Reviews

Seraphim Trio and Martin Alexander

ANAM Artists. Independent Theatre North Sydney. 24th November, 2019

If seraphim are ‘six winged angels’ with “a fiery passion for doing God's good work” (Isiah, Chapter 6), then this trio plus one is aptly named. Anna Goldsworthy (piano), Helen Ayres (violin) and Timothy Nankervis (cello) and Martin Alexander (viola) – are certainly ‘musical angels’ with a fiery passion for what they do! And their work? Taking beautiful music around the country as representatives of the Australian National Academy of Music Artists (ANAM).

Blithe Spirit

By Noël Coward. Directed by Trevor Bond. St Luke’s Theatre Society (Qld). St Luke’s Theatre. 15 – 23 November, 2019

St Luke’s production of Coward’s otherworldly comedy is amusing audiences this November with its wit, twists and ghostly apparitions. Director Trevor Bond has assembled a talented cast and crew for what is the final production for the foreseeable future in St Luke’s Ekbin Road Theatre. It’s not all bad news, as the community theatre group, run entirely for charity, has found a temporary home in a neighbouring suburb for their 2020 season after which they hope to return to a newly renovated Ekbin Road space.

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks

By Richard Alfieri. Melville Theatre Company. Directed by Geoffrey Leeder. Melville Theatre, WA, Nov 22 - Dec 7, 2019

Melville Theatre Company's WA premiere of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks is a vibrant, tender and beautifully acted production, delighting its capacity audiences.

This story of an elderly widow who engages a gay man to teach her ballroom dancing features two rather cantankerous, flawed characters, who, in the hands of very gifted actors, we come to like very much, as we witness a change in their relationship to one of affection, understanding and love.

Aladdin

By Joshua Dixon. Tea Tree Players (SA). The Tea Tree Players Theatre. 22-30 November 2019

The Tea Tree Players production of Joshua Dixon’s Aladdin is an absolute delight. It contains virtually every wonderful attribute of classic ‘pantomime’ in the theatrical English-Australian tradition of the Music Hall. With notable exceptions it follows the usual plot of Aladdin, an ‘oriental’ ‘rags-to-riches’ tale.

People Suck

By Megan Phillips and Peter Cavell. Salty Theatre. Theatre Works (Vic). November 20 – 30, 2019

People Suck is an in-your-face indie “musical airing of grievances”. It is written by a Canadian team Megan Phillips and Peter Cavell (winners of the Best Toronto Fringe) and brought to Australian audiences by the Melbourne based Salty Theatre company.

Stones in their Pockets

The words of Virginia Woolf and Emily Dickinson Explored in Song. Catriona Barr, Mezzo-Soprano and Thomas Webb, Piano. Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, music composed by Aaron Copland. From the Diary of Virginia Woolf, music composed by Dominick Argento. State Opera South Australia Studio. November 23, 2019.

Stones in their Pockets is the result of a meeting between two talented and highly professional performers, set up by Judith Barr, and with the offer of a venue by Stuart Maunder.

The poems and diary extracts were printed in full in the Stones in their Pockets program and this offered the audience a chance to tune in more fully to Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf’s thoughts and writing. This meeting turned into an opportunity for us all to enjoy Barr’s beautiful voice and appreciate Webb’s skill as a pianist and accompanist.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

By Martin McDonagh. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. Nov 18 – Dec 21, 2019

Rebel Wilson was to play the lead in this STC revival of Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy – the play was Wilson’s choice – before she pulled out mid-year and went to greener pastures.

Yael Stone instead plays Maureen, 40 years old, stranded in a remote bog Irish hovel as the reluctant carer of her irascible mother, Mag (Noni Hazlehurst).  

Rock of Ages

By Chris D’Ararienzo and Nathan Popp. Directed by Kathleen Del Casale and Ashlee Torrens. Limelight Theatre, Wanneroo WA. Nov 21 - Dec 7, 2019

Rock of Ages is a high energy production, with an enthusiastic young cast, that highlights some emerging talent. Lots of new faces on the production team, with director Kathleen De Casale directing her first musical, and co-director Ashlee Torrens directing her very first show. Musical director Vlad Sturdy makes an impressive debut. Co-choreographer Breht Wilson is also choreographing for the first time

Packer & Sons

By Tommy Murphy. Belvoir Street Theatre. Nov 16 – Dec 22, 2019

Quoting Tommy Murphy’s early big hit, there’s no holding the man in this new play about four generations of Packer men.

These big blunt bullies dismiss their sons as competitors, and weak to boot, they’re fathers whose cold hearts all fail to get them past their 60s, but have carved newspaper, magazine, television and now gambling empires out of Sydney.

The Graduate

Adapted by Terry Johnson. Mount Players (Vic). Mountview Theatre, Macedon. November 1 – 23 2019

The Graduate is a fun, well-paced offering by Mount Players.  As expected, it shines a bright light on the social mores of the 1960s.  And yes, the auditorium was filled with grey haired patrons, many of whom are doubtless old enough to remember the hubbub caused by the release of the film.  In fact it takes us well and truly back into the era.

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