Reviews

Love, Love, Love

By Mike Bartlett. Directed by Denny Lawrence. Red Stitch Actors Ensemble, St Kilda. 2nd June – 4th July, 2015

If you take a good (but not great) play by a young contemporary playwright, and combine it with a good (and often great) ensemble of  actors, plus an experienced director like Denny Lawrence, the audience is assured of, at the very least, a night of entertaining and challenging theatre.

David Gauci: It Was Worth The Weight

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Artspace. June 5 & 6, 2015

David Gauci is perhaps Adelaide’s best kept secret. A powerhouse of a man, full of personality and self-effacing humour, he is what cabaret is all about. Accompanied by the young and very talented Josh Belperio, Gauci taps into the dreamer in all of us. With an eclectic mix of songs from musical theatre to the classics, he makes them relevant to the young boy with a dream who simply did not ever give up.

Dora

By Wendy Woodson. Performed by Wendy Woodson and Phil Roberts. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton (VIC). 3-14 June 2015

No, not Freud’s ‘Dora’, although you might have assumed so.  I did.  Freud’s famous case history, about his treatment of ‘Dora’ for ‘hysteria’ is an influence on this Dora, ‘but opaquely, and only in some small details’, according to a program note by playwright Wendy Woodson. 

Medea

By Suzie Miller. La Boîte Theatre Company. Director: Todd MacDonald. Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane. 30 May - 20 June 2015.

Is life still a bitch for women? Is passion, love and vengeance still an integral part of modern society with its responsibilities of work/life balance and the consequences of women in power? These are some of the questions that are explored in Suzie Miller's adaptation of Euripides' famous play, bringing a fresh look at Medea's complex personality and the relevance it bears on feminism today.

The Goodbye Girl

Book by Neil Simon. Music by Marvin Hamlish. Lyrics by David Zippel. Therry Dramatic Society. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. June 4 – 13, 2015.

Director Pam O’Grady has assembled a stellar cast who do their best to capture the charm of Neil Simon’s witty and at times sentimental script, based on his screenplay for the successful 1977 romantic comedy of the same name which earnt Richard Dreyfuss a best actor Oscar.

Battle of Waterloo

By Kylie Coolwell. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf 1 Theatre. June 1- 24, 2015

An Australian play with a distinctively local story has been as rare as a lunar eclipse under reign of Andrew Upton/Cate Blanchett at the Sydney Theatre Company. So at the outset it was refreshing and exciting to see the company’s considerable resources devoted to this story.

In the inner city suburb of Waterloo (just a stone throw from Belvoir which apparently bid for this play too ) are two toweringly unattractive public housing blocks.  Playwright Kylie Coolwell is a local resident.

Venus in Fur

By David Ives. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Director Grace Barnes. Eternity Theatre, Darlinghurst. 29 May to 5 July 2015

This is a dark gothic tale peppered with humiliation, cruelty and eroticism. It takes place over 100 minutes of continuous time on a dark and stormy night in an NYC indie theatre space. The time structure makes the storytelling riveting. A writer/director auditions a late arrival actress for his play Venus in Fur. But nothing is really as it first appears.

Christa Hughes: Oz Rockin’ The Ladies Lounge

Presented by The Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Space Theatre, Festival Centre, Adelaide. June 5-7, 2015

Christa Hughes (aka KK Juggy from Machine Gun Fellatio) brings her trademark exuberantly vulgar theatricality to the great Australian songbook. She delivers ballsy, go for broke renditions of iconic pub rock anthems by the likes of Cold Chisel, ACDC, The Divinyls and Rose Tattoo – alongside knowingly self-aware and ironic takes on kitsch pop ditties by Kylie Minouge and The Bee Gees… as well as some weird alternative takes on material (such as Nick Cave) that was pretty weirdly alternative to begin with.

Bedtime Story

By Kiran Nagarkar. Nautanki Theatre. Lennox Auditorium, Riverside Parramatta. June 4 – 6, 2015

The ancient epic Sanskrit poem the Mahabharata, which tells of the Kurukshestra War and the fates of the Kaurava and Pandava princes, has been adapted for a contemporary audience by novelist and playwright Kiran Nagarkar. The title A Bedtime Story is slightly misleading in that, despite some humour, the play contains scenes that are a little violent and quite confronting. Nevertheless, the adaptation keeps alive one of the oldest and best known Indian legends and realises Nautanki Theatre’s aim of “cross cultural experience … the Indian way’.

Riot

By Thomas Ian Doyle. The Owl and Cat Theatre, 34 Swan Street, Richmond. June 1 -14, 2015

This cosy venue offers a warm and welcoming invitation into the deepest, darkest nooks and crannies of the anarchical disposition of the play’s central character, Jim (Johnathan Peck). Peck’s skilful portrayal of a combination of impish playfulness and explosive temperament takes the audience on a spiralling journey into the razor sharp, and sometimes dangerous, edge of his existence.

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