Reviews

Frank Forbes & the Yahoo Boy

Written and Directed by Matt Hawkins. South Australian Playwrights Theatre. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 23 May – 2 June, 2018.

Can a piece of theatre cross cultures and manage to entertain audiences all along the demographical spectrum? Can it do so by combining elements of serious drama and character detail with almost-farcical comedy? This one certainly can.

Centering around the by-now familiar news story of a Westerner targeted by an online scammer in Africa and persuaded to part with a substantial amount of money, writer/director Matt Hawkins brings mature insight and a perceptive eye to his multi-dimensional story. He also regularly manages to make us laugh – sometimes uproariously!

The Pillowman

By Martin McDonagh. Patalog Collective. Chapel off Chapel. 22 – 27 May 2018.

Horror can have an inescapable fascination; cleverness and humour can be irresistible; and story twists can be riveting.  Such are elements of The Pillowman, a seductive work of Martin McDonagh’s very individual imagination.

Bare

Music: Damon Intrabartolo. Lyrics: Jon Hartmere. Book: Jon Hartmere & Damon Intrabartolo. Understudy Productions. Director: Sue Rider. Musical Director: Luke Volker. Choreographer: Madison Lee. Brisbane Powerhouse, 14 May – 2 June 2018

Bare, a pop-rock musical of teenage-angst and gay love is currently having its Queensland premiere as part of Brisbane Powerhouse’s Festival of Queer Arts and Culture – Melt. The show, which first saw the light of day in Los Angeles in 2000, most recently played a short Off-Broadway stint in 2012 and has since become a cult favourite.

Terrestrial

By Fleur Kilpatrick. State Theatre Company SA. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. 25 May – 2 Jun 2018

Terrestrial definition: “pertaining to, consisting of, or representing the earth as distinct from other planets.” The title sets the context of this State Theatre of South Australia production. We are in a small, isolated outback town where the earth and sky are ever present. People are few and connections are tenuous.

Her Father’s Daughter

By Keziah Warner. An adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Hotel Now Theatre Group. Prahran Council Chambers. 22 May – 3 June, 2018.

Her Father’s Daughter casts a critical eye on the classic Hedda Gabler. Keziah Warner has written an exciting new contemporary modified version composed masterfully with sharp poignant dialogue addressing the concerns and values of middle - class Australia

Caligula

By Albert Camus. A new translation by David Greig. Red Phoenix Theatre. Holden Street Theatres. May 24-June 2, 2018.

Few of us could ever imagine philosophy might prevail in a meeting between Roman Emperor Caligula and his Senators, but instead we’d almost certainly expect mindless depravity, decadent sex and gruesome violence to be high on the agenda.  The 1979 Penthouse Magazine/Bob Guccione movie starring Malcolm McDowell has fostered that enduring impression, but the savagely funny and playful David Greig translation of Albert Camus’ 1940’s play Caligula looks at the notorious Emperor through a very different prism.

A Brief History of Magic

Wizard Actors. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. 22 – 26 May, 2018

Comedy duo Wizard Actors, aka Caitlin Yolland and Rob Lloyd, take you back to wizarding school in A Brief History of Magic. Jam packed with Potter-puns, satirical sorcery and the occasional political jab, it’s a place where die-hard Harry Potter fans can indulge their obsession and show off their knowledge (and you need it to enjoy the show).

End of the Line

By Andy Kabanoff. Wyong Drama Group. Directed by Andy Kabanoff and Gabrielle Brooks. Grove Theatre, Wyong. May 25 - June 2, 2018

End of the Line is the second of Andy Kabanoff’s plays to be produced by Wyong Drama Group. Sepia Secrets, staged in 2016, was a drama exploring his family’s life before and after WWII, which was well-received by local audiences. This is a ‘prequel’ of sorts, inasmuch as it delves further back into the life of his paternal grandmother, Elizabieta, a Polish immigrant who grew up in Russia during the revolution.

Jekyll and Hyde The Musical

Book and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. Music by Frank Wildhorn. Manly Musical Society. The Star of the Sea Theatre. May 18 - 26, 2018

Fans of Jekyll and Hyde The Musical have had their fair share of disappointments in recent times with no less than three professional productions failing to get to the stage - the latest being Opera Australia's proposed season starring Teddy Tahu  Rhodes and Jemma Rix.

Continental Quilt

By Joan Greening. Tea Tree Players. Tea Tree Players Theatre, Surrey Downs (SA). May 24 – June 2, 2018

Continental Quilt is like a game of Happy Families, except these families are not so happy!

Set in the 80s, Mike is anticipating an erotic evening with his new girlfriend.  His attempts to bed her are hindered by the arrival of his brother/mother/sister-in-law/father/previous girlfriend and neighbours.

A classic door farce requires split second timing and lots of pace. This production had both in bucket loads. There was barely a silent moment on stage with doors opening and closing and characters changing rooms faster than their clothes.

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