Reviews

The Jungle Book

By Craig Higginson, based on the book by Rudyard Kipling. Nautanki Theatre. Lennox Theatre, Riverside Parramatta. Aug 3 – 5, 2017.

Nautanki Theatre have undertaken a play that requires fairly difficult physical choreography and characterisation – and a lot of organisation. This is always hard, especially if moving on to the stage with only a short time to co-ordinate the action and dialogue.

Often this results in awkward hesitations and broken pace, and unfortunately this was the case on opening night.

Cry God For Harry!

Adapted by Rob Croser from Shakespeare. Independent Theatre. Space Theatre, Adelaide. Aug 4 – 12, 2017.

Adapting the Henriad of three Shakespeare’s history plays into one is an epic task and Rob Croser’s Cry God For Harry! is epic in every way.

Cry God for Harry! combines several teasers from Richard II and a considerable amount of material from Henry IV and Henry V. However, this adaption focuses on Prince Hal and his relationship with his mentor Sir John Falstaff.

Neighbourhood Watch

By Lally Katz. Presented by Canberra Rep. Directed by Kate Blackhurst. Theatre 3, 3 Repertory Lane, Acton. 3-19 August 2017

In a quiet suburban Melbourne street in 2007, wistful lost soul Catherine (Alex McPherson) is drawn into helping to care for an elderly Hungarian widow, Ana (Liz de Totth). Ana is prickly and independent, resisting efforts of an old friend to be sociable, even going so far as to have a large, aggressive dog to intimidate strangers. But Ana recognises the neediness in her neighbour and draws the young woman into her world. Over time both Catherine and the audience are beguiled by Ana’s stories of her early life and hardships in wartime Hungary.

Mozart Airborne

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Concept: Lindy Hume & Natalie Weir. Pianist: Alex Raineri. Expressions Dance Company/Opera Q & QPAC. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, 4-12 August 2017

Following an extensive renovation, QPAC’s intimate Cremorne Theatre is back in business and what better program to launch the refurbished theatre than Mozart Airborne, a combined work by Expressions Dance Theatre and Opera Q that marries the world of opera and dance.

Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday

Written by Roslyn Oades and collaborators. A Performing Lines tour. Directed by Roslyn Oades. Gold Coast Arts Centre 3-5th August, 2017. Followed by regional Arts centres in Darwin 11th-12th; August; Portland 17th August; Mt Gambier 18th-19th August; Renmark 22nd – 23rd August; Mandurah 25th-26th August and Wollongong 30th August – 2nd September.

There’s a certain delight in not knowing what you are going to see at the theatre. It’s that special tingle of anticipation in advance and the sense of exhilaration after a performance that sets live theatre apart from all other forms of entertainment.

One of the hits of Melbourne’s 2014 Arts Festival, this little show with its stellar cast and high concepts is poignant, charming, humorous, reflective, humane and an all round delightful piece of theatre.

Rose’s Dilemma

By Neil Simon. St Jude’s Players (SA). 3rd – 12th August, 2017

Rose Steiner’s life is haunted by the memory of her dead lover, acclaimed author Walsh McLaren. Unable to let go, she herself has been unable to write a novel in five years. Stagnating under the burden of grief, she continues to communicate with her soulmate. It is during this time that McLaren urges his beloved to finish his last book, thereby avoiding bankruptcy.

Looking Glass

By Louris van de Geer. Directed by Susie Dee. Presented by New Working Group at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 2-13 August, 2017.

The style of Looking Glass lends itself to the futuristic, dystopian vision that characterises this production. This play examines strained family dynamics and centres around a young boy, Marcus (Daniel O’Neill/ Thomas Taylor) and his anxiety-ridden parents: Mother (Daniela Farinacci) and Father (Peter Houghton). Voice (Josh Price) provides guidance and instructions for the parents to help them deal with their son. However, they seem to look upon Marcus as though he were an alien and they are unable to genuinely connect with him.

9 to 5 the Musical

Music by Dolly Parton. Lyrics and Book by Patricia Resnick. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Director / Choreographer: Jamie Watt. July 28th to August 19th, 2017

Amongst Dolly Parton’s many attributes is the ability to create catchy, toe-tapping songs and this is very obvious in Spotlight Theatre’s current season of 9 to 5.

Based on the 1980 movie of the same name, the stage version opened on Broadway in 2009 and has since been seen in productions around the world.

Kindertransport

By Diane Samuels. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Eternity Playhouse. July 28 – October 20, 2017.

Kindertransport is a based on one of the 10,000 mostly Jewish children evacuated to Britain from Nazi Germany in the months just before the War.

Once on that train, most never saw their parents again.

Diane Samuels’ tender play explores the abandonment felt by Eva, an awkward nine-year-old émigré from Hamburg, the rigid independence and denial in the British woman she becomes, and the bewilderment of her own daughter left out of Eva’s secret.

Credentials

By David Williamson. World Premiere at La Mama Courthouse as part of La Mama’s 50th Birthday Celebrations. 1 – 13 August 2017

Credentials is a kind of parable about how the world works.  It tells the story of two young women, one born into poverty, the other into privilege, and how each finds a place in the world.  Chrissie (Kayla Hamill) is a committed paramedic who got her job with fake credentials: she never finished high school and certainly didn’t attend any university.  But how else could she get into the ambulance service?  Sprung by her doctor boss, Stephen (Geoff Paine), she tries to explain herself and pleads with him not to sack her…  She’s from a cou

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