Reviews

Potted Potter

Created by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner. Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and James Seabright for Potted Productions. QPAC Playhouse Theatre, South Bank. October 2-7, 2018

Chocolate cake and silly string are smeared on the floor, along with a hat, a book, some googly eye glasses, an orange wig, pigtails and the Devil’s horns.

Stages from New York to London have looked like this after welcoming Potted Potter to town.

British actors Daniel Clarkson and Scott Hoatson won’t lie to you, it could have been grander, but their retelling of all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes is a silly business and the budget for delivering silliness to a brilliant standard cannot be calculated in Muggle terms.

Lie With Me

By Liz Hobart. Presented by the Brave New World Theatre Company. Director: Warwick Doddrell. The Old 505 Theatre, Sydney. 2 – 13 October 2018

On the smell of an oily rag comes the Brave New World Theatre Company’s production of Lie With Me by Liz Hobart. They’ve been at it for over 2 years and the programme lists 23 people, including the three current actors, who have contributed to the script. With a setting that consists of thrown together bits and pieces – chairs, microphones, a projector, a table covered with clothes that becomes a body in a hospital – the Sound Design of Ben Hinchley is the hero here.

Love Bird

By Georgina Harris. La Mama. La Mama at Trades Hall, Carlton VIC. 3 – 7 October 2018

Love Bird is ridiculous – or ‘absurd’ as director Phoebe Taylor’s program note has it – but it is great fun, funny and underneath its nonsense it has something to say about ‘love’ in several manifestations.  A talented cast commit to the absurdity and – as when farce works best – play it straight.

The Architect

By Aidan Fennessy. Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. 27 September – 31 October 2018

Aidan Fennessy’s The Architect is a comedy drama about dying – and dying with dignity - but it’s also, almost as much, about class.  Helen (Linda Cropper), a retired literature teacher, and her lawyer partner John (Nicholas Bell), both in their sixties, live in a spacious, open plan house in a leafy suburb.  But Helen has inoperable brain tumours.  John wants to go to an event in England but of course doesn’t want to leave her alone.  She’ll need a carer and if the right one can’t be found, he won’t go. 

Funny Girl The Musical

Music: Jule Styne. Lyrics: Bob Merrill. Book: Isobel Lennart. Theatre and Company. Riverside Theatres Parramatta. September 28 – October 6, 2018.

Theatre and Company's second production, following their rousing inaugural production earlier this year of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, was another smashing hit.

Funny Girl The Musical is the semi-biographical piece based on the life and career of Broadway star Fanny Brice and her fiery relationship with entrepreneur Nick Arnstein.

McNirt Hates Dirt

Created by Miranda Hampton. Directed by Teddy Dunn. The Seagull Tent, Perth Cultural Centre, WA 1-6 October, 2018

McNirt Hates Dirt is an adorable mini-musical at Perth’s Awesome Arts Festival for Bright Young Things. This lovely short show is aimed at the very smallest of bright young things, with a suggested age of 3-5 years, and winning over many even younger than that.

Sleuth

By Anthony Shaffer. Ipswich Little Theatre. Director: Les Chappell. Incinerator Theatre, Ipswich. 19 September – 6 October, 2018

Sleuth premiered in London in 1970, running 2,359 performances and 1,222 on Broadway. Since then Anthony Shaffer’s ingenious two-handed cat-and-mouse thriller has been produced by every almost theatre company around the world and has long been a favourite on the community theatre circuit.

Ruby’s Wish

By Holly Austin, Adriano Cappelletta and Jo Turner. Directed by Jo Turner. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA. 1-12 October, 2018

Parents who accompany their children to Ruby’s Wish, playing as part of the Awesome Festival, are in for a treat. In a festival aimed at children, this truly is a wonderful experience for all ages, and if you can tear your eyes away from the stage for a moment you will notice that the grown-ups, even jaded critic types, are just as engaged as the children.

The Man With the Iron Neck

By Ursula Yovich (original concept by Joshua Bond). Legs on the Wall Production. Brisbane Festival. Brisbane Powerhouse. 26-29 September, 2018

It is a sad truth that indigenous people are twice as likely to commit suicide than other Australians. The reasons are many and complicated. And, in a world premier for the Brisbane Festival, The Man With the Iron Neck wrangles this difficult subject matter like a three-ring circus. It deals simultaneously with the haunting impact of colonisation, Aussie masculinity and racism in sport, and how young people deal with disturbing ripples in their family’s history.

Ascent

By Jayde Kirchert. Citizen Theatre. Melbourne Fringe. Theatre Works. September 28 – 30, 2018.

Ascent is an amazing experimental fusion of sight and sound!

The story revolves around a woman who is having a serious body image crisis and a chorus of mocking and witty assistants who rally around her. Along with her exquisite team of creatives, writer and director Jayde Kirchert has developed a beautifully choreographed and composed piece of animated theatre.

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