Reviews

Reefer Madness

Book, Music and lyrics by Dan Studney and Kevin Murphy. RL Productions. Directed by Stephen Wheat. Chapel off Chapel. 25th November – 4th December, 2016

Reefer Madness may not be the best musical ever written, but it is quite possibly the funniest. Inspired by the deathly serious, church backed, film of 1936 on the perils of Marijuana, it’s a marvellous satirical melange…or perhaps a blancmange: guaranteed to send you right round the twist into lunacy! (The drug and the show.)

No Sex Please We’re British

By Anthony Marriott and Alistair Foot. Noarlunga Theatre Company. 25 November - 4 December, 2016

The purpose of farcical comedy is to evoke laughter and Noarlunga Theatre Company’s latest offering does just that. At the helm is first time director Linda Lawson. No stranger to the stage, Lawson does a fine job to keep this fast-paced show rolling along.

Rough Crossing

By Tom Stoppard. Lyrics & Music: Andre Previn. Musical Director: Mark Connors. Directors: Fiona Kennedy, Jane Sizer. Villanova Players. F.T. Barell Auditorium, Yeronga. 18 Nov – 4 Dec 2016

The best things about Villanova Players’ Rough Crossing were the musical numbers. Performed either by piano or to a synth backing they captured the period and brought life to this dull, inconsequential play by Tom Stoppard.

Noises Off!

By Michael Frayn. Wyong Drama Group. Directed by Pam Campbell. Set Design: Daryl Kirkness. Art House Theatre Wyong, November 18-26, 2016

[Cue Etta James] At last, WDG has finally opened their first show at the new Art House! Noises Off was actually originally slated to be staged as the new facility's curtain raiser in May this year (and indeed, rehearsals commenced in March) but due to a delay in the building's completion, the production had to be pushed back six months. While this may have been inconvenient, it certainly didn't hurt to have the audience's anticipation heightened from a publicity perspective.

What’s Yours Is Mine

Devised & performed by Simone French, Tom Halls & Hayden Burke. Directed by Yvonne Virsik. Hotel Now. Poppy Seed Theatre Festival. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne CBD. 22 November – 4 December 2016.

Here is an ambitious show, jam-packed to bursting with satirical ideas about Australia, about land and ownership, about racism, Pauline Hansen, plastic, consumerism, sexism… 

Extremities

By William Mastrosimone. Mystique Productions and Tony Knight Acting. Directed by Tony Knight. Produced by Rachel Wegener. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. 23-26 November, 2016.

A man (Adam Tuominen as Raul) has arrived, unknown and uninvited, at the home that a woman (Rachel Wegener as Marjorie) shares with two female housemates (Nikki Elli Souvertjis as Terry, and Stefanie Rossi as Patricia), both of whom happen to be out…The man gradually turns threatening, with the woman doing her best to avert what she surely fears could happen – but when it does happen, the results will surprise you, and the moral dilemma that is generated brings home to us the awful truth about the violent nature of man and the legacy it sets in motion…Would we all be wil

Spiegel’esque - A Theatrical Cabaret Sensation

Presented by Vass Entertainment and Kermond Creative. Italian Forum Piazza, Leichhardt. November 25, 2016 to January 13, 2017.

This production might just be the theatrical incarnation of the proverb that good things come in small packages.

Squeezing into the gorgeous antique Spiegel Zelt, that we were told narrowly missed being pulverized by a bomb during World War Two, the expectation was for a small cast performing a cosy night of cabaret.

Kooza

Music: Clarence Ford. Choreographer: Martin Labrecque. Writer/Director: David Shiner Cirque du Soleil under the Grand Chapiteau, Airport Drive, Brisbane. 24 Nov 2016 - 8 Jan, 2017.

As a concept, Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza offers a show that is more along traditional circus lines, no animals of course (but it does have a performer in a cute dog suit), plenty of thrills, edge-of-your-seat tension, and just enough European whimsy to make it a worthy addition to their worldwide franchise. Created in 2007 by ex-clown David Shriner, Kooza mixes familiar genre tropes; acrobats, contortionists, aerialists, with a spectacular set, non-stop music, showgirl-glitz costumes, and risqué clowning. All of which makes it perfect family entertainment.

Noises Off

By Michael Frayn. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Cate Clelland. Theatre 3, Acton, Canberra ACT. Nov 17 – Dec 3, 2016

Noises Off is an amusing farce in the best British tradition. Doors open, get jammed shut, or hide suspicious persons. Plates of sardines come and go, and come back again. And this farce revolves around a hoary old farce “Nothing On”, presented by a tired British repertory company. No number of exclamations of “Sweet!” “Dear” and “Darling” can make up for the errors that come about from repertory members falling in love, battling alcohol, and dealing with a broken heart.

Mack and Mabel

Book by Michael Stewart. Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Working Management. Hayes Theatre Co. November 18 – December 18, 2016.

Musical Theatre tragics and fans (myself included) have been in love with the Broadway Cast recording of Mack and Mabel for more than 40 years. Its lush traditional Broadway score by Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles) is arguably the best ever written for a Broadway Musical flop.

The plot revolves around the relationship between early comedy film director Mack Sennett (Bathing Beauties, Keystone Kops) and his star Mabel Normand, and movie making in Hollywood’s silent era.

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