Reviews

Hook Up

Music, Lyrics and book by Nick Hedger and Ben Nicholson. With Michelle Brasier. Directed by Ben Nicholson. Melbourne Fringe Festival. The Lithuanian Club Ballroom. 19-21 and 23-26 September, 2014.

There are some unfathomables in the Universe….

How do clouds know how to make themselves into balloon animals?

How many stars are there altogether in the firmament (and can I have one?)?

How can two 23 year olds – Nick Hedger and Ben Nicholson – be so insanely talented in Musical Theatre?

Four Dogs and A Bone

By John Patrick Shanley. Brief Candle Productions. Directed by Kate Gaul. Sydney Fringe. Old Fitzroy Theatre (NSW). September 16 – 27, 2014.

John Patrick Shanley makes no mistakes in this witty one act satire of the movie business. Though it is biting and cruelly critical it is also very funny – and that’s probably why it ran for 230 performances when it premiered in New York in 1993.

The ‘four dogs’, actors Brenda and Collette, producer Bradley and first-time screenplay writer, Victor scheme and fight over the ‘bone’ that is the movie. Brenda and Collette both want to star. Bradley wants to cut expenses. All three want to convince Victor to cut scenes and re-write the script.

The Last Continent

By Terry Pratchett. Directed by Pamela Munt. The Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. September 19-October 4, 2014

Since its formation in 1999, Adelaide’s Unseen Theatre Company has staged 25 plays based on the work of beloved fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett. Having attained something of a cult following in the process, Unseen asked their regular patrons to vote on which of their back catalogue was worthy of an encore performance.

Motherf**ker

Created by Jane Miller & Beng Oh; text by Jane Miller adapted from Sophocles, Seneca and two Ted Hughes poems. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton (VIC). 17 – 28 September 2014

It asks a lot of an audience to suspend their disbelief so far as to imagine the imperial court of ancient Thebes played on a small and rickety, creaking platform, mounted on scaffolding and backed by black plastic drapes that don’t quite close.  I couldn’t suspend mine.  The creaky platform is unfortunately just one of the many artistic misjudgments in this version of the Oedipus story. 

Point and Shoot

Holland Street Productions. La Boite Studio, Kelvin Grove; 17-20 September 2014

Brisbane Festival and the QUT Creative Industries have set up Theatre Republic, a selection of venues with a surreal 'a-tyr-ed' outdoor bar (with real tyres), to showcase a multitude of cutting edge displays of theatre, cabaret, live-art, comedy and even a musical, Point and Shoot.

Reception the Musical

Performer: Bethany Simons. Accompanist: Peter de Jager. Choreographer: Joseph Simons. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. 17 – 22 September, 2014

Reception the Musical sounded like it could be fun, and it was! Based on Bethany’s own experience as a receptionist, this was obviously a job she enjoyed and this came across.

It was quite a tour de force to sustain the character for a full hour and Bethany managed that with ease and never wore out her welcome. Sometime she would take on the persona of the person she was speaking to, either directly or on the phone, and she displayed a superb talent for mimicry.

Baroness Bianka's Bloodsongs

Written and performed by Joanna Weinberg. Hayes Theatre Co. Sundays September 14 – 28, 2014.

Joanna Weinberg writes such clever songs that it leaves you wanting to press rewind and re-listen to the lyrics to drink them in. Her latest musical is a wicked one woman cabaret about a spooky character with a fetish for blood.

Baroness Bianka sniffs the audience members, lustily trying to guess what their blood types are.

Just as a passionate wine expert (red of course ) could swish around the drink and name the brand, she too has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the make-up of man-made claret.

You’ve Got That Thing

Written by Izaak Lim & Nick Maclaine. Bell Productions. Director/Producer: Analisa Bell. Musical Director: Mia Brine. The Butterfly Club (Vic). 16-21 September 2014

This tender exploration of Cole Porter’s work weaves a gentle, nuanced picture of some of his relationships. He was always just off stage and was made present through his impact on his wife, Linda (Brianna Williams), his lover, Edward (Mitch Roberts) and his star, Ethel Merman (Analisa Bell).They was supported by a pianist, Mia Brine.

Jennifer Forever

By Tara Clark. Sydney Fringe. Director: Tara Clark.Lighting Designer: Liam O’Keefe. Stage Manager: Cara Woods. Old 505 Theatre Surry Hills. 17 - 28 September 2014

Sexual perversity is alive and well in Sydney

Form Dance Projects: Double Bill

Lennox Theatres, Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. September 11 – 13, 2014

In this program two creative teams exemplify how contemporary dance reaches beyond story telling to social comment, and how the arts are being combined and juxtaposed in unusual and imaginative ways.

Miranda Wheen and Matt Cornell presentSafe Hands andBetween Two and Zero on a black-floored empty stage.

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