Reviews

Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories

Adapted by Dan Giovannoni & Luke Kerridge, from Bamberts Buch der vershollenen Geschichten by Reinhardt Jung. Barking Gecko Theatre Company. Director: Luke Kerridge. Playhouse, QPAC. 11-15 October 2017

Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories is charming, imaginative theatre. Based on the award-winning German book written in 1998 by Reinhardt Jung, the plot finds Bambert, an impossibly small man, living above a grocer shop and obsessed with writing. One day he realises his stories have no home because nobody has ever read them so he sends them out into the world via balloon hoping they will be returned.

Buyer and Cellar

By Jonathan Tolins. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Susanna Dowling. 6 October – 12 November 2017

When the young gay man arrives on stage he assures us that “none of this is real”. What he has to say “could not possibly have happened with a person as famous, talented, and litigious as Barbra Streisand”. With lawyers thus at bay, Alex (played by Ben Gerrard) can let rip, which he does alone and hilariously at full tilt for the next hour and a half, under the direction of Susanna Dowling.

In Between Two

Writers/Composers Joel Ma and James Mangohig. Melbourne Festival and Arts Centre Melbourne. Fairfax Studio –Arts Centre Melbourne. 11 – 15 October, 2017

It is the generosity of spirit this work is imbued with that reaches out to us all.   In Between Two is two stories of how two young ‘hip hop’ artists - Joel Ma who is half Chinese and half Pilipino James Mangohig - grew and developed into the charismatic men they are today.

The audience is kept on its toes as each story unfolds in turns, starting with the rarefied history of Joel Ma’s extraordinary Grandmother Edith.

Men Behaving Badly

By Simon Nye. Matt Byrne Media. Holden St Theatres, Adelaide. Oct 4-6 & Oct 10-14 & Oct 18-21, 2017.

Director Matt Byrne is well-known for bringing popular culture to the stage and he makes a big impact with his latest offering, adapting four episodes from the original BBC TV series Men Behaving Badly. It is easy to make comparisons, but Byrne and cast put their individual stamps on this politically incorrect story.

Last Cab to Darwin

By Regg Cribb. Cairns Little Theatre. Directed by Kevin West. October 6-14, 2017

Last Cab to Darwin tells the true story of terminally ill Max Bell, a Broken Hill taxi driver, and his journey to Darwin to take advantage of the Northern Territory's newly created euthanasia laws. On the way, Max encounters odd-ball characters in the country towns that he passes through, until he finally reaches Darwin.

The story was told on a functional set with a background of corrugated iron, the front of a car and a screen depicting the road north. Music that varies from Midnight Oil to Abba accompanied Max on his journey.

Shrek the Musical (Jr.)

Based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture, and the book by William Steig. Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. Music by Jeanine Tesori. Adelaide Youth Theatre. The Hopgood Theatre, Noarlunga. October 6/7, 2017.

The most loveable green ogre that any of us are likely to encounter, Shrek began life on bookshelves, followed by no fewer than four big-screen showcases, brought to life by the inimitable vocal talents of Mike Myers. Could any stage musical version of this story – let alone a junior edition that runs only an hour – possibly have anything fresh and engaging to offer? In the hands of the dependable team at Adelaide Youth Theatre: absolutely!

Blanc de Blanc

Directed by Scott Maidment. Spiegeltent. Southport Parklands. October 5th to Nov 5th, 2017

The Spiegeltent is on the Gold Coast for the first time, but cabaret in the 1930’s (when the tent was built) was never like this. Blanc de Blanc, like the fine champagne it is named after, explodes with superb bubbles (literally) and just the right taste on the palate for a spring evening. With an 18+ censorship rating, this  erotic, evocative cabaret that looks for all the world like Cirque du Soleil on steroids, is great entertainment and an aphrodisiac combined.

Atlanta

By Joanna Murray-Smith. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. October 5-21, 2017

The Bakehouse Theatre (former the Red Shed) is one of the most important and vital performing spaces in Adelaide. Led by Australian theatre ‘legends’ Peter Green and Pamela Munt, it has an illustrious theatre history that spans centuries – literally.

Dark Circus

Melbourne Festival. Beckett Theatre, Malthouse. 5 – 9 October 2017

This delightful work of sound and projection with an old world charm is high art in motion – it speaks to us all in a unique individual way.  This work is completely entrancing from go to woe.  “Come for the show, stay for the woe”, is the sardonic catch cry.

Birdland

By Simon Stephens. New Theatre, King St, Newtown. October 3 – November 4, 2017

Birdland by British playwright Simon Stephens belongs to that long tradition of stories about immoral rock stars lost to fame and the hedonism of, well, sex, drugs and rock n roll.  

One night in Moscow, bored on tour, Paul (played with a charming, almost ordinary cruelty by Graeme McRae) seduces his best mate’s beloved, fragile girlfriend (Louise Harding). The next morning she jumps from the hotel’s top floor.

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