Reviews

The Rape of Lucretia

By Benjamin Britten. Sydney Chamber Opera, Victorian Opera and Carriageworks. Aug 19 – 26, 2017.

In a first collaboration with Victorian Opera, the adventurous Sydney Chamber Opera delivers this famously problematic chamber opera from Benjamin Britten.  

The Rape of Lucretiais an ancient myth about a uniquely virtuous Roman wife who is raped by the envious Traquinius, son of the Etruscan tyrant.  Her subsequent shame and suicide galvanised Roman outrage in the formative days of its republic. 

Di and Viv and Rose

By Amelia Bullmore. Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. 12 August – 16 September 2017

Three young women, university freshers, move into a share house: Di (Nadine Garner), a sporty lesbian business student, bursting with energy, Viv (Belinda McClory), a judgemental, driven, ambitious design student intent on escaping her roots, and Rose (Mandy McElhinney), more middle-class, insouciant, a student of Art History.  It’s the early 80s.  Their friendship, over the next twenty-seven years, is the subject and the heart of this light but amusing and entertaining show.  It’s made all the more entertaining by this cast, who individuate their characters beaut

Ruthless!

Book and Lyrics by Joel Paley. Music by Marvin Laird. Directed by Kate McIntosh and Allen Blachford. Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana, WA. Aug 18 - Sep 2, 2017

Talented eight year old Tina is ruthless in her desire to be the lead in her school play, but where does this ambition and talent come from? This campy homage to Gypsy, The Bad Seed, Mommy Dearest and Mame is a highly theatrical romp, presented in top notch style by Koorliny Arts Centre.

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë, adapted by Willis Edward Hall. Therry Dramatic Society. Arts Theatre Adelaide. 17th - 26th August 2017

Most of us are familiar with Jane Eyre, written in 1847. Many, as I did, studied this sweeping narrative by Charlotte Brontë in school. Partly autobiographical in nature, the story is tinged with pain and personal experience of the harsh life in England’s institutions of this time. The story was developed into a stage production by Willis Edward Hall, with its first performance in Sheffield in 1992. More recently, the play was re-worked for a National Theatre production.

Arteries by Ancestry

Directed by James McMillan. Blue Room Studio, Northbridge, WA. Aug 15 - Sep 2, 2017

Fugue, presenting this work at the Blue Room, describe this devised play as "a sexy and ambitious work”, and it certainly is that.

James McMilllan’s direction is clear and cerebral and the performers put 100% into the hour long show.

Noah Jimmy and Haydon Wilson are strong performers who work expertly as a team, move brilliantly and are completely invested in the presentation.

La Traviata

By Giuseppe Verdi. Blanke Knochen Opera. Director: Kate Millett. Musical Director: James Penn. 75 Reid St Auditorium, North Fitzroy. Aug 18 – 26, 2017

BKO continues to impress. As one of a small number of amateur companies, they stand out with their innovative direction and committed performances.

This was a shortened version of the opera, but only those familiar with the opera would have noticed. Conductor, James Penn, had done an excellent job rearranging the music. Surprisingly, the ballet in the third act was included, without the traditional ballet dancers. However, this was given quite a different take with the girls flaying the boys with whips! It worked very well.

The Inheritance

By Greg Gould. Budding Theatre. Directed by Cate Clelland. Belconnen Community Theatre (ACT). 16–19 August 2017

Having set the scene for three sisters’ adult interactions with a prologue portraying them as youngsters whose early inclinations we are to believe set them on their lives’ trajectories, the substance of Greg Gould’s first full-length play, The Inheritance, nominally focuses on the reading of their father’s last will and testament, in the offices of their late father’s executor, his old friend and lawyer John Lauder.  The action mostly alternates between Lauder’s office and a sanctuary from

4:48 Psychosis

By Sarah Kane. Workhorse Theatre Company. Director: Anthony Skuse. Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney. 16 August – 9 September 2017

4:48 Psychosis refers to that moment in the early morning when a muddled, besieged mind achieves clarity. So it was with playwright Sarah Kane. And having struggled through the hour of dark and twisted action to achieve such momentary awareness myself, I have to bow my head. For Kane was never to see her play performed. She committed suicide at 28.

A Happy and Holy Occasion

By John O’Donoghue. The Basin Theatre (Vic). Friday, 11 August 2017 - Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Basin Theatre Company’s recent season offering is the intense, dramatic, heart wrenching, yet sometimes darkly humorous work of John O’Donoghue.

A Happy and Holy Occasion tells the story of a family gathering in the home of the working class Irish-Catholic O’Mahon family - set early 1942 in Newcastle, just before the fall of Singapore in WWII.

The special ‘holy’ occasion celebrated is the farewell dinner for the O’Mahon’s eldest son, the night before he leaves for the Seminary.

If These Walls Could Talk...?

By Dislocated. Glow Winter Arts Festival. Chapel off Chapel. 17 – 20, August 2017

Using a single room in a threadbare apartment, Dislocated have created a powerful set of stories of six "generations" of tenants, with a bittersweet thread of love and loss woven throughout, underpinned with a deep current of humour.  Every nuance is communicated solely through physical movement - combining dance, circus arts, and physical theatre - by this superbly-talented set of acrobats and dancers.  

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