NSW with the aim of bringing semi-professional opera to country centres, and has now moved to Victoria. This was the only Melbourne performance, and was well attended.

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