Reviews

Daddy Long Legs

Music & Lyrics: Paul Gordon. Book: John Caird. Based on the novel by Jean Webster. Passion Productions. Director: Connor Clarke. Musical Director: Sean Fagan. Movement Director: George Canham. Brisbane Powerhouse. 26 September to 5 October, 2019

Jean Webster’s 1912 novel set in turn-of-the-century New England has been musicalised before. Hugh Martin wrote a hit West End adaptation of it called Love From Judy in 1952 and three years later Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron turned the story into a very successful Hollywood musical, Daddy Long Legs. But there’s no splashy song-and-dance numbers in this version, which is written for a cast of two.

Flamenco Fire’s Veinte Años (20 Years).

Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) Brisbane Festival. World Premiere. 26 September 2019.

Flamenco Fire – Australia’s only national flamenco company – have been performing their unique mix of traditional and contemporary Spanish Flamenco with international and interstate musicians and dancers since 1999. To celebrate their vibrant 20 years together, they premiered their new show – Veinte Años – at the Brisbane Festival.

Facing Medea

By François Cervantes. Directed by Jenny Kemp. Melbourne Fringe, La Mama Courthouse, 49 Drummond Street, Carlton. 25 September - 6 October, 2019.

François Cervantes takes a very lateral approach to this myth and explores the reaction of three women who are trying to make sense of the atrocities committed by Medea. The set design creates a great sense of a story unfolding on a blank page. The stark white background made of up what looks like large scrolls of paper is a fantastic backdrop for this gruesome narrative.

Brilliant Traces

By Cindy Lou Johnson. Joh Hartog Productions. Bakehouse Theatre. September 25th – October 5th, 2019

Written by Cindy Lou Johnson, Brilliant Traces is a two hander, performed very ably by Krystal Brock as Rosannah DeLuce and Brendan Cooney as Henrey Harry.

The Kick Inside

By Kerensa Diball. Melbourne Fringe. Fringe Hub: Trades Hall, Carlton. September 21 – 29, 2019

The Kick Inside by Kerensa Diball is a feisty piece of feminist performance art addressing issues related to motherhood. Whether speaking to the past or the   present female generations, she is adamant about breaking down the barrier for the “barren spinsters”, ”frigid witches” and the eccentric “Aunt Frenzies” who did not experience the three trimesters and get to feel that “kick inside”.

MZAZA

Courier-Mail Spiegeltent. Brisbane Festival. 22 September, 2019

This year the Brisbane Festival has showcased a brilliant range of musical acts – none so eclectic as Mzaza, whose individual band members have cultural heritage that mirrors Australia’s waves of settlers from Greece, Latvia, Bosnia and France. This band of free-spirited World musicians have a playlist that mixes their original jazzy and internationally inspired compositions with covers from writers as discombobulating as Serge Gainsbourg. The result is a blend as refreshing as a Bobo Parisian spiked with a cool shot of Ouzo.

Street

By Liviu Monsted. Mon Sans Productions. Sydney Fringe. Chippen Street Theatre, Chippendale. September 25 – 28, 2019

In Street, writer and director Liviu Monsted presents to the audience a grim picture of the plight of young people living on the street. It is not so much a story of why or how they ended up homeless, nor does it present a neat solution to their situation, rather it raises our consciousness and asks us to look more closely at those living on the streets.

Jofus and the Plank

Created & performed by Lily Fish, in collaboration with Kimberly Twiner. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Fish & Twiner’s Bait Shop. The Burrow, Fitzroy. 24 – 29 September 2019

Lily Fish is a phenomenon.  She is astonishing.  She is a comedienne, a mime, an acrobat and a chameleon.  In this show, the stage is totally bare, and the house lights don’t even dim.  There’s just Lily Fish and a plank.  Her character – and storyteller - Jofus – is dressed more or less as a clown and the ‘plank’ is a roughly 60 cm piece of wood.  Those are her resources.  There is some minimal narration – in a strange ‘clown’ voice and with lightning quick audience interactions – but the story,

Aurora

Circus Oz. Circus Oz Big Top, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens, Southern Cross Lawn. 18 September – 6 October 2019

Climate change and toxic waste are hot topics with a massive world-wide protest movement on the rise to save the earth. Circus Oz, on the awareness campaign, have created Aurora, set in the cold regions where ice melts and oil spillage are destroying natural wild life habitats.

Straight

By Scott Elmegreen and Drew Fornarola. Directed by Phil Carney. New Farm Nash Theatre Qld. September 20 – October 19, 2019.

This play explores the beliefs and the morals of society members as regards the sexuality and emotions of the various individuals of our society.  We, as a society, are far more open and accepting of the various sexualities - straight, bisexual, gay and lesbian – but, do we really understand the emotions and pressures exerted by society, perhaps unknowingly, on some of those people. Straight explores this, particularly being bisexual, in a logical, emotional and, sometimes, humorous way.

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