Ulster American

By David Ireland. 2019 Adelaide Festival. Traverse Theatre Company. Dunstan Playhouse. March 13th – 17th, 2019

What results when a British director, a female playwright from Northern Ireland and an overbearing American actor meet? A black comedy of epic proportions. Playwright David Ireland has created an intense, confrontational story about gender politics, female empowerment and owning one’s truth.


By Sue Smith. Director: Sam Strong. Queensland Theatre & State Theatre Company of South Australia co-production. Bille Brown Studio, South Brisbane. 9 March – 6 April 2019.

George Johnston and Charmian Clift were the Australian literary darlings of the 50s: authors who rejected Western consumerism and decamped to a remote Greek island to become ‘real’ novelists. That they eked out a hand-to-mouth living for ten years before the success of Johnston’s My Brother Jack becomes the background to Sue Smith’s Hydra, a play that explores their intense love for each other, their fractured marriage with its infidelity, alcoholism, illness and jealousy.


Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by Michael Stewart. Book by Mark Bramble. Adelaide Fringe 2019. March Productions. Main Theatre at Goodwood Institute Theatre, Adelaide. March 14 -17, 2019

With the recent success of the film The Greatest Showman it makes perfect sense for March Productions to present Barnum. A difficult musical to say the least, it requires a leading man who can sing, dance and walk the tightrope.

Those of us who are old enough remember the great Reg Livermore playing the title role. March Productions have a winner on their hands with Ben Francis from the Tightrope Cast as P.T. Barnum himself.  While some of the leading roles are different in the alternating cast (the Trapeze Cast), I can only comment on the cast I saw.


By Paul White and Narelle Benjamin. Part of Dance Massive at Arts House, North Melbourne. Meat Market. March 12 – 16, 2019.

Cella is an amazing dance performance devised by two consummate choreographer/dancers, Paul White and Narelle Benjamin, currently on as part of Dance Massive 2019 at the Arts House, North Melbourne. Cella offers challenging ways to perceive performance dance that is centered on bodily biological structures.


Music: Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, William Dreskin, Joel Philip Friedman, Seth Friedman, Michael Skloff. Book & Lyrics: David Crane, Seth Friedman, Marta Kauffman. Griffith 3rd Year Musical Theatre Students. Director: Jason Langley. Musical Director: Heidi Loveland. Choreographer: Joseph Simons. Burke Street Studio, Brisbane, 12-16 March 2019/Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne, 21-23 March 2019.

Personals has an impressive pedigree, with book and lyrics by the writers of Friends (before it became a worldwide phenomenon) and Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz amongst the songwriters.

Written in 1985, when people placed ads looked for partners in the free street press of the day, 34 years on director Jason Langley has given the dating concept a clever IT spin with the use of mobile phones and computers.


By Liam Maguire. Hi-JackedRabbit Theatre Company. King Cross Theatre, Sydney. Directed by Liam Maguire. 26 February – 18 May, 2019.

For their three-month takeover of the Kings Cross Theatre, beginning with Wrath, JackRabbit Theatre has changed its name to Hi-JackedRabbit Theatre. This is the first of five promised productions, all around 60 minutes, and all aimed at “people who are bored with Sydney’s nightlife and have been looking for something to do”. Don’t know what the round-the-corner theatre folk at the Stables or the Old Fitz think about that, or indeed the many previous visitors to this oddly satisfying traverse space.

Every Brilliant Thing

By Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe. Starring Kate Mulvany. Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney. Directed by Kate Champion. March 8-31, 2019

A one-woman play dealing with depression and suicide doesn’t sound like fun. But Every Brilliant Thing is one of the most entertaining - and touching - solo performances in years. Thanks, in no small part, to the performance from Kate Mulvany.

Because There Was A Fire

By Jamie Hornsby. Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019. Jopuka Productions (NSW). The Breakout @ The Mill. 12-16 March, 2019

Jopuka Productions’ Because There Was a Fire is by local Adelaide playwright Jamie Hornsby and is a very welcome part of this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival.

It is being performed at the small new intimate theatre venue called ‘The Breakout’ at The Mill Creative Centre on Angas Street. It is absolutely well worth seeing and good to support this company from New South Wales as well as Jamie Hornsby, one of the most dynamic and interesting new playwrights from South Australia.


By Hazel Hayes & Sammy Paul. Adelaide Fringe. Eclipse Productions. Directed by Benjamin Johnson. Studio at Bakehouse Theatre. 11-16 March, 2019.

What lengths will people go to for the sake of money? Can the promise of television fame have a fatal influence on someone’s behaviour? How does the world determine which human beings are worthy of survival over others…? These are just some of the provocative questions posed by this return season of an exciting, outstanding show.


By George Brandt. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Holden Street Theatres. February 15th – March 17th, 2019

Grounded is the story of an American Air Force fighter pilot. Brought to life by experienced actor Martha Lott, it tells the tale of a woman’s love affair with her job and her obsession with ‘the blue’ (sky). “Astronauts have colour, but I am the blue,” she proclaims.

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