Reviews

Noises Off!

By Michael Frayn. Wyong Drama Group. Directed by Pam Campbell. Set Design: Daryl Kirkness. Art House Theatre Wyong, November 18-26, 2016

[Cue Etta James] At last, WDG has finally opened their first show at the new Art House! Noises Off was actually originally slated to be staged as the new facility's curtain raiser in May this year (and indeed, rehearsals commenced in March) but due to a delay in the building's completion, the production had to be pushed back six months. While this may have been inconvenient, it certainly didn't hurt to have the audience's anticipation heightened from a publicity perspective.

What’s Yours Is Mine

Devised & performed by Simone French, Tom Halls & Hayden Burke. Directed by Yvonne Virsik. Hotel Now. Poppy Seed Theatre Festival. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne CBD. 22 November – 4 December 2016.

Here is an ambitious show, jam-packed to bursting with satirical ideas about Australia, about land and ownership, about racism, Pauline Hansen, plastic, consumerism, sexism… 

Extremities

By William Mastrosimone. Mystique Productions and Tony Knight Acting. Directed by Tony Knight. Produced by Rachel Wegener. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. 23-26 November, 2016.

A man (Adam Tuominen as Raul) has arrived, unknown and uninvited, at the home that a woman (Rachel Wegener as Marjorie) shares with two female housemates (Nikki Elli Souvertjis as Terry, and Stefanie Rossi as Patricia), both of whom happen to be out…The man gradually turns threatening, with the woman doing her best to avert what she surely fears could happen – but when it does happen, the results will surprise you, and the moral dilemma that is generated brings home to us the awful truth about the violent nature of man and the legacy it sets in motion…Would we all be wil

Spiegel’esque - A Theatrical Cabaret Sensation

Presented by Vass Entertainment and Kermond Creative. Italian Forum Piazza, Leichhardt. November 25, 2016 to January 13, 2017.

This production might just be the theatrical incarnation of the proverb that good things come in small packages.

Squeezing into the gorgeous antique Spiegel Zelt, that we were told narrowly missed being pulverized by a bomb during World War Two, the expectation was for a small cast performing a cosy night of cabaret.

Kooza

Music: Clarence Ford. Choreographer: Martin Labrecque. Writer/Director: David Shiner Cirque du Soleil under the Grand Chapiteau, Airport Drive, Brisbane. 24 Nov 2016 - 8 Jan, 2017.

As a concept, Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza offers a show that is more along traditional circus lines, no animals of course (but it does have a performer in a cute dog suit), plenty of thrills, edge-of-your-seat tension, and just enough European whimsy to make it a worthy addition to their worldwide franchise. Created in 2007 by ex-clown David Shriner, Kooza mixes familiar genre tropes; acrobats, contortionists, aerialists, with a spectacular set, non-stop music, showgirl-glitz costumes, and risqué clowning. All of which makes it perfect family entertainment.

Noises Off

By Michael Frayn. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Cate Clelland. Theatre 3, Acton, Canberra ACT. Nov 17 – Dec 3, 2016

Noises Off is an amusing farce in the best British tradition. Doors open, get jammed shut, or hide suspicious persons. Plates of sardines come and go, and come back again. And this farce revolves around a hoary old farce “Nothing On”, presented by a tired British repertory company. No number of exclamations of “Sweet!” “Dear” and “Darling” can make up for the errors that come about from repertory members falling in love, battling alcohol, and dealing with a broken heart.

Uncle Vanya

By Anton Chekhov. New Adaptation by Annie Baker. Directed by Nadia Tass. Red Stitch. Nov 15th-Dec 17th, 2016.

In many ways, one would expect Annie Baker to produce the perfect contemporary vision of Chekhov. Her much lauded play The Flick, so successfully directed by Tass a year or more ago, has the same sense of the humdrum, the ennui, of Chekhov. I am told that Baker’s script is hilarious on the page – and Chekhov always insisted he wrote comedies – but you wouldn’t know it from the Red Stitch production.

Caliban (Where do the spirits go when the water rises?)

Written by Georgia Symons, Achai Deng, Abraham Herasan, Piper Huynh, Natalie Lucic, Rexson Pelman, Oti Willoughby, and Dave Kelman. Western Edge Youth Arts. The Becket – Malthouse. 24 – 26 November 2016

Caliban is pertinent worthwhile theatre presented by a great group of very skilled young people who do a marvelous job of getting a multi-layered message across to the audience.  Through using the framework of Shakespeare’s The Tempest they are able to utilize established characters and remodel them to serve the purpose of developing a story that correlates to our global warming crisis.

 

Animal

Created by Susie Dee, Kate Sherman and Nicci Wilks. Theatre Works – St Kilda. 17 to 27 November 2016

Susie Dee, Kate Sherman and Nicci Wilks, with the assistance of Angus Cerini, have had the courage to delve into the murky depths, and usually hidden experience, of the insidious damage of abuse.  Marvelously they have extracted a poignant poetic essence.  And with the help of an exemplary production team are sublimely communicating this to audiences.  

Next Fall

By Geoffrey Nauffts. Boyslikeme. Seymour Centre. Oct 26 – Nov 19, 2016.

Geoffrey Nauffts’ dramatic comedy Next Fall examines faith, unconditional love and commitment in the story of a gay relationship. Andy Leonard’s direction examines a modern romance with sensitivity, light humour and sentimentality. A committed cast explore the sensitivity of being gay, in a mismatched relationship that challenges beliefs and values. A deeply moving portrayal of friends, family, former and current lovers coming together in the aftermath of an accident.

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