Reviews

Shrek The Musical

Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, Music by Jeanine Tesori. Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the Book by William Steig. Packemin Productions. Riverside Theatres (Parramatta). 2-17 February 2018.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a couple of Packemin Productions’ shows and each time I am impressed not just by the singing, acting and dancing, but the creative detail that goes into each production.

Their latest show, Shrek The Musical is no different. Based on the smash hit DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek is a Tony Award winning fairy tale adventure, featuring all new songs and bringing the beloved characters from the movie to the stage.

Light In Her Eye

By Louise Helfgott. Tempest Theatre. Fringe World. Directed by Susie Conte. Lady Beaufort, Beaufort St Community Centre, Mt Lawley, WA. Feb 2-18

Light in Her Eye, written by Louise Helfgott, directed by Susie Conte and performed by Ana Ika, for Tempest Theatre, is a mesmerising monologue that gives a unique perspective on identity.

Anoush, a young woman born in Iran of Armenian heritage, is trying to find the perfect costume to reflect her inner self for a fancy dress party. Trying burquas, hijab, saris, traditional Armenian dress and what may pass as ‘Australian’, she attempts to find the real Anoush.

Talking Heads

By Alan Bennett. Fringe World. Lady Beaufort, Beaufort St Community Centre, Mt Lawley, WA. Feb 2-18, 2018

Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads are a series of monologues that are familiar to many, as they were televised. In this presentation, by Wild Capers, also known as Dunsborough Theatre Group, we see “Her Big Chance” and “Bed Among the Lentils”.

Minus One Sister

By Anna Barnes. Fringe World / SALT. Directed by Riley Spadaro. Theatre Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA. Jan 27 - Feb 3, 2018

SALT. is an independent theatre collective which aims to perform “explosive writing” in work that is “gripping, divisive and unsympathetic. SALT. delivers their promise in this debut production. Minus One Sister is a fascinating production, with an intriguing plot that is both compelling and controversial.

Black is the New White

By Nakkiah Lui. Queensland Theatre. Playhouse, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). February 1 - 17, 2018.

Ah – Aussie Christmas – don’t you just love it: families who don’t normally meet spend concentrated time together; hidden egos, frustrations and disappointments surface like icebergs; people who normally abstain sneak alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs. Add to that an impending interracial wedding, a splash of rampant consumerism, a pinch of religion, a smattering of opposing Black and White Aussie politics – what could possibly go wrong?

Falsettos

By James Lapine and William Finn. StageArt / Midsumma Festival. Chapel Off Chapel. February 1 - 11, 2018.

A cult classic! Falsettos is a superbly entertaining musical presented by Stage Art productions. It is an original and award winning musical written by William Finn and James Lapine, about a dysfunctional yet loving New York Jewish family, set in late seventies with AIDS crisis looming. It is a timeless musical that delves into the need and quest for love and understanding.

Sassafras - An Evening in Paris

Fringe World. The Ellington Jazz Club, Northbridge, WA. Jan 27 - Feb 4, 2018

Jessie Gordon is a glittering, glamorous, golden-voiced joy, who is just gorgeous as she leads the band Sassafras in this French inspired Fringe World cabaret.

Sassafras features Lachlan Gear, Aaron Deacon, Pete Jeavons, Adrian Galante, all superb musicians who work beautifully as an ensemble and have “great hair”.

Club Swizzle

Fringe World. Club Swizzle, The Ice Cream Factory, Roe St, Northbridge, WA. Feb 2 - 11, 2018

From the makers of La Soirée comes this year’s Fringe World headliner Club Swizzle. A sophisticated blend of circus and burlesque for adults, it is exciting, daring and a different night out.

The former fish warehouse on Roe St has been converted to what looks like a trendy, retro style bar, surrounded by some stadium seating. You wonder where on earth they are going to perform until the first ‘number’ consists of converting the bar into a stage.

Bring it On

Book: Jeff Whitty, Music: Tom Kitt & Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lyrics: Amanda Green & Lin-Manuel Miranda. Directed by Katherine Friend. Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre, WA. Feb 2 - 11, 2018.

Black Box’s second production, Bring It On, is a cheerleading musical with a large cast and bucketloads of enthusiasm and team spirit. Black Box is a youth focused theatre company and the cast range from 12 to 18.

Central character Campbell becomes cheer captain at Truman High School and has a good chance to lead them to Nationals, until she is unexpectedly “redistricted” and sent to poorer Jackson High.

Katie Price (Campbell) is an outstanding leading lady with lovely depth, who sings beautifully and a delight to watch. 

Passing

Fringe World. Directed by Angela Dolan. The Shambles, Fringe Central, Perth, WA. Feb 1-3, 2018

Passing, a new solo theatre work featuring the lovely Sahra Hamadi, explores the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality through Islamic and queer culture. Written by Hamadi and director Angela Dolan, it tells of the experience of a young Algerian/Australian girl, who people assume to be white, growing up in Australia.

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