Reviews

Cluedo! The Interactive Game.

Written by Xanthe Jones. Game designed by Ben Lynsky. Directed by Xanthe Jones and Ben Lynsky. Music directed by Jye Burton. Presented by Brisbane Immersive Ensemble. Baedeker Wine Bar, 17 April – 25 May, 2019

Brisbane Immersive Ensemble present an evening that’s more of an experience than a show. Forget sitting passively in the audience as a voyeur. This production invites everyone to dress up in 1930s costumes and become immersed in the narrative.

Bach and Mozart: In the Imagination of Their Hearts

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall. Easter Saturday 20th April, 2019

So much rehearsal by so many singers and musicians for a once only performance! But what a performance! And what a huge and appreciative audience! The Concert Hall was full; the atmosphere of anticipation was infectious. And no one was disappointed.

The Chamber Singers and the Symphony Chorus were joined by Capella St. Crucis, Hannover and the Sydney Philharmonic Orchestra to present:

Antony Pitts’ XLX Mente cordis Sui,

J.S. Bach’s Magnificat in D major and

W.A. Mozart’s Mass in C minor.

Les Misérables

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg. Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Original French text byAlain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. Director: Rod Herbert, Musical Director: Anthony Cutrupi, Choreographer: Sarah Friedrich. Manly Musical Society. Glen Street Theatre. April 19 – 27, 2019.

A brilliant production!

10 years ago Les Mis was given a re-tread, with the theatrical equivalent of botox, facelift, and tummy tuck. Twenty minutes were cut from the original run time, pictures added to the backdrop, more sets, more props, fancier effects, less barricade, more moving around on stage by everybody. This souped-up version was designed to appeal to a generation brought up on Marvel movies and the Fast & Furious franchise. This was the version that played in the Australian pro-revival from 2015 – 2017.

Alice In Slasherland

By Oui Nguyen. Last One Standing Theatre Company. Red Line Productions. Old Fitz Theatre, Woolloomooloo. April 18 - May 11, 2019

Judging by American writer Oui Nguyen, millennial audiences go for teen college shlock  mixed with slasher horror movies, zombies and other demons from the netherworld.  It certainly makes for graphic comic book theatre. And presumably it’s a spoof.

In the Solitude of Cotton Fields

By Bernard-Marie Koltès, translated from the French by Lenora Champagne. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton VIC. 17-28 April 2019

A man, known only in the text as the ‘Client’ (Rob Meldrum) goes for a walk…  No, he asserts he is walking with a purpose, to a destination, from one place to another, without interest in what lies between.  Or, his protestations to the contrary, does his walk have perhaps an entirely different but unadmitted purpose?  Somewhere in a city’s dusk, in a lonely place, he encounters the ‘Dealer ‘(Tom Dent), who offers to supply whatever it is the Client wants…  The Client claims the Dealer has nothing that he could want or need.&nb

JUNK

The Flying Fruit Fly Circus. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. April 18 & 19, 2019

“To invent, all you need is a pile of junk and a good imagination.”  Thomas A. Edison

“The more risks you allow children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves.” Roald Dahl

Appropriation

By Paul Gilchrist. Studio Blueprint, Surry Hills, Sydney. Director: Chris Huntly-Turner. 17 – 27 April, 2019.

‘Sydney continues to lose theatre spaces at an alarming rate’ states the Fledgling Theatre Company and so opens its new performance space on the 4th floor of an old building behind Central Station in Sydney. Good for them. A very narrow doorway at street level leads to a very slow lift: Studio Blueprint has taken a large space on the top floor which includes a large thrust stage surrounded on three sides by rickety, uncomfortable chairs.

First Date: The Musical

Book by Austin Winsberg. Music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. Footlights Theatrical. Reload Espresso Bar, Salisbury, QLD. April 12 – 14, 2019

When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds that they are not alone on this unpredictable evening. In a delightful and unexpected twist, Casey and Aaron’s inner critics take on a life of their own when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines.

Neon

Circus Oz. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Melba Spiegeltent, Collingwood. April 12 – 20, 2019

There is a lot to be said about fashion and eighties pop songs, but who wants to sit around and chew on about a retro decade when you can saturate your senses at NEON, a great cabaret and Circus OZ rock show directed by Malia Walsh, currently in the Melba Spiegeltent, as part of the Melbourne Comedy festival.

Chamber Pot Opera

Created by Keiren Brandt-Sawdy, Thomas De Angelis and Clemence Williams. Directed by Clemence Williams. Playhouse Bathroom, Sydney Opera House. April 11-28, 2019

While seated in the Ladies' Loo, hugged gently on either side by rows of lavvies, staring at the assemblage of sinks and mirrors before me, anticipating what was about to emerge (theatrically) from within this limited space, I couldn't help but be reminded of the famous TV trope known as The Bottle Episode. A bottle episode is usually set in a single location, with a single premise.

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