Reviews

No Surrender

By Mic Smith. La Mama Theatre, Carlton, Vic. February 7 - 18, 2018

No Surrender is a new play about a triple poaching in South Africa.  It tells the story of an anthropomorphic Rhinoceros named Roger (Kevin Summers).  Roger has had his horn hacked off during a full moon. A  “poachers moon”, when rhinos are hunted down by the shadows they cast in the moonlight. Roger is bloody, bruised and confused when he discovers his brother Ralph and daughter Rhonda are lying dead beside him.

My Friend Miss Flint

By Donald Churchill and Peter Yeldham. Tea Tree Players (SA). February 7 - 17, 2018

Tea Tree Players have been tailoring live community theatre to their loyal audiences since 1976 and My Friend Miss Flint, the first of this year’s offerings, is no exception.

Premiering in 1984, My Friend Miss Flint is an often performed, typical British comedy. However, times have changed and references to “fat, unattractive women” are unnecessary and could be cut without affecting the play’s integrity.

Nadia Collins in Virgin Bloody Mary

Fringe World. Directed by Nadia Collins. Rosie O'Grady's, James St, Northbridge, WA. Feb 5-9, 2018

When you receive a phone call from God asking you to become pregnant with the Son of God, what is a girl to do? In Virgin Bloody Mary, Nadia Collins is an anti-heroine, rebel antithesis to the Virgin Mary, who chooses the wrong sperm and becomes pregnant with the Son of Satan.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical

By Allan Scott and Stephan Elliott. Directed by Simon Phillips. Regent Theatre, 191 Collins St, Melbourne. January 21 - April 29, 2018, then touring.

It is not hard to imagine how the visual splendour of the original 1994 film could be transposed to the stage. This tenth-anniversary return run lives up to every expectation and is just as flamboyant and impish as the film. This musical version is an absolute extravaganza of glittering costumes, awesome sets and fabulous musical talent.

Tristan and Isolde

By Richard Wagner. Melbourne Opera. Director: Suzanne Chaundy. Musical Director: Anthony Negus. Palais Theatre, St Kilda, February 5 & 7, 2018 and Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Feb 10.

I attended what should have been the second performance of Tristan and Isolde after the first was cancelled due to a virus affecting the lead soprano and several other cast members. Fortunately Lee Abrahmsen seemed to have fully recovered.

Isolde is a mammoth role and she sang with power and beauty. She was well matched by English heldentenor, Neal Cooper. They made a very credible couple.

Sarah Sweeting was a sympathetic Brangäne, Michael Lampard a strong Kurwenal and Steven Gallop a powerful King Marke. The amateur male chorus did well.

An Act of God

By David Javerbaum. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst, NSW, Feb 2 - 25, 2018

Self-proclaiming “three-time Helpmann Award-winner” Mitchell Butel is here the vessel through which God steps down to revise with us his now musty Ten Commandments. 

It’s a God, of course, more queenly than godly, an acidic, point scoring showman who, while correcting many of our biblical misunderstandings, ends a little conflicted about his values.

Très Masc?

Fringe World. Directed by Clint Strindberg. Connections Nightclub, James St Northbridge, WA. Feb 6-12, 2018

Cougar Morrison, Perth’s Queen of Androgyny, returns with a brand new show - a celebration with dance, drag and diva drama that delights its audience.

Xanadu

Book by Douglas Carter Beane. Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Phoenix Ensemble (Qld). Feb 2 - 22, 2018

Can a musical be simultaneously indefensible and irresistible? Why, yes it can. Witness Xanadu, the outlandishly enjoyable stage spoof of the outrageously bad movie from 1980 about a painter and his muse who find love at a roller disco in Los Angeles. The plot, for those unfamiliar with the film, concerns Clio, the Muse of History and leader of the muses who comes down to earth in 1980, abetted by her six raucous sister Muses, to inspire an artistic achievement, a roller disco. An artist has drawn a mural of the Muses that conveniently serves as their gateway to earth.

HIR

By Taylor Mac. Red Stitch Actors Theatre (Vic). 30 January to 4 March 2018

Hir is a real shocker.  It is hugely entertaining, hysterical, disturbing, bewilderingly, disorientating, yet, satisfyingly orientating - all at the same time.  It is a timely immersion into a kitchen sink dramatization (pardon the pun) of changing social sexual mores and, as such, offers a cathartic journey for the audience. 

Children Are Stinky

Fringe World. De Parel Spiegeltent, The Pleasure Garden, Russell Square, Northbridge, WA. Feb 3-11, 2018

Children Are Stinkyis a “highly factual” show which sets out to prove that children are scared, lazy, have no co-ordination, are bad spellers, have no imagination and are most of all - stinky!

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