Reviews

The Peasant Prince

Play by Eva Di Cesare, Sandie Eldridge and Tim McGarry. Based on the book by Li Cunxin. Monkey Baa Theatre Company Production. Director: Tim McGarry. Gardens Theatre, Brisbane. 6-9 July 2016, and touring nationally.

At only an hour long The Peasant Prince continually punches above its weight emotionally for a five tissue experience. It’s a vivid piece of storytelling that is skilful, theatrical and inspiring.

Monkey Baa’s latest touring work for young people and the young at heart, is based on Li Cunxin’s popular illustrated book which in turn was based on his novel Mao’s Last Dancer, his rags-to-artistic-riches autobiography of how a young Chinese boy from an impoverished backgroundbecame a world famous ballet star.

Price Check! The Musical

By Sean Weatherly and Cerise de Gelder. Loaded Productions, Bakehouse Theatre. 6-16th July, 2016

Consumerism turned into cabaret-what an innovative concept. Co-written by Sean Weatherly and Cerise de Gelder, Price Check! The Musical has been in the workshop phase for 10 years.

Warmly received by its Adelaide audience, this musical taps into the lives of four employees at a local supermarket and one annoying regular patron.

The Little Prince

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre / Monkey Baa Theatre Company. Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre. July 5 – 9, 2016

Monkey Baa once again is providing theatrical treats for the school holidays. This week it’s Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s production of The Little Prince. Next week it’s Random Musical.

Cardistry Cubed

Magicians: Ash Hodgkinson and Lucas Itrawan. Producer: Adam Mada. Melbourne Magic Festival 2016. Northcote Town Hall. July 2 & 3, 2016

What do you get when you put two young but experienced magicians on stage together? A high-octane explosion of colour and a healthy dash of teenage attitude.

Welcome to Cardistry! Made up of Ash Hodgkinson and Lucas Itrawan, both 14. In Cardistry Cubed, the boys base their show around the most popular show of the 1980s: the Rubik’s Cube.

Three things make for a great magic show: the magic itself, the narrative structure, and the magician’s personality.

The Events

By David Greig. Malthouse Theatre co-production with Belvoir and State SA Theatre Company. Direction – Claire Watson. 21 June – 10 July, 2016.

The Events is a fictional story set in a small Scottish town, written by Scottish playwright David Greig in response to the 2011 mass shoot in Norway.  This intelligent, skillful work is a testament to Greig’s capacity for deeply interrogating difficult and profound subject matter.  

Greig’s protagonist Claire, a Vicar, has the humanity, courage and deep spiritual need to confront and understand what has happening to her ‘flock’ after a murderous attack on her choir.

Straight White Men

By Young Jean Lee. State Theatre Company & La Boite Theatre Company. Directed by Nescha Jelk. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre. July 01-23, 2016

Straight White Men manages the rare feat of being both a deep, thought-provoking piece of social commentary and a side-splittingly funny comedy that leaves the audience feeling invigorated by its wildly impassioned energy. Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee cleverly deconstructs both contemporary notions of masculinity and white privilege, but without being condescendingly preachy or completely unsympathetic.

Egg

By Angela Betzien. MTC Family / Terrapin Puppet Theatre. Directed by Leticia Caceres. Southbank Theatre, The Lawler. 29 June to 19 July, 2016

Not too light and fluffy but featuring a very charming and appealing puppet Ovo, expertly manipulated by puppeteer Michelle Robin Anderson, Egg is a mesmerizing holiday offering with strong and rich production values - but ambiguous themes. 

Beneath and Beyond

Director, Producer, and Lighting Design: Bronwyn Pringle. Concept and Spacial Design: Melanie Liertz and Bronwyn Pringle. Costume Design: Melanie Liertz. Sound Design: Pippa Bainbridge. La Mama Theatre. June 30 – July 10, 2016

The deepest depths of the sea. Far-flung reaches of outer space. A space disco.

Quite a curious recipe for a performance.

This production is unlike anything else I've seen.

Usually,when a reviewer says that, it’s code that means, ‘The performance is a nonsensical mess.’ That’s not the case with Beneath and Beyond.

A Perfect Specimen

By Nathaniel Moncrieff. Black Swan Lab. Directed by Stuart Halusz. Theatre Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. 30 Jun - 17 Jul 2016

A Perfect Specimen is a product of the Black Swan Lab, which may be described as Black Swan’s more avant-garde or experimental wing. This lavish, fully fleshed production brings great quality to the downstairs theatre at the State Theatre Centre.

The true story of ‘ape woman’ Julia Pastrana, star of a travelling exhibition, and her husband and exhibitor Theodore Lent, it is set during 1859/1860 in Russia as they travel with the show. Written by Perth born playwright Nathaniel Moncrieff, this is the West Australian premiere.

Splat!

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, WA. Directed by Philip Mitchell. July 2 - 16, 2016

Splat! returns to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre this school holidays and is a high energy celebration of play, friendship and imagination.

Puppeteer actors, Rebecca Bradley, dressed in yellow and emerging from a triangle and Immanuel Dado, wearing red, with a penchant for squares, befriend  Yvan Karlsson, who wears blue and appears from a circle. Together they use dance, acrobatics clowning and puppetry to explore relationships between the objects around them and with each other, and at one stage take us on a mesmerising journey through space.

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