Reviews

All My Sons

By Arthur Miller. National Theatre Live. The Old Vic and Headlong. Cinema Nova. 15 – 19 June 2019. And at other participating venues.

In this intimate, beautifully acted production, Arthur Miller tells his story of 1947 America through a mid-Western family, the Kellers, and their neighbours.  Set two years after the end of WWII, it tells of individualism versus community, of the ruthless ethos of ‘winning and ‘success’ at any cost, of idealism versus hard-headed pragmatism, of the big lie in plain sight and of the rationale of the of ‘family’.  You might go to see this because it’s a venerable if ‘old’ play, or because it stars Sally Field, Bill Pullman and Jenna C

The House is Live

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Thebarton Theatre. Friday 7 June, 2019

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2019 kicked off with a ‘gala’ event entitled The House is Live, directed by Craig Ilott. The highlights of this ‘gala’ were truly magnificent but not all was well.

Shadowlands

By William Nicholson. Directed by Helen Ekundayo. Presented by Villanova Players. The Ron Hurley Theatre. 8 - 23 June, 2019

This philosophical work covers a short span in the life of author and theologian C.S. Lewis. Set in 1950s Oxford, we see the conservative and chaste Christian man Lewis’ unlikely romance with an American Jewish divorcee and fellow writer, Joy Davidman. They have a keen, intellectual bond, but set-in-his-ways bachelor Lewis is too inexperienced with the fairer sex to take the relationship past friendship.

Drive

By Rebecca Meston. Theatre Works, St Kilda (VIC). 6 – 15 June 2019

Based on the true story, so the program tells us, of ex-astronaut Lisa Nowak who drove fourteen hours non-stop from Houston, Texas, to Orlando, Florida, to confront – or kill? – her ex-husband’s lover.  In the car’s back seat, she carried equipment for disguise, kidnap and murder.

Away

By Michael Gow. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport. Director: Stuart Lumsden. June 8th – 29th, 2019

This production of Michael Gow’s play is also Stuart’s thesis project for his Master of Applied Theatre Studies.

The interesting story line features three internally conflicted families: one with a dominating, opinionated mother, hen-pecked father and daughter who wants to be a normal teenager; the second, British immigrants devoted to each other with a teenage son who has a terminal illness and the third, a dysfunctional couple dealing with the death of their son in Vietnam.

Ute Lemper – Rendezvous with Marlene

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide. 8 June 2019

Ute Lemper was just 24, dubbed la nouvelle Marlene by the Parisian press; the original Marlene was 87, living out her last years in the French capital. Ute wrote her a letter and expecting nothing back, was surprised and suspicious when told Marlene had replied. Later that night, the old and the new talked on the telephone for three hours, the original Marlene sharing her love of poetry, of music and movies, of her lost homeland and stories of her lovers, both men and women.

Mutating Roots

Created by Mayu Muto and Celia White. Presented by Gush in partnership with Vulcana Women’s Circus. Brisbane Powerhouse Stores. 8 – 9 June 2019.

When you look at a modern, young woman, what do you see? What are your preconceptions? What added biases do you hold when the young woman is a Japanese Australian?

The Swell Mob

Flabbergast Theatre. Artspace. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. 8-22 June 2019

My expectations of this piece of immersive theatre were high, as its reputation for being a ‘masterpiece’ and the promise of ‘transporting’ me preceded its showing. It is sold as a clever mix of physical theatre, puppetry, clowning and character acting.

The Swell Mob is the brainchild of Flabbergast Theatre which first emerged at the Edinburgh Fringe. It is directed by Henry Maynard, who himself is part of the acting troupe.

Soulful Journeys

Spititus – Skipworth; Nocturnes – Debussy; Concerto in B minor for Cello & Orch, Op.104 – Dvorak. Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Daniel Blendulf: Conductor. Pablo Ferrandez: Cello. Canticum Chamber Choir: Chorus. Concert Hall, QPAC. 8 June 2019

A cold and rainy night didn’t deter concertgoers from attending QSO’s Soulful Journeys and the chance to hear acclaimed 28-year-old Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrandez performing Dvorak’s supreme Concerto in B minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op.104. It was the second time the esteemed Ferrandez has appeared with the QSO. He played his Australian debut with them in 2017.

Annie

Music: Charles Strouse. Lyrics: Martin Charnin. Book: Thomas Meehan. Queensland Musical Theatre. Director: Deian Ping. Musical Director: Trenton Dunstan. Choreographer: Julianne Burke. Schonell Theatre, St Lucia,5-9 June 2019

Kids, a dog, and toe-tapping songs. What more can you ask of a musical? Annie ticks all the right boxes and this production did it proud.

The chorus of kids were great, Jade Kelly as Annie had the voice of a pro and belted her songs to the rafters, and you couldn’t wish for a kinder and more solidly appealing Daddy Warbucks as played by Nathaniel Currie. They were the heart and soul of the show.

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