Julius Caesar

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. Directed by James Evans. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth. 8-11 August 2018

Bell Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar touched down in Perth, a month into its Australian tour which concludes in Sydney in November. A modern dress production, simply staged, it is very much focused on the language, fascinating characters and Shakespeare’s exploration of leadership.

Oil Babies

Written and directed by Petra Kalive. Presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy & Lab Kelpie. Main Hall, Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St. 8 -18 August, 2018.

Oil Babies articulates the anxieties around environmental issues and transforms them into a complex and rich text framed by a highly visual and visceral theatrical experience. The dystopian tone of the set design is echoed through the dialogue between the protagonists. The desire to have a child is tempered by a range of mixed feelings and attitudes related to the physical state of the earth and the moral, philosophical and psychological consequences for those who rely on the planet for safe dwelling.

Chasing Smoke

Casus Circus and Circus Oz BLAKflip. Directed by Natano Fa’anana. Performed by Jack Sheppard, Dylan Singh, Harley Mann, Ally Humphries, Lara Croydon, Pearl Tia Pearce-Thompson. Darwin Festival 2018. Darwin Entertainment Centre. 10 -12 August, 2018.

Born out of Circus Oz’s BLAKflip, a program that nurtures and actively increases the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander circus artists on stages in Australia and across the globe, Chasing Smoke is Australia’s first all-First Nations contemporary circus show. And as Samoan-Australian director Natano Fa’anana writes, this fact is “… both a travesty and a celebration. The travesty being that it’s taken so long. The celebration – we finally have one.

Generation Jeans

By Nicolai Khalezin with the participation of Natalia Kaliada. Belarus Free Theatre. Directed and Performed by Nicolai Khalezin. Music by Lavr Berzhanin (DJ Laurel). A Malthouse Theatre and Monash Academy of Performing Arts production. Alexander Theatre – Monash University, 6 – 8 August and Malthouse Theatre, 9 – 18 August 2018.

With an excellent sense of irony and humour, in an open crisp grounded manner, Nacolai Khalezin tells us his story.  The choice of words and Khalezin’s native tongue evoke strong imagery.  Translation is sur-titled with enough time to read, whilst attaining adequate glimpses of the performer, to become entranced by the authenticity of his narrative and presentation. 

Hallowed Ground – Woman Doctors In War

By Carolyn Bock and Helen Hopkins. The Shift Theatre. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton, Vic. August 8 – 19, 2018

History cannot be repeated!

Hallowed Ground - Woman Doctors In War chronologically shifts to and fro through a century of wars, with vivid and strong accounts of Australian medical women who have worked in the armed forces.

Carolyn Bock and Helen Hopkins from The Shift Theatre - writers and two of the four performers - have recreated an explorative meshing of female characters that project an ongoing concern over the male dominated hierarchical divisions in the military/medical establishment. The actors give powerful and honest performances.

Der Rosenkavalier

By Richard Strauss. Melbourne Opera. Director: Tama Matheson. Musical Director: Dr David Kram. Venue: Athenaeum Theatre. August 9 – 17, 2018.

Der Rosenkavalier is an opera of almost Wagnerian proportions. At just over four hours it was a long night, but the music was sublime.

Nell Gwynn

By Jessica Swale. New Theatre, Newtown (NSW). Aug 7 – Sep 8, 2018

Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn has the sort of knockabout, physical style you’d expect to see in Shakespeare’s Globe – it’s where this London hit began a few years ago.  

It’s a witty and bawdy travel through Restoration England when women were finally allowed on the stages and the Merry Monarch was chasing the best of them. 

Writer’s Block

By Kellie Silver. Tugun Theatre Company, Gold Coast. Director: David Fraser. 9th - 25th August, 2018.

Kellie Silver is a Gold Coast playwright who first presented this play as a ‘one act’ piece and then developed it into the full length version. This is its second outing on the coast. I have been fortunate to see the metamorphosis of all three productions. 

(Not) The Last Night Of The Proms

Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Alondra de la Parra. Piano: Joge Viladoms. Didjeridu: William Barton. Brisbane Chorale and Students from Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Concert Hall, QPAC. 9 August 2018

This exciting and eclectic concert was not only a celebration of Empire, but also America and Australia, with Australia well represented by five works including one world premiere.

Not The Messiah [He’s A Very Naughty Boy]

By Eric Idle and John Duprez. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. 3-18 August, 2018.

This is the Queensland Premiere of Monty Python’s comic oratorio, based on the Life Of Brian, and for Monty Python devotees and it’s one not to be missed!

The creative team of Director Tony Alcock, Musical Director Matt Pearson and Choreographer Erin Brummage has obviously had a ball preparing this production with an on-stage orchestra of over thirty musicians and nearly as many singers.

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