Reviews

Three Little Words

By Joanna Murray-Smith. Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. 18 April to 27 May 2017

The ‘three little words’ of the title are not, as you might think, those of the popular 1930 song.  On the contrary.  After twenty years, Tess (Catherine McClements) and Curtis (Peter Houghton) have decided to separate.  The ‘three little words’ here are: ‘We’re splitting up.’  And when Tess says those words, it’s not just their best friends Annie (Kate Atkinson) and Bonnie (Katherine Tonkin) who are stunned and incredulous.  The audience has a sharp intake of breath and goes very still.

Love Me Slender

By Vanessa Brooks. Directed by Anita Bound. Kalamunda Dramatic Society. KADS Theatre, Town Square, Kalamunda, WA. April 21 - May 13, 2017

“Remember girls - not slim for today, not slim for tomorrow, but slim for life.” This is the motto for the slimming club, held in a church hall and led by autocratic over-achiever Siobhan. We follow their progress over half a year.

Strands

By Peta Brady. 1812 Theatre and SwampFox Productions. Bakery@1812. 20th April to 13th May, 2017

As I left the Bakery@1812 last night, I was surrounded by the silent wiping of tears from eyes and softly felt sniffles as the entire house was physically and emotionally moved from the performance they just witnessed.

Peta Brady’s poignant play Strands is about two sisters exasperatingly living in their own world, whilst also living and loving for each other. Sisterly love and frustration, stories within truths, and the strands that bind a family together help create this short but compassionate play.

Cosi

By Louis Nowra. Beenleigh Theatre Group (Qld). April 21 – May 6, 2017

Louis Nowra’s 1992 Cosi is set in a mental hospital in 1971, where, at the insistence of one of the inmates, the patients set out to give a performance of Mozart’s opera Cosi fan Tutte under the direction of recent graduate Lewis (Aaron Dora). None of them can sing, none can act, and the director, just out of drama school, is as sceptical as we are about how this is all going to turn out.

Richard 3

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Peter Evans. Bell Shakespeare. Arts Centre, The Fairfax. 20 April – 7 May 2017.

Kate Mulvany’s Richard is the triumphant centrepiece of this fine and original production of Shakespeare’s bit of Tudor propaganda.

Parasites

By Ninna Tersman. Directed & designed by Adam J. A. Cass. La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton. 19 – 30 April, 2017.

This text addresses one of the most urgent questions in the current geo-political and social landscape. Swedish writer, Ninna Tersman, approaches the topic from a universal perspective and her words ring true as much in Australia as they do in Europe, or anywhere else in the world confronting the global refugee crisis.

Troy Kinne

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. 21 – 23 April 2017

A cheeky, witty, relatable performance that lives up to its subtitle #nofilter.

Kinne shows mastery of his craft in a performance worthy of inclusion among the high calibre of comedians at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The show moves quickly with constant laughs. He’s straight to the point, recounting hilarious real-life stories without the boring details.

Creature: An Adaptation of Dot and the Kangaroo

A Stalker Theatre and Out of the Box production. Sydney Opera House Studio. Wednesday 19 April – Tuesday 25 April 2017

Aerial acrobatics, dance, music and interactive, digital projections come together in this visually striking adaptation of the Australian children’s classic Dot and the Kangaroo.

Written by Ethel Pedley 112 years ago, this timeless classic tells the tale of Dot, who is lost in the bush and rescued by a kangaroo. Giving Dot magical berries to help her understand the animals around her, Mrs Kangaroo guides her home with the help of some quirky and loveable creatures.

Mary Poppins The Broadway Musical

A musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film. Original Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. Book by Julian Fellowes. New songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Co-created by Cameron Mackintosh. Originally Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher for Disney. The Australian School of the Arts. Redland Performing Arts Centre (QLD). April 21-29, 2017.

It’s a brave director that decides to stage a musical such as Mary Poppins. Darren Harvey is clearly one who understands the gravity of bringing P.L. Travers’ heroine to an audience that know her intimately.

Mary Poppins The Broadway Musicalwas a testament to The Australian School of the Arts’ audition based ‘professional’ arts excellence program. The show was packed with performers, stage hands, lighting, sound and costuming that you’d expect from an internationally touring musical commanding triple-figure ticket prices.

Before The Party

By Rodney Ackland. Based on a short story by Somerset Maugham. Independent Theatre. The Goodwood Theatre. April 21-29, 2017.

Considering the brilliance of the structure and writing in Rodney Ackland’s multi-layered and bitingly honest comedy Before the Party, one wonders just how it could be that the late playwright remains a relative unknown among his peers. Perhaps his savage brand of truth may have cut a little too close to the bone for many in the upper middle class echelons of 1930’s and post-war Britain.

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