Reviews

The Damsel in Shining Armour.

Written and performed by Sophie Walsh-Harrington. Directed by Tom Dickins. The Butterfly Club. Feb 17 - 20, 2011. Adelaide Fringe 2011, March 2 - 12. Return Melbourne seasons at La Mama: April 6 - 17 and at Butterfly Club: May 5 - 8.

Walk into the theatre and Sophie Walsh-Harrington is gagged, bound and struggling, wearing an entirely inappropriate blue evening dress. When everyone is seated she starts to sing, still gagged, drawing laughter from the audience.

The story: the worryingly neurotic Walsh-Harrington is on a search for love and melodrama. The man she has been dating announces he is returning to Europe — to rejoin the wife he hadn't mentioned.

Doctor Zhivago

Based on the novel by Boris Pasternak. Music by Lucy Simon. Book by Michael Weller. Lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers. Producer: John Frost & many others. Director: Des McAnuff. Set Designer: Michael Scott-Mitchell. Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper. Lyric Theatre, Star City, Sydney. Australian Premiere, February 19, 2011. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne from April 9.

Adapting Pasternak’s monumental Nobel Prize winning novel for the musical stage is a tough task. Operatic in its sweep of historic events, passionate in its psychological intensity, the book’s best known popular manifestation is David Lean’s 1965 movie adaptation with the luscious Julie Christie famously playing Lara, the doctor/poet’s muse.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

By William Shakespeare. Director: John Milson. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth (WA). Feb 4 - 19, 2011.

OK. Full disclosure here. I would turn up to watch Izaak Lim recite the phone book, so the opportunity to see him play one of the world's greatest roles, in one of Shakespeare's best drama, directed by perhaps Perth's finest director, had me very excited.

I was expecting an excellent show and I was not disappointed. Izaak was a brilliant Hamlet. Totally immersed, he delivered an intelligent performance that was both captivating and won audience empathy.

Don Parties On

By David Williamson. Sydney Theatre. February 17 – March 8, 2011.

It’s August 21st2010 and what a night it promises to be as old friends gather to watch Australia’s political players battle it out for dominance in latest federal election stoush.

Twenty years ago Don and Cath staged their last election party and much has changed since those heady days of 1969, where free love and political reform eventually gave way to conspicuous consumption, globalisation, AIDS and more recently issues such as climate change.

Look Back in Anger

By John Osborne. Director: Cara Irvine. Paris Hat Productions. Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre. February 17 – 26, 2011

Look Back in Anger’s wordy, literary script demands a lot – of the actors, but of the audience as well. There are so many interwoven themes, undercurrents and contradictions that I almost want to see the play again.

Motherhood: The Musical

Hit Productions. Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. February 16 – 27, then touring nationally.

Following on from the success of Menopause The Musical, Hit Productions takes a gruelling but charming look into the complexities of being a mother.  Appropriately titled Motherhood: the Musical, the audience is provided with four perspectives of parenting, by four principal characters.

Adelaide Fringe 2011

Paul Rodda, Nicole Russo, Kim Clayton, Daniel G. Taylor and David Grybowski with Adelaide Fringe Festival Reviews

Bec Hill Didnt Want To Play Your Stupid Game Anyway


Roly Poly Grandma Productions. Rhino Room - Mar 1 to 12

A well orchestrated set, but the laughs could have been thicker.

A Behanding in Spokane

By Martin McDonagh. Melbourne Theatre Company. Sumner Theatre. 5 February to 19 March.

The first night audience received A Behanding in Spokane, with enthusiasm - a funny, lively and unsettling contemporary ‘black revenge comedy’ or present-day (American) comedy of manners for four actors.

Good Grief.

Creative team: Rosina Gannon, Charlie Laidlaw & Greg Dyson. La Mama Courthouse Theatre. February 15 - February 27, 2011.

What's good about grief?

Usually we only miss something that we feel was worth having in the first place. In this memoir-on-stage, Rosina Gannon and Charlie Laidlaw share their memories of the mothers they lost — one to cancer and the other to a tumor.

In the Next Room, or the Vibrator play

By Sara Ruhl. Sydney Theatre Company / Melbourne Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. February 11 – April 2, then touring.

There’s medical malpractice on stage nightly at the Sydney Opera House, and audiences are laughing.

Inappropriate?

Looking back at late 19th century sexuality (and its repression), women’s rights (or, rather, the lack of them), and the inequality of male / female relationships, through early 21st century eyes, audiences can laugh knowingly, from our comfortable distance.

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