Reviews

Cella

By Paul White and Narelle Benjamin. Part of Dance Massive at Arts House, North Melbourne. Meat Market. March 12 – 16, 2019.

Cella is an amazing dance performance devised by two consummate choreographer/dancers, Paul White and Narelle Benjamin, currently on as part of Dance Massive 2019 at the Arts House, North Melbourne. Cella offers challenging ways to perceive performance dance that is centered on bodily biological structures.

Personals

Music: Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, William Dreskin, Joel Philip Friedman, Seth Friedman, Michael Skloff. Book & Lyrics: David Crane, Seth Friedman, Marta Kauffman. Griffith 3rd Year Musical Theatre Students. Director: Jason Langley. Musical Director: Heidi Loveland. Choreographer: Joseph Simons. Burke Street Studio, Brisbane, 12-16 March 2019/Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne, 21-23 March 2019.

Personals has an impressive pedigree, with book and lyrics by the writers of Friends (before it became a worldwide phenomenon) and Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz amongst the songwriters.

Written in 1985, when people placed ads looked for partners in the free street press of the day, 34 years on director Jason Langley has given the dating concept a clever IT spin with the use of mobile phones and computers.

Wrath

By Liam Maguire. Hi-JackedRabbit Theatre Company. King Cross Theatre, Sydney. Directed by Liam Maguire. 26 February – 18 May, 2019.

For their three-month takeover of the Kings Cross Theatre, beginning with Wrath, JackRabbit Theatre has changed its name to Hi-JackedRabbit Theatre. This is the first of five promised productions, all around 60 minutes, and all aimed at “people who are bored with Sydney’s nightlife and have been looking for something to do”. Don’t know what the round-the-corner theatre folk at the Stables or the Old Fitz think about that, or indeed the many previous visitors to this oddly satisfying traverse space.

Because There Was A Fire

By Jamie Hornsby. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019. Jopuka Productions (NSW). The Breakout @ The Mill. 12-16 March, 2019

Jopuka Productions’ Because There Was a Fire is by local Adelaide playwright Jamie Hornsby and is a very welcome part of this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival.

It is being performed at the small new intimate theatre venue called ‘The Breakout’ at The Mill Creative Centre on Angas Street. It is absolutely well worth seeing and good to support this company from New South Wales as well as Jamie Hornsby, one of the most dynamic and interesting new playwrights from South Australia.

SEPTEM

By Hazel Hayes & Sammy Paul. Adelaide Fringe. Eclipse Productions. Directed by Benjamin Johnson. Studio at Bakehouse Theatre. 11-16 March, 2019.

What lengths will people go to for the sake of money? Can the promise of television fame have a fatal influence on someone’s behaviour? How does the world determine which human beings are worthy of survival over others…? These are just some of the provocative questions posed by this return season of an exciting, outstanding show.

Grounded

By George Brandt. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Holden Street Theatres. February 15th – March 17th, 2019

Grounded is the story of an American Air Force fighter pilot. Brought to life by experienced actor Martha Lott, it tells the tale of a woman’s love affair with her job and her obsession with ‘the blue’ (sky). “Astronauts have colour, but I am the blue,” she proclaims.

Strassman: The Chocolate Diet

Adelaide Fringe 2019. Le Cascadeur, Garden of Unearthly Delights. March 11-17, 2019

One member of the audience leaned over and said to me on opening night, “Well, with Strassman you always know you’ll get consistency and a good laugh.” Having only ever seen David Strassman on television, I could not talk to the consistency of his show, but it certainly brought a lot of laughs to the full house crowd.

Monty Python’s Spamalot

Book and lyrics by Eric Idle. Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle. One Eyed Man Productions. Directed by Richard Carroll. Hayes Theatre Co. March 6 – April 13, 2019

When news first broke that a musical was being made based on the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail I was so excited that I bought a ticket to see it on Broadway. The sketches in the movie are still so familiar that sitting in the Hayes Theatre I could anticipate great wads of dialogue and I was regularly interrupted (inside my head) with flashbacks to the original actors. Such is the experience of a child of the 1970’s who watched the movie over and over.

Foehn

Adelaide Festival of Arts. AC Arts Main Theatre. Light Square Adelaide. March 13 - 17 2019

How do I review a performance that can’t be expressed adequately in words?

Foehn (or a warm Mediterranean breeze), is a 40-minute escape from reality into the world of Silvano Nogueira and his ‘puppets’, made of single use plastic bags. It is art meets recycling and then some.

Underground

By Christine Croyden. Moving Parts Season 2019. Gasworks Arts Park, 7-9 March; The Bowery Theatre, St Albans - 15 March 7.30pm Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey, 16 March 8pm; Shirley Burke, Parkdale, 4 April 8pm; Knox Community Arts Centre, 6 April 2pm.

Playing to full houses, this is an inspiringly ambitious work by writer Christine Croyden.  Underground is a pastiche of scenes about the life of Nancy Wake a New Zealander - claimed as an Australian.  She worked in the French underground resistance - a highly romanticized occupation.  Wake left Sydney for Paris at eighteen.  Known as ‘The White Mouse’ (die Weisse Maus), she lived a long life - from 1912 to 2011.  Her extraordinary youthful years offer rich and intriguing material to explore for theatrical presentation.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.