Reviews

Are You Kid-ing Me?

Written and directed by Keely Moloney. un/BALANCED Khaós. Fringe World. Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den, Brisbane Hotel, Beaufort St, Highgate, WA. Feb 1-5, 2020

In un/BALANCED Khaós’ Are You Kid-ing Me?, Hayden and Elliot decide to start up a company specialising in Children's entertainment. With assistance from a DJ with social issues and a handyman who may be moonlighting as a porn star, Hayden and Elliot hold auditions to find the perfect performers.

Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls

By Philip Dean. Gold Coast Little Theatre. 1st – 22nd February, 2020

First published in November 1996 this funny, yet poignant, play focuses on the unlikely developing relationship between two deserted wives - polar opposites - coming together through shared experiences and mutual needs in a small outback Australian town. 

Summer of the 17th Doll

By PO PO MO CO and Friends. A PO PO MO CO Presentation. Hares & Hyenas Bookshop, 163 Johnston Street, Fitzroy. 31 January – 1 February 2020

The Summer of the 17th Doll?  The 1955 Australian classic by Ray Lawler?  Well, not exactly.  Anyone familiar with the work of PO PO MO CO knows it couldn’t be. As they say in their publicity, they – and their friends – ‘take a meat cleaver’ to the play.

Swipe Right! The Musical

Written and directed by Maddi Byrne. Fringe World. Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den, Brisbane Hotel, Beaufort St, Highgate. Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2020

Swipe Right is billed as a “Musical…Almost” and, indeed, it is, with the music being the backbone of this fresh, funny new show. Maddi Byrne’s solo show is also very clever standup comedy, which had its audiences laughing heartily throughout.

Kiss

By Greg Lavell. Western Sky Projects. Fringe World. Directed by Joshua James Webb. The Studio, Subiaco Arts Centre, WA. Jan 29 - Feb 1, 2020

Western Sky Projects is a new company which aims to showcase home grown musical theatre shows and talent in Western Australia. Kiss is a World Premiere, with book and lyrics by Greg Lavell, featuring a local cast, which has played to sell-out houses during its short Fringe World run.

Amazing Grace, New York New York.

Produced and directed by Karen Jemison. Presented by Manilla Street Productions. The National Theatre, 20 Carlisle St, St. Kilda. 31 January - 2 February, 2020.

Amazing Grace returns after its premiere in 2018 with a brand-new show that includes a line-up of over forty calisthenic and musical performers as well as live music by the Amazing Grace orchestra. The selection of numbers is impeccable as is the quality of the performance. The show adopts a Busby Berkeley approach to the choreography which is married perfectly with the calisthenics. 

Outback Angels

By Yvette Wall. Off the Wall Productions. Fringe World. Directed by Scarlett Greenock. Townshend Theatre, Subiaco, WA. Jan 29 - Feb 2, 2020

Outback Angels, a really likeable little show by local author Yvette Wall, was first performed by Stirling Players in 2019, followed by a well-received performance at Youth Fest. It returns, with its original teenage cast, presented by Off the Wall Productions for Fringe World. It is good to see it shared with a larger and wider audience.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

By Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by Noah Smith. Castle Hill Players. The Pavilion Theatre Castle Hill. Jan 31 – Feb 22, 2020

Robert Louis Stevenson’s macabre novella about a dual personality, one good, one evil, was first published in early 1886. A year later the first adaptation for the stage opened in Boston. Many adaptations have followed, both on stage and screen. This adaptation by American playwright Noah Smith is a chilling science fiction thriller that demands meticulous direction, precision acting and accurate, split-second sound and lighting operation.

Post-Mortem

By Iskander R. Sharazuddin. Fringe World. The Blue Room Theatre, Main Space, James St, Perth. Jan 24-Feb 1, 2020

A post mortem is an analysis or discussion of an event - especially to determine why it is a failure.

Post-Mortem is a beautiful blend of physical theatre, dance and strong, well-written dialogue, which explores the relationship of young couple Nancy and Alex. This tight, beautifully choreographed and smoothly executed two-hander packs an emotional punch.

Mamma Mia!

Directed by Lindsay Nobile. Townsville Choral Society. Townsville Civic Theatre, Townsville, Queensland. 30 January to 8 February 2020.

I HAD not seen any productions of this 20-year old jukebox musical before this, but I can see exactly why it has lasted the distance to become the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history.

We live in such uncertain political times and, coupled with a country that is still reeling from the effects of the bushfires and a hesitant first anniversary of Townsville’s floods, Mamma Mia! provided the perfect recipe on a warm and humid tropical night in North Queensland.

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