Look Back in Anger

By John Osborne. Director: Cara Irvine. Paris Hat Productions. Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre. February 17 – 26, 2011

Look Back in Anger’s wordy, literary script demands a lot – of the actors, but of the audience as well. There are so many interwoven themes, undercurrents and contradictions that I almost want to see the play again.

Motherhood: The Musical

Hit Productions. Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. February 16 – 27, then touring nationally.

Following on from the success of Menopause The Musical, Hit Productions takes a gruelling but charming look into the complexities of being a mother.  Appropriately titled Motherhood: the Musical, the audience is provided with four perspectives of parenting, by four principal characters.

Adelaide Fringe 2011

Paul Rodda, Nicole Russo, Kim Clayton, Daniel G. Taylor and David Grybowski with Adelaide Fringe Festival Reviews

Bec Hill Didnt Want To Play Your Stupid Game Anyway

Roly Poly Grandma Productions. Rhino Room - Mar 1 to 12

A well orchestrated set, but the laughs could have been thicker.

A Behanding in Spokane

By Martin McDonagh. Melbourne Theatre Company. Sumner Theatre. 5 February to 19 March.

The first night audience received A Behanding in Spokane, with enthusiasm - a funny, lively and unsettling contemporary ‘black revenge comedy’ or present-day (American) comedy of manners for four actors.

Good Grief.

Creative team: Rosina Gannon, Charlie Laidlaw & Greg Dyson. La Mama Courthouse Theatre. February 15 - February 27, 2011.

What's good about grief?

Usually we only miss something that we feel was worth having in the first place. In this memoir-on-stage, Rosina Gannon and Charlie Laidlaw share their memories of the mothers they lost — one to cancer and the other to a tumor.

In the Next Room, or the Vibrator play

By Sara Ruhl. Sydney Theatre Company / Melbourne Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. February 11 – April 2, then touring.

There’s medical malpractice on stage nightly at the Sydney Opera House, and audiences are laughing.


Looking back at late 19th century sexuality (and its repression), women’s rights (or, rather, the lack of them), and the inequality of male / female relationships, through early 21st century eyes, audiences can laugh knowingly, from our comfortable distance.

Jacob Diefenbach Presents Murder, Most Divine.

Kaye Sera's BiZARRE. February 11 - February 12, 2011.

Have you ever wanted to kill someone?

While most of us brush such thoughts aside, scared where they'd lead us if we dwelled on them, Green Room Award winner Jacob Diefenbach follows his murderous impulses to completion in this intimate cabaret.

Sweet devil Diefenbach has the looks and voice of one of the heavenly host, but his songs explore themes that would make Hades proud.

Mrs Vincent Price

By Peter Quilter. Director: Alice Bishop. La Mama Courthouse Theatre. February 10 - February 27, 2011.

Melbourne-born actress — from the days when that was what you called female actors — Coral Browne stamped her idiosyncratic seal first on the Melbourne theatre circuit and then the world in a range of films, both traditional and avant-garde. If you've never heard of her, that's kind of the point — once a star, her career has been reduced to three words: Mrs Vincent Price.

Sacré Bleu

A classic French Farce double bill by Eugène Labiche & Georges Feydeau. Translation & Direction by Morgan Dowsett, adapted by Matthew Ryan. Queensland Theatre Company. Cremorne Theatre. February 7 – March 12, 2011

After a seriously disrupted rehearsal and preparation period, this production is timely light relief from the flood ravages.

Farce requires its audience to suspend disbelief of outlandish situations.             

Each of these plays provides the improbable at the outset, then lollops through a cripplingly funny hour of unforeseeable situations that kept our mirth bubbling.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Words and Lyrics by Tim Rice. Packemin Productions. Director: Neil Gooding. Parramatta Riverside Theatres. Feb 11 – 26, 2011.

It makes so much sense to stage a pro-am production. Cast a name in the lead to attract extra bums on seats and allow the cast to benefit from working with a professional.

It rarely happens because the people who run amateur theatre companies do it because they enjoy being on stage themselves.

Packemin Productions Producer and Director Neil Gooding had no compunction about casting professionals.

Barry Crocker as Jacob, Mick Gerace as Pharoah and Andrew Conaghan as Joseph led a cast bursting with enthusiasm.

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