Music by Leonard Bernstein. Book by Hugh Wheeler after Voltaire. Lyrics by various. Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Conducted by Brett Weymark. Directed by Mitchell Butel. Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House. September 29 & 30, 2018.

This was a lavish banquet of a production that is an absolute treat for lovers of operetta and musical theatre. The first thing to knock your socks off is the tidal wave of sound.  A sumptuous orchestra fills the Concert Hall stage, surrounded by up to 300 singers.

The choir sounds both tight and energetic, and is a dynamic part of the production. At various times they move, change costume and radiate a joy of appreciation for the work which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the composer Leonard Bernstein.

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert – The Musical

Music & Lyrics: Various. Book: Stephan Elliott & Alan Scott. Michael Cassell Group, Nullarbor Productions & MGM on Stage. Director: Simon Phillips. Musical Director: Stephen Gray. Choreographer: Ross Coleman & Andrew Hallsworth. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. Opening Night 28 September 2018.

After visiting 29 countries, Priscilla’s bus has at last called in to Brisbane on the final leg of its current 10th anniversary tour, and if last night’s reaction is anything to go by it’s a gigantic hit. The first time it’s ever played Brisbane, this exuberant jukebox-musical is a high-camp, raunchy and glittering treat.

Faith Healer

By Brian Friel. A Belvoir production presented by State Theatre Company South Australia. Space Theatre. September 26th - October 13th, 2018

Before last night, if you had asked me if I would enjoy a night out listening to four monologues, I may well have yawned and politely declined. State Theatre Company South Australia’s Belvoir production of Faith Healer, with its powerful, seemingly simple and beautifully staged storytelling has changed all that.

As if No-one is Watching

Vulcana. Brisbane Festival. Stores Building, Brisbane Powerhouse. 27-30 September, 2018

The all-female collective, Vulcana, begin their part-performance, part-installation with 18 individual monologues delivered via smartphone app and digital design by Line 26. The 20-minute introduction takes place outside in the concrete space next to the Brisbane Powerhouse Stores Building. The performers repeat movements, carry out silent scenes, enact fragments – shards of their stories – while we voyeuristically wander and watch on, listening in to their thoughts online.

After Hero

By Jessica Bellamy and Jean Tong. Monash University’s Centre for Theatre & Performance. Malthouse Theatre, The Tower, Melbourne. 27 September – 6 October 2018.

‘Where is it written what am I supposed to be?’  It’s a key line here and it recurs.  It’s the key question in a play about identity and roles – gender and otherwise.  In their joint program note, Jessica Bellamy and Jean Tong tell us, “This is a work for everyone who is tired of the same old stories, because we are too.’

One Punch Wonder

By Amanda Crewes. The Actors’ Hub. Melbourne Fringe. Theatre Works. September 25 – 27, 2018

One Punch Wonder is a timely and brilliantly conceived production that addresses the current spate of one-punch-kill crimes that stem back to the year 2000.

The Owl and the Pussycat

Little Match Productions. Brisbane Festival. Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cremorne Theatre 26-29 September, 2018

Little Match Productions, a Brisbane independent theatre company, has devised a delightful take on the Edward Lear poem that has been fascinating children for more than a century. The title characters are both female, so this production’s interpretation as a tale of unlikely friendship and love has an underlying subtext of diversity and acceptance. The theme continues as the lead pair meet a series of strange animal characters that test their preconceptions on their run-away adventure together.


By Brian Howard. Libretto by Steven Berkoff. Opera Australia. The Scenery Workshop at The Opera Centre, Surry Hills. September 26 – 29, 2018By Brian Howard. Libretto by Steven Berkoff. Opera Australia. The Scenery Workshop at The Opera Centre, Surry Hills. September 26 – 29, 2018

Opera Australia isn’t too well-practiced lately in staging Australian operas.  But amongst the scaffolding in its cavernous Surry Hills workshop, the company picked the right place to revive Brian Howard’s expressive 1983 telling of Kafka’s nightmarish Metamorphosis.

Mark Colvin’s Kidney

By Tommy Murphy. The Drill Hall Theatre Company, Mullumbimby, Northern N.S.W. Director: John Rado. 28th September – 14th October, 2018

This play is the dramatisation of the story of the late ABC PM Radio Host, Mark Colvin and the selfless donation of a replacement kidney by a British woman who only knew him via the airwaves and social media. 

Spanning many years, the story starts in London during the last decade, at the height of the phone-tapping scandal that rocked the print media world and Rupert Murdoch’s News Of The World.

The Phantom of the Opera

By Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe. The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of SA Inc. The Arts Theatre. 27 September – 6 October 2018

The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber (Music/Book), Charles Hart (Lyrics) and Richard Stilgoe (Lyrics/Book) was the most successful piece of entertainment in the twentieth century. It was first performed in London in 1986 and subsequently throughout the world, winning numerous awards and earning more than any game, film, theatre, concert, or any other form of public entertainment. It has delighted and charmed millions of people and is still being performed in London and New York and other places.

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