Reviews

Eight gigabytes of hardcore pornography

By Declan Greene. The Tasmanian Theatre Co. The Moonah Arts Centre. Director: Melissa King. 6-16 June 2018

The set says it all. Separate spaces not much larger than a grave plot; two venetian blinds (from which to view the world or hide our secret selves) evoke the confessional; a shared space mediated by a grid of computer components. This is how we live. Alone, rarely together and mostly in the ether. Pared of the commodities which insulate, the characters are stripped bare, naked as they came into the world and naked as they will leave it.

Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland exhibition currently at ACMI, Fed Square, Melbourne until 7 October 2018.

In celebration of Alice in Wonderland’s 150 years - not so, so, so long ago -Wonderland has captured the imaginative prowess of the original text. It is an enchanting and maze-like journey down the infamous rabbit hole that has inspired many and charmed others for generations.

A mock Victorian study mimics Lewis Carroll’s world and his time at Trinity, Oxford where he penned Alice In Wonderland. The Lost Map of Wonderland (paper map) ushers you through the Hallway of Doors that will lead you into the Wonderland puzzle.

Pride & Prejudice – A New Musical

Script by Carl Lawton, adapted from the novel by Jane Austen. Music by Louella Jury, lyrics by Carl Lawton. The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Tasmania. Director: Anne Blythe-Cooper. Playhouse Theatre Hobart. 8 – 23 June 2018

This is the third performance of a musical version of Pride & Prejudice – A New Musical I have seen, a wonderful adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel (by Carl Lawton – words and Louella Jury – music).The first two were presented by Huon Valley Theatre Inc. as a vehicle for showcasing the skills and talents of the Huon Youth Theatre group. This is a more fully realised vision, showcasing the talents of The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Tasmania.

Taking It Up the Octave: Antoinette Halloran

2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre. 8-10 June, 2018.

Can the worlds of opera and cabaret comfortably co-exist and intermingle? Antoinette Halloran and her instrumental accompanist Patrick Lawrence have attempted to prove that they can, but their undeniable talents and efforts have yielded mixed success here.

Madeleine Peyroux

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse Adelaide Festival Centre. June 8 & 9, 2018.

This was a delightful evening out with old favourites and new songs from Madeleine Peyroux's forthcoming album Anthem, presented by the artist and supported by a formidable quartet. 

Bosom Buddies

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Christine Dunstan Productions. Directed by Jason Langley. Playhouse Theatre. 10 – 11 June 2018.

You know you’re in for a treat when you’re about to see a show starring the grand dame of Australian musical theatre, Nancye Hayes and Australia’s leading song and dance man, Todd McKenney. With over 85 years of Australian show biz history between them this show exceeds expectations and then some. It can only be described as a slick, warm, funny, endearing and engaging class act, a wonderful trip through Australia’s music theatre history over the last 50 years.

The Cat Empire

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Adelaide Festival Centre Theatre. June 10, 2018

If you suffer from S.A.D. or Seasonal Affective Disorder, the best medicine available at the moment is The Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Cat Empire concert was a powerful tonic, packed with energetic, sunshine music that had the entire theatre dancing in their seats and then up on their feet, cheering, singing and clapping along to the music.

Hansel and Gretel

By Engelbert Humperdinck. Victorian Opera. Conductor: Simon Bruchard. Director: Elizabeth Hill. Playhouse Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. June 9 – 12, 2018

Victorian Opera appears to produce more shows for its younger audience than for adults. Fortunately Hansel and Gretel, quite a long opera, was reduced to just under an hour and worked well.

The young cast did sterling work. Cleo Lee-McGowan and Shakira Dugan were the two children, and very convincing they were. Kirilie Blythman played the mother, frustrated by her disobedient children. Stephen Marsh was the father, singing beautifully, but I was expecting him to be more tipsy on his entrance.

Saint Joan

By George Bernard Shaw. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. June 5 – 30, 2018

Director Imara Savage (with young writer Emme Hoy) has boldly condensed George Bernard Shaw’s 1923 epic to half its length, and added a handful of evocative monologues giving greater voice to Joan herself.   

With pale Sarah Snook centre-stage, surrounded by eight male and black-robed judges, priests or princes,  this country girl is doomed from the start. 

The Modern Maori Quartet

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Banquet Room Adelaide Festival Centre. June 9 – 11, 2018.

The Modern Maori Quartet met when they sang and played together at garage parties where they enjoyed it so much they decided to put on a suit and try their luck in other venues. I, like the rest of the audience am very glad they did.

They have an engaging and open approach with their audience and a tight musical sound. The quartet mixes Maori language songs with classic numbers and some great crooning numbers. 

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