Reviews

Nufonia Must Fall

Adelaide Festival of Arts 2015. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. March 4 – 7, 2015

Silent film, puppetry, theatre and music come together in Kid Koala’s production Nufonia Must Fall and the result is nothing less than pure genius and pure joy.

A multidimensional work that evolved from Kid Koala’s graphic novel of the same name, the Canadian production is introduced on stage by Kid Koala (real name Eric San), who conducts a quick and quirky bingo game in which the audience participates. A jovial Kid Koala explains it as a visual overture.

Caress/Ache

By Suzie Miller. Griffin Theatre Company. SBW Stables Theatre (NSW). February 27 – April 11, 2015. World Premiere.

The human touch is a powerful thing. It soothes, frightens, energises and stimulates. It can burn and can turn skin to ice. 

Suzie Miller’s new play presented by Griffin Theatre Company Caress/Ache explores the human experience behind the science of touch.

We meet 10 characters portrayed by 5 actors (Ian Stenlake, Helen Christinson, Sabryna Te’o, Gary Clementson and Zoe Carides) who each swim through the struggle to connect – be that within a marriage, culture or profession.

Dirty Dancing

By Eleanor Bergstein. Princess Theatre, Melbourne. Opening Night, March 5, 2015.

Dirty Dancing….from the movie of the same name. And what do we remember apart from the “license to print money” that comes with the title? We remember, more than anything, the charismatic and brilliant Patrick Swayze oozing sex and teaching a younger plain girl to dance …dirty. The threat of sex was omnipresent….and it was naughty because …well…he’s mature and more dangerous and she’s so naïve. And we remember Swayze singing “She’s Like The Wind”.

Songs Not To Dance To

FORM Dance Projects. Lennox Theatre, Riverside, Parramatta. March 5 – 7, 2015

Audiences unversed in the possibilities of contemporary dance may find this performance challenging to watch and understand – but dancers and choreographers will see the creative realisation of a difficult challenge.

Performers Martin del Amo and Charles Blackman certainly made sure the music they chose to undertake the challenge was very different! From long, strumming, almost discordant guitar solos to Jimmy Barnes’ Working Class Man, the multiple pieces of music in their performance really stretched the possibilities of creative movement.

flowerchildren - The Mamas and Papas Story

By Peter Fitzpatrick. Davine Interventionz / Adelaide Fringe. Star Theatres, Hilton. March 4 – 7, 2015

Although they only performed together for three years from 1965, the impact American folk rock vocal group The Mamas and Papas on the music scene at the time was enormous. With America still at war in Vietnam, the young people of the time were looking for a way out and they found it with drugs, music and the message of peace and free love. This show captures all of that and so much more.

Into The Woods

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by James Lapine. Rockdale Musical Society. Rockdale Town Hall. February 27 – March 8, 2015.

On a stage devoid of painted scenery, lit only by the spill of house lights from auditorium, with no front-of-house curtain, I vaguely make out a collection of props, mostly found objects (I can definitely see milk crates) which will create the world of this Into The Woods as I enter the theatre. Centre stage there’s a ladder, an artist’s easel with a canvas facing away from us, and a huge empty cable spool.

A Show From Nothing

Presented by Scriptease. Adelaide Fringe. The Bluebee Room, Adelaide. March 4-7, 2015

With only two chairs to aid them in creating a theatrical scenario, Noah Tavor & Jarrad Parker will be improvising a different one hour comedy each night, for nights at Adelaide’s Bluebee Room.

This Is Not A Love Song

Weeping Spoon Productions. Written by Greg Fleet. Directed by Tegan Mulvany. Live music by Mick Moriarty. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Tuxedo Cat. March 2-15, 2015.

What would you get if the makers of High Fidelity had adapted it to the stage as a jukebox musical? Probably something a lot like This Is Not A Love Song.

Tuesdays with Morrie

By Mitch Albom. The Queanbeyan City Council. The Q Theatre. Directed by Liz Bradley. 3 – 15 March 2015.

Only incorrigible cynics will fail to be moved by this lovely production of Tuesdays With Morrie. Most will be familiar with the story—a successful sports journalist makes weekly visits to his former sociology professor as the older man slowly succumbs to motor neuron disease. The audience is taken through the process of watching someone loved and respected with a terminal illness—an event we all experience but avoid thinking about.

Marathon

Written & Performed by TJ Dawe. Adelaide Fringe. The Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. March 3-7, 2015

It’s listed in the “theatre” rather than the “comedy” section of The Fringe Guide, but TJ Dawe’s witty 75-minute monologue contains a great many side-splitting zingers, and he incorporates some surprisingly energetic physical comedy into his routine as well.

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