Reviews

The Illegitimate Love Children of Bob Downe and Magda Szubanski

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Speigeltent Tent Collingwood.March 31 – April 7, 2019

This is a delightful, light and lively show that is just right if you are looking for some clever but not too darkly complicated laughs.  It is a  refreshingly replenishing show with great catchy vintage songs sung beautifully.  Significantly, it is a homage to our Australian comic history and particularly to two of our most interesting, unique and couragous ‘talents’ - Mark Trevorrow and Magda Szubznski.

Wakey Wakey

By Will Eno. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, East St Kilda. 28 April – 19 May 2019

An alarm wakes a man, Guy (Justin Hosking).  ‘Is it now?’ he says.  ‘I thought I had more time.’  This is a play about dying and resisting dying and clinging to what constitutes – good or bad – being alive.  The title, Wakey Wakey, might be an admonishment to us: ‘Wake up – you may think you have ‘more time’, but…

Ten Quid

By John Grimshaw. Stirling Players. Directed by Jane Sherwood. Stirling Theatre, Innaloo, WA. April 26 - May 11, 2019

Ten Quid, a locally written World Premiere, is a story of the call to home of the migrant. Mark, who immigrated to Australia as a child as a ‘ten pound pom’, returns to Manchester to scatter his brother’s ashes at Maine Road Stadium, and meets Cody, a Scottish single mother, to whom he tells his story.

Cinderella

By Matthew Whittet. Myths Made Here production. Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane. 26 April to 5 May 2019

Cinderella is the Queensland premiere of a relatively new one-act play by actor and writer Matthew Whittet. It is a sharp debut by Myths Made Here, a fresh Queensland-based group that includes director, Daniel Evans, Cinderella’s two stars, Amy Ingram and Thomas Larkin, along with producer and educator, Annette Box, and producer, Tara Hobbs. I’m sure we will hear more from this creative collective in the future.

Ladies in Black

Book by Carolyn Burns, Music and Lyrics by Tim Finn. Ipswich Musical Theatre Company. Old Ipswich Courthouse. 26 April to 5 May 2019

With a completely sold-out season, the Queensland amateur premiere of Ladies in Black is in very safe hands. Confidently directed by Tammy Sarah Linde, with Music Direction by Matthew Semple, this is an energetic and enthusiastic production by the accomplished Ipswich Musical Theatre Company. With a combined background in theatre training and experience, you won’t see a better so-called ‘amateur’ cast.

The Miser

By Molière, translated & adapted by Justin Fleming. Bell Shakespeare. Arts Centre Melbourne, The Fairfax. 25 April – 12 May 2019

Justin Fleming takes Molière’s satire/farce and makes it even more farcical; he up-dates its language to a distinctly Australian idiom with contemporary references and clunky-but-irresistible gags, even while retaining the convoluted plot of the original – and the occasional rhyming couplet.  Director Peter Evans and a great cast - who all turn out to be very able comedians – invest all their skill in Mr Fleming’s take and run with it all the way.  The result is a hugely entertaining romp.

The Double

Written and directed by Claire Testoni. Bow and Dagger. The Blue Room Theatre, Northbridge. April 23 - May 11, 2019

In The Double, subtitled a "cyber gothic nightmare”, a young actress sells her image to a tech giant. Although she soon feels disconnected with the way the double is developing, her face and voice are now on every phone, every screen, everywhere.

Especially on Birthdays

The PaperBoats. The Space. Adelaide Festival Centre. April 27th, 2019

Children are arguably a much tougher audience than adults, but the joy in The Space at The Festival Centre was palpable for every minute of the 45 minute performance of Especially on Birthdays.

As the story of twins approaching their life-changing 6th birthday literally unfolds, it touches and provokes, entertains and creates wonder.

Slaughterhouse Five

By Kurt Vonnegut. Adapted by Fleur Kilpatrick. Theatre Works and MUST. April 24 – May 5, 2019.

Slaughterhouse Five is based on the satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut, published in 1969 (during the Vietnam War). The complex piece of literary meta–fiction, that stands the test of time due to its anti-war sentiment, has incited this adaptation by local writer/director Fleur Kilpatrick in collaboration with the Monash University Student Theatre association and Theatreworks, creating a thought provoking piece of theatre.

Victor Victoria

Book by Blake Edwards. Music by Henry Mancini. Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Directed by Julie Smith. Beenleigh Theatre Group (Qld). Crete Street Theatre. 26 April – 11 May, 2019

Blake Edwards’ gender bending musical comedy has stood the test of time rather well. The 1982 film with which you’re most likely familiar was a remake of a 1933 German movie (Viktor und Viktoria), while the Broadway musical adaptation hit the stage in 1995. Decades later, the jokes still land, and the Academy Award winning Mancini score still gets the toes tapping.

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