Reviews

The Moon’s a Balloon

Patch Theatre Company. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. April 19th-23rd, 2016.

Patch Theatre Company have done it again; visually breathtaking and imaginative, in its production of The Moon’s a Balloon, the company has made balloons the catalyst for an extraordinary tale of playful adventures that lead to friendship and connection.

The Moon’s a Balloon is the first production for The Adelaide Festival Centre’s 'Something on Saturday 2016' program for children.

Bambert’s Book Of Lost Stories

Barking Gecko. Directed by Luke Kerridge. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth, WA. 8-23 April, 2015

Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories is an amazing new show produced by Barking Gecko, with this World Premiere being very different to anything else the company has produced to date. Lavishly presented, it is a beautifully presented piece for all ages. Adapted by Dan Giovannoni and Luke Kerridge, it is based on the German children’s book Bamberts Buch der verschollenen Geschichten by Reinhardt Jung.

The Wee Free Men

By Sir Terry Pratchett. Adapted and directed by Pamela Munt. Unseen Theatre Company. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 15-30 April, 2016.

This latest journey by Unseen into the uniquely creative world of Terry Pratchett may well prove highly popular to his staunchest fans, but probably has less to offer the average viewer than earlier excursions.

Tommy Tiernan - Out of the Whirlwind

Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Hamer Hall, Melbourne. Sunday 17 April, 2016.

Until recently Tiernan held the world record for the longest solo stand up comedy show and his stamina on stage shows no sign of abating. Tiernan’s performance is like a high-octane adrenalin rush. Also known for his tendency to court controversy, his material has a no holds barred approach, touching on topics ranging form sex to global politics. Tiernan’s humour is designed to offend but this is clearly a style rather than a reflection of his worldview.

Educating Rita

By Willy Russell. Christine Harris & Hit Productions. Directed by Denny Lawrence. QUT Gardens Theatre, Brisbane 14 & 15 April, 2016, and touring.

The more I see this play the more I see in it. Willy Russell's timeless tale of two contrasting characters in a teacher/student role exploring life's journey in all its complexities is as endearing as it is chucklesome. This little gem is not only entertaining but also full of substance, demonstrating the inclusion of different levels of exploration involving the British class system, environment, psychology and, of course, the matter of education.

CROSSxROADS

Music and Lyrics by Anthony Costanzo. Book by Peter Fitzpatrick. Directed by Tyran Parke.. Chapel off Chapel. April 16-30, 2016.

It’s a heady feeling to be at the World Premiere of a new musical - an Australian musical at that. The excitement in the foyer was palpable, and I was amongst the most excited. We theatre lovers and Musical Theatre Tragics all want to see a smash hit created here, but perhaps our expectations are too high, and our patience is wearing thin. However, even the most generous of theatre-goers may have been a little disappointed at the end result of CROSSxROADS after nearly four years in development.

Machu Picchu

By Sue Smith. State Theatre Company of South Australia. Dustan Playhouse. 13 April – 1 May, 2016

Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; a man-made sculpture that has stood the test of time, predominantly because of its impenetrable foundations.

Sue Smith has written a story about love; the love we must find for ourselves when faced with unmentionable tragedy. Faced with her own mortality in 2014, she sought out wise people during her experience. This helped her find the courage needed to survive and we are privileged to witness this raw piece of theatre as a result.

Bright World

By Elise Hearst & Andrea James. Directed by Paige Rattray. ARTHUR & Theatreworks, at Theatreworks, Acland Street, St Kilda (VIC). 13-30 April 2016

On 6 December 1938, some weeks after Kristallnacht in Germany and Austria, 78-year-old William Cooper led a delegation in Melbourne to the German Consulate. They presented a petition protesting at ‘the cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi government of Germany’. The consulate did not accept the petition. William Cooper was an Aboriginal man – a Yorta Yorta man – and his petition was on behalf of the Australian Aboriginal League, which he had founded.

The Elephant Man

By Bernard Pomerance. The Adelaide Rep. Directed by Megan Dansie. The Arts Theatre, Adelaide. April 14-23, 2016

The Elephant Man is something of a hard sell, as the large number of empty seats on the opening night of The Adelaide Rep’s latest production attests. This is a joyous, witty and ultimately life affirming play that contains many scenes of hearty good humour. But it is hard to describe the story without making it sound like a depressing slog.

Hay Fever

By Noël Coward. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. April 11 – May 21, 2016.

Director Imara Savage has given Hay Fever all the panache that was Noël Coward. Fast and witty, colourful and provocative, it is the kind of production ‘The Master’ would relish were he alive today.

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