Our Country’s Good

By Timberlake Wertenbaker. The Stirling Players. Stirling Community Theatre. September 23-October 8, 2016.

Rehabilitation or the gallows? When dealing with serious felons, it’s a question pondered by far more civilised and recent societies than that of early Australian penal colonies.

Timberlake Wertenbaker’s 1988 play Our Country’s Good is set in Governor Arthur Philip’s penal colony and poses the execution vs rehabilitation dilemma through a familiar theatrical device, a play within a play.


Daniel Kok & Luke George. Nexus Arts. OzAsia Festival. 23-24th September. 2016

“Bunny” is the name given to a person tied in rope bondage. This bold collaboration by Singapore dancer Daniel Kok and Tasmanian-born Luke George captivates and pushes the boundaries of trust. Erotica bubbles under the surface of this theatre piece, with the audience as much a part of the presentation as the artists themselves.

Boeing Boeing

By Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross. Castle Hill Players. Pavilion Theatre, Castle Holl Showgrounds. Sep 23 – Oct 15, 2016.

If you love a good farce, especially one that’s done well, then this production of Boeing Boeing will be just your ticket - and despite the fact that the plot might seem  politically incorrect, it’s not impossible that you’ll get lots of laughs.


Book, Music & Lyrics by Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey. Toowoomba Philharmonic Society. Director/Vocal Coach: Cherie Vera. Musical Director: Joe Goodman. Choreographer: Daniel Erbacher. Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, Qld 23-25 Sep 2016

Daniel Erbacher’s choreography was the star of this production. The first act finale “We Go Together” had the entire company of 36 dancing in synchronisation and it was euphoric with the energy levels off the charts. Every musical number was enhanced by Erbacher’s movement, which captured the 1950’s era to perfection, as did the wailing tenor saxes in Joe Goodman’s pit band, and Emma-Jane Apsey’s leather jackets, bobby-sox and pedal pusher costumes.

She Stoops to Conquer

By Oliver Goldsmith. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Tony Turner. Theatre 3, Acton, Canberra. 22 September – 8 October 2016

Goldsmith’s classic comedy, commissioned to revive a dying genre and completed in 1771, takes a couple of love matches and throws in their path obstacles arising chiefly from the human need to be sure of the suitor’s suitability.  In this universality of motives, it translates successfully as comedy for modern audiences.  Relying less on linguistic cleverness than on straightforward deceits of universal application, the tale leads seemingly inexorably to disaster and disownment before resolving with a satisfying twist.


By Jean McConnell. Ipswich Little Theatre. Directors: Ann Collyer, Aaron Evans, Chris Austin-Greenhill. Incinerator Theatre, Ipswich, Qld. 21 Sep – 8 Oct 2016

These days, one-act plays are the domain of community theatre with most companies programming a season of them each year. Ipswich Little Theatre’s 2016 offering took three stories from British playwright Jean McConnell’s Deckchairs series of 16 one-act duologues for women.

Not Another Indie Cabaret

Written & performed by Jessamae St James. Directed by Steven Gates. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne CBD. 20-25 September 2016

Jessamae St James, in a spangled frock and platforms, plays piano, kazoo, electric ukulele and some kind of weird electric keyboard on her knees.  She claims that she cannot play any of these instruments very well – but, hey, it’s cabaret – right?  - and a kind of rambling, confessional address is integral.  She also uses an electronic ‘effects station’ to make loops of her own voice.

Three Blind Mice

Isabella Yena, Ruby Johnston and Benjamin Nichol. Victorian College of the Arts. 28 Dodds Street. Production Coordinator David Harrod. Audio Designer Sidney Millar. Set Designer Joseph Noonan. 22- 25 September, 2016

Shaz (Ruby Johnston) suffers from agoraphobia, the fear of open or public places, and hasn’t left her house in five years. Her contact with the outside world is limited to what she sees on television, what is expounded by politically domineering neighbour Lorraine (Izabella Yena), and delivered by the worldly and desirable postie Johnno (Benjamin Nichol).

A Dingo Ate My Baby / Small Brown Supporting Role

By Louisa Wall / Nisha Joseph & Tenielle Thompson. Victorian College of the Arts. 28 Dodds Street. Production Coordinator David Harrod. Set and Costume Design Christiana Garvie. 22-25 September, 2016

This distinctly contrasting double-bill staged as part of Frisk, a festival of new performance works cocooned within Melbourne’s Fringe Festival, showcases some of the emerging talent of the VCA.

Young Frankenstein

Music and Lyrics: Mel Brooks, Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. Miranda Musical Society. Co-Directors and Co-Choreographers: Lolly Butler and Gavin Leahy, recreating the original direction and choreography of Susan Stroman. Sutherland Entertainment Centre. September 21 – 25, 2016.

Miranda’s Young Frankenstein is as spectacular as it is fun. The cast gets all the vaudeville, innuendo, double entendre, single entendre, and slapstick (or should that be schlappshtick?) absolutely right.

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