Reviews

Australia Day

By Jonathan Biggins. Heidelberg Theatre Company. Directed by Joan Moriarty. Feb 17 – March 4 2017.

The script is just this side of caricature. Heidelberg Theatre has turned it into a charming exploration of small town relationships and concerns. Each of the characters were clearly developed and the balance between group scenes and the interspersed 2 or 3 handed scenes was cleanly handled. The changes between scenes were louder and longer. There was an effort to cover them with phone messages which provided some excellent laughs.

La Petite Merde

Directed by Brianna Williams. Fringe World. Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den, The Brisbane Hotel, Highgate, WA. Feb 14-17, 2017

La Petite Merde brings performer Brianna Williams back to the place of her emergence as a stand up comedian. This offbeat, quirky show keeps its audience enthralled and finds its many laughs in unexpected places.

Trainspotting

By Irvine Welsh (adapted by Harry Gibson). Andrew Kay and Associates and Adelaide Festival Centre present a Kings Head & In Your Face production. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Station Underground, Hindley Street, Adelaide., Feb 17-Mar 19, 2017; fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, Mar 22 - Apr 13, 2017; Brisbane Powerhouse, Apr 19 - 22.

Evolving from the printed page to the cinema screen to a live theatrical rave (taking place in the most ideal of Adelaide locations), this is the version of Trainspotting that can truthfully be described as not just in-your-face, but possibly in-your-lap (or even on-your-glasses, as the case may be).

Forget Me Not

By Tom Holloway. The Stirling Players. Stirling Community Theatre (SA). February 17-March 4, 2017

Tom Holloway is an Australian playwright who is very popular with directors at present. With such magnificent contemporary dramas as Forget Me Not, one can understand why. Based on real and shameful occurrences in the past, it is a touching and powerful depiction of how one person’s profoundly traumatic experience can impact a family for generations.

Scorch

By Stacey Gregg. Prime Cut Productions. Adelaide Fringe. Holden Street Theatres. 14th Feb – 19th March, 2017

This is the story of first love as seen through the eyes of a gender curious teen, raising modern conundrums around sexuality.

Angel

By Henry Naylor. Redbeard Productions and Gilded Balloon. Adelaide Fringe. Holden Street Theatres. 14th Feb – 19th March, 2017

Angel is the story of the “Angel of Kobane”, who abandoned her law studies to become a sniper and purportedly killed up to 100 ISIS members. It is the third and final piece of Naylor’s trilogy “Arabian Nightmares”.

The Tempest

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Alan Chambers and presented by Sly Rat Theatre Company. Pipemakers Park, Maribyrnong. 17-19 & 24-26 February & 3-5 March 2017.

This quiet riverside location is wonderfully transformed for the radical and often irreverent interpretations of Shakespeare offered by Sly Rat. The unconventional performance of the play is innovative and refreshing while remaining entirely faithful to the text. The show manages to create some spectacular effects in the outdoor location and employs a range of unexpected musical, costuming and lighting choices. The references to 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick 1968) highlights themes such as earthly heritage, rebirth and reinvention of the self through the power of technology.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Jack Wilkinson. Presented by GJ Productions. Fairfield Amphitheatre, Heidelberg Road, Fairfield 13-25 February 2017.

Fairfield Amphitheatre is a magnificent choice to locate this charming and delightful play.

The approach taken by GJ  Productions is minimalist and traditional. Characters are predominantly in modern day dress and the free-flowing costuming for the characters who inhabit the forest unequivocally suggest ethereal creatures and fairies.

The talented vocalist and guitarist Harrison Osborne provided some excellent pre-show entertainment. His soothing, melodic music exquisitely set the mood for the play.

Little Emperors

By Lachlan Philpott.Directed by Wang Chong. Asia Topa. Malthouse Theatre, The Beckett. 9 – 26 February 2017

Little Emperors is multi layered.  It is a personal family story that is profoundly meshed in the immeasurably burdensome cultural story of China’s One Child Policy.  It is presented in a wonderful surreal abstracted way, and yet, surprisingly, it also accentuates the naturalistic and acutely personal via the use of ‘state of the art’ Audio-Visual projection.

BU21

By Stuart Slade. Outhouse Theatre Company. Old 505 Theatre. February 8 – 25, 2017

Outhouse Theatre Company’s mesmerising production of Stuart Slade’s play BU21 at the Old 505 Theatre is a fascinating, compelling piece of theatre-not to be missed, directed by Erin Taylor and produced by Jeremy Waters. Slade’s play was first performed in London at the Theatre 503, in 2016, then transferred to the West End, in co-production with Kuleshov.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.