By Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall. Stirling Players Inc (SA). Stirling Community Theatre. 13-28 September, 2019.

Weddings and funerals have each provided extremely fertile ground for storytellers and dramatists down through the ages, owing to the propensity of these occasions for bringing together people with deep emotional connections to each other, then letting us see how those connections are tested and how those emotions are stirred.

Mamma Mia!

Music & Lyrics: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus. Additional songs by Stig Anderson. Book: Catherine Johnson. Ipswich Musical Theatre Company. Direction: Robbie Parkin. Music Director: Matthew Rofe. Choreographer: Simon Lind. Ipswich Civic Centre, Ipswich, Qld. 13-22 September 2019

Ipswich Musical Theatre did Mamma Mia! proud. The first community company in Queensland, to present the worldwide behemoth, the mix of ABBA tunes and a ‘paternity whodunit’ plot was irresistible to the mainly female audience. Opening in London in 1999 this jukebox musical spearheaded the era of female empowerment musicals (Wicked/Legally Blonde) and twenty years later still seems as fresh as new paint thanks to Robbie Parkin’s acute production and a youthful cast with buckets of energy.

My Fair Lady

Music: Frederick Loewe. Book & Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Toowoomba Choral Society. Director: Kate Peters. Musical Director: Nick Williams. Choreographer: Lucy Panitz. Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, Qld. 13-15 September 2019

Toowoomba Choral Society’s production of My Fair Lady proved why the musical is regarded as one of the best, if not the best, musical ever written. Director Kate Peters, on a sabbatical from her Gold Coast domain, knows her musical theatre, and this production was first class all the way. Great performances from a top notch cast meant that Lerner and Loewe’s masterpiece crackled with wit, captivated with melody, and blossomed, like the flowers in Eliza’s basket, into radiant joy.

Irish Theatre Players One Act Season

By Sean Byrne, Therese Edmonds and Harry Davies. Directed by Dale James, Paul Taylor-Byrne and Aiden Murphy. The Irish Club, Townshend Rd, Subiaco, WA. Sep 11-15, 2019

The Irish Theatre Players have returned to their original home, the Irish Club of WA, for their latest season, a series of short plays. Renowned for their excellent hospitality and wonderful suppers or afternoon teas, the original venue allows ITP to continue this loved and warm tradition.

The Full Monty

Music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Terrence McNally. Theatre & Company. Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres Parramatta. September 14 – 21, 2019.

Theatre & Company's current production of the hilarious and risqué musical of The Full Monty, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Terrence McNally, was a very enjoyable night, full of high-quality performances and directional choices.

A group of long-term unemployed men from Buffalo N.Y. get together to put on a “one night only” strip performance. They go the “Full Monty” to make a motser and earn some respect from the community and some of their partners.

Heathers The Musical

By Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy. Segue Productions. Goodwood Institute (SA). September 12 – 21, 2019

It was a pleasure to attend Heathers The Musical on a sold-out Saturday night amongst the faded elegance of Goodwood Institute.  Presented by Segue Productions Heathers does not disappoint, as evidenced by the cheering fans at curtain call.

Batmania Bus Tour

Melbourne Fringe / The Very Good Looking Initiative / Theatre Works. September 11 – 21, 2019.

When Melbourne was a new settlement it was named Batmania (1835 -1837), after one of its founders, John Batman. At this year’s Fringe Festival, supported by Theatreworks, the collective team at The Very Good Initiative have developed two separate events under the banner of “Batmania” - an Expo ‘19 and a Bus Tour.

The Real Thing

By Tom Stoppard. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. September 9 – October 26, 2019.

The Real Thing was a big hit in 1982.  Britain’s Tom Stoppard was applauded for embracing the theme of heart-felt love and fidelity, and breaking from his earlier, drier plays crackling with nihilistic philosophising.

As Stoppard liked to re-quote, “I’m a man of no convictions – at least I think I am.”

Black is the New White

By Nakkiah Lui. Black Swan State Theatre Company. Directed by Nakkiah Lui. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. Sep 11- 22, 2019

Black is the New White is the funniest production presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company in many years. This Sydney Theatre Company production deals with some important issues including race, class, colonialism and inter-racial marriage, but is at its heart, a romantic comedy that keeps its audience chuckling throughout.

Railed: Sizzling and Sweaty Circus

Created, presented and performed by Head First Acrobats. Directed by Debra Batton & John Walton. Wonderland Spiegeltent - Federation Square (The Paddock) Batman Avenue, Melbourne. 14-25 September, 2019.

Head First Acrobats are a collection of highly talented circus performers who create spirited acts with unusual and sometimes incongruous themes. Railed is a circus act with a mix of the conventions of male performance for a hen’s night with American Western culture. This results in a fun-filled, somewhat erotically charged, but wholesome show.

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