Reviews

The Phantom of the Opera

By Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. Gosford Musical Society. Director: Christopher Hamilton. Musical Director: Chris Hochkins. Choreographer: Bronwyn Russell. Laycock Street Theatre, North Gosford. October 18 – November 15, 2014.

Back in 1986 this iconic show had everyone doing a classic double-take when Michael Crawford literally became an overnight sensation. Who knew 'Frank Spencer' could sing – let alone make audiences swoon?

One Slight Hitch

By Lewis Black. Australian Premiere. Galleon Theatre Group (SA). Domain Theatre, Marion. October 23-November 1, 2014.

There’s not a hitch or a hiccup in Galleon Theatre Group’s Australian premiere production of Lewis Black’s wedding day farce, One Slight Hitch.

Blood Wedding

By Federico Garcia Lorca. Directed by Emma Sproule. Dionysus Theatre. Performing Arts Centre MecClelland College Karingal (Vic). Oct 17 – 26, 2014

There is no doubt that Emma Sproule has great vision as a director, and is innovative with it. Ignoring the stage on offer, she sets Lorca’s passionate and poetic play on the flat auditorium floor with the audience surrounding the actors, and sometimes the actors surrounding the audience in circular motion as a “Greek Chorus”. The circle represents the inevitability of life that is so hard to break, generation after generation of women in particular unable to change what is predestined for them.

When The Mountain Changed Its Clothing

By Heiner Goebbels. Featuring the Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovencia. State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne. Until Sunday 26 October, 2014

This is a marvelous chance to hear some extraordinary choral work that is moving, mysterious and other-worldly. From a simple start of an almost empty stage When The Mountain Changed Its Clothing leaves a beautiful expanding and flourishing rich sense of spring full of promise. Perhaps ambiguously it is the promise in the life of women or a woman, perhaps a simple homage to womanhood or just a homage to spring and the life-cycle.

In the Next Room; or, The Vibrator Play

By Sarah Ruhl. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Steven Jones. 24 Oct. – 8 Nov, 2014

A play about the history of the vibrator is a fascinating, but perhaps risky, subject, or is my prudishness showing? In the Next Room; or, The Vibrator Play, written by Sarah Ruhl was presented by Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. The sexual subject matter was enhanced by the themes of love and misunderstanding between men and women, and gender, class and race inequality. The action coincides with the dawn of electricity and 1880s Victorian social environment.

The Wharf Revue 2014 Open for Business

Written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott. Musical Director: Phillip Scott. Lighting Design: Matthew Marshall. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf 1 Theatre. October 22 – December 20, 2014.

Like a beloved TV sit com, the Wharf Revue team returns every year with ever new hysterical laughter and that shared warmth of seeing an expert team again making merry from cant and pomposity. Incredibly, creators Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott have been delivering it since the turn of the century.

Dark Light

Presented by Melbourne Writer’s Theatre. Carlton Courthouse. Until Saturday 25 October, 2014

Melbourne Writers Theatre presents work from emerging, developing and aspiring writers for performance.

Dark Light is a group of five short plays the first two are very dark and focus seem to be exploring misogynistic brutality and after interval the evening lightens up. 

Ragdoll

By Paul Mitchell

Miracle City

Book and Lyrics by Nick Enright. Music by Max Lambert. Directed by Darren Yap. Hayes Theatre Co. October 22 - November 16, 2014

Some musicals date quickly – others stay just as sharp as when they opened. A good example is Chicago. It was written with a timeless cynicism about lawyers, the justice system and the media that still sizzles.

In the case of Miracle City we have a musical which might even be sharper than when it debuted. 

The Sydney Theatre Company staged it in 1996. Word around town was it was a gem of a musical that deserved another look, but sadly Nick Enright died and it lost momentum.

August: Osage County

By Tracy Letts. Free-Rain Threatre. Directed by Cate Clelland. The Courtyard Studio, Canberra. 17 October – 2 November 2014

For those who have seen the film of the same name, August: Osage County will present no plot surprises.  Even the film’s lines largely repeat the play’s verbatim.  Regardless of having seen it, though, I’m confident that you’ll agree that this production of the play is an unmitigated delight, beginning with the detailed setting on a stage that effectively incorporates most of a family home.

Kinship

Developed by Bangarra Dance Theatre. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. October 22-25, 2014

Indigenous arts troupe, Bangarra, celebrates its 25th anniversary with this special double feature, which presents two of the company’s most enduringly popular dance theatre pieces.

The first half, “Brolga”, is set in North East Arnhem Land and delves deep into the totemic mythology of the region, telling the story of a young girl who becomes separated from her tribe and explores a Brolga feeding ground. On the course of her journey she comes to a deeper understanding of humanity’s connection with nature.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.