Reviews

Disney in Drag - Once Upon A Parody

Fringe World. Auditorium 6, Palace Cinemas, Raine Square, Perth, WA. Feb 7-15, 2020

Disney in Drag - Once Upon A Parody has had a sell-out season for Fringe World, and promises that it will have more happy endings soon. Definitely not authorised by the Disney corporation, this is a wild ride of a show, that is one of the oddest homages to the Disney World you are ever likely to see.

A Very, Very Good Variety Show

Fringe World. Directed by Jess Herbert. The Edith Spiegeltent, Yagan Square, Perth WA. Feb 11-16, 2020

A Very, Very Good Variety Show is exactly what it claims to be, and is, indeed, a very, very good variety show. Proving very popular and rapturously received by a very full, very excited audience, this Perth Cabaret Collective show is a delight.

Forbidden Broadway – Greatest Hits Volume 1

Created & Written by Gerard Alessandrini. Casa Mia Productions. Director/Musical Director: Sean Fagan. Choreographer: Lynette Wockner. Casa Mia Restaurant, Ipswich, Qld. 14-15 February, 2020

Forbidden Broadway was a bright, peppery show that skewered all things Broadway. Originally created as far back as 1982, Gerard Alessandrini has successfully updated the format during the seasons since, sending up Broadway and its divas in biting, but never malicious, satire. This collection which Casa Mia presented is really a ‘Best of’ with some items hitting their target with a bulls-eye.

Happily Ever Poofter

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. The Bally at Gluttony. February 14 - March 1 2020

It is interesting that while Disney movies and animated features don’t really feature any explicitly queer characters, their subject matter tends to play to queer sensibilities.

A row has broken out on social media after reports that Jack Whitehall will play the first major openly gay character in a Disney film.  “He is playing a gay man – one who is hugely effete, very camp and very funny” (The Sun, UK).

Tim Ferguson - A Fast Life on Wheels

Adelaide Fringe. The Box. Garden of Unearthly Delights. 14-23 February, 2020

Having followed the exploits of Tim Ferguson for many years it was my pleasure to assist backstage fifteen years ago on an Adelaide performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in which Tim vivaciously played ‘Pharaoh’. As this was an MS Society fundraiser, I pondered at the time, why he had chosen to take this role. It soon became very evident as we learned that he had been affected by this insidious disability.

Showstopper: An Interactive Murder Mystery

Written and directed by Rachel Keys and Kier Shoosmith. Back Door Productions. Fringe World. Connections Nightclub, James St, Northbridge, WA. Feb 12-15, 2020

Set in the nightclub Buenos Tiempos, we witness the lead-up to the show and the first part of the performance for the evening. When star of the show Scarlet Serenade dies in mysterious circumstances, the audience split into teams to search for clues, interrogate suspects and solve the mystery.

The poor victim, Scarlet Serenade, is nicely played by Jocelyn Campbell, and although we don’t spend a great deal of time with Scarlett, we do get to see her perform.

Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Holden Street Theatres. February 11 - March 15, 2020

Presented by UK improv and performance artists Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit, Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats harnesses sharp-edged political sassiness with irreverent humour to create 90 minutes of compelling, engaging, intriguing and confronting theatre.

Emerald City

By David Williamson. Queensland Theatre. Director: Sam Strong. Playhouse, QPAC. 8-29 February 2020

Queensland Theatre’s first production for 2020 celebrates 50 years of seasons for the company, and also 50 years of plays by Australia’s greatest living playwright David Williamson.

Emerald City is one of Williamson’s most successful plays. Premiering in 1987, it was a rip-roaring satire on the Melbourne and Sydney arts rivalry and the film and television industries.

Aurelia

By Robert Thomas. Tugun Theatre Company, Gold Coast. Director: Darren Campbell. February 13th to 29th, 2020

Set in a ‘well-to-do’ home in a small English village, Aurelia has more twists than Chubby Checker!

Aurelia (Gai Byrne) and her husband (Jon Turley) are out to swindle the elderly Lady Chalmont (Tracy Carroll) of all her worldly possessions – including her life. Caught up along the way are innocent bystanders: the maid, Vera (Maria Thompson) and a dear neighbour, Isabel (Rianna Hartley-Smith). Enter the unsavoury Mercer (Noel Thompson) menacing everyone in sight and you have the makings of an entertaining drama!

The Campaign

By Campion Decent. White Box Theatre. 2020 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival. Seymour Centre, Chippendale. February 11 – 28, 2020

The arrest in 1988 of 100 gay rights protesters at Hobart’s Salamanca markets was

a touchstone not unlike the Mardi Gras arrests in Sydney a decade earlier.

Campaign Decent’s largely verbatim, thoroughly researched play charts the surprisingly complex strategy of activism and brave confrontation which lead to Tasmania’s gay law reform a full nine years later.  Until 1997, gay sex could get you imprisoned for 21 years. 

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