Reviews

The Blazing Son

By Lynn Preston. An Every Old Sock Meets an Old Shoe & Tilted Projects Production. La Mama Explorations. The Burrow, Fitzroy. 29 – 31 May 2019

Lynn Preston has dug deep and gone to dark places in the long gestation of her play.  Working for a time with the very experienced Sue Ingleton, she has made a text that is dense and allusive, filled with vivid images, and strongly suggestive while avoiding banal specifics.  It is remarkable how much story and emotion she packs into her sixty or seventy minutes.  This is poetic non-naturalistic theatre realised with intense performances and skilled, risk-taking direction by Dirk Hoult, his sound designer Gemma Notarpietro and intricate lighting from Jason Crick.

The Spooky Men’s Chorale

Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre. June 1, 2019

The Spooky Men’s Chorale returned to Sydney to a full house at the Everest Theatre at the Seymour Centre last night. After two more performances this month – Blackheath on 16th June, Melbourne Recital Centre on 20th June – they embark on another overseas tour to the UK and Germany. That might seem like some feat, but for The Spookies, it’s a matter of course.

Michael Jackson – The Concert Experience

‘Remember the Time’ Tour. Thebarton Theatre. June 1, 2019

It would have been easy for TJ Cappola to cancel his tour in light of recent allegations and turmoil surrounding Michael Jackson’s reputation. He didn’t, and I, and many adoring fans at Thebarton Theatre were very glad!

Bigg Developments

Book, Music & Lyrics: John Wikman. John Wikman Productions. Director: John Wikman. Choreographer: Ruth Gabriel. Wonargo Cultural Centre, Northgate, Qld, 31 May – 15 June 2019

Prolific community theatre composer/lyricist John Wikman’s new musical is set in the world of property development in the 80s. Bigg Developments are planning a world-class resort called Majestic Palms in the sleepy coastal town of Sunny Cove. All they need is council approval, which they eventually get but not before the whole project has been re-thought, re-branded, and become environmentally friendly.

Unrule

By Michelle Aitken, Alicia Osyka, Chelsea Gibson, Mani Mai Gomes, Rhiannon Petersen. Directed by Michelle Aitken. The Blue Room Studio, Northbridge, WA. May 28 - Jun 15, 2019

Unrule is an offbeat piece of collaborative theatre that looks at women’s bodies and health. An emotional roller-coaster of a show, it blends humour with angst, in a show that has some excellent messages and ideas.

The Sound of Music

Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Babirra Music Theatre (Vic). Director: Tyler Hess. Musical Director: Ben Moody. Choreographer: Kristy Griffin. May 31 – Jun 15, 2019

The Sound of Music is a failsafe show with lots of well-known songs and kids as well, and this Babirra production has much to recommend it.

Soprano Greta Wilkinson was a delightful, feisty Maria. Unfortunately they were using the original score written for contralto Mary Martin – both Julie Andrews and June Bronhill sang in higher keys – which did not show her lovely voice to best advantage.

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Todd MacDonald. La Boite and QUT Creative Industries. Roundhouse Theatre. 25 May – 5 June 2019.

Ongoing creative collaborators, La Boite and QUT Creative Industries are presenting an expurgated version of the Shakespearean tragedy that runs a mere 1 hour 45 minutes without interval. All the vital speeches are still in there, but many scenes are cut short or cut out altogether, making for a leaner script that gives the director Todd MacDonald more room to play with movement and silence.

The Kitchen Sink

By Tom Wells. Harbour Theatre. Directed by Grace Hitchin. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. May 24 - Jun 2, 2019

The Kitchen Sink, presented by Harbour Theatre, centres around a likeable working class family in East Yorkshire. Billed as a comedy, it is perhaps more akin to a light ‘kitchen sink’ drama, with minimal plot, but some very interesting characters.

Set in the family kitchen, nicely created by Peter Kirkwood, Grace Hitchin and Brian Mahoney, the set includes lots of ring-of-truth props (Bronwyn Hammond, Jo Sterkenburg and Grace Hitchin), with the titular sink being almost a character of its own.

Sweet Charity

Book by Neil Simon. Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Willoughby Theatre Company. Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. May 24 - June 2, 2019

Willoughby Theatre Company’s visually spectacular production of the musical Sweet Charity is one to be talked about for years to come. The large energetic and talented cast did the Neil Simon, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields script and score true justice in their storytelling and superb song and dance.

The Masters Series

Serenade by George Balanchine. The Shadow Behind Us by Trey McIntyre. Soldier’s Mass by Jiri Kylian. Queensland Ballet, Playhouse, QPAC. 17-25 May 2019

Following on from their sizzling Dangerous Liasons in March, Queensland Ballet are now showing off the skill of the corps in a triple bill of ballets: two classics and one premiere. Although they’re aesthetically different, the non-narrative works dealt in intricate geometric patterns which created mood, beauty, and drama.

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