Reviews

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.

West End to Broadway ... in the Reservoir

The Movie Musicals. Brisbane's Underground Opera House. The Spring Hill Reservoir. February 10-26, 2017. On tour around Queensland

Underground Opera Company returns to Brisbane in the acoustic-rich caverns of the one of Brisbane's famous landmarks, this time with a selection of well-known favourites from movie musicals of the past and present. Hosted by the animated Bruce Edwards both at the entrance and on the surround-sound stage, and superbly accompanied by Brendan Murtagh at the piano, this is an intimate night of mainstream entertainment and a showcase of excellent vocal talent and theatrical versatility.

Visiting Mr Green

By Jeff Baron. Pymble Players. February 15 – March 11, 2017

This delightful two-hander has been produced around the world since 1996. It’s tender yet thought provoking, and its messages lose none of their impact despite the twenty years of ‘progress’ since it was first performed.

The Red Detachment of Women

National Ballet of China.As Part of Asia Topa Festival. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. February 15 – 18, 2017.

I don’t know why Melbourne’s newest cultural festival is Asia Topa and not the more memorable Asia Topia, but the organisers have presented the elite National Ballet of China as the highlight of the inaugural festival, and it’s a marvellous chance to experience even more cultural diversity in Melbourne.

The Flick

By Annie Baker. Queensland Theatre / Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. QPAC. February 10 – Mar 5, 2017

Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Flick comes to life by Queensland Theatre in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre and a Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. Described by Artistic Director Sam Strong as ‘a contemporary Chekhov’ – this production exposes the surprising tenderness and comedy in the everyday.

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