Reviews

Egg

By Angela Betzien. MTC Family / Terrapin Puppet Theatre. Directed by Leticia Caceres. Southbank Theatre, The Lawler. 29 June to 19 July, 2016

Not too light and fluffy but featuring a very charming and appealing puppet Ovo, expertly manipulated by puppeteer Michelle Robin Anderson, Egg is a mesmerizing holiday offering with strong and rich production values - but ambiguous themes. 

Beneath and Beyond

Director, Producer, and Lighting Design: Bronwyn Pringle. Concept and Spacial Design: Melanie Liertz and Bronwyn Pringle. Costume Design: Melanie Liertz. Sound Design: Pippa Bainbridge. La Mama Theatre. June 30 – July 10, 2016

The deepest depths of the sea. Far-flung reaches of outer space. A space disco.

Quite a curious recipe for a performance.

This production is unlike anything else I've seen.

Usually,when a reviewer says that, it’s code that means, ‘The performance is a nonsensical mess.’ That’s not the case with Beneath and Beyond.

A Perfect Specimen

By Nathaniel Moncrieff. Black Swan Lab. Directed by Stuart Halusz. Theatre Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. 30 Jun - 17 Jul 2016

A Perfect Specimen is a product of the Black Swan Lab, which may be described as Black Swan’s more avant-garde or experimental wing. This lavish, fully fleshed production brings great quality to the downstairs theatre at the State Theatre Centre.

The true story of ‘ape woman’ Julia Pastrana, star of a travelling exhibition, and her husband and exhibitor Theodore Lent, it is set during 1859/1860 in Russia as they travel with the show. Written by Perth born playwright Nathaniel Moncrieff, this is the West Australian premiere.

Splat!

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, WA. Directed by Philip Mitchell. July 2 - 16, 2016

Splat! returns to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre this school holidays and is a high energy celebration of play, friendship and imagination.

Puppeteer actors, Rebecca Bradley, dressed in yellow and emerging from a triangle and Immanuel Dado, wearing red, with a penchant for squares, befriend  Yvan Karlsson, who wears blue and appears from a circle. Together they use dance, acrobatics clowning and puppetry to explore relationships between the objects around them and with each other, and at one stage take us on a mesmerising journey through space.

The Pigman’s Lament

By Raoul Craemer. Directed by Paul Castro. Presented by The Street Theatre, Canberra. 24 June – 3 July, 2016. World Premiere.

The Pigman’s Lament is an intense, surreal monologue. Raoul Craemer spent part of his childhood in India with an Indian mother, but his father was German, and his grandfather a facist who died on the Russian front. The piece focusses on the grandfather as a secret, almost shameful part of Craemer’s own history.

L’Amante Anglaise

By Marguerite Duras. Directed by Laurence Strangio. fortyfivedownstairs. June 21 – July 3, 2016.

To say that truth is stranger than fiction is a mere homily when one looks at the story behind this fascinating play. Yes, a woman of slight build did murder her fat, deaf and dumb, cousin in 1949… or says she did. But how could she dismember the body and subsequently throw pieces from the railway bridge under trains? And what happened to the head?

Skylight

By David Hare. Directed by Dean Bryant. MTC. Southbank Theatre. June 18 – July 23, 2016

David Hare’s Skylight is a truly beautiful play, perfectly structured and marrying political ideology with a love affair that cannot be rekindled. It has been a favourite of mine since its inception more than twenty years ago.

The Last Galah

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Festival Centre. June 25, 2016

Matilda Waltzes into Finale for Successful Adelaide Cabaret Festival

The final celebration of Adelaide’s 2016 Cabaret Festival had plenty of Aussie touches as befits The Last Galah, the title of the night. There was Eddie Perfect in blue singlet and shorts, looking amusingly incongruous by also wearing formal white tails. His co-Artistic Director Ali McGregor teamed up with The Birds to start the show and began in an eye-boggling galah-themed shiny pink, grey and white creation. She outdid this later with a jacket covered in souvenir-shop koalas.

Noble Cause & Boiled Cabbage

Written & Directed by Tony Moore. Holden Street Theatres, Hindmarsh. June 23-July 2, 2016

Local playwright and impresario Tony Moore here presents two short pieces, one a drama, the other a comedy, as a double feature.

Time Over Distance Over Time

Liz Roche Dance Company. Parramatta Riverside Theatres. June 22 – 25, 2016.

The idea behind this production is bridging the gaps that occur when one chooses, for whatever reason, to move away from home and friends. The program notes explain that six dancers will “wrestle with the physical and emotional distance they encounter while living at opposite ends of the planet”.

By its very nature much contemporary dance is esoteric, relying on the audience’s ability to relate to the movement, the interaction of the dancers and the use of space, and perhaps take from it a more personal interpretation of the performance.

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