Reviews

Mark Colvin’s Kidney

By Tommy Murphy. Directed by David Berthold. Belvoir, Sydney. Feb 25 - Apr 2, 2017

The story of one of the ABC’s most distinguished journalists - and how he received a kidney donation from an incredibly unlikely source - is a very unusual one for the stage. But Australian theatre has matured so much in recent years that these types of challenges are embarked upon with gusto. The results are fine indeed.

Dancing with Death

Pichet Klunchun Dance Company. Asia Topa, Arts Centre Melbourne – State Theatre. 2-4 March 2017

Dancing with Death is rarified theatrical adventure and immersive journey through the medium of an extremely unique form of modern dance. 

Creator Pichet Klunchun is a highly regarded Thai dancer and choreographer of international renown.  He first worked with traditional Thai dance and then went on to study in America and subsequently has participated in intercultural performing arts programs in Asia, North America and Europe.  This work has been commissioned through our Government’s funding of Asia TOPA’s commissioning program. 

Evita

Lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Gosford Musical Society. Director: Gareth Davis. Musical Director: Ben Ross. Choreographer: Amanda Woodbine. Laycock Street Theatre, North Gosford. March 4-18, 2017

Eva Peron (1919-1952), the legendary first lady of Argentina, rose from poverty to become one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. Her amazing, short life is the subject of myth and legend. This fact really wasn't brought to prominent international recognition until the Lloyd-Webber/Rice concept album Evita came to light in 1976, followed by it's Brechtian style musical in 1978.

Wait Until Dark

By Frederick Knott. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Jordan Best. Theatre 3, Acton A.C.T. 23 February to 11 March 2017

With a plot that — albeit riddled with holes — is complex enough to be intriguing to the end, Wait Until Dark challenges a housewife who has lost her sight to recognise the deceits in a confidence game that three villains run on her in order to motivate her to find a missing doll.  The doll is, of course, merely a vehicle for something more sinister, and it is plain from early on that their determination to possess it makes the villains extremely dangerous.

 

Richard 3

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. Sydney Opera House, 25 February – 1 April: Canberra Theatre Centre, 6 – 15 April, Arts Centre Melbourne, 20 April – 7 May, 2017

There’s only one meaty role to speak of in Richard III.  It’s all about him – or rather her – as it is in this Bell Shakespeare production which stars Kate Mulvany as the crooked monarch.

The four female roles of dispossessed queens and widows must be content with endless lines of rage and grieving, while the men play a quick parade of miscalculating nobles and henchmen doomed to a bloody end.

Mr Stink

Play by Maryam Master, based on the book by David Walliams. A CDP Kids Production. Directed by Jonathan Biggins. Seymour Centre, Sydney, February 27, 2017, and touring.

David Walliams’ children’s story Mr Stink, adapted for the stage by Maryam Master, is thoroughly enchanting, full of fun and laughter for children and adults. A theatrical delight. A comedy for all ages.

CDP Production of Mr Stink is on tour in Australia in 2017 after being nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award after it’s 2016 premiere at the Sydney Opera House.

Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks

Adelaide Fringe. Magic Mirror Spiegeltent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights. 28th February, 2017

Ross Wilson has been a part of the music industry for over 50 years, starting in a blues band called The Pink Finks when he was in school, then going on to have commercial success with bands such as Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock.

The 2017 Adelaide Fringe audience were lucky enough to experience a selection of his back catalogue for 60 minutes and although the venue resembled a sauna in Adelaide’s century heat, it did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

By Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by: Steven Canny & John Nicholson. Hobart Repertory Theatre. Directed by Scott Hunt. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. 24 February – 11 March 2017

Some literary and theatrical legends have been around so long, it won’t damage the essence of the mystery if they are played about with. So is the case with Sherlock Holmes’ mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles. With a comedic, spoofy reworking by Steven Canny & John Nicholson, The Hound was chosen by Hobart Repertory Theatre as a drawcard for audiences as a good way to give the public lots of laughs.

FURΦES

Adelaide Fringe. Noel Lothian Hall, Botanic Gardens. February 26, 2017

FURΦES is a piece of avant-garde physical theatre that concentrates on the relationship between Orestes and the FurΦes, the personification of his guilt and madness after he killed his mother Clytemnestra. It is part of the ancient Greek saga The Oresteia involving the House of Atreus.

The ‘script’ for this devised work by Liam Ormsby is rather good, clear, concise and dramatic. There is also some rather clever and effective staging by Craig McArdle and excellent Sound Design and Music by Jakub Jankowski.

The Play That Goes Wrong

Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. Directed by Mark Bell. Australian Direction by Sean Turner. Melbourne - Comedy Theatre from 22 February, 2017; Adelaide - Her Majesty’s Theatre from 28 March; Sydney - Roslyn Packer Theatre from 5 April; Canberra Theatre from 25 April; Brisbane - Concert Hall, QPAC from 4 May and Perth - His Majesty’s Theatre from 31 May.

For anyone brought up in London in the fifties, this production is an homage to the Whitehall farces of Brian Rix. It doesn’t have a real plot, it lacks sophistication, and theatre elitists will turn up their noses – but that’s not its purpose. Its purpose is to leave the audience weak from laughing, and that’s exactly what it does. Lord knows the world needs laughter now more than ever, and TPTGW delivers in both clichéd and innovative ways.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.