Reviews

The Harbinger

Written and directed by David Morton and Matthew Ryan. A Critical Stages ad Dead Puppet Society Production. The Street Theatre (ACT). October 1 – 3, 2014

Poisoned apples, a locked chest, an old, old man in an abandoned bookshop in the middle of a bleak windswept city, a mystery, a love story, a tragedy—the haunting magic realism in The Harbinger will enchant lovers of a good, gothic fairy tale.  

The Suit

Directed by Peter Brook, Marie-Helene Estienne & Frank Krawczyk. Festival Theatre, Adelaide. October 4-12, 2014

Set against the backdrop of 1950s South Africa, this utterly delicious black comedy focuses on neurotically perfectionist office-worker, Philemon (William Nadylam), whose neatly ordered existence is shaken up when he catches his wife, Matilda (Nonhkanhka Kheswa) in bed with another man. Matilda is ashamed of her infidelity but Philemon does not find it so easy to forgive her.

Equus

By Peter Shaffer. Canberra Repertory. Directed by Barb Barnett. Theatre 3, Canberra. 26 September – 11 October 2014

Equus is a most remarkable play.  Written for an intelligent, perceptive, thoughtful audience, and largely featuring an almost prescient psychiatrist and his young patient, it plays perfectly seriously, through the psychiatrist’s desperate considerations of the sanity of his own profession, with some of life’s philosophical questions that might not even occur to us otherwise, turning them on themselves.  The psychiatrist’s envy of a morbid religious ecstasy makes him somewhat less believable,

The 39 Steps

Adapted by Patrick Barlow. Directed by Terence O’Connell. The Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. 2-18 October, 2014.

As an avowed Hitchcock fan and someone who has seen his movie of The 39 Steps enough times to know huge chunks of it off by heart, I was glad to finally get a chance to see the theatrical adaptation, as staged at the Athenaeum Theatre and directed by Terence O’Connell.

The Play of Herod

By Richard Mills. Victorian Opera. Conductor: Phoebe Briggs. Director: Libby Hill. Newman College, Melbourne University. October 2 - 4, 2014

I wasn’t sure what to expect of The Play of Herod, a new composition by Richard Mills of a twelfth century liturgical drama all in Latin, and sung by the Victorian Youth Opera.

I was blown away!

Wuthering Heights

By Emily Brontë, adapted and directed by Nick Skubij. Shake & Stir. Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane. 1 – 18 October, 2014

This wildly successful little company are back again with a production that has success stamped all over it. 

Songs From Stage & Screen

Directed by Ben Francis. The Burnside Ballroom. October 1, 2014

15 year old director, Ben Francis, of Promise Adelaide (a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting Youth Theatre & Performing Arts in South Australia) is to be commended for putting together a lively and warm-hearted revue in honour of Pink Ribbon Day, proceeds of which were donated to Breast Cancer research. 

Point and Shoot – A New Musical

Book & Lyrics by Tyler Jacob Jones, Music by Robert Woods. Melbourne Fringe Festival. Revolt Melbourne Artspace, Elizabeth Street, Kensington (VIC). 30 September to 4 October 2014

Four multi-tasking, multi-talented actors play fifty-four characters and a dozen musical instruments, sing one clever, witty song after another, and (good grief!) tell a comedic, satirical story about the film industry!  This highly entertaining show has won awards and already been reviewed for Stage Whispers by Kimberly Shaw in another city.  Kimberly said the show is ‘hilariously funny and extremely clever’.  Correct.  

LEFT

Long Answers to Simple Questions. Writer/Director/Performer: Tom Davis. The Melba Spiegeltent, Circus Oz, Collingwood. September 17 - 28, 2014

LEFT is extraordinary physical theatre with heart. The exemplary skill, focus, commitment and ensemble work of every performer builds a living metaphor of community. They demonstrate trust, risk, and the spirit of circus which pushes boundaries, shares pleasure in the achievement of the almost impossible and generates audience inclusion.

HMS Pinafore

By Gilbert and Sullivan. Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Sydney. Smith Auditorium Lyric Theatre. September 26 - October 4, 2014.

HMS Pinafore is amongst my G & S personal favourites. It’s a lean, pacy satirical confection set aboard a British naval ship, in which the Captain’s daughter falls in love with a sailor, rejecting the advances of the First Lord of the Admiralty, if you haven’t caught it in the last 135 or so years.

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