Reviews

Mr Bailey’s Minder

By Debra Oswald. The Theatre on Chester. Director: Kaye Lopez. 6th – 28th April, 2018

‘Tis a pity Debra Oswald has stopped writing for the stage, because, despite the success of her TV, film and more recently her novels, the characters she created for the theatre have an authenticity that gives directors, actors and audiences much to think about and much to love. They are enduring and the issues they face transcend generations.

A Few Good Men

By Aaron Sorkin. Ballina Players. Director: Mike Sheehan. Players Theatre. April 6th – 15th, 2018

This ‘tour de force’ production is another feather in the cap of the Ballina Players. 

Director Mike Sheehan has assembled an outstanding cast of seasoned and new recruits in this epic Court (Martial) drama, led by Dylan Wheeler as Lt Daniel Kaffee, Mel Strawbridge - Lt Cmdr Joanne Galloway and John Rado - Lt Col Nathan Jessep (in the movie version these roles were played by Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson).

Liam Gatt, Luke Mulder, Carl Moore and Graeme Speed also gave strong performances as the Naval personnel caught up in the drama.

Communicating Doors

By Alan Ayckbourn. Tea Tree Players. Tea Tree Players Theatre, Surrey Downs (SA). April 4-14, 2018

Communicating Doors is Alan Ayckbourn meets Doctor Who on speed.

The premise of the story is simple, but the plot convoluted. Reece, an elderly man, has summoned Poopay, a Dominatrix, to witness the murder confession of his previous two wives. Poopay then travels back 20 years to meet Ruella, Reece’s second wife. Ruella then travels back to meet Jessica, Reece’s first wife. From then on, a number of people time travel back and forward to prevent the two murders.

Jane and Kel Go to Hell

Written by Steve Pirie. Directed by Steve Pirie and Maddie Nixon. Presented by Share House Theatre Company. Lumen Room, Metro Arts Theatre 5 – 7 April, 2018

There’s a special joy that comes from viewing locally created works that could easily hold their own on a world stage. Brisbane playwright Steve Pirie has delivered such a script with his devilishly funny horror comedy Jane and Kel Go to Hell. The play is a laugh-out-loud, thrilling, well-paced buddy story with relatable characters and nonstop quotable dialogue. Amid the laughter, thrills and familiar songs, he’s incorporated a heart-warming tale of friendship and love.

Sami in Paradise

Based on The Suicide by Nikolai Erdman. Adapted by Eamon Flack and The Company. Belvoir Theatre, Sydney. Director: Eamon Flack. 1–29 April 2018

There was a real crackle of enthusiasm in the run-up to the official opening performance of this play at the Belvoir. Written in 1928, Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide is considered one of the finest comedies to have emerged from the early phase of Communist Russia. Never, to this day, played in Russia, it remains happily, blissfully above the run of normal drama — a real one-off. 

God of Carnage

Written by Yasmine Reza. Translated by Christopher Hampton. Directed by Leonie Walsh. Presented by Sunnybank Theatre Group. Sunnybank Theatre, 6 – 21 April, 2018

If you’re looking for an enjoyable, relatable, laugh-out-loud comedy, God of Carnage is not to be missed. As is often the case, the show’s hilarious foundations begin with an excellent script. What Sunnybank Theatre did with that foundation simply amplified the excellence of the written words.

Upon arrival, the first thing that hit us was the outstanding attention to detail in the set design. The costuming was also very well chosen and together, they both spoke volumes about the characters before a single word was uttered.  

Rose Callaghan – No Way Rosé

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Forum Melbourne – Ladies Lounge. Mar 29 – Apr 22, 2018.

Rose Callaghan is the real deal!

A woman from the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne who speaks home truths and more. She confronts the pressing issues of Generation Y with vigorous and animated honesty, all while sipping on her glass of Rosé.

A Fringe winner in 2016 for her debut show; No Way Rosé is the final trilogy installment currently at the Melbourne International Comedy festival.

Frankenstein

By Nick Dear. Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Arts Theatre – 5-14 April, 2018

Nick Dear’s 2011 adaptation of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein is a brilliant inversion of the original novel. For a start, the dramatic narrative is told from the Monster’s point of view. Victor Frankenstein’s sin is not the creation but rather his abandonment of the Monster; it is the drama of ‘nurture’ (or lack of) not ‘nature’ that is major theme of the play.

Harvey

By Mary Chase. Castle Hill Players. Pavilion Theatre, Castle Hill. April 6 – 28, 2018

A movie starring James Stewart and five television productions have made Harvey famous on the big and little screen. But the original play by Mary Chase has also had a long and enviable stage history. After opening on Broadway in 1944 it ran until 1949, with a total of 1775 performances. Openings followed in London (1949) and Paris (1950). It was revived on Broadway in 1970 and London in 1975, both with James Stewart recreating his movie role. More recent revivals (Broadway 2012, London 2015) indicate the enduring appeal of this ‘treasure’ of the 1940s.

Puppetry of the Penis

A-List Entertainment. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. April 3 – 8, 2018

The famous Puppetry of the Penis show is back for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

A far-reaching phenomena, this is a one-of–a-kind show, it will astonish, titillate and shock. It beats any naked-arty-performance hands down! This is the real deal and so damn funny. A wholesome groundbreaking concept that clinched the taboo of male genitalia and set it free.

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