Reviews

Delius

Written and directed by C. Aspden Pomfret. KADS. Kalamunda Town Square Theatre. May 10 - 25, 2019

Delius is a World Premiere production, written and directed by local author C. Aspen Pomfret, about the last few years of English composer Frederick Delius, his assistant or amanuensis Eric Fenby and Delius’ wife, German artist, Jelka Rosen.

Death Throes

Written and directed by Julia Croft, Harriet Gillies and Joe Lui. The Blue Room. April 30 - May 18, 2019

Post truth. Post fact. Post power. Death Throes might also be described as ‘Post Theatre”. Described as a ‘perverse performance party inside the void”, Death Throes is a non-narrative exploration for those looking for something different.

Written, directed and performed by Julia Croft, Harriet Gillies and Joe Lui, it features some really amazing and different lighting and sound.

Celtic Mist

Queensland Pops Orchestra, Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane – 18 May 2019

If you aren’t moved by more than 200 people on stage performing any kind of music, then you probably need a check-up. When those performers include the 58-piece Queensland Pops Orchestra, accompanied by the ethereal Celtic vocals and sublime Irish whistle of Sarah Calderwood, a honeyed tenor from Gregory Moore, super-spectral Uilleann Pipes by Kevin Higgins and pitch-perfect, out-of-this-world Pipes by Andrew Roach, you’ll feel energised and uplifted. The magic Celtic Mist should be available on Medicare.

Dad’s Army

By David Croft and Jimmy Perry. Hobart Repertory Theatre Company. The Playhouse Hobart. Roger Chevalier (Director). 17 May – 1 June 2019

The strength of Dad’s Army resides in the characters created by David Croft and Jimmy Perry. Director Roger Chevalier has selected actors to embody the essence of the original portrayals. Ian McQueen brings considerable experience to the role of Captain Mainwaring. Less pompous but equally oblivious to his failings, McQueen, is a solid presence. Phillip Crouch captures the rambling eccentricity of Lance Corporal Jones to a “T”, sharing most of the laughs with Marcus Johnson in the role of Private Frazer.

Star Quality

By Noël Coward. Directed by Lynne Devenish. Garrick Theatre, Guildford, WA. May 2-18, 2019

Noël Coward’s last play, Star Quality, is perhaps one of his less frequently performed plays, and has been presented with quality at the Garrick Theatre.

Seven distinct locales in 1951 London, Kent and Manchester were nicely created on Garrick’s handkerchief sized stage, by James Nailen and Fred Petersen, with wardrobe by Grainne Friel and cast, and hair by Lynda Stubbs, nicely reflecting the era.

American Psycho the Musical

Book by Roberto Aguirre-Sarcasa. Music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. BB Arts Entertainment & Two Doors Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Company. May 10 – June 9, 2019,

The source material for this musical is eloquently described by the director Alexander Berlage as “a post modern masterpiece, a shockingly graphic, provocative and damning critique of toxic masculinity, yuppie capitalism and solipsistic alienation”.   

The novel is still kept in plastic wrapping in parts of the world, such is the R-rated nature of its content. In this production, it was the stage that was wrapped in plastic, as the serial killer Patrick Bateman - kitted out in a raincoat - got to work on a victim. 

All About Eve

By Joseph L Mankiewicz. Directed by Ivo van Hove, presented by National Theatre Live and Sharmill Films, Cinema Nova, 380 Lygon Street, Carlton and cinemas nationally. Limited season from 25 May, 2019.

The relevance of the story of as depicted in the original 1950 film and the stage play The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr has even more relevance in today’s media saturated society where fandom has often become a cult. This stage version is an incisive exposé of all the insecurities that fuel celebrity culture.

Present Laughter

By Noël Coward. PAANDA - Performing Arts Association of Notre Dame Australia, Mouat St, Fremantle. Directed by Matthew L. Jones. May 14- 25, 2019.

Noël Coward’s Present Laughter is having a surge of popularity in WA, with this being the middle of three productions within a year or so. A successful directorial debut for Matthew Luke Jones, this unusual choice of play for a university drama club plays very well.

PAANDA has a comfortable and pleasant venue, and the comfortable 1930s home of actor Garry Essendine, is nicely created by Thomas Blaffwitch, Zakaria Hourani and Troy Coelho, with good efforts from costumier Georgia Grubelich and props manager Justine Ralph to set the era.

Cosi Fan Tutte

By Mozart. Opera Australia. Director: Sir David McVicar. Revival Director: Andy Morton. Conductor: Keri-Lynn Wilson. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. May 18 – 25, 2019.

I am often disappointed at performances of the Mozart operas when the singers don’t understand the refinement required for this style of singing. This cast had it in spades! The singing was refined and beautiful, and the balance between the voices impeccable.

This was particularly noticeable in the famous trio, “Soave sia il vento”. I don’t recall hearing a better.

The Gospel According to Paul

By Jonathan Biggins. Soft Tread Productions. Playhouse, Sydney Opera House. May 13 – 18, 2019.

This is surely the best week to spend a night with Paul Keating.  Jonathan Biggins’ masterful rendering of Australia’s 24th Prime Minister, with its witty cuts and tug to the values of true leadership, packs up and leaves us all to it on the day we must vote.

After two decades honing his Keating impersonation in the Wharf Revues, Biggins delivers a fully satisfying 90 minute autobiography of the man and the politician, from his own gilded, faintly Napoleonic sitting room (designer Mark Thompson).

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