Reviews

Short+Sweet 2020

Week 2. Tom Mann Theatre, Surry Hills. February 20 – 23, 2020

For a highly entertaining night of theatre with a great variety of themes and styles make sure you get to the Short+Sweet Festival, running for 8 weeks, plus finals weeks, at Tom Mann Theatre in Chalmers Street Surry Hills.

Each week there are 10 or more plays, each no more than 10 minutes, which range from light comedies to serious drama and everything in between. At the end of the night the audience gets to vote for two plays, which adds another layer of interest as winners progress to a big finals week.

Gypsy Caravan

Adelaide Fringe. Unley Village Green. February 22 – March 1, 2020.

The Unley Village Green on a mild summer’s evening provides a truly idyllic setting to enjoy Studio Flamenco’s Fringe offering Gypsy Caravan. Old and young gathered with rugs and cushions, picnics and drinks, sangria and paella to take in a night of Gypsy entertainment under the stars.

Seen and Unseen

Asia Topa. Arts Centre Melbourne and Victorian College of the Arts. Martyn Myer Arena. 20 – 29 February 2020

Drawn from the Balinese philosophy of Sekala Niskala that is translated as ‘the seen and the unseen’, this work is inspired by Director Kamila Andini’s film of the same name.     

Exotic and absorbing, Seen and Unseen is a rich, evocative, intoxicating triumph for the senses. On the face of things it is beautifully fluid and superbly presented dance and music performance of mystical and almost hypnotic nature. 

The Trumpet Unleashed

Southern Cross Soloists. Trumpet: Miroslav Petkov. Concert Hall, QPAC. 23 Feb 2020

Southern Cross Soloists began their 25th anniversary season with a dynamic program of chamber music showcasing the trumpet and welcoming back for his second appearance with the ensemble, trumpet virtuoso Miroslav Petkov.

With the Concert Hall set up in ‘reverse mode’, with the audience seated behind the stage and the musicians facing them with their backs to the auditorium, the intimacy generated was akin to a music-salon with the feeling that the musicians were playing individually for each audience member.

Hell Ship: The Journey of the Ticonderoga

Written and performed by Michael Veitch. Chester Productions. Directed by Peter Houghton. The Q, Queanbeyan 21 – 23 February 2020 and touring Australia.

It’s always somewhat mind-blowing from the perspective of the relative comfort and safety of our 21st Century lives, with our antibiotics and immunisations and understanding of the importance of hygiene, to imagine what it must have been like for our forebears. Even those with relative privilege were vulnerable to the sort of disease that’s almost unthinkable to us today. That reminder, presented with some fine story-telling, is what makes Michael Veitch’s new show Hell Ship so very compelling.

Shout! The Legend of the Wild One

By John-Michael Howson, David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow. Koorliny Arts Centre and Kwinana Industries Council. Directed by Brad Tudor, musical direction by Shanice Tudor. Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana WA. Feb 21 - Mar 7, 2020

Koorliny Arts Centre and Kwinana Industries Council’s production of the musical biography Shout! The Legend of the Wild One, is a big, bright, well produced show, which has its audiences tapping and rocking along.

The story of Johnny O’Keefe, his rise to, and battle with, fame, is told through the music of the era, and while the book of this show isn’t amazing, the direction and enthusiasm of this production overrides the lacklustre story-line to create a tight and very enjoyable production.

Adelaide Short Play Festival

Adelaide Fringe. The Stage at Fulham Community Centre, 19 Fitch Rd, Fulham. February 22 – 29, 2020

The Fulham Community Centre is an example of an excellent out of town Fringe venue that is clearly focused on seminars, events and classes to support and provide opportunities for the community.

This 90-minute event is the ‘brainchild’ of author Scott Russell Hill, a best-selling author, who has penned a series of scenes that are designed to challenge, inform and support an audience to look at the world openly, differently and with greater acceptance of all including our LGBTQ community.

Cloudstreet

By Nick Enright and Justin Monjo. Perth Festival. Black Swan and Malthouse Theatre. Directed by Matthew Lutton. His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth, WA. Feb 21 - Mar 15, 2020

Cloudstreet, first produced by Black Swan State Theatre Company (with Company B) in 1998, has become a modern classic, especially in Western Australia, and is performed reasonably often in WA, by schools and community groups. But it is rarely performed in its original 3 hour 45 minute form. This rare experience is a co-production between Black Swan and Malthouse Theatre, as part of the Perth Festival, with the show running close to 5 and a half hours with intervals.

Mesmerise: Night Of Intrigue

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. The Library at Ayers House Events Feb 22-March 7 2020

Sleight of hand (also known as prestidigitation or legerdemain) refers to fine motor skills when used by performing artists to entertain. It is closely associated with close-up magic, card magic and flourishing.

Mesmerise: Night of Intrigueis that and more. Set in the austere library of Ayers House, the musty and slightly claustrophobic atmosphere is a perfect setting for magic, being somewhat reminiscent of an Agatha Christie murder mystery.

Impromptunes – The Completely Improvised Musical

Adelaide Fringe. Parasol Lounge, Gluttony. February 14 - March 1, 2020.

There’s an art to improvised theatre, not least of which is the art of listening to your fellow actors to create characters that are interesting and a plot that carries consistent threads through the show to a successful conclusion. Impromptunes, as the name suggests adds a whole other dimension by adding all of the elements of musical theatre.

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