Reviews

The Director

Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. Nov 21 – Dec 2, 2018

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a funeral director?

Wonder no longer, this production will demonstrate in vivid detail a day in the life of a funeral director. The Director is a newly devised show, co directed by Lara Thoms and ex (third generation) funeral director Scott Turnbull.

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.

By Alice Birch. Directed by Karla Conway. The Street Company. Childers Street, Acton, Canberra. 28 Nov – 1 Dec 2018

Not subtle, this play starts with a couple in congress, the woman wresting dominance from her partner while renegotiating the language of sex. Later another woman presents her sexual availability and naked body as a consumable alongside grocery items, the shop staff more horrified by her lack of attractiveness than her nakedness.

Strata Inc.

By Laura Lethlean & Faran Martin. North of Eight Company. The Burrow, 83 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC. 20 November – 8 December 2018

Strata Inc is Laura Lethlean and Faran Martin’s ‘response’ to Aristophanes’ Lysistrata – but the text has moved a long way from the original inspiration.  Strata Inc is set in the world of high finance, with a struggle for control between a brother and a sister trapped in a crisis engineered by the patriarch, their father.  (That’s the underlying connection with Aristophanes: men still call the tune.) 

Alondra Conducts Mahler 3

An orchestral guide to the universe. Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO)/ Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). 24 November, 2018

In 2016, the QSO ran an audacious campaign declaring ‘She’s Ours!’ – to celebrate their coup in snaffling the captivating and world-renowned Alondra de la Parra as their Conductor and Music Director. Now I can see what all the fuss was about! De la Parra’s passion for music is infectious. In her role as Music Director, she starts Mahler’s 3rd Symphony with a short explanation of each of the six movements. She doesn’t believe in the usual classical music boundaries – urging us not to hold back.

Puss in Boots

By Ben Crocker. Tea Tree Players (SA). 23 November-8 December, 2018

Puss in Boots is this year’s pantomime by the Tea Tree Players, one of the oldest community theatre groups in Adelaide. Written by Ben Crocker and directed by Robert Andrews, and with a cast of thirty mostly young people, it is an absolute delight.

Fefu and Her Friends

By Maria Irene Fornes. Joh Hartog Productions. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 22 Nov – 1 Dec, 2018.

If you seek a theatrical journey that is unusual and ambitious, then this is the show to choose. There is a lot on its mind, and a great deal that it sets out to encompass and communicate to an audience – possibly too much for one play. On the other hand, it may well be a work rich enough to benefit from repeat viewings – but however many times you choose to see Fefu and Her Friends, and regardless of how well you feel you comprehend it, you’re unlikely to forget the experience in a hurry.

Private Lives

By Noël Coward. St Luke’s Theatre, Brisbane, 23 November to 1 December, 2018

St Luke’s is a community theatre group that has been presenting productions at Tarragindi for 60 years. With a reputation for providing top quality family entertainment, they certainly succeeded with their final play for the 2018 season – the Noël Coward favourite, Private Lives. This is community theatre at its best – a vigorous and vocal audience add to the warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Looking for Love

By Raymond Hopkins. KADS. Directed by Ken Harris. KADS Town Square Theatre, Kalamunda, WA. Nov 16 - Dec 1, 2018

KADS’ production of Looking for Love is a contemporary modern drama that has clear audience appeal, with the feel and style of post war farces - with action that includes hiding the local vicar in the bedroom!

After over twenty years of marriage, Molly Beale is deserted by her husband. Her best friend Fiona talks her into a six step programme for coping after a failed marriage, which leads not only to her husband begging to return, but the complication of two other extremely keen suitors.

Managing Carmen

Written by David Williamson. Directed by Bianca Butler Reynolds, New Farm Nash Theatre. November 16 – December 8, 2018.

This is another play by Williamson centred around football and one player in particular as his aggressive manager pushes him so he, the manager, can make as much money as possible. Even though the player, Brent Lyall, is an exceptional player, he is a disaster walking in other aspects used to raise money, such as commercials. His manager, Rohan Swift, hires one “lady” to be his girl friend and another to teach him how to relax and live his life. A dirt seeking journalist, Max Oldfield, senses something is amiss and wants to bring everyone down.

Wonderful World

By Richard Dresser. Melville Theatre, Palmyra, WA. Directed by Geoffrey Leeder. 23 Nov - 8 Dec, 2018

Richard Dresser’s dark comedy about family relationships is playing to packed houses at Melville Theatre.

Set on an almost bare set, with minimal furnishing, this is a cleanly directed production that allows the acting to shine. Opening, literally with a bang, with a clap of thunder, this is our first taste that this comedy about family relationships might be a little stormy and not quite what we expect.

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