Reviews

Bette and Joan

By Anton Burge. Directed by Lynne Devenish. Garrick Theatre, Meadow St, Guildford, WA. Feb 13-29, 2020

Bette and Joan is a play about two strong mature actresses, and is a great vehicle for two strong, mature actresses. Garrick Theatre, and director Lynne Devenish, have chosen fine performers for this two-hander, in the form of Siobhan Vincent and Sarah House.

Shane Warne: The Musical

By Eddie Perfect. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. Theatre One at the Parks Theatres. Feb 14 -21, 2020

Even though no longer actively playing professional cricket, Shane Warne remains the most flamboyant cricketer in Australian (and perhaps world) history.

Presented by Segue productions Shane Warne: The Musical, with music, book and lyrics by Eddie Perfect, is an irreverent and cheeky musical journey through the professional and personal ups and downs of one of the world's greatest cricketers, from teenager, to international spin bowler, to scandal after scandal and his romance with Liz Hurley.

Evolution

Adelaide Fringe. Evolution Before and Beyond. Pilgrim Uniting Church Hall, Adelaide, 14-22 February 2020

This stark play wakes three of the crew onboard a spaceship travelling to Planet X, to restart the human race after it’s destroyed Earth. None of them know the others and no one really understands why they’ve been woken. The only thing they seem to have in common is that they have all been dreaming in their induced sleep: stories of times past from their respective cultures, events demonstrating humanity and selflessness.

Best of Adelaide Fringe: The International Comedy Show

Adelaide Fringe. Upstairs at The Histo. February 14 - March 14, 2020

The Histo is a great venue for on mike stand-up comedy and it has been well used for this showcase of international comics. This is a show designed for those who would either ‘like a taste’ of several different acts or are still deciding the shows to attend. There is no billing, so you do not know who you will see, but the hour long show provides a ‘taster’ of the work of up to four performers each night.

Les Misérables

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg. Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Original French text byAlain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. Additional Material by James Fenton. Adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. Packemin Productions. Riverside Theatre, Paramatta. February 14 – 29, 2020

This is a brilliant production! The standing ovation it received on opening night was thoroughly deserved. The direction is brilliant. The voices are superb. The action is dramatic. It is everything a production of Les Misérables should be – and what one expects of a Packemin production. The fact that the season is almost sold out is indicative of the esteem in which the company is held by its western Sydney audiences.

Disney in Drag - Once Upon A Parody

Fringe World. Auditorium 6, Palace Cinemas, Raine Square, Perth, WA. Feb 7-15, 2020

Disney in Drag - Once Upon A Parody has had a sell-out season for Fringe World, and promises that it will have more happy endings soon. Definitely not authorised by the Disney corporation, this is a wild ride of a show, that is one of the oddest homages to the Disney World you are ever likely to see.

A Very, Very Good Variety Show

Fringe World. Directed by Jess Herbert. The Edith Spiegeltent, Yagan Square, Perth WA. Feb 11-16, 2020

A Very, Very Good Variety Show is exactly what it claims to be, and is, indeed, a very, very good variety show. Proving very popular and rapturously received by a very full, very excited audience, this Perth Cabaret Collective show is a delight.

Forbidden Broadway – Greatest Hits Volume 1

Created & Written by Gerard Alessandrini. Casa Mia Productions. Director/Musical Director: Sean Fagan. Choreographer: Lynette Wockner. Casa Mia Restaurant, Ipswich, Qld. 14-15 February, 2020

Forbidden Broadway was a bright, peppery show that skewered all things Broadway. Originally created as far back as 1982, Gerard Alessandrini has successfully updated the format during the seasons since, sending up Broadway and its divas in biting, but never malicious, satire. This collection which Casa Mia presented is really a ‘Best of’ with some items hitting their target with a bulls-eye.

Happily Ever Poofter

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. The Bally at Gluttony. February 14 - March 1 2020

It is interesting that while Disney movies and animated features don’t really feature any explicitly queer characters, their subject matter tends to play to queer sensibilities.

A row has broken out on social media after reports that Jack Whitehall will play the first major openly gay character in a Disney film.  “He is playing a gay man – one who is hugely effete, very camp and very funny” (The Sun, UK).

Tim Ferguson - A Fast Life on Wheels

Adelaide Fringe. The Box. Garden of Unearthly Delights. 14-23 February, 2020

Having followed the exploits of Tim Ferguson for many years it was my pleasure to assist backstage fifteen years ago on an Adelaide performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in which Tim vivaciously played ‘Pharaoh’. As this was an MS Society fundraiser, I pondered at the time, why he had chosen to take this role. It soon became very evident as we learned that he had been affected by this insidious disability.

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