Reviews

What Girls Are Made Of

By Cora Bissett; director Orla O’Loughlin. A Raw Material & Traverse Theatre Company production. Producer Margaret-Anne O’Donnell. Melbourne International Arts Festival. The Famous Spiegeltent. 3 – 13 October 2019

This particular ‘girl’ is Cora Bissett, the writer and lead performer in an autobiographical tale that rises way above predictable.  It’s a pretty fabulous, foot-tapping, laughter and tears, rock’n’roll music-theatre show from Scotland.  What enlivens what could have been a meteoric-rise-to-fame-and-plunge-back-to-obscurity tale are, first, the specificity of detail of little Cora’s childhood – especially her Mam and Dad - and all the characters she meets along the way to fame. 

Present Laughter

By Noël Coward. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. Directed by Barry Park. Sep 27 - Oct 12, 2019

Present Laughter is proving very popular in Perth of late, with this being the third production in a little over a year. Old Mill’s incarnation is a lavish, well polished production of one of Nöel Coward’s best plays.

Colossus

By Stephanie Lake Company. Choreography by Stephanie Lake. Melbourne International Arts Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. 3-6 October, 2019.

Colossus certainly lives up to its name. As a larger than life contemporary dance piece that involves no less than 50 dancers, it creates a monumental presence on stage. The dancers move with the swiftness and precision of a flock of birds or fish, as seen in the natural world. The troupe takes on the appearance of a singular entity with independent parts that are so finely tuned they seem almost connected by invisible threads. The effect is very striking and frequently mesmerising. 

Roots

Written and directed by Suzanne Andrade. Produced by 1927 Theatre Company. Melbourne International Arts Festival. The Coopers Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre. 3-6 October, 2019.

This is a delightful production that marries so many different genres and traditions in such a quirky and satirical manner that it becomes positively irresistible and enchanting. The show is based on the premise of adapting folkloristic tales with a rather unusual twist, somewhat in the tradition of Angela Carter and Italo Calvino. Andrade’s adaptations go much further as they combine several performance art and storytelling traditions and techniques, to create a visually stunning and delightfully amusing show. 

Show and Spell

Wings2Fly Theatre. Holden St Theatres. Saturday 5th October 2019

Sixteen talented young actors, 2 passionate directors and a great script make for a fabulous production at Holden St Theatres of Show and Spell from Wings2Fly Theatre this October. 

Michelle Nightingale and Alicia Zorkovic, two highly experienced theatre and voice professionals, founded Wings2Fly to inspire, train and mentor aspiring young performers in Adelaide.  The Company presents three seasons of plays per year during school holidays and holds auditions for the roles. 

Rite of Spring

Yang Liping Contemporary Dance. Melbourne International Arts Festival. Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre. 3-6 October, 2019.

This adaptation of Stravinsky’s ballet captures the controversial elements that made the performance so infamous after its 1913 premiere. The highly visceral nature of the composition and the pagan themes that are explored in the original text are spectacularly transposed into an Eastern context. The notions of death, self-sacrifice and reincarnation are brought to the forefront, and the Buddhist principles and tales which influence both the aesthetics and the choreography bring a very different perspective to this tumultuous score. 

The 39 Steps

Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan and the film by Alfred Hitchcock. State Theatre of South Australia. Dunstan Playhouse. 3-12 October 2019

The State Theatre of South Australia’s production of The 39 Steps is back in Adelaide and is an absolute theatrical delight. Based on John Buchan’s 1915 spy novel and even more, on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 classic film thriller, this is thoroughly engaging and often hilarious 2-hour theatrical romp that never falters for a second.

Vintage Hitchcock – A Live Radio Play

By Joe Landry. Tea Tree Players. Tea Tree Players Theatre. October 2-12, 2019

The Tea Tree Players ‘put murder back in the home - where it belongs’ in Joe Landry’s Vintage Hitchcock - A Live Radio Play. Landry's adaptation condenses three Hitchcock classics, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), Sabotage (1936) and The 39 Steps (1935) into a two-act play within a play, a kind of art imitating life.

The Sky’s The Limit

Student Cabaret Showcase. QPAC & Conservatorium Griffith University. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. 3 October 2019

For the past four years QPAC has joined with the Queensland Conservatorium to present the annual 3rd Year graduating students from the Batchelor of Musical Theatre course in a self-devised group cabaret performance. Mentored by musical theatre royalty in previous years, Patti LuPone, Liz Callaway and Ruthie Henshall, this year it’s Tony winner Faith Prince’s chance to disseminate her vast Broadway experience to the group.

HMS Pinafore and Box & Cox

By Gilbert and Sullivan, and F.C. Burnand and Arthur Sullivan. Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria. Darebin Arts Centre. October 4 – 6, 2019

Daniel Sinfield's production of HMS Pinafore and Cox & Box makes for an evening of splendid fun. A talented cast and chorus manage to find the often-elusive tone in Gilbert & Sullivan of a serious dedication to inspired silliness. 

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