Reviews

Baba Yaga

Windmill Theatre Company and Imaginate production presented in association with the Adelaide Festival. Queen’s Theatre. February 26th – March 6th, 2019.

An old Russian folktale is the inspiration for the creative, vibrant and wickedly funny new show from Windmill Theatre Company, Baba Yaga. Known for its high standards in creating contemporary theatre for children and young adults, the company’s latest offering is nothing short of sublime.

Three wonderfully talented women, Christine Johnston, Shona Reppe and director Rosemary Myers, have joined forces to create a tale of self-discovery. They have started with an old folktale and given it a modern twist.

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare. Presented by Melbourne Shakespeare Company. Central Park Malvern, 148 Burke Rd, Malvern East. 2-17 March, 2019.

This is a comedy based on numerous misunderstandings, misapprehensions and mockery. The Melbourne Shakespeare Company takes all of these elements and creates a dynamic and often hysterical interpretation of Shakespeare’s masterful play with words, disguise and deception. After surviving a shipwreck, Viola (Meg McKibbin) disguises herself as Cesario and enters the courtly world of Duke Orsino (Sami Obama). This triggers a series events that ultimately lead to most of the characters finding true love, but not before creating some mayhem.

Counting and Cracking

By S. Shakthidharan (Aust.). Adelaide Festival. Belvoir & Co-Curious. 2019 Adelaide Festival. Ridley Centre, Adelaide Showgrounds. 2 – 9 March 2019

Two of our reviewers, Anthony Vawser and Tony Knight, caught one of the hightlights of this year's Adelaide Festival.

When nearly-three-hours of stage time simply flies past, you know that a play has been faultlessly crafted. When its concluding passages culminate in an image that is so perfect you are left breathless with admiration, we’re talking about a theatrical experience that is truly special, perhaps even deserving of being described as a must-see.

Pussy Riot – Riot Days

Adelaide Fringe 2019. The Attic, RCC, 27 February – 3 March 2019

The Russian punk-collective delivers an angry, defiant and powerful message to the enthusiastic crowd in the comfortable surroundings of the University of Adelaide, in stark contrast to their reception in their own country.

The five performers shout, play brass and rap their story to the backdrop of video footage of their political performances in Moscow, and the subsequent trial and imprisonment. The English surtitles are stirring enough, but the passion in their voices, percussion, trumpet and saxophone resonates with your core.

Flood

By Chris Isaacs. Adelaide Fringe 2019. Presented by Cabbages and Kings Collective. Noel Lothian Hall. 2-17 March 2019

Six young friends reunite for a New Year’s trip to the outback, driving to the middle of nowhere, where they find a perfect waterhole, re-discover old friendships and desires, and struggle with the consequences of an impulsive act.

Chris Isaacs’ play drops these six white, middle class teenagers into the systemic racism and ignorance towards indigenous Australians, and whilst the perspective is solely that of the naïve friends, it’s not a cultural misappropriation.

We Will Rock You

Music and lyrics by Queen. Story and script by Ben Elton. Directed by Madeleine Johns. Redcliffe Musical Theatre. March 1 – March 3, 2019

The music of Queen seems to be the flavour of the times and here it is presented through the rather convoluted story devised by Ben Elton. The play is set in the future where individuality no longer exists. Under the control of the Killer Queen, everyone wears the same style clothing and there is no original thinking and no music. However, a group of Bohemians is searching for the music and mysteries of the past from their meeting place, the Hard Rock Café. They have given themselves names of old time rock stars.

After You’ve Gone

By Sue Ingleton. Old Mill Theatre, WA. Directed by Trevor Dhu. February 15 - March 2, 2019

This Australian play by Sue Ingleton is an unusual show that is part mystery, partly an examination of relationships in Australia immediately post war, and includes some dream sequences and dance moments.

The Magic Flute

By Mozart. Adelaide Festival. Komische Oper Berlin. Barry Kosky and 1927. Adelaide Festival Centre. March 1-3, 2019

Opening the Adelaide Festival, The Magic Flute is a theatrical experience comparable to no other. This joyful offering - acollaboration between Komische Oper Berlin and London-based 1927 - is a psychedelic tour de force.

Liften

Adelaide Fringe 2019. Lift Dance Theatre. Brighton Performing Arts Centre. February 22nd – March 3rd, 2019

Since Lift Dance Theatre was established in 2009, Artistic Director Alan Todd has brought his wealth of experience to the group to create original dance works for the stage. Choreographers Phoebe Fisher and Elly Roadnight also perform as dancers within the company.

Premiering at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe, Liften is a celebration of the group’s tenth anniversary. Two separate works blended together, Ostium and Immensae, focus on body and human awareness.

Arbus & West

By Stephen Sewell. Melbourne Theatre Company. Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio. February 22 – March 30, 2019.

To quote Mae West, “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”

The legendary Mae West, in all her glitz and glamour, holds the spotlight in the new MTC production of Stephen Sewell’s Arbus and West, which unravels the truths and fears between two great American artists.

It is 1971. Mae West (Melita Jurisic), performing in Vegas, is scathingly dismissive of Diane Arbus’ (Diana Glenn) tragic suicide. The fascinating ‘true story’ of Arbus & West harks back to their first and only meeting in 1964.

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