Reviews

The Encounter

Complicite/Simon McBurney. Adelaide Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. 7-11th March, 2017

The Encounter tells the story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre and his experience spending time with the Mayoruna people deep within the Brazilian Amazon.

Based on Petru Popescu’s book, Amazon Beaming, co-founder of the company Complicite Simon McBurney endeavours to ask the hard questions:

How much of what we experience permeates our grey matter?

Do we filter facts by how they affect us personally?

How important is time, or rather does time exist at all?

Outside Mullingar

By John Patrick Shanley. Mordialloc Theatre Company inc. February 17 to March 3, 2017

There are some rare moments when you witness a community theatre performance and wonder why people spend upwards of $100 to go to see professional shows.  Mordialloc Theatre Company’s Outside Mullingar was clearly one of those moments.

From the first time that the actors stepped on stage to the very last moment, the audience is whisked away into this ‘slice of life’ production, so real that you felt you were spying on two abutted family circumstances.

Snakes and Ladders

By Tony Moore. Directed by Christine Ellis. KADS Theatre, Town Square, Kalamunda, WA. Feb 10 – Mar 4, 2017

Snakes and Ladders is an Australian play by Tony Moore. A show for three actresses, it is a story about family relationships, academia and a game of Snakes and Ladders.

KADS’ production is set in a cosy living room created by Geoff Rumsey. Nicely finished, the set is solidly built with ring of truth detail. The stage was warmly lit by Stephen Marr (although there was perhaps a little too much spill into the first two rows) with effective sound design by Lindsay Goodwin.

 

 

The King and I

By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Rockdale Musical Society. Rockdale Town Hall. March 3 – 12, 2017.

The classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical The King and I was beautifully performed by Rockdale Musical Society in every possible element. Every minor detail of the performance was spectacular, and a real credit to the company, its cast and crew. The story, based on Margaret Landon’s novel“Anna and The King of Siam”, is set in Siam in the early 1860’s where the King, wanting to bring Siam into the modern world, employs widowed Mrs Anna Leonowens to help teach his children English.

Gentlemen Incorporated

By Deborah Mulhall. Darlington Theatre Players. Directed by Hayley Derwort. Marloo Theatre, Greenmount, WA. Feb 24 - March 11, 2017

Gentlemen Incorporated is a slightly risqué Australian play by Deborah Mulhall, being presented by Darlington Theatre Players.

When Marcus returns from overseas travels, he decides to crash at his friend George’s place. George is running a male escort business from home, and when Marcus decides to help out with the business a complex web of coincidences engulf both men, Marcus’ mother, his girlfriend and her boss.

The Baby Farmer

The Laudanum Project. Adelaide Fringe. The Bakehouse Theatre. 6 – 11 March, 2017

The Baby Farmer comes in three formats; a book, illustrations and a play. After looking at the grim sketches by artist Chloe Neath, I had a fair idea that I was going to witness something out of my comfort zone. Sitting in the front row I was met with baby dolls impaled on spikes lining the front of the stage; some missing limbs, heads and other dolls gutted.

Chimerica

By Lucy Kirkwood. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. February 29 – April 1, 2017

Just when old talk of human rights in China is being upstaged by what fake news Trump is tweeting, comes this chilling epic returning us to the brutal putdown of the Tiananmen Square student protests. 

Lucy Kirkwood’s play follows an American photojournalist trying decades later to find what happened to the young Chinese man who, with his plastic bags of shopping, defiantly stood down those tanks in 1989.

Richard III

By William Shakespeare. Schaubühne Berlin. Thomas Ostermeier. Her Majesty’s Theatre. Adelaide Festival. March 3-9, 2017

Shakespeare’s Richard III has been one of his most popular works ever since it was first performed in 1594. It has an extremely long and varied performance history of productions around the world, including Germany. There is evidence of Shakespeare’s plays being performed in Germany from the early 1600s and Thomas Ostermeier and Berlin’s  Schaubühne Theatre Company have been leaders in contemporary theatre for many years.

The Secret River

By Kate Grenville, adapted by Andrew Bovell. Sydney Theatre Company. Adelaide Festival. The Quarry, Anstey Hill Recreation Park. February 28- March 1, 2017

The stage adaptation of Kate Grenville’s novel The Secret River by Andrew Bovell, and directed by Neil Armfield, is one of the highlights of this year’s Adelaide Festival; this made even more so by the fact that this is a new production of this very successful play in that it is being staged in the open air at the Anstey Hill Quarry.

I had not read the book, nor had seen previous productions, so this was a whole new experience for me, as well, I assume, for many in the audience.

The Book of Clown

International School for Acting and Creativity. Adelaide Fringe. 4,5,11,12th March, 2017

When we think of clowns, we imagine colourful face make-up, big wigs and oversized clothes. This Adelaide Fringe show, The Book of Clown, has some of that but focuses more on slapstick and silliness. It is brought to the stage by the International School for Acting and Creativity.

Performer Sang Park opens the show coaxing his audience into his absurd juggling tricks with soft neon balls and plastic bags. At this performance, he was met with a pint-sized heckler in the front row who kept him on his toes. Park handled it well with a big, mischievous smile.

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