Reviews

Dracula: Last Voyage of the Demeter

By Sean Carney. Bitten By Productions. Club Voltaire 14 Raglan St, North Melbourne. April 12 – 22, 2017.

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula there is a brief mentione of Dracula travelling by ship to England. Writer Sean Carney has chosen to imagine what occurred on that fateful trip and has created an eerie tale that is confidently presented.

We are below deck in a cargo area where the Captain of the good ship Demeter is guarding Dracula, who has been captured, chained and caged. The ship is becalmed and an unrelenting fog descends, causing crew and passengers to become unsettled.

Table 17

Written and Directed by Phillip A Mayer. Here There & Everywhere Theatre Company. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Southbank Theatre, The Lawler. April 19 – 22, 2017

When going to a family wedding you know the relatives to avoid and who is going to cause embarrassment. In Table 17, Phillip. A. Mayer has drawn on his experience as an MC and guest at many weddings to create a one act play featuring a stock cast of guests thrown together at the back table of a wedding. 

The Travelling Sisters

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, off Little Collins Street, Melbourne. 17-23 April, 2017.

The Travelling Sisters (Lucy Fox, Ell Sachs and Laura Trenerry) is a truly delightful comedy show. The incredibly talented trio employ a vast range of performance skills including music, clowning, pantomime, mime, physical theatre, theatre of the absurd and performance art to produce a highly satirical look at life, especially Australian life. Although they are well travelled their show focuses on some of the more absurd or bizarre caricatures that typify Australian culture. Their perspective is often uncannily accurate and astute, and the result is hilarious.

Bach’s St Matthew Passion

Sydney Philharmonia choirs (Symphony Choir, Chamber Singers, Vox, Sydney Philarmonia Orchestra). Conductor – Brett Weymark. Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. 15 April 2017

Bach’s St Matthew Passion is considered one of the greatest music scores ever written. First heard in 1727 in St Thomas’ Church in Leipzig Germany, the piece is performed in two parts. The first tells the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. The second, depicts the trial, crucifixion and burial of Jesus.

I had the pleasure of listening to the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs (SPC) and the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra perform this complex, beautiful, sombre and dramatic work on Holy Saturday in the near full, Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

By Rajiv Joseph. Mad March Hare Theatre. Directed by Claudia Barrie. Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney. 12 April - 6 May, 2017

When you enter the theatre, Maggie Dence - who’s playing a tiger - is already on stage, peering through a fence, looking straight into the audience, sizing up who’s sitting down. This Bengal tiger was played by Robin Williams on Broadway and, in a similar way to how Williams probably did, Dence dominates the stage

The Dog / The Cat

By Brendan Cowell and Lally Katz. Belvoir, Upstairs Theatre. April 13 – May 7, 2017

Two little plays about estranged couples relating to each other through their pets seems like kids’ theatre – until I remember how many times, as a grown adult, I talk big issues with our dog, and imagine its replies!  

Expanded now for the Upstairs theatre, Brendan Cowell’s The Dog and Lally Katz’s The Cat return to Belvoir as very funny double bill.  

Roommates: The Musical.

Written & performed by Jude Perl. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Coopers Malthouse, Bagging Room. 11-16 & 18-23 April 2017.

It will be difficult to review this show with its turning into gush.  It’s terrific.  On one level, it’s simple and unadorned.

The Mozart Faction

By Kate Rice. Directed by Siobhan O’Gara. Melville Theatre, WA. April 8-22, 2017

The Mozart Faction made its professional premiere in Perth ten years ago. Written by Kate Rice, who lived for some time in Perth, it features a community choir who find themselves held at gunpoint, during their rehearsal.

First Crack

Presented by Leaky Bucket. Performers: Darcy Fleming, Matt McCartney and Prue Blake. Melbourne International Comedy Festival at The Last Jar. 11th to 23rd April 2017

Darcy Fleming, Matt McCartney and Prue Blake are the bright, up and coming trio that makes up the   comedy group ‘Leaky Bucket’ which they formed in 2016.  Each with a comedy background in improvisation, sketch, theatre and stand up, they present their show First Crack at MICF 2017.

ApocOlympics

Freak Party. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Note New Venue and dates: Trades Hall - Old Council Chambers: 15-21 Apr 2017 @ 9:30pm (8:30 Sun), No Wednesday

Down a lane, up several flights of worn stairs into a tiny “theatre” created with black masking attached to walls with gaffer tape and clothes pegs – this must be a Melbourne Comedy Festival gig!

Comedy duo Freak Party (Dan Pavatich andJustin Porter) transport us from 2017 to the year 2056, and a world unrecognizable due to the nuclear fallout from a 2017 “Trump” war.

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