Reviews

Man of La Mancha

Book by Dale Waserman, music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. Squabbalogic. The Reginald, Seymour Centre, Sydney. February 25 – March 21, 2015.

On a rough-hewn platform stage, with its seemingly endless nooks and crannies for musicians and performers, Squabbalogic’s taut, re-envisioned intimate staging of classic Broadway musical Man of La Mancha effectively preserves the epic storytelling dimension of the original. It’s yet another rewarding production from director Jay James-Moody, and one of the most effective uses I recall of the Seymour Centre’s downstairs black box space, The Reginald, including the lighting gantry / walkway.

Azimut

Compagnie 111- Aurélien Bory/ Le Groupe acrobatique de Tanger. Adelaide Festival of Arts. Adelaide Festival Theatre. February 27- March 1, 2015

Director Aurélien Bory’s collaboration with the acrobats who perform his creation, Azimut, began ten years ago when he met the group on a Tangier beach. Azimut is their second collaborative piece together.

Aurélien Bory’s Compagnie 111 staged the Exclusive Australian Premiere of the show last Friday night, the launch night of Adelaide Festival 2015. The production continues in a very short season until 1st March.

The Business of Murder

By Richard Harris. Director: Sharon White. Nash Theatre @ Merthyr Road Uniting Church, New Farm. 26 Feb – 14 Mar 2015

Richard’s Harris’ The Business of Murder was originally written for television and later adapted for the stage where it had a eight year run in the West End. Despite its success on stage its small-scale television roots are still in evidence in Sharon White’s stylishly modest production for Nash Theatre.

Summer of the Aliens

By Louis Nowra. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Director: Mark Morgan. Playhouse Theatre Hobart. February 27 to March 14 2015

Mark Morgan directed Louis Nowra’s Summer of the Aliens for the Hobart Repertory Theatre Society with a fine cast of energetic actors who understood the play and its characters well.

Louis Nowra’s semi-autobiographical tale of a boy obsessed with aliens is often called a ‘memory play’, which also fits into the ‘coming of age’ category. Summer of the Aliens, more about alienation than aliens, is set during the summer of 1962 in Melbourne.  

Tommy

By Pete Townsend and The Who. Adelaide Festival of Arts. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. February 26 – March 1, 2015

Leave all your memories of the 1969 production of Tommy at the door, because it has been given an overhaul. If you are one for tradition then you may gasp at Eric Mingus’s interpretation of this classic score. Forget rock opera for Tommy is scattered with more musical genres than your iPod.

Beyond

Circa. Directed by Yaron Lifschitz. Canberra Theatre 25–28 February 2015 and touring N.S.W., Tas., and Vic. till September 2015

Circus has changed so utterly in the past 30 years that the animal and clown acts that once were its staple have become dim memories overtaken by the modern tendency toward juggling, vertical acrobatics, energetic tumbling, and choreographed slapstick.

Trash Test Dummies

Adelaide Fringe. Garden of Unearthly Delights, La Cascadeur. Feb 25 – Mar 15, 2015

If you are a fan of The Three Stooges then get along to see this laugh out loud mix of circus and comedy. There is plenty of slapstick to entertain kids and adults alike. Three garbologists (Simon Wright, Jamie Bretman and Jack Coleman) make up this hilarious troupe of highly energetic misfits. You will never look at your wheelie bin the same again as you watch them dance and jump around in this carefully choreographed show.

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Judi Crane. Theatre 3, Acton. 20 February – 7 March 2015

How must a man win a woman whose romantic feelings depend upon his name?  And how will his love triumph over his best friend’s determination to thwart him?

Wot? No Fish!!

Written & Performed by Danny Braverman. bread&cirsuses. Direction – Nick Philippou. Becket Theatre, Malthouse. 24 February – 8 March 2015

A lanky self-titled ‘Schlump’ (kind of like a Schmuck but not as useless) in a glaringly un-pressed suit, Danny Braverman introduces himself through offering the entering audience Gefilte Fish and Charin. This is quite delicious and intrinsically linked to his story which is as much about being Jewish as it is about love, family, marriage and living in London between 1926 and 1982.  He reminds us a number of times that the Charin is like life – sweet and sour.

Beckett Triptych

State Theatre Company of South Australia / Adelaide Festival of Arts. State Theatre Scenic Workshop and Rehearsal Room, Festival Centre. February 20 – March 15, 2015.

Beckett is one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century. Celebrated for his realism, his works illustrate a bleak view of human experience. His tales told in somewhat simplistic form, never leave the audience with closure. Beckett Triptych brings three of his later works together, each dealing with isolation and inner torment. Constantly asking questions, his ambiguous tales leave you uncomfortable, however his script draws you in.

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