Reviews

The Measure of a Man

By Gavin Roach. Feast Festival. Holden Street Theatres – The Arch. November 22-24, 2018

The Measure of a Man is the second instalment of gay performer Gavin Roach’s anxiety trilogy. This is a one-man show that we are to assume is his own harrowing story about his sexuality and his dysfunction in the bedroom.

Roach has gone through his life basing his self-worth on the size and performance of his penis. Though dealing with physical symptoms, it is clear early that his deep-seated insecurities have also impacted on his mental health.

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

By Ridiculusmus. Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. Nov 20 – 25, 2018

Can you envision what life would be like when you’re really, really old?

Well, the dynamic independent theatre maestros of dead pan comedy Jon Haynes and David Woods (Ridiculusmus) have created a pair of tender frail over-ripe 120 year olds in their new show Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

In a hilariously funny show revealing the traps of old age, Haynes and Wood take the snail pace movement of time and space to reflect on the disabilities of an ageing body, while creating an awareness of negative attitudes surrounding senescence

80 Minutes No Interval

Written & directed by Travis Cotton. Hot Mess Productions. Theatre Works, Acland Street, St Kilda. 21 November – 2 December 2018

80 Minutes No Interval runs eighty minutes without an interval.  It’s a theatre joke.  In Travis Cotton’s play’s first scene, Lewis (Mr Cotton), a wanna-be novelist, currently a theatre reviewer, intends to propose to his girlfriend Claire (Martelle Hammer).  But Claire reveals that she hates theatre and catalogues all her reasons why.  It’s pointed, on the money and very funny.  What Claire wants is a story - something eighty minutes, no interval!  But there’s more.  With a wink to the audience and a sort of

bare

Music by Damon Intrabartolo. Lyrics and book by John Hartmere. Hand in Hand Theatre. Directed by Claire Mossel-Crossley. Nexus Theatre, Murdoch University, Perth. 22- 25 Nov, 2018

I feel it is important to preface this review by saying that my enjoyment of this production was spoilt for this show by an audience that were rude, immature and selfish. When I saw this musical ten years ago in Perth, the subject matter, which includes a homosexual relationship between two young men in a Catholic Boarding School, might have been more controversial, but the audience (in a community theatre) were seemingly unfazed. I am shocked and saddened that in 2018, in a university setting, that boys kissing is met with laughter and derision.

The Climbing Tree

By Rachael Coopes. Riverside and Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre in association with Australian Theatre for Young People. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. Nov 22 – 24, 2018.

Bathurst was the first ‘inland city’ established by the white settlers who followed Blaxland, Lawson, Wentworth and their Aboriginal guides over the Blue Mountains in 1813. On the land of the Wiradyuri people, they established a settlement that would become a beacon to the west. But in this process, they ‘highjacked’ and destroyed aboriginal sacred sites and burial grounds.

Love

By Patricia Cornelius. Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Sydney. Directed by Rachel Chant. November 16 - December 9, 2018

The title Love could be a little misleading. This is not a romantic play, at least not in a traditional sense. But anyone who knows the work of Australian playwright Patricia Cornelius would not be surprised: Love is confronting, unforgiving and very powerful. It shines a light on a world we rarely see.

Lamb

By Jane Bodie. Music & lyrics by Mark Seymour. Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. 13 November – 16 December 2018

In so many rural family stories, there are those who leave and those who stay; there is the one who got away, but who can never really break free and is drawn back to what is irrevocably in their blood.  There are those who had no choice.  And there are those who stay or have stayed, out of duty or cowardice or obligation, and who feel put-upon and abandoned, and resent it bitterly. 

Cutting Loose

Lucy Horan. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. November 19 – 24, 2018

Cutting Loose - Lucy Horan’s new comedy cabaret show - questions her own moral status as a mild-mannered good girl and why she doesn’t want to  upset the apple cart?

Her tongue-in–cheek style is her calling card. Horan delivers from the stage and cleverly shapes the audience to tune into her brand of humor. An improviser and comedian with a damn good voice, has penned her own catchy songs, accompanied by the mildly witty Rainer Pollard on piano. Direction by Fiona Scott Norman has well-groomed Horan’s upfront yet complacent persona.

Circus Oz: Rock Bang

Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse. November 15 - 25, 2018.

Rock Bang is the raucous new show by Circus OZ. Capping off their forty year celebrations, together with punk duo Otto and Astrid Rot, they deliver a wild and  riotous Rock Opera.

If you’re not familiar with the churlish pair, Otto (Daniel Tobias) and Astrid (Clare Bartholomew), they have managed to muster up cult-like status with their band Die Roten Punkte (The Red Dots). They are true - mockingly in good vain with the likes of Spinal Tap, to say the least.

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare. Melbourne Theatre Company. Directed by Simon Phillips. Sumner Theatre. 5 November 2018 – 5 January 2019

Twelfth Night is an excellent rich, complex and pleasingly staged end-of-year offering from Melbourne Theatre Company.  Boldly directed with vision and flair by Simon Philips, it would seem no expense has been spared to entertain, delight and amuse audiences with this fine production. 

If you are looking for the perfect treat for the Festive Season don’t hesitate to buy tickets.

One of Shakespeare’s comedies, the themes are of love, most particularly romantic love, and mistaken identity.

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