Reviews

Dietrich: Natural Duty

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. Black Box Theatre – Adelaide Botanic Gardens March 3 – 15, 2020

Marlene Dietrich was one of the most glamorous leading ladies of the 1930s and 1940s. She will always be remembered for her smouldering sex appeal and distinctive voice. Her long career spanned from the 1910s to the 1980s and during this time she continually reinvented herself.

Single

Adelaide Fringe. The Piglet at Gluttony. Mar 3 – 8, 2020

One thing I learned about this fast-paced, 60-minute, highly interactive show is not to put your hand up and answer questions. Such is the nature of late night comedy on the topic of relationships, mating and the depressing facts of divorce. Whatever you do, do not offer advice on the secrets of a long relationship, or you become part of this zany show.

Children of an Idle Brain

Devised and directed by cast, with George Franklin. Adelaide Fringe. Scrambled Prince Theatre Company. Bakehouse Theatre. 2-7 March, 2020.

It feels entirely appropriate that a playwright whose canon contained multiple instances of gender-based deception from various characters – and whose female roles could initially be played only by men – has inspired Scrambled Prince to devise and present a rethinking of perhaps his most iconic tale - Romeo and Juliet - that features not just a number of female cast members playing traditionally male characters, but also more than one romantic relationship that – certainly in the Elizabethan era - could be considered ‘unconventional’.

Echoes of Pink Floyd

Adelaide Fringe. Lion Arts Factory. February 29, 2020

When you are saluting a band as well-known as Pink Floyd, you are setting yourself up for some harsh criticism from ardent fans, but for the most part this line-up does a fabulous job bringing to life a back catalogue of hits.

Moby Dick

Adapted by Ross Ericson from the book by Herman Melville. Adelaide Fringe. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide, 2-11 March, 2020

“Call me Ishmael,” booms Ross Ericson, projecting his voice to every corner of the Bakehouse Studio, narrating the story of the hunt for the infamous whale. Ericson has condensed the 135 chapters of the great American novel into an hour-long monologue.

Best of Fringe Variety

Adelaide Fringe. Presented by Motley & Mac. Ukiyo and Parasol Lounge – Gluttony. February 14 - March 15, 2020

With over 1200 acts performing at this year’s Fringe it can be difficult to narrow down choices. Performing arts company Motley and Mac make it easier, by presenting Fringe Variety. It is a fantastic way of experiencing several genres in the one tent. Artists are not named below as they change from show to show.

On the night I attended it was pouring with rain, but this did not stop the crowds or dampen the enthusiasm of this show’s audience.

An Evening with George Kapiniaris

Adelaide Fringe. Morphettville Racecourse, Derby Room. March 1, 2020

George Kapiniaris is an icon in Australia. An accomplished actor and comedy star, he has graced Australian TV screens in such famous shows as The Flying Doctors and Acropolis Now.  As well as this, he is well known for his stage show Wogs Out of Work and has many other stage credits. More recently Kapiniaris has been seen locally in a series of very popular RAA adverts.

The Curtain

By Daniel Keene. fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 26 February – 15 March, 2020

Daniel Keene’s writing is always intriguing, most particularly because his characters and their issues are so acutely realized. He distils day-to-day life and brings us his own unique ‘poetic realism’ that proffers subtle, perceptive, poignant and thought provoking insights.

It seems, to me, that this work is about when the everyday meets the ‘shadow.’  Where the sudden announcement of life changing intentions throws light onto what has tacitly been ignored.   

The Opposite Sex

By David Tristram. Mousetrap Theatre, Redcliffe, Qld. Directed Craig Longoria. February 28 – March 15, 2020.

This farce about marriage and contemporary relationships with a bitter–sweet twist, is set in London in the 1980’s with its focus on a secret shared by the two couples. The mayhem that ensues when the secret is revealed the couples makes for hilarious and farcical interchanges between the characters.  It was also great entertainment for the audience.

Sir Arthur Sullivan & Friends

Music: Sir Arthur Sullivan Lyrics: Sydney Grundy, F C Burnand, Julian Sturgis, Arthur Pinero, J Comyns Carr, Basil Hood and Edward German. Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria (GSOV). Director: Robert Ray. Musical Director: Geoffrey Urquhart. The Knowe, Sassafras, Victoria. February 29, March 1, 7 & 8, 2020

Gilbert and Sullivan's collaboration in the 1800's produced masterpiece's including HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado that have stood the test of time. Surprisingly though, Sullivan's lesser known non Savoy operettas written with other lyricists contain musical treasures of equal beauty and wit. This two hour soiree contains rarely performed songs and arias, carefully selected by the director Robert Ray and musical director and piano accompanist Geoffrey Urquhart.    

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