By David Williamson. Daniel Sparrow Productions. Theatre Royal, Sydney. Director: Lee Lewis. 29 November – 21 December 2014

Last year’s hit MTC production of David Williamson’s revue-style portrait of Rupert Murdoch here returns for a short Sydney season on its way to London’s West End. It has the same vibrantly theatrical direction by Lee Lewis and the same simple but effective design by Stephen Curtis. The cast has been reinforced, most notably with James Cromwell, a genuine American stage, television and movie star.

Dreams from the Second Floor

Director: Firenza Guidi. The National Institute of Circus Arts. 26 November – 6 December 2014

The graduating students of NICA chose the raw material of a gantry cityscape and dreams to create a world of episodic movement and physical daring. A wide variety of circus skills were demonstrated with an emphasis on aerial work, contortion, Roue Cyr and gymnastics. The troupe worked well together and on occasion merged into a single coherent performance. The individual and duo performers displayed shining skills and compelling action. Performers’ technical skills were secure and the riggers did a quiet, competent job.


Music: Tom Snow. Lyrics: Dean Pitchford. Adaptation: Dean Pitchford & Walter Bobbie. Director: Tim O’Connor. Choreographer: Dan Venz. Vocal Director: Sophie Woodward. Harvest Rain. Powerhouse, Brisbane. 27-30 Nov 2014

Harvest Rain’s second and third year interns created a storm of irresistible dancing heat when they burned-the-floor at Powerhouse with Footloose. Dan Venz’s moves and the charismatic performance of Ethan Jones as Ren were the big plusses of Tim O’Connor’s zippy production. Film-to-stage adaptations are notorious for never being as good as the original and this by-the-numbers script is no exception. The thing that keeps it buoyant is its retro 80s pop score.

Blithe Spirit

By Noël Coward. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Kate Blackhurst. Theatre 3, Canberra, 21 November – 6 December 2014.

The inaugural season, in 1941 London, of Noël Coward’s tale (set in 1941) of the catastrophic results of a seance was so successful in raising war-weary spirits—so to speak—that it ran for years.  Surely Canberra Rep’s present production would have been equally successful, hitting, as it does, all the right notes.  Deadpan lines are delivered to devastating humorous effect.

Still Point Turning

FORM Dance Projects. Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres Parramatta. November 27 – 29, 2014.

Choreographer and performer Linda Luke’s “dance poem” was initially inspired by TS Eliot’s poem Burnt Norton, that describes the changes brought about by the cyclical effects of time and the seasons in the garden of a house in the Cotswolds. It takes its title from the line “At the still point of the turning world”.

Freud’s Last Session

By Mark St Germain. Director: Adam Cook. Strange Duck Productions. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. 26 Nov – 7 Dec 2014

When one of the world’s most infamous atheists meets a Christianity convert the scene is set for a powerful meeting of the minds. When the atheist is the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and the Christian convert is Oxford Professor C.J. Lewis then the notches on the intellectual debate rise dramatically.

Kiss Me, Kate

Music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Book: Samuel and Bella Spewack. Darlington Theatre Players. Marloo Theatre, Greenmount WA. 21 November - 13 December, 2014

Darlington Theatre Players have chosen Kiss Me, Kate as the ultimate production in their year of Shakespeare inspired productions. a lovely bright, choice to close the season, it is directed by Neroli Burton, musically directed by (her son-in-law) Justin Freind and choreographed by Jessica Russell.

James Joyce’s The Dead

Music: Shaun Daley. Lyrics: Richard Nelson & Shaun Davey. Book: Richard Nelson based on James Joyce’s The Dead. Villanova Players. Director: Rod Thompson. Musical Director: Mary Greathead. Choreography: Lynette Wockner. The Theatre, TAFE, Morningside. Brisbane, 21 Nov – 6 Dec 2014

The musical version of James Joyce’s acclaimed short-story The Dead from the Dubliners is not your typical piece of musical theatre. More a play with songs, the work recalls an earlier time when families gathered around the piano and sang favourite tunes. There was no traditional orchestra as such with members of the cast playing various musical instruments on stage; piano, fiddle, flute, concertina and a bodhran (an Irish Frame Drum).

Jumpers for Goalposts

By Tom Wells. Directed by Tom Healey. Red Stitch Theatre Company, St Kilda. November 19 – December 20, 2014

Jumpers for Goalposts is a beautifully written, thought-provoking play – the title refers to the predilection of English folk to improvise a game of soccer using whatever facilities are to hand. ‘Barely Athletic’ are an amateur soccer team consisting of three gay men and one token straight, none of whom appear to be any great shakes as players. This doesn’t stop their lesbian coach Viv from being determined that they’re going to win a trophy which she can proudly display on the wall of her pub.

Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

By Alan Ball. Javeenbah Theatre Company, Gold Coast. Director: Dawn China. November 21st – December 6th, 2014

Alan Ball, the creator of TV shows and films like Six Feet Under, True Blood and American Beauty has penned this very witty dark comedy, set at the home wedding reception of Tracey and Scott: She is despised by all the Bridesmaids – the Five Women Wearing the Same Dressand he has had a fling (of sorts) with each of the Bridesmaids.

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