Reviews

Loving Repeating

Music by Stephen Flaherty. Words by Gertrude Stein. Adapted by Frank Galati. Directed by Jason Langley. Vic Theatre Company. Chapel off Chapel. January 21 - February 8, 2015.

Once in a rare while a show comes along that somehow transcends the sum of its parts  and creates true magic on the stage. For 2015 (even this early in the year) that show is Loving Repeating, a boutique musical built on the writings of Gertrude Stein with a beautiful score by the award winning composer Stephen Flaherty, with Stein’s writing adapted by original director Frank Galati, serving as lyrics and Galati creating the book.

Adolescent

Michael Griffiths. 45 Downstairs, Melbourne. January 21 - February 1, 2015

It’s Midummer and Midsumma in Melbourne and that means all kinds of marvellous entertainment. Australian performers do cabaret so well (they have to diversify to keep working) that it’s no surprise to discover that Michael Griffiths’ new show, Adolescent, is a little gem.

After Dinner

By Andrew Bovell. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf 1 Theatre. January 15 – March 7, 2015.

Sydney Theatre Company had its first production at the Wharf in1985. It’s fitting then, that it has chosen to open its 2015 season with an Australian play written and set in the 1980s.

After Dinnerhas lost none of its touching exposure of human frailties – nor its hilarious humour. Five clever and very experienced actors, and an intuitive director, find every poignant nuance of Andrew Bovell’s very recognisable characters, whilst still making the most of the comedy with which he softens the blows of insightful social comment.

Signal Driver

By Patrick White, music by Carl Vine AO. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport. Director: Noella Johnson. January 24th – February 7th, 2015

Patrick White wrote Signal Driver at the request of director Jim Sharman.

A short play (approximately 90 minutes – including a 20 minute interval); a married couple face life through three progressive periods of the journey through life which starts and ends with a transport shelter: at first – a tram stop and later, a bus stop. Their journey is shared with two ever present “beings” that regularly break into little ditties and dances to enhance the plot (contributed by Order of Australia recipient, Carl Vine).

Stop Kiss

By Diana Son. Boutique Theatre at Brunswick Mechanics Institute (VIC). 22 January – 7 February 2015.

Here is a love story that pivots on an act of violence.  Near dawn in a New York park, Callie and Sara finally reveal what both want - their first kiss.  And some misogynistic man looms out of the darkness and attacks them. The violence is not the climax, or even, really, the subject; it is in a way the beginning, a sort of catalyst that opens the unexpected. 

Cougar Morrison

Devilles' Pad, Perth. Strindberg Stages / Fringeworld Festival. 25 Jan - 7 Feb, 2015

Cougar Morrison is a theatrical cabaret by Strindberg Stages and is performed as part of the Fringeworld Festival.

Cougar is somewhat of an alter-ego of performer Clint Strindberg and this show is the story of Cougar's life interspersed with amazing singing and clever banter.  New Orleans born Cougar has studied and performed in France, New York and Australia. The songs are varied and wonderfully chosen and include some songs in French, as befits a Louisiana native.

Kiss and Cry

Charleroi Dances, Belgium / Sydney Festival. Carriageworks. Jan 22 – 25, 2015.

Writing about this shining little gem in the festival crown cannot begin to express all the emotive strings it pulls, all the touching moments it portrays, all the incredible co-ordination it requires or all the continuing images and messages that remain.

On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco

By Chekhov, Bach, Berio and Tchaikovsky. Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord / Sydney Festival. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. January 22 – 25, 2014.

Chekhov’s solo monologue, On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco, begins with an old man, a smoker, berated by his wife to give a free lecture on that subject.  Nioukhine instead wanders through tangents about his bullying wife, his petty jobs slaving at her music school and his, typically Chekhovian, yearning to escape. .

By adding Nioukhine’s three daughters onstage, as a singer, pianist and violinist, France’s Theatre des Bouffes du Nord transforms this tale into a theatrical and musical gem. 

Venus In Fur

By David Ives. Black Swan (WA). Directed by Lawrie Cullen-Tait. Studio Downstairs, State Theatre Centre of WA. 15 Jan - 8 Feb, 2015

Black Swan's first production of the year is the theatrically conscious, cleverly written, Venus in Fur, written by David Ives. Part of the Black Swan Lab - Black Swan's workshop and more experimental arm, it is performed at the Studio Underground at the State Theatre Centre.

The Fastest Clock In The Universe

By Philip Ridley. A Four Letter Word Theatre production directed by Robert Chuter. The Loft – Chapel off Chapel, Prahran (VIC). 21-31 January 2015.

It’s Cougar Glass’ twelfth ‘nineteenth’ birthday.  In a moldy flat in a crumbling building, this sociopathic narcissist pretty boy refuses to acknowledge the passage of time and thus his real age.

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