Reviews

I, Animal

World Premiere. The Border Project. Zoos Victoria. Melbourne Zoo. Directors: Sam Haren and Daniel Koerner. Producers: Nichola Miles and Katherine Fyffe. Technology by Art Processors. Nightly at 6.30pm from 23rd November, 2012.

Don’t bring the children to this adults-only experience at Melbourne Zoo. Seriously, don’t. I, Animal is an irresistible piece of interactive performance art, utilising patrons and zoo creatures as cast, and the environs of Melbourne Zoo as stage and set. 

Following the success of I Am Not An Animal (Ruby Award for Innovation 2012), Adelaide company The Border Project was commissioned by Zoos Victoria to create what is a unique interactive experience.

Wild Surmise

Based on the verse novel by Dorothy Porter. Devised by Jane Montogomery Griffiths. Malthouse Theatre. Director: Marion Potts. Set and Costume Design: Anna Tregloan. Composition and Sound Design: Jethro Woodward. Lighting Design: Paul Jackson. Malthouse Beckett Theatre. Nov 9 – Dec 2, 2012.

Wild Surmise is a testament to how poetry and heightened poetic images and metaphors can encompass, and when delivered with insight, express emotions with a visceral impact.  Jane Montgomery Griffiths has the power and mastery, as an actor, to deliver deeply felt longing and yearning that is capable of truly touching an audience, as does Humphrey Bower.

THE BURLESQUE HOUR Glory Box Edition

Creator & Directors: Moira Finucane & Jackie Smith. The Street Theatre, Canberra. November 28 - December 8, 2012

Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box is a bejeweled treasure of entertainment, set with scarlet Chinese lanterns, sumptuous drapes upon drapes and promises of hidden delights.  This is not some meek fluttering of fans, or sweet simpering among feather boas. This is burlesque that sticks its tongue out at seriousness, subverts tropes, sings with its heart and pulls art into the world.  

Over My Dead Body

By Derek Benfield. Directed by Joe Tuppenney. The Basin Theatre (Vic). Nov 9th – Dec 1st, 2012

The Basin Theatre Company have presented some terrific productions of a very high standard over the years (I still smile at the memory of their last production), so it’s a pity that this latest offering is something of a disappointment, and not of their usual standard.

Sunset Boulevard

Book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Willoughby Theatre Company. Directors: Simon Greer and Andrew Castle. Musical Director: Greg Jones. Choreographer: Rebekka Osborne. The Concourse, Chatswood. November 16 – 24, 2012.

Reclusive silent movie star Norma Desmond has retreated to the faded glory of her gloomy Sunset Boulevard (Hollywood) mansion, planning her return to the screen, in the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical version of Billy Wilder’s screen classic.

Willoughby Theatre Company has mounted the NSW Premiere of this grand musical theatre diva vehicle in great style.

Calendar Girls

By Tom Firth. Brisbane Arts Theatre. 10 November – 15 December, 2012.

What a great choice for the lead-up to the Festive Season! This Calendar Girls is family-friendly and focuses on the comedy of how to keep photos of mature nude women posing for a calendar, decent and artistic. They succeed!

Murdered to Death

By Peter Gordon. Director: Dawn Ridsdale. Frankston Theatre Group Nov 16th – Dec 2nd, 2012

Frankston Theatre Group has been entertaining the Peninsula for over 70 years and their latest production is sure to please the stalwart supporters. Presented in cabaret style at Mt Eliza Community Hall, it allowed audience members to bring wine and nibbles and get into the mood of the play, the very funny Murdered to Death – a Whodunnit which tips its hat to Agatha Christie – even down to a busybody “Miss Maple” from the local village.

The 39 Steps

By Patrick Barlow. Director: Doug Bennett. 1812 Theatre (Vic). Nov 15th – December 8th, 2012

What a delightful Christmas treat the 1812 has on offer! Even if you’re not normally a theatregoer, you will love this latest production of Patrick Barlow’s comedy spoof on John Buchan’s novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1935 movie. There are spies, Nazis, murders, beautiful women, and a hapless rake of a hero on the run in Richard Hannay. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a thriller, as one poor elderly and somewhat deaf audience member did on opening night. He got very confused by the hysterical laughter in the audience.

Midsummer

By David Greig. Music by Gordon McIntyre. Red Stitch (VIC). Red Stitch Actors Theatre. Director: John Kachoyan. November 16 – December 15, 2012

Life can be like a poker game in the world of Midsummer. Turn the card over and you may be lucky and win; or turn it over and you may not get what you hoped for.

Helena and Bob, the unlikely couple in Scottish playwright David Greig’s romantic comedy performed by Red Stitch, play the game of yes, no or maybe, leaving destiny hanging - they may end up together or they may not, it depends on the choices they make, choices that seem inconsequential at the time but could alter the future.

Fast + Fresh Dance 2012

Presented by Form Dance Projects and Riverside. Lennox Theatre, Riverside Parramatta (NSW). Heats 14 & 15 Nov, Final 17 Nov 2012.

More than a hundred young choreographers and dancers competed in this year’s installment of Fast + Fresh Dance, resulting in 15 short dance pieces being performed at Saturday night’s Gala Final. Artists aged under 21 travelled from as far as Inner Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast to be a part of this exciting project in it’s fifth year.

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