Reviews

When The Rain Stops Falling

By Andrew Bovell. St. Jude’s Players (SA). Directed by Geoff Britain. St. Jude’s Hall, Brighton. April 14-23, 2016

Andrew Bovell’s play chronicles three generations of a troubled family, exploring the ways in which the sins of parents affect the lives of their children, and the tangled web of interconnected psychological neuroses that result. Events unfold in a non-linear, episodic fashion, jumping backwards and forwards in time seemingly at random, the pieces of the puzzle only coming together at the very end.

Songs for Sarah Connor

Written by Alastair Tomkins. Directed by Penny Farrow. MICF. Chapel of Chapel 12 - 16 April, 2016

There is so much on offer at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival that sometimes shows that deserve to be seen fall through the cracks and have to rely on word-of-mouth or the odd critic who deigns to cover them, to find an audience. Songs for Sarah Connor falls into this category. Fortunately the word of mouth could be nothing but terrific and this critic certainly enjoyed herself.

Brisbane Baroque 2016

In association with QPAC. 8-16 April 2016

Agrippina (originally created for the Gottingen International Handel Festival) with libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani, music by George Frideric Handel, directed by Laurence Dale and King Arthur with text by John Dryden, music by Henry Purcell, directed by Rodney Fisher

I (Honestly) Love You

Written and directed by Damon Lockwood. Lockwood Productions. Melbourne International Comedy Festival, National Theatre, 20 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, 13 -16 April 2016.

Our often foolish behaviour when we are in love provides ample comic material for this play. Lockwood has added a further element to this age-old topic by making the two protagonists compulsive truth tellers, and their brutal honesty frequently spells disaster for romance.

The ensuing embarrassing episodes provide some extremely funny scenarios. This is a novel idea with some innovative reflexive techniques.

Good People

By David Lindsay-Abaire. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Directed by Mark Kilmurry. 7 April – 21 May, 2016

Every now and again the Ensemble picks up a Broadway play overlooked by the bigger Aussie theatre companies. Such is Good People, which won the 2011 New York Drama Critics Award for Best Play, and which here proves to be an absolute killer.

The first night audience sat up, the five-person cast stood tall and the evening ended with the most heartfelt, urgent applause. Somewhere playwright David Lindsay-Abaire must have been feeling good.

The Original Grease

By Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Squabbalogic. Director: Jay James-Moody. Musical Director: Benjamin Kiehne. Choreographer: Simone Sallé. Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre. April 6 – May 7, 2016

Before Grease became a popular movie, subsequently sanitized into just another high school musical, it was a darker stage musical with a real underbelly of teenage angst and delinquency. It was far edgier, raunchier, and more brutal, especially so in this ‘original’ pre-Broadway version, currently being presented by Squabbalogic.

While the Grease we know now is full-on 50s nostalgia, this raw original version was a kind of anti-nostalgia. The coarse language, attitude, cruelty and bullying of delinquent teenagers are far more in-your face.

Human - Simon Taylor

Trades Hall Theatre. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Mar 24 – Apr 17, 2016.

Simon starts with a roadmap to his show- a little magic, a story, a song and a poignant ending all of which he delivers.

His magic is of the variety that looks inept all the while using a great deal of eptness to amuse and deliver the surprise.

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience

Interactive Theatre International. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Aegean Restaurant, Fitzroy. 16 – 21 April, 2016

On the menu at the Aegean Restaurant in Fitzroy this week are large helpings of physical humour, outrageously spicy political incorrectness, lashings of laughter, and a delicious 3-course meal to wash it all down. Who knew dining out could be such a chaotic adventure?

Dybbuk

Conceived and Curated by Samara Hersch. Featuring the band Klezmania. Dramagturg – Lara Thoms. Sound Design - Marco Cher-Gibard. Lighting Design – Dans Maree Sheehan. Malthouse – The Beckett. April 12 -14, 2016

This evening is full of the unexpected and a marvelous opportunity to catch a unique and culturally abundant journey of storytelling with a full-bodied and resonant Jewish essence.

Lucia di Lammermoor

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti. Librettist: Salvadore CammaranoVictorian Opera. Director: Cameron Menzies. Musical Director: Richard Mills. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. April 12 – 21, 2016

Jessica Pratt has sung Lucia in some of the biggest opera houses in the world. Melbourne audiences were luckier than that. They got to hear her in the intimate Her Majesty’s theatre where she rarely needed to open up that magnificent instrument and so was able to give a much subtler, nuanced performance. Her pianissimo singing was particularly beautiful, and made her a more vulnerable Lucia than one would find in a bigger theatre.

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