By Annie Barker. Melbourne Theatre Company. Art Centre Melbourne - Fairfax Studio. 10 February – 25 March 2017

The Fairfax Studio opens out to embrace the audience and bring them into the intimate workings of four complex individuals.  It is a great venue for this fascinating, intriguing and enigmatic work. 

The domestic setting by designer Elizabeth Gadsby, of an all-purpose living room for guests, is busy with clashing yet strangely simpatico décor.  Like a fifth idiosyncratic character, the set is acutely integral to the unfolding of the story.  At times it is also used to add dashes of magic realism.

The Judas Kiss

By David Hare. Red Line Productions. The Old Fitz Theatre. February 15 – March 11, 2017

David Hare is such a master playwright in his sublime ability to blend ideas and philosophical debate into the flesh and blood of real characters.  The Judas Kiss is a deeply moving and thoughtful rendition of the night Oscar Wilde refuses to run from his imprisonment and, in the second act, some years later in Naples, how he negotiates his ruin.

The Trouble With Harry

By Lachlan Philpot. Siren Theatre Company. Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre. Feb 16 – Mar 3, 2017

Lachlan Philpot continues to make theatre that cuts edges in both style and subject matter. In this play, based on the story of Harry Crawford (born Eugenia Falleni, also known as Eugene Falleni and Jean Ford) a female-to-male transgender man convicted in 1920 of the murder of his first wife, Annie Birkett, Philpott imagines the complexities of sustaining such a secret and the constant threat of what exposure might bring.

Single Asian Female

By Michelle Law. Director: Claire Christian. La Boite Theatre, Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove. February 11 - March 4, 2017

Newby Queensland playwright Michelle Law has given us a comedy crackling with authentic Asian flavours as part of the BrisAsia Festival.

Single Asian Femalefollows restaurant-owner Pearl and her two daughters Mei and Zoe as they approach a crossroad in their lives.

The play is only five minutes old when Pauline Hanson’s name is volleyed off the dark walls of La Boite’s Roundhouse Theatre, but Law’s play focuses less on politicking and more on social attitudes around race and gender equality.

We Live by the Sea

Patch of Blue & Greenwich Theatre. Adelaide Fringe. 16th Feb – 19th March, 2017

What I love most about the Adelaide Fringe is its diversity. Not all shows need elaborate sets and costumes; sometimes all that is needed are characters you care about and a story that will leave you speechless.

With We Live by the Sea, striking images projected on a white sail at the back of the stage are enough to transport an audience to the ocean. Theatre that provokes thought and raw emotion is when you know you are witnessing something very special.

Chamber Pot Opera

Presented by Bontom. Adelaide Fringe. Ladies Powder Room Piccadilly Cinemas. 21st Feb – 5th March, 2017.

Piccadilly Cinemas is one of the great Art Deco buildings in Adelaide, with a big foyer, a winding staircase and a spacious Ladies powder room. This makes it the perfect setting for this site specific Opera. Set in a public bathroom, it explores the interactions and relationships of women in a traditionally safe space. Designers Isabel Hudson and Benjamin Brockman have used the space to its best advantage, while creators Sam Boneham and Thomas de Angelis have developed an entertaining piece filled with dramatic and light-hearted moments.

Blanc de Blanc

Strut & Fret. Magic Mirror Spiegeltent. Adelaide Fringe. 17th Feb – 17th March, 2017

If you are looking for a show to awaken all the senses, then look no further than Blanc de Blanc. It’s a titillating romp with a French flavour that will leave you begging for more.

Beautiful bodies draped in sequins, lace and corsets set the stage alight, creating an erotic vibe. French arias, mixed with techno beats, pump from the speakers. You have no choice but to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Movin’ Melvin Brown: A Man, a Magic, a Music!

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Royal Croquet Club. 19 Februray-19 March, 2017.

The sound of pure soulful beauty rings out from behind a black curtain – then the source of that magical voice emerges in a bright, fiery suit, bringing the music of Sam Cooke to life…

Melvin Brown is on a mission of positivity, drawing on a multitude of musical and artistic facets to fight a winning battle against the spectre of racial prejudice – and as far as this reviewer is concerned, Melvin’s victory is assured, simply by way of his being as talented, as generous, as friendly a performer as you’re likely to see at this entire Fringe festival.

Welcome to my Cuntry: There’s no-one here so come on in

By Kate Burbeck. Adelaide Fringe. 17th – 20th February, 2017

When writing a good script, there is one rule…revise, revise, revise. That’s where I have a problem with this Adelaide Fringe show. Although I sat through 20 scenes in 2 hours I still had no clue what the writer was trying to accomplish with her wordy and rather self-indulgent dialogue.

Kate Burbeck wrote and produced this play and delivered 90 percent of the show’s lines as protagonist Kate. Whilst she attempted to be philosophical, as an audience member I was left bewildered by the lack of structure and ambiguous storyline.

Camp Rock The Musical

By Julie Brown, Paul Brown, Regina Hicks and Karen Gist, based on the Disney Channel movie. Black Box Performing Arts. Directed by Katherine Freind, Musical Direction by Phoebe Jackson. Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre and Koorliny Arts Centre, WA. Feb 17 - Mar 19, 2017

Black Box Performing Arts is a new community theatre company, specialising in Youth Musicals. They have kicked off with a bang, in what will be one of the biggest community shows of the year.

Featuring 52 talented musical theatre performers under 18, a couple of capable grown-ups, a solid young six-piece band and the support of a huge team - this is a company with great potential.

With the core-cast completely double cast, (the alternate cast moving into the ensemble) my review refers to the Green Cast.

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