Reviews

First Date: The Musical

Book by Austin Winsberg. Music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. Footlights Theatrical. Reload Espresso Bar, Salisbury, QLD. April 12 – 14, 2019

When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds that they are not alone on this unpredictable evening. In a delightful and unexpected twist, Casey and Aaron’s inner critics take on a life of their own when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines.

Neon

Circus Oz. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Melba Spiegeltent, Collingwood. April 12 – 20, 2019

There is a lot to be said about fashion and eighties pop songs, but who wants to sit around and chew on about a retro decade when you can saturate your senses at NEON, a great cabaret and Circus OZ rock show directed by Malia Walsh, currently in the Melba Spiegeltent, as part of the Melbourne Comedy festival.

Chamber Pot Opera

Created by Keiren Brandt-Sawdy, Thomas De Angelis and Clemence Williams. Directed by Clemence Williams. Playhouse Bathroom, Sydney Opera House. April 11-28, 2019

While seated in the Ladies' Loo, hugged gently on either side by rows of lavvies, staring at the assemblage of sinks and mirrors before me, anticipating what was about to emerge (theatrically) from within this limited space, I couldn't help but be reminded of the famous TV trope known as The Bottle Episode. A bottle episode is usually set in a single location, with a single premise.

Mosquitoes

By Lucy Kirkwood. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. April 8 – 18, 2019.

Lucy Kirkwood uses Mosquitoes to bridge the gap between science and the general public by creating a piece of theatre that compares the patterns of colliding particles with the chaos of family relationships. Both are hard to predict; both are hard to understand; both are hard to explain.

The Tragedy of King Richard The Second

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Joe-Hill Gibbins. Presented by Sharmill Films, National Theatre Live, Nova Cinema, Lygon Street, Carlton, and cinemas nationally. Limited season from 20 April, 2019.

The political intrigue in this play could easily mirror many of the bizarre political landscapes that are plaguing western democracies nowadays. This attests to the genius and universality of the themes, plots and characters that Shakespeare explores. However, this is no ordinary version of the play. It is bold, daring, extremely striking in its visuals and highly innovative in its use of space. The stage is a cold, claustrophobic place where the characters are unable to escape the numerous sinister deeds that culminate in disaster.

Circus of the Senses

By Jamee Campbell and the Circa Zoo Ensemble. Ron Hurley Theatre, Seven Hills Hub, 28 Tallowwood St, Seven Hills (Qld). April 13-15, 2019

There is a wonderful balance to Circa’s youth ensemble, Circa Zoo, that goes beyond the physical acrobatics of the show they are presenting to celebrate Queensland Youth Week in Brisbane.

On a practical level, the team of 10, aged from 11 to 17, are showcasing their talents through a series of choreographed segments, from tumbles, hula-hoops, and aerial silks, to rope work, human obstacle courses, contortion, and human pyramids.

Fantastic Mr Fox

Adaptation: Nick Skubij. Based on the book by Roald Dahl. Director: Ross Balbuziente. Choreography: Andrea Arena. Shake & Stir Theatre Company and QPAC. Playhouse, QPAC. 13-20 April 2019.

For the third time Shake & Stir have raided the library of Roald Dahl and come up with the most clever, imaginative, and eye-popping adaptation of his 1970 children’s book Fantastic Mr Fox. Written for a company of six who comically play multiple roles, the stars of the production are Jon Weber’s cartoon drawings, and Craig Wilkinson’s video projection of them, played out on Josh McIntosh’s triple ramp set.

Great Expatations

By John Green & Rakhesh Martyn. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, Melbourne. 8-21 April, 2019.

Great Expatations is a show designed to share expat experiences and the sometimes-absurd nature of operating in a new culture. Both performers have very different intercultural experiences and are from very different racial and cultural backgrounds which provides a good breadth of material for this stand-up comedy routine.

Round and Round the Garden

By Alan Ayckbourn, from The Norman Conquests. Noarlunga Theatre Company (SA). April 12-14, 2019

An open curtain reveals the backyard of a Victorian country home. Director and set designer Bronwyn Calvett has captured the English charm perfectly with the garden, leaving enough space for the cast to move about.

Cosi

By Louis Nowra. Malanda Theatre Company (Qld). Directed by Jean Newman. 22 31 March 2019

Malanda Theatre Company's production of Cosi is about as professional a performance as you could get. Set in a 1970s Melbourne mental asylum, the play revolves around Lewis, a young inexperienced theatre director. Lewis is given the job of directing a motley band of inmates in Mozart's opera Cosi Fan Tutte. The comedy has crazy moments as well as some very serious ones. Issues like the Vietnam War and relationships play a big part in some of the character interactions.

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