Kings of War

By William Shakespeare adapted by Ivo van Hove. Adelaide Festival. A Toneelgroep Amsterdam Production. Directed by Ivo van Hove. Festival Theatre, Adelaide. March 10 - 13, 2018

Why would you want to watch four and a half hours of Shakespearean history plays in Dutch? Well anyone who saw The Roman Tragedies would tell you that the creative vision of Ivo van Hove married to the superb actors that make up Toneelgroep and the use of Shakespeare’s storylines and insights is a powerful combination and one not to be missed. Van Hove and Toneelgroep’s Kings of War is a re-interpretation of Shakespeare’s history plays stretching from Henry IV to Henry VII.

Cirque Africa

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Hindmarsh Square. 24th February - 3rd April, 2018

Cirque Africa’s founding father, Winston Ruddle (Papa Africa) is the first black African in the world to own, direct and produce a circus show in a big-top tent. Dressed in a colourful kaftan he strolls centre stage to wind up the crowd, his booming voice gaining everyone’s attention.

The thumping beats of drums and tribal acoustics can be felt through the floor. A company of performers dance their way into the tent with beaming smiles and infectious energy; a mean feat, given that for this matinee performance it must have been close to 40 degrees.


Written by John Godber. Directed by Sherri Smith and David Paterson. Presented by HeartBeast Theatre. Spring Hill Reservoir (Qld). 10 - 31 March, 2018

The latest production of the 70’s classic Bouncers is energetic, accessible and packed full of humour. The cast of four (Peter Condon as Eric, Rowan Howard as Ralph, Chris Vaag as Judd and Campbell Lindsay as Les) give it their all and have nothing left in the tank by curtain call. They work very effectively together and are clearly well-rehearsed. No one actor stands above the rest; all are well matched in skill.

Fractured Fairytales

The Nitwits - Last Dodo. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2018. The Speakeasy - Gluttony. 11-12 March, 2018

Fractured Fairytales by Last Dodo and performed by The Nitwits (Matt Grey and Kathryn Placing) has come to Adelaide after winning Best Kids Show at the Perth and Sydney Fringe Festivals. It is for children between the age of 5-10 years old, and from the delight the children showed at the hot afternoon performance I saw, it is a complete success.


Asking for Trouble. Adelaide Fringe. The Factory - the Garden of Unearthly Delights. March 12 - 18, 2018

FoRT is a physical theatre show that uses everyday objects such as a sofa, chairs, coffee table, ironing board, mops and brooms as a vehicle for creating imaginary landscapes and providing a stage for Christy Flaws and Luke O’Connor to showcase their acrobatic and circus skills.

The Shifting Heart

By Richard Beynon. White Box Theatre. Seymour Centre (NSW). March 8 - 24, 2018.

Written in 1956, and first produced by The Elizabethan Theatre Trust in 1957, this one of the first plays that explored the effect of racism and discrimination in Australia following the arrival of European refugees and migrants after the Second World War. So relevant was its message, that it was produced in the West End in London in 1959, was recorded as an ABC radio play in 1962, and was adapted for television by the ABC in 1968.  

Disney Mulan Jr.

Music adapted and arranged by Bryan Louiselle; additional music by Bryan Louiselle; additional lyrics by Patricia Cotter and Bryan Louiselle. Based on the 1998 Disney film 'Mulan' and the story 'Fa Mulan' by Robert D San Souci. Directed by Jayde Clark. Phoenix Theatre, Memorial Hall, Spearwood, WA. Mar 9-24, 2018

Phoenix Theatre have created what I believe is their best youth musical to date, with the feel-good show Mulan Jr. A beautiful looking junior production with a lot of heart.

A vibrant young cast of 25 keep busy all evening, with all but the two central characters playing multiple roles, with quick changes of Jayde Clark and Sarah Brooks bright costumes in abundance. The multi-level Chinese set (Jayde Clark and Daniel Muller) provides elegance and atmosphere.

Antony and Cleopatra

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. Sydney Opera House. 3 March - 7 April, 2018.

Bell Shakespeare here repeats the familiar device of characters randomly lounging around the set before slipping out between the chairs and into some action.    

It aids the speedy scene changes of this play, which leaps between Rome and Egypt, but it’s repetitive and, in this production, drearily reductionist.  After her mafia hotel lounge for Richard III, designer Anna Cordingley here does retro, pastel chairs and ottomans, surrounded by transparent curtains (expressively) coloured by Benjamin Cisterne’s lights. 

The Great War

Presented by Hotel Modern & Arthur Sauer. Adelaide Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. 8-11 March, 2018.

Anyone who demands innovation when they enter a theatre should prioritise The Great War, brainchild of artists from The Netherlands. This is a show that truly seems to be developing a unique medium of theatrical communication, one that could be described as ‘live cinema’: events and actions are depicted on-stage in often-ingenious miniature form, while being photographed/transmitted in-the-moment, and in close-up, to a screen above the stage.


Israel Galvan (Spain). Adelaide Festival 2018. Her Majesty's Theatre. 9-11 March, 2018

Flamenco is a dance form from Southern Spain, particularly Andalusia, Extremadura and Murcia. The oldest record of flamenco dates from 1774. Since then, it has evolved to become not only synonymous with Spain but also a popular international dance form. Flamenco has numerous elements, which includes cante (singing), toque (guitar), jaleo (vocalisations), palmas (hand-clapping), pitos (finger-snapping), and baile (dance).

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