Reviews

Endgame

By Samuel Beckett. Directed by Sam Strong. MTC. Southbank Theatre. March 21 – April 25, 2015

There is a moment in Beckett’s play about the “End of Days” where blind, wheelchair bound Hamm says “I was never there. It all happened without me,” and we should feel the pain of self -awareness in our chest at the realisation that we spend most of our lives disengaged from life itself, until it is too late and there is nothing left. We SHOULD – but we don’t, and that’s the weakness with this production. We don’t feel anything.

Indoor Fireworks

By Arthur MacRae. Blackwood Players. Blackwood Memorial Hall (SA). March 27-April 11, 2015

Blackwood Players’ production of Arthur MacRae’s comedy of manners, Indoor Fireworks succeeds reasonably well, despite struggling against the impediments of basic set and lighting together with the limitations of the cavernous Blackwood Memorial Hall.

AIDA

By Giuseppe Verdi. Handa Opera on the Harbour. March 27 – April 26, 2015.

It’s a warm, autumn Sydney evening.  In the clear, blue sky a half moon rises and the evening star twinkles. The Bridge stretches across the horizon, the harbour swells gently – and the giant head of Nefertiti hovers above a stage that appears to float out from the Fleet Steps of the Botanic Gardens. Such is the magical setting for the 2015 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production of Verdi’s Aida.

Avenue Q

Music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Mark. Book by Jeff Whitty. Directed by Stephen Wheat. Trifle Theatre Company. Chapel off Chapel (MICF). 25th March -19th April, 2015

Oh what a delicious and totally satisfying dessert Trifle Theatre Company give us for their very first production.

Everybody Loves Lucy

By Elise McCann. Performed by Francine Cain and Richard Carroll.
The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. 25 March 2015

On the day I saw the show, Francine Cain had taken over from Elise McCann in Ms McCann’s tribute to the woman who embodied whacky, Lucille Ball. I’m pleased to report Ms Cain, a Rob Guest Endowment winner whose roles include Frenchy in Grease, is every bit as fabulous.

New Order UK

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Greek Theatre – The Parthenon. 26 Mar – 19 Apr, 2015

As one of the opening salvos in this year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival, New Order UK (despite sounding like the title of a band) got things off to a great start. Three up and coming British acts performed for around 20 minutes each, all so entertaining that the time seemed to fly.

Carousel

By Rodgers and Hammerstein. Miranda Musical Society. Sutherland Entertainment Centre. March 25 – 29, 2015.

Once an absolute staple of the community theatre repertoire, Carousel seems to have dropped below the radar of late. With far from perfect romantic relationships at its core, ambivalence toward domestic violence, and some old-fashioned conventions, it’s not for all contemporary tastes.

But you need to balance that with the chance to hear probably the greatest of the classic genre-changing Rodgers and Hammerstein scores, played by a full orchestra, and performed by a talented young principal cast and ensemble. It’s certainly worth a trip to Sutherland.

The One Day of the Year: Vale Alan Seymour

By Alan Seymour. HIT Productions. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, March 24 – 28, and touring.

It was a moving coincidence that HIT’s touring production of Alan Seymour’s iconic Australian play should open one day after the sad death of its playwright. But this is a really sensitive and charming production. As it continues its national tour it will remain a fitting tribute to Seymour, his courage and the iconic characters he created.

A Little Night Music

Stephen Sondheim & Hugh Wheeler. MUSE. Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre (NSW). March 25-28, 2015

Upon entering the Everest, a piano is positioned conveniently onstage, whilst a frayed tree branch is suspended from above. This is one of the first factors that make the MUSE major production, A Little Night Music, both impressive and intriguing.

Relatively Speaking

By Alan Ayckbourn. Therry Dramatic Society. Directed by Norman Caddick. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. March 18-28, 2015

The Therry Dramatic Society’s latest production is a lively and technically polished affair, that breathes fresh life into what is, on paper, a rather formulaic farce revolving around the common narrative tropes associated with infidelity and mistaken identity.

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