Reviews

Amelia Ryan – Lady Liberty

Adelaide Fringe. The Factory. March 2nd – 13th, 2016

Amelia Ryan is sassy, sexy and super fun. Tapping into society’s perception of beauty and perfection, and smashing the absurdity of it all, she quickly establishes herself as a strong, free-thinking woman of the 21st century. Paying homage to the women that have come before her, such as Gloria Steinem, Maya Angelou and Madonna, Ryan is passionate in her need to let her audience know that we are right where we should be and we are blessed.

Follow Spot

Devised by Chelsea Plumley. Chapel off Chapel. 26th, 27th 28th February, 2016

There’s very little new under the sun, but Chelsea Plumley may just have discovered a new entertainment hybrid – a cross between a TV chat show and a cabaret. In fact, the whole show was filmed, so don’t be surprised if it pops up on late night TV. It would be a very welcome addition to the local TV scene.

The format is simple, Chelsea turns the follow spot onto three different artists every night and catches them off guard.

The Sentient Arrow

By Jennie D’Ambra. Directed by Matthew Briggs. Briggs & Heaysman Theatre Co. The Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. Adelaide Fringe. February 22 - March 5, 2016

The Sentient Arrow consists of three short dramatic monologues, each focused on a character haunted by regret and insecure about the present state of their lives. The first monologue is delivered by an aviatrix (Melissa Martins) embarking upon a record breaking flight, who, over the course of her journey, feels compelled to re-examine her childhood and question what motivates her to take extreme risks.

There Was a Boy

Written and performed by Adam Noviello. Directed by Leanne Marsland Chapel off Chapel. Feb 26th, 2016.

“There was a Boy, a very strange enchanted Boy…” Eden Ahbez wrote the song, though Nat King Cole made it famous and Adam Noviello has picked it for the title of his new cabaret show.

Banquet of Secrets

By Steve Vizard and Paul Grabowski. Victorian Opera. Director: Roger Hodgman. Musical Director/Composer: Paul Grabowsky. Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse. March 1 – 5, 2016.

New musicals are always a bit of a gamble. With Banquet of Secrets Victorian Opera is on a winner!

The premise of the show is quite simple. Four friends have been meeting annually for a meal for the past twenty years since leaving school, and one wants each to tell a secret the others don’t know.

Each of these secrets is quite dramatic in its way, so the action constantly moves between lively banter and high drama throughout the evening.

The Orchid and the Crow

By Daniel Tobias. Holden St Theatres. Adelaide Fringe. 29th Feb – 13th March, 2016

What do you do when you go through the harrowing realisation that you have testicular cancer? You survive and then tell the whole world about it in the form of a cabaret/musical theatre performance. Daniel Tobias was only 29 when he had to come to terms with his own mortality. As he came to the end of his chemotherapy, a nurse handed him a book about Lance Armstrong’s journey through the same illness. He was able to find strength through his reading and came out the other side a survivor.

The James Plays

Written by Rona Munro. Adelaide Festival of Arts. Directed by Laurie Sansom. Festival Centre, Adelaide. February 26-March 1, 2016

Three generations of Scotland’s Stewart Monarchy are covered in this ambitious trilogy of historical plays – each of which combine cutthroat political intrigue, heated romantic tension and irreverent comic flourishes with thrilling visual spectacle and stirring musical accompaniment. Each instalment can stand alone as a powerful, provocative work, but taken as a whole, The James Plays are an epic for the ages and amongst the finest theatrical achievements of the 21st century thus far.

The Secret River

By Kate Grenville adapted for the stage by Andrew Bovell. QTC presents a STC production. Director: Neil Armfield. Playhouse, QPAC, 25 Feb – 5 Mar 2016

The Sydney Theatre Company’s highly praised production of Andrew Bovill’s The Secret River more than lived up to its advance hype and expectation. It was epic and powerful theatre. Not since the same author’s When the Rain Stops Falling have I been so moved by an Australian drama, and Neil Armfield’s direction of it was flawless. Originally seen in 2013, this new production has allowed the creatives to take a second look at the material and the result was searingly memorable.

The Young King

By Nicki Bloom. Presented by Slingsby. Adelaide Festival of the Arts. 27th February – March 19th, 2016

The King, near the end of his life, summons the biological heir to his throne to the court. Many years before, the young man was kidnapped from his mother, the King’s daughter, after he banished her for marrying a poor woodland man. Eager to be of service, he adapts to the finery that the Kingdom and his soon to be new title will allow him.

Oh God! Neil Diamond Sounds Like Me

Adelaide Fringe. Barzaar Bar, Bistro and Gaming. February 13 – March 11, 2016.

Adelaide singer Dave Freeman brings Neil Diamond to life in his tribute to the American icon. You can feel the anticipation from the crowd as he begins his first song and then a sigh as you realise that Freeman does indeed sound like the singer/songwriter that many have grown up with. He captures that raw sincerity and that undeniable inflection that Diamond has. I turned away many times to realise this would be as close as I would ever get to seeing the original live.

 

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