Reviews

A View from the Bridge

By Arthur Miller. State Theatre Company SA. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide. 12 July – 3 August 2019

‘There was a future, a trouble which would not go away,’ says Alfieri, the lawyer of Arthur Miller’s classic tragedy, narrating a man’s attempts to stumble through love, loyalty and the awful impact his choices have on those he loves in an ever-changing world.

One Small Trip

Ross Daniels. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. July 15 – 20, 2019

Ross Daniels is a hilariously funny, almost weird little guy, but not quite. He has guest starred in several classic Australian television dramas over many years and has been at the high end of the comedy circuit in Melbourne since the nineties.  His hilarious new show One Small Trip takes us on a wild and wacky journey to the moon, along with his  bunch of loony misfits.

Whiteley

Music: Elena Kats-Chernin. Libretto: Justin Fleming. Opera Australia. Conducting: Tahu Matheson. Direction: David Freeman. Video and Projection Designer: Sean Nieuwenhuis. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. July 18 – 30, 2019

When a new opera begins with the lead character calling for the "Hairy Balls Masturbation Club" to meet for a "gang wank" then you know it won't be boring. Even more so when such lyrics are delivered in full operatic voice with all the gravitas of a Wagner aria.

Whiteley wears its Australian spirit on its sleeve: the show's touches of larrikinism and refusal to paint (sorry) Brett Whiteley as a saint add to the impact of this work, especially when it gets more profound. The dashes of irreverence and humour emphasise the deeper messages.

The Bacchae

Script and Direction by Robert Reid. A Robert Reid and MUST Co-Production. La Mama Courthouse Theatre, Carlton. 10 – 21 July 2019

Writer/Director Rob Reed has inspiringly woven a rich tapestry around themes of revolt, rebellion and war that Euripides’s The Bacchae speaks of.  One can only sit back and enjoy this lengthy but swiftly flowing work.  At the same time it is impossible not to marvel and wonder at the enormous amount of targeted research required to create such a beguiling and masterfully thought-provoking piece of theatre.

All the linkages, that I could grasp, made perfect sense.  Those I couldn’t grasp I was happy to believe were making perfect sense.

Aladdin Jr.

Wyong Musical Theatre Company. Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book adapted and additional lyrics by Jim Luigs, Music adapted and arranged by Brian Louiselle. Based on the Screenplay by Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio. The Grove Theatre, Wyong. 2019 July School Holidays.

Aladdin Jr has been a staple of junior theatre globally for over a decade, being one of the first Disney works to be adapted for the ‘Broadway Jr’ range. Since it first was adapted for young people, it has become the only title in the Jr catalogue to undergo major revisions, to bring it more in line with the acclaimed (and still running) Broadway version. Everything that’s loved about the film and original Jr version remains but it now feels more like a musical inspired by the movie, rather than the just adapted from it.

School Of Rock – The Musical

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lyrics: Glenn Slater. Book: Julian Fellowes based on the Paramount movie written by Mike White. GWB Entertainment, S&Co, in association with Kham Inc, by arrangement with The Really Useful Group (Ltd). Director: Laurence Connor. Musical Director: Mark Chamberlain. Choreography: JoAnn M Hunter. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. Opening Night: 13 July 2019

When all the kids start to play their instruments ‘live’ midway in the first act the moment is “electric” and from that point on the show, which is already in high-gear, soars into the stratosphere. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical is simply euphoric, joyously anarchic, wildly funny and absolutely irresistible, and the best new musical we’ve had from the Lord in years.

Tchaikovsky

Barrier Reef Orchestra. George Kniepp Theatre, James Cook University. Conducted by Dr Mark Eager. 14 July 2019.

IT IS a testament to the quality and ever-increasing reputation of Townsville’s Barrier Reef Orchestra that it continues to attract such a range or international conductors to lead it, and word has it that that there is a queue of conductors registering their interest to perform here.

100

By Neil Monaghan, Diene Petterle and Christopher Heimann. Halcyon Playhouse, in association with Luminary Entertainment. Directed by Alison J. Kovacs. The Round Room, Carrington St, Hamilton Hill. July 12-20, 2019.

Halcyon Playhouse is a new theatre company and 100, presented in association with Luminary Entertainment, is their premiere production.

Performed in The Round Room, Carrington St, Hamilton Hill, the venue will be vaguely familiar to many Perth theatregoers, as it shares a foyer with the larger Memorial Hall Theatre, used by Phoenix and several other companies. The round room is literally “round” and 100 is performed ‘in the round’ or perhaps more accurately in a modified traverse style, meaning the audience are very close to the action.

S-27

By Sarah Grochala. Feet First Collective. Directed by Teresa Izzard. Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA. July 12-21, 2019

Feet First Collective’s S-27 is not “a nice little show”. You will not emerge saying “Well, that was fun”. It is however, immersive, powerful and compelling theatre, excellently acted and with an important message.

Autocannibal

Created and Performed by Mitch Jones. Theatre Works, St Kilda. July 10 – 21, 2019

Autocannibal is the new spine chilling dystopic solo theatre show that is performed and created by Mitch Jones (aka Captain Ruin). This is a fine mix of mime/clowning, magical illusion/escapology, aerial acrobatics and performance art that addresses current climate change and eco system concerns.

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