Reviews

#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.

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

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.

The Gathering

By Will Halligan and Belinda Jenkin.. VIc Theatre Company. fortyfivedownstairs. November 26 - December 11, 2016.

Not being from Melbourne, the first pleasure was discovering this clever venue down all those stairs in the basement of a CBD building.

fortyfivedownstairs is the perfect setting for a (second outing) try out production of this musical, set at a house warming party at a home that is haunted.

The posts holding up the roof looked almost made to measure, even if you had to look around them at times.

Mack and Mabel

Book by Michael Stewart. Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Working Management. Hayes Theatre Co. November 18 – December 18, 2016.

Musical Theatre tragics and fans (myself included) have been in love with the Broadway Cast recording of Mack and Mabel for more than 40 years. Its lush traditional Broadway score by Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly, Mame, La Cage Aux Folles) is arguably the best ever written for a Broadway Musical flop.

The plot revolves around the relationship between early comedy film director Mack Sennett (Bathing Beauties, Keystone Kops) and his star Mabel Normand, and movie making in Hollywood’s silent era.

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.

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.

F.

By Morgan Rose, with the collaboration of director Katrina Cornwell and the performers. Riot Stage. Poppy Seed Theatre Festival. Trades Hall, New Ballroom. 30 November – 11 December 2016.

A show purportedly about teenagers and sex – or how they learn about sex from random sources – that (according to the program notes) ‘springboards from Frank Wedekind’s 1891 classic Spring Awakening’. 

Scrooge the Panto

Darlington Theatre Players. Directed by Amanda Minutello and Sally Ketteringham. Marloo Theatre, Darlington, WA. 18 Nov - 10 Dec 2016

You couldn’t accuse Darlington Theatre Players of being Scrooge-like with their presentation of Scrooge the Panto, with a generous cast of 33, hundreds of lavish costumes and 24 songs, this is a show of abundance - and even includes lollies for the kids.

Koraly: “I say the wrong things all the time”.

Created, written and performed by Koraly Dimitriadis. La Mama Courthouse. Directed by Olga Aristodemou. Sound design by Christian Bianco and Koraly Dimitriadis. Lighting design by Helen Papadomanolakis. Nov 30th to Dec 11th 2016.

La Mama presents Koraly: “I say the wrong things all the time”, a theatre debut for Koraly Dimitriadis, and she is surely bursting with enthusiasm.  Predominantly it’s her story, the daughter of migrants, growing up in a family culture that has strict expectations of how a good Cyprian girls’ life should pan out. But it also speaks of many issues; broken dreams, non-conformity, disengaging from family, sexism and sex.

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