Reviews

Strangers In Between

By Tommy Murphy. Cameron Lukey and Don't Be Down Productions. Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre. Feb 14 - Mar 2, 2018.

It’s long been a rite of passage that young gay men escape to the freedom and adventures of inner city Sydney. 

They leave behind conventional families, often in discord, and in the big smoke build other relationships better matched to their new identity.

Fresh from a revival in the West End, and here for Mardi Gras, Tommy Murphy’s 2005 play is a simple but touching story of a 16-year-old boy from Goulburn finding his way – and new friendships – through Kings Cross.

What Doesn't Kill You [Blah Blah] Stronger

By Tyler Jacob Jones and Robert Woods. For Holland Street Productions for Fringe World. Ace's Cabaret, Downstairs at the Maj, His Majesty's Theatre, Hay St, Perth, WA. Feb 13-17, 2018

What Doesn’t Kill You [Blah Blah] Stronger is quite possibly the funniest show at Fringe World, and while seeing it may not make you stronger, it will certainly leave you feeling better.

The Magnolia Tree

By Michael Griffith. Directed by Michael Griffith. Path2 Productions. The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. 14 - 17 February 2018

Three family members discover there are no easy solutions to the problem of their mother’s increasing dementia. Or perhaps there’s one? Dealing with an aging family member is an experience most of us will face at some point. Writer Michael Griffith takes this subject somewhere darker by pitting his characters against one another and playing with their foibles and desires. This interaction pushes the narrative into thriller territory.

The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek

Written by Kathryn Marquet. Directed by Ian Lawson. Presented by La Boite and Playlab. La Boite Roundhouse Theatre, 10 February - 03 March, 2017

The excited Valentine’s Day crowd at opening night of this world-premiere production were wooed by The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek. People were screeching with laughter at the outrageous comedic dialogue one moment, pin-drop quiet the next as seething tensions rose among the characters.

Mikelangelo and Anushka: Siblings

The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. Feb 13 - 18, 2018.

Let yourself be enchanted by the songs and sways of Siblings. Get sucked into this charismatic and absurd cabaret!

Siblings is a namesake dynamic musical storytelling show by Mikelangelo and Anushka. It is an original composition of fun loving vignettes of their early years together.

Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl

Fringe World. Directed by Jess Love. Circus Palace, Elizabeth Quay, The Esplanade, Perth WA. Feb 14-17, 2018

Jess Love begins Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl by making sure that all of her audience are comfortable and offers everyone tea, coffee and biscuits. We soon realise this is because we have stumbled on an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting…. if an AA meeting had hula hoops, trapeze work and a bizarre game of bingo.

We Will Rock You

Music and lyrics by Queen. Story and script by Ben Elton. Woftam Productions. NSW Amateur Premiere. Town Hall Theatre, Campbelltown. February 2 - 17, 2018.

Woftam’s (World of Fine Theatre and Music) production of the Ben Elton / Queen Rock musical was a thoroughly entertaining premiere of one of the newest musicals to hit the amateur theatre circuit. The hilarious script by Elton had the audience in stitches the whole night, while clapping and foot tapping along to many of the Queen’s Rock classics.

This production was full of colour, from the bright and bold costumes worn by all cast, to the lighting and the small amount of set pieces that took us on the show’s journey.

The Fabulous Singlettes

Memo Music Hall. 90 Acland Street, St Kilda, VIC. February 13 - 17, 2018

The Fabulous Singlettes are Naomi Eyers, Melissa Langton and Diane Dixon - each gifted with awesome vocal talent that is showcased both individually and in close harmonies as they channel the girl groups of the 60’s, the hits of the 70’s and beyond.

The Wedding Singer

Book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy. Lyrics by Chad Begulin and music by Matthew Sklar. Based on the New Line Cinema film written by Tim Herlihy. Directed by Pam Cooper with Musical Direction by Sean Fagan. Presented by Sunnybank Theatre Group (Qld). Sunnybank Theatre. 9 - 17 February, 2018

There are a lot of things to be impressed about when you see Sunnybank Theatre Group’s production of The Wedding Singer. The first notable positive is the substantial size of the ensemble cast including an eight-person-strong live band. Everyone on stage (and one can also assume offstage in the band pit) has enthusiasm and a cheerfully infectious joy. The cast are well-rehearsed, never appearing to miss a line or a beat. The show also benefits from great choreography by Jacquie Cullen to support the plentiful songs throughout.

Who We Were

By Jayden Masciulli, Caitlyn Staples, and Tiana Hogben. Hit By a Blimp (Vic). The Improv Conspiracy Theatre, Melbourne. February 2 - 23, 2018

In this homage to the most cringeworthy of the 1990s and the 2000s, I counted 23 era-specific references. I missed others.

The show opens with a dial-up modem screeching as it connects to the Internet. Three high school friends, Max (Jayden Masciulli), Katie (Tiana Hogben), and Amanda (Caitlyn Staples) indulge in some online chat infatuation.

From there, it's a fast-moving romp through the relics of the coming-of-age years of the comedy troupe.

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