Reviews

The Happy Prince

Adapted from the story by Oscar Wilde. Toy Soldier Children's Theatre. Directed by Courtney Turner. The Grapevine, Ellenbrook, WA. April 10-19, 2015

The Happy Prince is an adaptation of the story by Oscar Wilde, and is performed by the fledgling company, Toy Soldier Children's Theatre as their first production.

Simpson, J 202

By Richard Beynon. Genesian Theatre, Sydney. April 11 – May 2, 2015

To many Australians Private Jack Simpson is ‘The Man with the Donkey’, the brave young Anzac stretcher-bearer who used a little donkey to carry wounded soldiers down the cliffs of Gallipoli. To his family, in England, Jack Simpson Kirkpatrick was a happy, gentle boy who loved animals and had big dreams.

Once On This Island

Lyrics and Book by Lyn Ahrens. Music by Stephen Flaherty. Directed by Tamblyn Smith. Fab Nobs Theatre, Bayswater. April 10th-25th, 2015.

Thank heavens for community theatre companies like Fab Nobs, who bring us musicals that we otherwise would never see, since they are deemed to be too non-commercial for the main stage. The problem is that, because these musicals are largely unseen, the potential audiences are unfamiliar with the scores and assume that they’ve never heard of the musical because it’s no good. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Seeing Unseen

Created and performed by Gareth Boylan, Michael Cullen, Kerri Glasscock and Michael Pigott. Old 505 Theatre. April 8 - 26, 2015.

30% of the internet is taken up by cat videos. There are fewer plane crashes but it feels like there are way more. Frozen Berries can give you Hepatitis A. The Old 505 Theatre Co. discovered these facts when refreshing their browsers for the latest news, updates, statistics, content, data …

Meme Girls

Created by Ash Flanders, Stephen Nicolazzo & Marion Potts based on an original. idea by Ash Flanders. Malthouse Theatre. Beckett Theatre . 8 April to 2 May 2015

Ash Flanders and Stephen Nicolazzo have a significant following in Melbourne.  They are, together and individually, unique voices in the contemporary Melbourne theatre scene.  I think it is fair to say their refined yet bright and bold, very visual approach to theatre, flair and irreverence has garnered significant respect from audiences.  

La Traviata

Music: Giuseppe Verdi. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast..Directors: Melanie Smart, Isaac Moody. 10th – 24th April, 2015.

Spotlight is well-known on the Gold Coast for very successful musicals. Nevertheless it is a bold move to decide to stage opera, albeit a "boutique" version; will the audience accept it?           

This production was especially prepared with an English libretto interpreted by local writer / composer Anthony Gee, and an orchestral reduction for piano, cello and clarinet, arranged by Qld Conservatorium graduate Donnie MacKay. 

Adventures in Hair

Red Violin (14 McKillop Street, Melbourne) Melbourne International Comedy Festival. April 9 – 18, 2015

Who would have thought learning about the 1622 Dutch invasion of Portugese Macau would be a delightful night at the Melbourne Comedy Festival! Laurence Rosier Staines, Michael Richardson and Ciaran Magee introduce us to the main protagonists of this slice of history as they search for a new viceroy and cope with a Dutch invasion, and keep it on track by the gloriously simple solution of changing hats.

Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells For Two

The Street Theatre. Childers Street Canberra. 10-12 April 2015

The only way to keep vinyl records in good nick, my father would tell me, is to never, ever play them. You might wonder just what is the point of having a record you don’t listen to? Dad’s solution was that you should play them just the once in order to make a tape.

Quartet

By Ronald Harwood. The Adelaide Repertory Theatre. April 9 – 18, 2015

Acclaimed playwright Ronald Harwood (The Dresser) wrote this little gem in 1999; inspired after watching a documentary about the opera. Some may be familiar with the Dustin Hoffman directed 2012 film of the same name. The play centres on the lives of four retired opera singers who live in an English retirement village. You could be mistaken for thinking the subject matter might only appeal to the grey set, but you could not be more wrong. Entertaining from beginning to end, directors Sue Wylie and Ian Rigney have done a fine job in breathing life into an already fertile script.

The Good Son

By Elena Carapetis. The Other Ones. Directed by Corey McMahon. Produced by Joanne Hartstone. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 8 April - 25 April 2015.

Though a family may strive to be a healthy, functional, organic being that nourishes its inhabitants and encourages growth, sometimes a family becomes a series of traps, little more than a poisonous snake than is driven to devour its young before swallowing its own tail. The Good Son is a riveting, believable, tremendously impressive depiction of such a family.

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