Reviews

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare, Directed by Peter Evans. Bell Shakespeare. Fairfax Studio. Melbourne Arts Centre. April 24 - May 10, 2015.

Last year Peter Evans brought us a version of “The Dream” that was sheer magic. This year however, his wand has a definite crack in it and, try as it might, the cast was unable to weave a spell to transport us. Don’t misunderstand – it is a very good quality production, but it isn’t breathtakingly special in a way we have come to expect from this company.

Hot Shoe Shuffle

Story and concept by David Atkins and Max Lambert. Original choreography by David Atkins and Dein Perry. Book by Larry Buttrose and Kathryn Riding. Birdie Productions. Bryan Brown Theatre, Bankstown. April 24 - May 2, 2015.

It was a new theatre company, inside an almost new venue and cripes the man who wrote it, is sitting in the audience right in the middle of the third row. That would be enough to set the butterflies fluttering in the sturdiest of stomachs.

No wonder that afterwards one of the performers burst into tears off stage. It was prompted by the standing ovation led by David Atkins at the curtain call.

Storm Boy

By Colin Thiele, adapted by Tom Holloway. Sydney Theatre Company / Barking Gecko Theatre Company. Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company. 24 April to 17 May 2015, then touring to Wollongong, Geelong, Canberra, Mandurah and Perth

Tom Holloway’s sensitive adaptation of Colin Thiele’s timeless story of a boy and a pelican has returned to Sydney before beginning a national tour. Under the direction of John Sheedy, Storm Boy, Mr Percival and the great sweeping sand dunes of the Coorong itself come to life on the evocative landscape suggested by Michael Scott-Mitchell’s set and the incredible puppets he has designed.

Black Diggers

By Tom Wright. Queensland Theatre Company. Directed by Wesley Enoch. Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne. 22-26 April, 2015

The first sound that rang out at the official ANZAC Day dawn service in Canberra on April 25 (today) was a didgeridoo. Those who heard it said it was reminiscent of gun shots. It’s a powerful symbol of how far we have come as a nation in recognising Indigenous Australians, and specifically, the Indigenous men who served in WWI at Gallipoli, and other battlefields in France, Belgium and Palestine.

Madame: The Story of Joseph Farrugia

A Torque Show production, presented by Vitalstatistix in association with State Theatre Company SA. Burnside Ballroom. April 21-May 2, 2015

Torque Show’s Australian premiere of Madame: The Story of Joseph Farrugia is fast-paced, frank, funny, often poignant and ultimately liberating theatre. It is also unlike anything I’ve seen before.

The culmination of a long-term project for Torque Show in collaboration with Emma Webb of Vitalstatistix Theatre Company, together with State Theatre Company SA, Madame is created/directed by Ross Ganf, Ingrid Weisfelt and Vincent Crowley.

Samson

By Julia-Rose Lewis. A La Boîte and Belvoir production. Directed by Kristine Landin-Smith. Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane. 17 April - 2 May, 2015

Samson is a story about three adolescents growing up in country Queensland. With the death of a friend and a new addition to the town, many of their beliefs and hopes are side tracked as they explore more questions about the meaning behind some of life's multi-layered tapestries.

Boys Will Be Boys

By Melissa Bubnic. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf 2 Theatre. 16 April to 9 May 2015.

Confronting, visceral, brutal this play jolts the audience into the not-so-pleasant world of the uneven gender battleground of big business – in this case the trading floor … stocks, currency, percentages.  It pulls no punches, allows no compromises. It exposes every possible dirty trick that can be played by unscrupulous men in positions of power – and every demeaning sacrifice ambitious women might be forced to make as they try to win “in a boy’s world”.

Disney’s Beauty & The Beast

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice. Book by Linda Woolverton. Adelaide Youth Theatre. Directed by Paula Williams. Star Theatre, Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Adelaide. April 23-26, 2015

Fans of the evergreen Disney musical should not be put off by the fact that this is a youth theatre production. Most of the young cast deliver performances of astonishing depth and range, that are comparable to the work of professionals twice their age. Though the production values aren’t on the level of a Broadway show, they are still impressively polished for an amateur production.

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Geisner, Based on the Comic Strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz. Hills Musical Company (SA). Stirling Community Theatre. April 24 – May 9, 2015

The Peanuts gang came to the attention of the public during the 1950s, through the popular comic strip by cartoonist Charles Shulz. The 1967 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Clark Gesner was based on those loveable characters; a few songs he had put together to accompany humorous and touching skits.

Le Noir: The Dark Side of Cirque

Executive Producer: Tim Lawson. Director/Choreographer: Neil Dorward. Resident Director Mathieu Laplante. Adelaide Festival Centre. April 22- May 2, 2015

Sexy and slick, the fabulous event that is Le Noir is circus for grownups.

Displaying superb skills, Le Noir’s extraordinarily talented lineup includes several performers who are veterans of Cirque Du Soleil. This is not another Circus Soleil though, but more a mix of circus and sultry burlesque. There is no attempt to disguise performers as other-worldly creatures as occurs in Circus Soleil. Instead, their human attributes are flaunted in their top notch skills and sensual costuming.

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