Reviews

Matilda – The Musical

Music & Lyrics: Tim Minchin. Book: Dennis Kelly. Director: Matthew Warchus. Musical Director: Peter Rutherford. Choreographer: Peter Darling. RSC & Louise Withers, Michael Coppel & Michael Watt Production. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. From 25 Nov 2016.

Brisbane’s drought has finally broken; after two years of constant revivals we at last have a major new musical to celebrate, and it’s well-worth celebrating.

Girl Asleep

By Matthew Whittet. Directed by Rosemary Myers. Belvoir, Sydney. 2 – 24 December 2016

Matthew Whittet’s Girl Asleep has recently made its mark as a wacky Australian film. The play that it’s based on is now being staged at Sydney’s Belvoir, two years after premiering at the Adelaide Festival. I haven’t seen the film but I trust my young co-critic, who informs me the play is probably better.

A Very Kransky Christmas

The Kransky Sisters. Space Theatre, Adelaide. Dec 8th – 10th, 2016

The Kransky Sisters are a macabre looking trio from Esk in rural Queensland. They travel Australia in their Morris Major entertaining with songs they have learnt from listening to the ‘wireless’. This time around we are privileged to share Christmas songs and stories.

Bachelorette

By Leslye Headland. Twelve Angry. The Stables at The Meat Market. 6 – 11 December 2016

Director Matilda Dixon-Smith and the team that have worked on and produced this show have much to be proud of.  Bachelorette is well managed, beautifully realized, flawlessly put together, finely tuned and smoothly presented.   As the successful outcome of the conscientious work of a skilled youthful team the generous Pozible donors can certainly congratulate themselves on their foresight in supporting this production.

Scrooge the Musical

By James Leisy, adapted from the 1970 film Scrooge. Directed by Justin Friend. Old Mill Theatre, South Perth, WA. 2 - 16 December 2016

This was the second stage-version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol that I saw within days. Although family-friendly, this was not a production that shied away fro the darker themes, while still allowing for light and fun.

Barry Park was an excellent choice in the title role. Strangely likeable, even when being mean and miserly, he was an excellent protagonist who trod this character tight-rope beautifully.

bare

By John Hartmere and Damian Intrabartolo. Supply Evolution. Director / Choreographer: Hannah Barn. Musical Director: Matt Reid. The Depot Theatre, Marrickville. Nov 30 – Dec 17, 2016.

bare goes boldly where most other high school musicals fear to go; it’s a thought-provoking piece dealing truthfully and edgily with gay sexual identity in a co-ed Catholic boarding school, throwing body image issues, peer pressure and bullying into the mix for good measure.

Teenage rites of passage play out in tandem with rehearsals for a musical version of Romeo and Juliet, balancing the angst, hormones and emotional drama with lighter moments. The predominantly rock score integrates rap, soul and Broadway-style ballads effectively.

#She: a celebration of women

Promise Adelaide. Scotch College Chapel. 3-4 December, 2016

I am always in awe of anyone who 'walks the walk' rather than just 'talks the talk'. Ben Francis is to be congratulated for creating and directing the Promise Adelaide group. This young man, recently awarded the ‘Minister for Education and Child Development’ award has built over the last three years, a promise to Adelaide of hope for the future.

The Tempest

By William Shakespeare. Presented by Melbourne Shakespeare Company, St. Kilda Botanical Gardens, 2-11 December, 2016.

The outdoor setting allows for a fresh and playful approach to the staging of this play. The performers take command of the large open space, even if the scale of the demand is sometimes apparent. The characters and speeches are all approached with novel ideas and raw musical talent combined with a highly fluid and delicate choreography of movement.

Circus 1903

Works Entertainment Group. Canberra Theatre 1–11 December 2016 and touring to Sydney and Melbourne.

Modern circus productions, increasingly resting on an overarching narrative, have been an interesting innovation in indoor theatre, where the seats and atmosphere are usually more comfortable than a tent can provide.  But there’s something to be said for the feel of old-circus, with its simple performances by a circus art’s most spectacular exponents; its unpredictability; the obvious hazards in performance height and the presence of carnivorous animals.  (The danger of falling, though muted by falling mats, is real; in the show’s first two days, two a

The Last Five Years

Written and Composed by Jason Robert Brown. Vic Theatre Company. Directed by Chris Parker fortyfivedownstairs. Nov 25 - Dec 11, 2016.

Sitting in the front row watching Verity Hunt-Ballard (Cathy) and Josh Piterman (Jamie) go hammer and tongs was an electrifying experience.

I felt like, not a member of an audience, but, a voyeur inside their bedroom watching their relationship finish, start then middle.  

The episodes of their relationship drag across each other like tides going in opposite directions on the beach. One is a successful Jewish writer surrounded by temptation, the other a struggling actress.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.