Reviews

Passionate Machine

Written & performed by Rosy Carrick. Melbourne Fringe Festival. The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne. 16 – 22 September 2019

This dazzling show is about time travel – and other things.  If time travel makes you think of the Terminator and Back to the Future movies, Rosy Carrick makes reference to both; they’re an inspiration for her.  But only one aspect or one persona of Rosy Carrick is a pop culture nerd; she’s also a PhD who did her thesis on Russian revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky – and has edited and co-translated a selection of his poetry, Volodya (2015) and his epic poem Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (2017) and published

Maskerade

By Terry Pratchett, adapted by Stephen Baiggs. Directed by Steve Beeston. Brisbane Arts Theatre, September 14 – October 12, 2019.

Once more we venture in to Discworld, where the abnormal becomes the norm. All is not well in Ankh – Morpork Opera House - as a ghost stalks the corridors while leaving strange letters for the management and killing staff. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Org, two Lancre witches, come to investigate. That is only one step on a complicated journey through the extremes of Terry Pratchett’s writing, with an opera house and company as the linchpin for the action. Thus, there are the dancers and singers to flavour the happenings. This adaption works well.

Celebration

By Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall. Stirling Players Inc (SA). Stirling Community Theatre. 13-28 September, 2019.

Weddings and funerals have each provided extremely fertile ground for storytellers and dramatists down through the ages, owing to the propensity of these occasions for bringing together people with deep emotional connections to each other, then letting us see how those connections are tested and how those emotions are stirred.

Mamma Mia!

Music & Lyrics: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus. Additional songs by Stig Anderson. Book: Catherine Johnson. Ipswich Musical Theatre Company. Direction: Robbie Parkin. Music Director: Matthew Rofe. Choreographer: Simon Lind. Ipswich Civic Centre, Ipswich, Qld. 13-22 September 2019

Ipswich Musical Theatre did Mamma Mia! proud. The first community company in Queensland, to present the worldwide behemoth, the mix of ABBA tunes and a ‘paternity whodunit’ plot was irresistible to the mainly female audience. Opening in London in 1999 this jukebox musical spearheaded the era of female empowerment musicals (Wicked/Legally Blonde) and twenty years later still seems as fresh as new paint thanks to Robbie Parkin’s acute production and a youthful cast with buckets of energy.

My Fair Lady

Music: Frederick Loewe. Book & Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Toowoomba Choral Society. Director: Kate Peters. Musical Director: Nick Williams. Choreographer: Lucy Panitz. Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, Qld. 13-15 September 2019

Toowoomba Choral Society’s production of My Fair Lady proved why the musical is regarded as one of the best, if not the best, musical ever written. Director Kate Peters, on a sabbatical from her Gold Coast domain, knows her musical theatre, and this production was first class all the way. Great performances from a top notch cast meant that Lerner and Loewe’s masterpiece crackled with wit, captivated with melody, and blossomed, like the flowers in Eliza’s basket, into radiant joy.

Irish Theatre Players One Act Season

By Sean Byrne, Therese Edmonds and Harry Davies. Directed by Dale James, Paul Taylor-Byrne and Aiden Murphy. The Irish Club, Townshend Rd, Subiaco, WA. Sep 11-15, 2019

The Irish Theatre Players have returned to their original home, the Irish Club of WA, for their latest season, a series of short plays. Renowned for their excellent hospitality and wonderful suppers or afternoon teas, the original venue allows ITP to continue this loved and warm tradition.

The Full Monty

Music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Terrence McNally. Theatre & Company. Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres Parramatta. September 14 – 21, 2019.

Theatre & Company's current production of the hilarious and risqué musical of The Full Monty, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Terrence McNally, was a very enjoyable night, full of high-quality performances and directional choices.

A group of long-term unemployed men from Buffalo N.Y. get together to put on a “one night only” strip performance. They go the “Full Monty” to make a motser and earn some respect from the community and some of their partners.

Heathers The Musical

By Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy. Segue Productions. Goodwood Institute (SA). September 12 – 21, 2019

It was a pleasure to attend Heathers The Musical on a sold-out Saturday night amongst the faded elegance of Goodwood Institute.  Presented by Segue Productions Heathers does not disappoint, as evidenced by the cheering fans at curtain call.

Batmania Bus Tour

Melbourne Fringe / The Very Good Looking Initiative / Theatre Works. September 11 – 21, 2019.

When Melbourne was a new settlement it was named Batmania (1835 -1837), after one of its founders, John Batman. At this year’s Fringe Festival, supported by Theatreworks, the collective team at The Very Good Initiative have developed two separate events under the banner of “Batmania” - an Expo ‘19 and a Bus Tour.

The Real Thing

By Tom Stoppard. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. September 9 – October 26, 2019.

The Real Thing was a big hit in 1982.  Britain’s Tom Stoppard was applauded for embracing the theme of heart-felt love and fidelity, and breaking from his earlier, drier plays crackling with nihilistic philosophising.

As Stoppard liked to re-quote, “I’m a man of no convictions – at least I think I am.”

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