Reviews

Kinky Boots

Book Harvey Fierstein, Music: Cyndi Lauper. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. Director: Katie Grace. November 1 – 23, 2019

Kinky Boots! The title tells the tale! This Gold Coast production of the Fierstein/Lauper Broadway hit was a winner with the audience from the start. Lola and her Angels strutted their stuff to the delight of the full house. Many of the audience were so taken in by these guys that they couldn’t believe that they were not real Drag Queens but mere community theatre devotees!

Hedda GablerGablerGabler

Conceived and directed by Mary Angley. Co-created and performed by Caithlin O’Loghlen, Emma Jevons and Sarah-Jayde Tracey. Victorian College of the Arts 2019, Master of Directing For Performance Graduate Season. Grant Street Theatre. October 11 to 13, 2019

Wow Hedda GablerGablerGabler is a great little show that frankly opens up the text of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler for illuminating exploration.  And most particularly, it does this through the prism of a young woman/women’s sensibility.  It is vital and enlightening as to contemporary perceptions of this classic.

Written in 1890, Hedda Gabler is a play that has a long and lustrous history – a classic that has stood up to close examination through restaging after restaging.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by William Shakespeare. Directed by Nicholas Hytner. Bridge Theatre, National Theatre Live. Cinema Nova & participating cinemas 9 - 17 November 2019

Here is a boisterous, fast, romantic, ad-libbing, slapstick-funny production of Shakespeare’s malleable play.  Like all great comedies, there is more to it than comedy.  Director Nicholas Hytner freely admits the ‘influence’ of Peter Brook’s famous production of the Dream he saw in 1970, and the much more recent A Handmaid’s Tale - the first in irreverent  style, the second in sexual politics - and reflected in Christina Cunningham’s austere costumes.  Mr Hytner strips out the seats from the very adaptable Bridge Thea

The Man Who Was Peter Pan

By Allan Knee. Directed by Sarah Christiner. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. Nov 1-16, 2019

The Australian premiere of The Man Who Was Peter Pan is playing at South Perth’s Old Mill Theatre. This play, which inspired the film Finding Neverland and the musical of the same name, is an artistic retelling of the life of J. M. Barrie and his real life muses and later wards, the Llewelyn Davies boys, who, with Barrie himself are the inspiration for Barrie’s most famous work, Peter Pan.

That Time Everything Went Well And We Were Totally Fine.

Written and performed by Belinda Campbell and Jennifer Piper. Produced by Wit Incorporated. Bluestone Church Arts Space, Footscray. 1-16 November, 2019.

This sketch comedy show has both whimsical and existential qualities. Gerry (Belinda Campbell) and Frankie (Jennifer Piper) are two close friends who are perpetually trapped by their own indecision, fuelled by fear and anxiety. Their limbo existence on a railway platform, aptly named Panic station, is interjected with comedy sketches that parody elements of society that are merely trying to mask the crippling realities that some people must endure, which can lead to mental ill-health.

One for the Pot

By Ray Cooney. Therry Dramatic Society Inc. Arts Theatre, Angas St Adelaide. October 31- November 9, 2019

A rather blustery and wet night swept me to the Arts Theatre in Angas St to see Therry Dramatic Society’s One for the Pot, but somewhat damp and dishevelled spirits were soon lifted by this joyfully silly play.

Like all farces, One for the Pot has a simple plot and the mandatory slamming doors, absolute mayhem, mistaken identities and all-round fun.

Outwitting the Devil

Akram Khan Company. OzAsia Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. November 1-2, 2019

It takes courage, sensitivity and empathy to delve into tragic tales of the past and endeavor to give them a voice again. Akram Khan has a reputation for provocative choreography that pushes the boundaries of not only endurance, but the human spirit. His latest work, Outwitting the Devil is inspired by a fragment of the 12 broken clay tablets, which together make up one of the world’s oldest works of literature, the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh.

Cephalopod

By Jess Nyanda Moyle. Directed by Joe Lui. The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, WA. 29 Oct -16 Nov, 2019.

Cephalopods are a class of highly advanced marine animals with tentacles, including octopi, molluscs and squid. Very different to most animals, they are sometimes suggested to be alien in origin.

Since Ali Died

OzAsia Festival. Space Theatre, Adelaide. 1-2 November 2019.

On an empty stage devoid of set and props Omar Musa cuts a lonely figure as he uses the death of his hero Muhammed Ali as an entrée to an hour of storytelling, poetry and rapping.

Musa interweaves sleek threads to create a rich tapestry of stories about life growing up in a country town. Water flows through the piece in the same way that the river runs through Queanbeyan, where Musa grew up.

Writer’s Block

Written by Kellie Silver. Directed by Shane Webb. Presented by Mates Theatre Genesis. Birkdale School of Arts Hall. 18 October – 2 November, 2019

So often comedic plays fail to elicit more than the occasional, ‘Heh’, so it’s a great treat to attend a production in which there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Kellie Silver’s hilarious home-grown play has been served very well by director Shane Webb for community theatre group, Mates Theatre Genesis. Shane has encouraged confident comedic performances from his cast; the witty dialogue supported by fun sight gags such as humorous Brechtian touches woven into the props.

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