Reviews

Cinderella

A [Not So] Traditional Pantomime. From a story by Tony Nicholls adapted by Judy Neumann. Director: Roger McKenzie. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport. Queensland. Dec 7 – 16, 2018.

Billed as a magical, musical world of Pantomime, the show is a not-so-traditional take on the much loved Cinderella scenario. It is a creative blend of family fun and darker, tongue in cheek humour, packed with quirky characters. This is no production for the politically correct and the careful gender protectors. After all, this is pantomime where the gloves are off and we are shown ourselves for what we are. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun at our own expense. Laughing at misfortune is the role of pantomime.

Bottomless

By Dan Lee. Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne. 28 November – 14 December 2018

Bottomless is an intriguing piece that explores aspects of the contemporary underbelly of the tourist mecca that is Broome.  Superficially Broome is such a strange glistening place, however it has a much darker and more haunting heritage and history than is initially evident. 

Spiritual Gangster

The Butterfly Club. Nov 28 – Dec 1, 2018.

 A wild, energetic, extroverted ball of fire, Spiritual Gangster (Joana Simmons) is a wacky new comedy show that is a mixed blend of in-your-face social commentary, dance, yoga, song and some wacky combustible mantra.

There is a helluva lot going on - she bears a striking resemblance to a harlequin street perfomer - l was literally waiting for her to pass the hat and ask for spare change.  She is a souped-up can of beans, punching out her material with kicks, side steps and upside acrobatic salutes to the sun.

House of Dracula

By Martin Downing. Garrick Theatre Guildford, WA. Directed by Fred Petersen, Nov 29-Dec 15, 2018.

House of Dracula, billed as “A Monster Hit”, is a romp of a show that gathers your favourite characters from gothic literature in an unlikely situation and ties it all together with a collection of campy hijinks and gags.

Elf Jr. The Musical

Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin. Music by Matthew Sklar. Lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. Directed by Katherine Friend. 30 Nov - 8 Dec, 2018

Old Mill Theatre’s final production is a feel-good Christmas celebration, bursting with holiday feeling, youthful exuberance and community joy. The lovely atmosphere begins in the foyer, as patrons are entertained by the Bel Canto Performing Arts choristers performing a selection of Christmas carols. A lovely way to get into the spirit of the show.

Mad About Musicals

Northam Theatre Group. Directed by Rae Knight. Link Theatre, Northam. 30 Nov - 1 Dec, 2018

I was fortunate to join quite a significant sized audience to see the final rehearsal of Northam Theatre Group’s Mad About Musicals. A glamorous concert, with formal suits and gorgeous evening gowns, it featured a cast of broad age and a beautifully varied selection of entertainment.

The WonderWombs

The Dust Palace. Brisbane Powerhouse. Wonderland Festival. 30 November, 2018

The WonderWombs is performed by an all-female troupe, The Dust Palace, who hail from New Zealand. Established by circus and physical theatre aficionados, Eve Gordon and Mike Edward, they have been performing together for nearly 10 years. The WonderWombs starts as a kind of cabaret with a difference – this being the Wonderland Festival, it is a definite difference. With wicked Kiwi humour, the host introducing the show is a man in a suit – well, a pregnant Jess Holey Bates (who also directs) playing a man in a suit, an MC stuck for words.

Depthless

Written by Kate Harman and Ben Ely. Presented by The Farm, supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts Performance Space, 29 November to 1 December, 2018

Brisbane indie music talent Ben Eli and choreographer Kate Harman have created a work of art with a capital A in Depthless. It seems appropriate on opening night, that we enter the space via IMA (Institute of Modern Art) as this show sits well in a modern art space.

Two Man Tarantino

Written by Christopher Wayne and Maureen Bowra. Directed by Maureen Bowra. Presented by Christopher Wayne. Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Wonderland Festival, 29 November – 2 December, 2018

Theatre producers often grapple with the task of attracting TV and cinema lovers off the couch and away from the dreaded Netflix. Two Man Tarantino is one of those concepts that’s designed to get those bums on seats. It’s energetic, pacey and superficially entertaining comedic work.

The Melbourne Monologues

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre. La Mama Courthouse. 27 November – 2 December, 2018

Director Elizabeth Walley has brought together six very strong monologues with six excellently cast performers to create an extremely engaging. crisp and lively evening of ‘Writers’ Theatre.’

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