Reviews

Ned - A New Australian Musical

Music and Lyrics by Adam Lyon. Book by Anna Lyon. Book and Set Design by Marc McIntyre. Directed by Gary Young. World Premiere. Ulumbarra Theatre Bendigo. May 21 – 30, 2015.

Quite simply, this is the best completely original, entirely Australian musical ever. Read on and I will explain why.

Putting it on at a brand new theatre was ludicrously ambitious. This made the triumph in respect of entertainment, music, staging, drama and performance even sweeter.

Masquerade

By Kate Mulvany, from the book by Kit Williams. State Theatre Company and Griffin Theatre Company in association with Adelaide Festival Centre and Windmill Theatre. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. May 20 – 31, 2015.

A contemporary tale of love and loss mixed with a fairy tale of epic proportions, playwright Kate Mulvany’s journey with the book Masquerade began when she was a child and later in life when she had the opportunity to meet the author Kit Williams. A story with an abrupt ending is given new life as Mulvany puts her spin on this magical story.

Babushka: Doll

Created and performed by: Alicia Cush, Bethan Ellsmore and Judy Hainworth. Director: Caroline Dunphy. Produced by Little Black Dress Creatives. Judith Wright Centre. 20-23 May, 2015

It was cabaret night at the Judy this last week with a trio of ladies flaunting their post academic frustrations of varying talents with an evening of anything from opera to pop/rock in a Where-Do-I-Go I-Can-Do-That theatrical bash with a doll theme.

Being a creative collaboration between the artists themselves and the production team this was a personal exposé of women in contemporary society today, touching on elements of feminism, image, career and motherhood (and the mortgage)

The Rivers of China

By Alma de Groen. Theatre Works & Don’t Look Away Company. Theatre Works, Acland Street, St Kilda (VIC). 20-30 May 2015

It begins with a female orgasm via cunnilingus downstage.

All This Living

Written and Performed by Camilla Blunden. Directed by Rochelle Whyte. The Street Theatre in association with Camilla Blunden. 20 – 31 May 2015. World Premiere

“Retired? Retired from what? Life?” All This Living is sharp, defiant, surreal story-telling about how to negotiate old age in a culture where elderly females are stereotyped as burdens to be patronized, whose only importance is as a market for anti-aging products. One of the Canberra arts scene’s most familiar performers, Camilla Blunden explores old age as a new phase of life to be negotiated. Having arrived at this point seemingly suddenly, the character struggles with her sense of self.

The House on the Lake

By Aidan Fennessy. Griffin Theatre Company. SBW Stables Theatre. 15 May - 20 June, 2015

Aidan Fennessy’s The House on the Lake craftily brings to the stage the genre that the film industry seems to be stealing as their own: the thriller. 

The Shoe-Horn Sonata

By John Misto. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). May 22 – June 28, 2015, then The Concourse, Chatswood on July 2.

Ensemble’s reprise of this very special Australian play - and the very special actors who perform it – will be well received by HSC English teachers and students. It has been ‘on the list’ for some years, and seeing it on the stage not only brings Bridie and Sheila to life, but makes the story they tell through John Misto’s carefully researched and evocative script even more poignant for those who study it.

Dream Home

By Emilie Collyer. Darebin Arts Speakeasy. Northcote Town Hall. May 21 – June 3, 2015.

Dream Home is a theatrical experience defined by daring and innovation. The opening scenes immediately put the audience at ease without allowing them to become complacent. The performance is deliberately targeted at creating a tangible and direct connection with the psyche of the characters and the realities of contemporary life.

West Side Story

By Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim. Dural Musical Society. Dural Soldiers Memorial Hall. May 15 – 30, 2015.

If you’re into trendy theatre-speak you might well call Dural Musical Society’s West Side Story ‘Immersive’ theatre.

Don Giovanni

By Mozart. Opera Australia. Director: David McVicar. Conductor: Anthony Legge. Arts Centre Melbourne. May 11 = 30, 2015

I have seen many productions of Don Giovanni, as well as sung a role, but I was engrossed in this exciting production. Everything was dark with most characters in grey or black and the huge grey walls constantly opening and closing to reveal different scenes, opening to a graveyard at the back. This allowed the action to flow. The lighting was stunning.

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