Reviews

The Chapel Perilous

By Dorothy Hewett. New Theatre, Sydney. Director: Carissa Licciardello. 27 April - 27 May 2017

For those, like me, who come to Dorothy Hewett's work for the first time it is necessary to take a deep breath before writing a Stage Whispers review of perhaps her greatest play. How could I have missed her scope, her grandeur, her quest for freedom in a nation uncertain of its standards?

Amadeus

By Peter Shaffer. National Theatre Live, Southbank, London. Screening at Nova Cinemas, Carlton, VIC, and cinemas nationally from 6 – 14 May 2017

This sumptuous production of Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play is no mere ‘revival’.  With sixteen actors, six singers and twenty musicians of the Southbank Sinfonia mixing it with the action, director Michael Longhurst makes the play a sprawling Singspiel spectacle.

The Bodyguard The Musical

Book by Alexander Dinelaris. Based on the Warner Bros. Film. Music by various including Whitney Houston. Lyric Theatre, Sydney. Opening Night, April 27, 2017

The Bodyguard The Musical is a high cholesterol entertainment banquet. On the menu is a rock concert, a pyrotechnical extravaganza, a belt song fest, and plenty of gyrating male abs, with an unplanned touch of pantomime.

The movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner was conveniently replayed on TV just last week. The 1990's film depicts a chiselled jaw bodyguard brought in to save a highly strung pop princess from an a crazy fan.

The Play That Goes Wrong

By Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields. Mischief Theatre Company. Directed by Mark Bell; Australian cast director, Sean Turner. Canberra Theatre. 25 April to 30 April 2017

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society has reached opening night of its first significant production, The Murder at Haversham Manor, with a debut director proud to be at the helm of the society’s first play featuring such a cast.  But trouble is evident even before the lights go down.  (It’s worth being in the theatre early to see that.)

 

Love Me Slender

By Vanessa Brooks. Directed by Anita Bound. Kalamunda Dramatic Society. KADS Theatre, Town Square, Kalamunda, WA. April 21 - May 13, 2017

“Remember girls - not slim for today, not slim for tomorrow, but slim for life.” This is the motto for the slimming club, held in a church hall and led by autocratic over-achiever Siobhan. We follow their progress over half a year.

Strands

By Peta Brady. 1812 Theatre and SwampFox Productions. Bakery@1812. 20th April to 13th May, 2017

As I left the Bakery@1812 last night, I was surrounded by the silent wiping of tears from eyes and softly felt sniffles as the entire house was physically and emotionally moved from the performance they just witnessed.

Peta Brady’s poignant play Strands is about two sisters exasperatingly living in their own world, whilst also living and loving for each other. Sisterly love and frustration, stories within truths, and the strands that bind a family together help create this short but compassionate play.

Cosi

By Louis Nowra. Beenleigh Theatre Group (Qld). April 21 – May 6, 2017

Louis Nowra’s 1992 Cosi is set in a mental hospital in 1971, where, at the insistence of one of the inmates, the patients set out to give a performance of Mozart’s opera Cosi fan Tutte under the direction of recent graduate Lewis (Aaron Dora). None of them can sing, none can act, and the director, just out of drama school, is as sceptical as we are about how this is all going to turn out.

Richard 3

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Peter Evans. Bell Shakespeare. Arts Centre, The Fairfax. 20 April – 7 May 2017.

Kate Mulvany’s Richard is the triumphant centrepiece of this fine and original production of Shakespeare’s bit of Tudor propaganda.

Parasites

By Ninna Tersman. Directed & designed by Adam J. A. Cass. La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton. 19 – 30 April, 2017.

This text addresses one of the most urgent questions in the current geo-political and social landscape. Swedish writer, Ninna Tersman, approaches the topic from a universal perspective and her words ring true as much in Australia as they do in Europe, or anywhere else in the world confronting the global refugee crisis.

Troy Kinne

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. 21 – 23 April 2017

A cheeky, witty, relatable performance that lives up to its subtitle #nofilter.

Kinne shows mastery of his craft in a performance worthy of inclusion among the high calibre of comedians at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The show moves quickly with constant laughs. He’s straight to the point, recounting hilarious real-life stories without the boring details.

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