Reviews

Black and White

By Eilannin Dhu. Directed by Dannielle Ashton. Subiaco Arts Centre, Western Australia. November 20 and 21, 2010

The Last Days

By Manuel Casha. Strathmore Theatrical Arts Group. Director: Mel de Bono. Nov 18 – 27, 2010.

S.T.A.G. supports new playwrights, giving them an opportunity to see their plays performed and maybe gauge the success or otherwise as to the presentation.

Not In A Million Years

Force Majeure. CarriageWorks (NSW). Nov 18 – 27, 2010.

10 years in a coma, trapped in a mine for two weeks, propelled to the edge of the stratosphere, falling 33,000 feet from an aircraft, beating a world record by 50 times over, winning $70 million or walking on a wire cable across to the North Tower of the World Trade Centre - Not In A Million Years showcases seven phenomenal true stories, some of which audiences will be familiar with and others they will learn of through this performance.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical

By David Nehls and Betsy Kelso. Director: Jay James-Moody. Musical Director: Chris King. Choreographer: Simone Sallé. New Theatre (NSW). Nov 18 – Dec 18, 2010.

New Theatre has come up with an aptly silly, bright piece of musical comedy fun for the ‘silly season.’

Lively, somewhat risqué small-scale American musical The Great American Trailer Park Musical is playing its Sydney premiere at New Theatre.

La Rondine

By Giacomo Puccini. Melbourne City Opera. BMW Edge. Director: Joseph Talia. Musical Director: Gaetano Colajanni. November 6 – 13, 2010.

Melbourne City Opera continue to bring the lesser known Italian operas to the Melbourne community. La Rondine was Puccini’s attempt at an operetta and was not particularly successful. The opera is only known for one aria, actually a duet, but I found the rest of the opera very approachable with the usual Puccini sweep in the music.

Duets For Lovers and Dreamers.

Written by Sandra Fiona Long. Directed by Naomi Steinborner. fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 19 November to 5 December, 2010.

In lesser hands, a series of duets would be all dialogue.

Sandra Fiona Long shows that so much more can be done. The first scene "Nana in a Knapsack" teaches the audience to expect the unexpected. Both characters are present, but not in a way they can interact.

The next scene shakes the sombre mood of the first. "The Storm" sees Phillip McInnes narrate while jock-twink Matt Cornell illustrates the words with his shirtless dancing —that in itself is always unexpected, but always apt.

Almost, Maine

By John Cariani. 1812 Theatre (Vic). Director: Helen Ellis. Nov 11 – Dec 11, 2010.

As one of the characters in the play Almost, Maine says, “we got together to start a town but did not get any further so it’s almost a town.”

Almost, Maineis a story of people in Almost, a town in the state of Maine, U.S.A.

This series of vignettes, dealing with couples and their feelings for each other, is set in a U.S. winter. The sacrifices the artists made for their art are to be commended, considering that opening night was between 25 and 30 centigrade, and the audience were in light clothes and short sleeves.

Irony is not Enough: Essay on My Life as Catherine Deneuve

Fragment31. Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. Until 20 November, 2010.

Without context, this play is senseless.

So let me give some. Performance collective Fragment31 wanted to translate Anne Carson's essay —that lent its title to this performance piece —into something you can see, smell and hear on stage.

To quote the program: "The fragmentary process of film strongly parallels the structural fragmentation of the writing. It does not follow a single narrative; it interweaves narrative with internal reflection and classical referential thought, returning to narrative but in a fragmented form."

Uncle Vanya

By Anton Chekhov. Adapted by Andrew Upton. Sydney Theatre Company. Sydney Theatre. Director: Tamas Ascher. Designer: Zsolt Khell. November 13, 2010 – January 1, 2011

Characters trapped in their terminally dull lives skull vodka shots with abandon in theatre that is anything but dull, as a cast of Australia’s finest actors rampage deliciously through Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.

Uncle Vanya is my favourite play, stretching, as it does, seamlessly across the boundary between drama and comedy, and the fine membrane between surface wit and depressive pain.

Spamalot

By Eric Idle and John Du Prez. Playlovers Inc. Director: Kimberley Shaw. Choreographer: Kristen Twynam-Perkins. Musical Director: David Hardie. Hackett Hall, Floreat (WA) November 5 – 26, 2010

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.