Reviews

Puffs or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years At A Certain School Of Magic And Magic

A TEG Live production in association with Tilted Windmills Theatricals, John Arthur Pinckard and David Carpenter. Written by Matt Cox. Directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker. Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre, New Farm. August 23-September 29, 2019.

It’s the least known house in modern literature’s most well-known school, but by the end of this show, you’ll be cheering for the underdogs of the Hogwart’s school of magic - the losers, the socially inept, the...well, the Puffs.

“We’re the Puffs, we’re just here to die I suppose.”

Balit Liwurruk: Strong Girl

Created by the cast with Dramaturge Kamara Bell-Wykes and Director Nadja Kostich. Worawa Aboriginal College & St Martins Youth Arts Centre. 4 – 6 September 2019

Worawa is an institution that offers academic, sports and boarding facilities for indigenous girls in years 7 to 12 – some from the most remote areas of Australia.  For many, English is their second language.

My Brilliant Divorce

By Geraldine Aron. HIT Productions. Director: Denny Lawrence. The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. 4 – 7 September, 2019 and touring

Divorce is awful under any circumstances but hits middle-aged women particularly hard. It doesn’t just mean losing a life-long partner. It also involves losing friends, income, routines, all those habitualised comforts and certainties. It’s far harder for a middle-aged woman to get a job or to find a new partner. This is the territory explored by HIT Production’s My Brilliant Divorce, a one-act, one-person play driven by the enormous talent of Mandi Lodge.

Sylvia

The Australian Ballet, with Orchestra Victoria. Arts Centre Melbourne. 31 August – 10 September 2019

The Australian Ballet premiered their latest co-production with the Houston Ballet, Sylvia. Choreographed by Australian Ballet alumnus Stanton Welch and featuring music by Leo Delibes, Sylvia is possibly the most convoluted narrative ballet ever performed. The story is so complex that there is even a cheat sheet handed to you before you enter the theatre, to enable the audience to understand the multiple threads, locations and love interests.

Kinky Boots

Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, book by Harvey Fierstein. Stray Cats. Directed by Karen Francis. Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. August 29 - Sep 1, 2019

The WA Premiere of Kinky Boots played to capacity houses. Not the luckiest of shows, opening night was cancelled due to a power outage, with a further show added on the final day, but this huge production was worth the wait, with audiences loving this big, bold and bright presentation.

Cavalleria Rusticana and Gianni Schicchi

By Pietro Mascagni and Giacomo Puccini. Canberra Opera. Directed by Kate Millet. Belconnen Theatre. 22 Aug – 1 Sept 2019

For this year’s performance, Canberra Opera presents an interesting pairing of two one-act operas, Puccini’s comedy Gianni Schicchi and the beautiful tragedy, Cavalleria Rusticana. Both have been made accessible by using an English translation.

Ruby Moon

By Matt Cameron. Directed by Susan O’Toole-Gridland. Moreton Bay Theatre, North Lakes. Aug 30 – Sept 8, 2019.

Basically, before the start of the play, little Ruby Moon had gone down the quiet cul-de-sac to visit her grandmother and she has not been seen since. What we, the audience, see is the devastating effects this has, on not only her parents but all the residents in this protected street. The story line is not logical, the characters are all uniquely different and the reasoning – if there is any – is challenging to the audience. Thus Ruby Moonhas all the necessary ingredients for an absorbing, challenging night at the theatre.

The Other Place

By Christopher Bryant. Theatre Works. August 28 – September 8, 2019

Betty Burstall founded the La Mama Theatre in Carlton back in 1967; eight years later Buzz Goodbody founded The Other Place theatre in Stratford–upon-Avon.

The Other Place is a study of two women who rise to the challenge of developing theatre outside of the male dominated mainstream. Christopher Bryant has written a poignant historical and postmodern account of a polemical era and Jessica Dick’s direction brings his vision to life, offering the audience a unique meta-theatrical experience.

The Addams Family

Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Music and Lyrics: Andrew Lippa. Gold Coast Little Theatre, Southport. Directors: Jay Ahrens and Susan Austin. 31st August – 28th September, 2019.

Charles Addams’ dysfunctional cartoon family have come to life on the Gold Coast in a ghoulish production of The Addams Family.

This bizarre family consists of the eternally romantic Gomez, Daniel O’Connell; Morticia, Cat Deller; Uncle Fester, George Pulley; Grandmama, Kara Holdom; Wednesday, Chloe Smith; Pugsley, Tahlia Gibson and Lurch, Lawrie Sayer. 

Titus Andronicus

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. Playhouse, Sydney Opera House. August 27 – September 27, 2019

Bell Shakespeare waited 30 years to stage Shakespeare’s early Roman tragedy. It’s a horrifically violent carnival of revenge, his reportedly blood-thirsty attempt to outmatch Marlowe, and please the Elizabethans in the pit – who loved it.  Myself, I could have waited another 30 years.

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