Anya Anastasia: The Executioners

Written and composed by Anya Anastasia and Gareth Chin. Melbourne Fringe. Gasworks Arts Park. September 18 – 29, 2018.

Buckle yourselves in for a speedy and fiercely individualistic comedy cabaret show that rocks the boat in every dimension. Anya Anastasia stumbles on to the stage, mobile in hand in selfie-self-absorption. Her right hand man, musician and multi – instrumentalist Gareth Chin rolls his eyes and shakes his head in disbelief.

Creatures of The Deep

Picked Last For Sport / Melbourne Fringe. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. September 17 – 23, 2018

Creatures of The Deep is an all age friendly hybrid show; promoting environmental awareness while adventuring beneath the sea to meet the plethora of wild sea creatures on the brink of extinction.

A satirical rendition of the French marine conservationist Jacques Cousteau (Ryan Smith) sits on the side of the stage; he MC’s and narrates an hilarious, comical phantasmagorical marine exploration with his motley team of interns Jean, Claude, Van, Damme and Tina.


Lyrics by Tim Rice. Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Opera Australia and John Frost in association with David Ian Productions. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, from September 18 to November 5, 2018, then Arts Centre Melbourne from December 5

Just as Eva Peron was a deeply polarising political figure, so too is the latest production based on her life. On one hand some members of the audience rose to their feet at the end of the musical to salute the brilliant individual performances and spectacle. On the other hand, I spoke to a couple as they were walking out at interval, frustrated at the lack of pace in the first act.

Dog Show

Directed by Cassandra Fumi, with dramaturgy by Alice Fitzgerald. Melbourne Fringe. Melbourne Festival Fringe Hub - Warehouse Space, North Melbourne Town Hall. September 14 – 22, 2018

Who let the dogs out ? Woof ! Woof !

Dog Showis  wild, bestial and riotous satirical theatre.

Pure devotion and dedication to one’s canine can go no further than this hyper- puerile exploration of dog show phenomena. Apparently it began in London at The Kennel Club in 1873, and has since taken the world by storm, branching out into many tawdry suburban outlets.

Strictly Ballroom

Music & Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper, Robert Hyman, Harry Vanda, John Paul Young, Osvaldo Farres, Joe Davis, David Foster, Sia Furler, Isaac Hasson, Bernie Herms, Baz Luhrmann, Mozella, Theron Feemster, Craig Pearce, Eddie Perfect, Linda Thompson, Elliott Wheeler. Book: Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce, adapted by Terry Johnson. Ipswich Musical Theatre Company. Director: Cienda McNamara. Musical Director: Robert Clark. September 14 – 23, 2018

The world of ballroom dancing has never been more accurately or lovingly portrayed as in the iconic Aussie movie Strictly Ballroom, with its splashy routines, larger-than-life characters, and endless sequined costumes.

#VAL: a glittery ode to queer men and their mums

Directed by Shaun Rennie. Downstairs at the Maj, His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth, WA. 13-15 Sep, 2018

Australia’s John O’Hara has a strong following Downstairs at the Maj, as this musical theatre performer, shortly to appear in School of Rock, also has quite a penchant for cabaret. His newest show debuted to capacity crowds and a very warm reception for this home-grown favourite.


By Geoff Sobell/Beth Morrison Projects (USA) – Brisbane Festival – The Playhouse, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) – 12–15 September, 2018

HOME starts, fittingly, with its creator and main performer, Geoff Sobelle, nailing together part of the structure that will become the house and setting for an extended one-act performance. In an entertaining use of black screen and lighting, the set is built before our eyes. Multiple characters then populate the stage, appear from nowhere, pop out of cupboards and refrigerators, share beds and then disappear. They perform the same actions – wake up, shower, go to the toilet (!), pass each other on the stairs, take out laundry baskets and get ready for the day.

The Actor Crack’d

By Bill Marshall. A Cracked Actors Production. La Mama at Trades Hall, Carlton, VIC. 14 – 23 September 2018.

Young actor Stanley Gold (Nicholas Jaquinot), has had some good reviews, but now he’s making a living from kur-ray-zee radio commercials for cheap electronics.  He’s desperate to play Hamlet.  He auditions.  They’ll let him know.  So, he’s in call-back limbo.  After a random street assault by thug Bruttus [sic] (Aleksander Eeri Laupmaa), he accepts some marijuana from his sister (Kaela Raku) and ends up lost somewhere without his trousers.  Arrested, he’s committed to a psychiatric hospital… and the rest of the stor

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

By Dario Fo, in a new adaption by Francis Greenslade with Sarah Giles. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. 10 September – 27 October, 2018

The sting in this mad buffoonery from Italy’s Dario Fo is that all of it had just happened.

An anarchist had plunged to his death from the fourth floor of the Milan police station in 1969, likely thrown out by cops during a long interrogation, following a bomb attack probably planned by fascists. 

Corrupt police and extremists, fake news and the distracting power of scandal are as familiar to us as to Fo’s audience.  The challenge today is to refresh the farcical carry-on with which Fo tried to rouse Italian workers to activism.  

Stark. Dark. Albert Park.

Created by Clare Mendes. Melbourne Writers' Theatre. Directed and Designed by Elizabeth Walley. Gasworks Arts Park (Vic). 14 – 22 September, 2018

Stark. Dark. Albert a standout Fringe Production of five fascinating, engaging stories from Albert Park. It is well worth making the trek to Gasworks for.

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre generates excellent programs of uniquely crafted and well-honed writing for performance (It has been doing so for 36 years). Carefully cast and cleverly directed by Elizabeth Walley - well rehearsed and a comfortable length - this program is a grouping of five satisfying and refreshing ‘framed snapshots’ about Albert Park.


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