Reviews

The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You

By Finegan Kruckemeyer. Siren Theatre Co and Griffin Independent in association with InPlay Arts. SBW Stables Theatre, Sydney. Director: Kate Gaul. 18 June – 12 July 2014

The splendidly named Tasmanian playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer writes primarily and prolifically for children and teenagers. This teen-angst drama seems out of place at the Stables in Kings Cross where an audience of teenagers is unlikely.

Written in creative collaboration with Kate Gaul, Artistic Director of Sydney’s Siren Theatre Co, The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You premiered last November at the Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, and is now part of the current Griffin Independent season.

3 Seeds

By Afeif Ismail. Always Working Artists. Directed by Jeremy Rice. The Blue Room Theatre, Northbridge, WA. June 17 - July 4, 2014.

Always Working Artists' 3 Seeds is a collection of three short plays by Afeif Ismail, a Perth playwright originally from Sudan, written originally from Sudan. Written initially in Arabic, they have been transcreated by Vivienne Glance, for local meaning and nuance.

The three plays are seemingly unrelated, with very different performance styles and very diverse story lines, but there is a linking theme of birth and creation and perhaps the influence of Samuel Beckett.

The Songs That Got Away: The Music Of Harold Arlen

Performed by Johanna Allen. Banquet Room, Festival Theatre, Adelaide. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. June 19-20, 2014

Harold Arlen never became a household name to the same extent as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin or Cole Porter, but he had a hand in writing some of the most iconic tunes in The Great American Songbook, and Johanna Allen does a marvellous job of shining the spotlight on this often overlooked talent, whilst showcasing her own considerable interpretative skills.

The Factory

Kila Kokonut Krew. Riverside Theatres Parramatta - June 18 - 21, then touring to Canberra, Wollongong and the Gold Coast.

The struggles faced by the displaced and their thwarted dreams of finding a work and a home in a place that isn’t home are not the sort of themes one expects of  a musical! But that is the background for this fast moving, emotionally charged production.

It covers the wrench of leaving home, dealing with the language and customs of another country, accepting work in low paid jobs and poor conditions, hoping for the renewal of work permits … and facing condescension and vilification by employers and fellow workers, such as the callous Anglising of their names.

The 2014 Melbourne Cabaret Festival Gala Opening.

Various Artists. Chapel off Chapel. The Festival runs 19th June to 6th July, 2014.

I have a confession – I am a “Cabaret Bitch” – The Fabulous Candice McQueen (London star Spanky) spotted it last night. Mind you, he spotted that the entire audience were also “Cabaret Bitches” and not one of us could deny it.

This Gala Opening to the Cabaret Festival is certainly the best in the past four years. Every act (there were 10 of them) was marvellous, making the choices of what to see more difficult than ever.

 

O. C. Diva

Hilary Cole. Hayes Theatre Co. (NSW). June 15, 22 and 29, 2014

Hilary Cole has redefined triple threat, simultaneously singing, acting and adeptly solving a Rubic’s cube in her first foray into cabaret.

With her musical theatre star firmly on the rise, thanks to acclaimed lead performances in Carrie and The Drowsy Chaperone for Sydney independent musical theatre company Squabbalogic, this talented young diva-in-the-making has now embarked on a brave, funny-dark semi-biographical cabaret piece.

May & Alia Do Pirates (of Penzance)

Written and performed by May Jasper and Alia Vryens; ‘adapted’ from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton (VIC) June 18-29.

The joint creators of this very entertaining, thoroughly nutty show, May Jasper and Alia Vryrens, note in the program that ‘fourteen-year-old-frustrated-at-the-back-of-the-chorus dreams can come true’. 

2 One Another

Choreographed by Rafael Bonachela. Sydney Dance Company. His Majesty's Theatre, Perth WA. 18-21 June 2014

Sydney Dance Company is visiting Perth for a short engagement at His Majesty's Theatre. The work presented is 2 One Another, a contemporary dance piece in two parts focussing on connecting relationships - couples (2), the individual (One) and groups (Another).

Realism

By Anthony Neilsen. WAAPA Third Year Acting Production. Directed by Anthony Skuse. Roundhouse Theatre, WAAAPA, Mt Lawley, WA. 13-19 June, 2014

Realism is a fascinating production about what happens inside an ordinary bloke's head, when he decides to do nothing all day.

Conversations with his dead mother, sexual memories and fantasies and visits from a childhood friend rattle by, influenced by the mundane tasks he is undertaking. A rant against a billing mistake becomes a production number from the Black and White Minstrel Show. The inside of Liam's brain is an interesting place.

David Campbell Sings John Bucchino

The Hayes Theatre Company (NSW). June 18 – 28, 2014

There are few musical theatre composers that rival John Bucchino. Just like Sondheim, singers flock to Bucchino’s work because of his poetic storytelling set to detailed and melodic music. From heartbreaking ballads to upbeat anthems, in the hands of a good actor, Bucchino’s work can simultaneously uplift, inspire and bring you to tears.

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