Reviews

Lords and Ladies

By Terry Pratchett, adapted by Irana Brown. Roleystone Theatre. Directed by Bradley Towton. Roleystone Hall, Jarrah Rd, Roleystone, WA. 5-13 July, 2019

Roleystone Theatre commenced their temporary residence at the Roleystone Hall with this very popular adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Lords and Ladies. A full house braved the cold (take a blanket and dress warmly) for a fantasy filled evening.

Persuasion

By Jane Austen, adapted by Tim Luscombe. Genesian Theatre Company, Sydney. June 29 – August 17, 2019

Persuading an audience to imagine a performance taking place in a series of different places across the English countryside in the eighteenth century is difficult enough if you have a revolving stage with multiple sets. To do so on a small stage with restricted wing space and a cast of twelve performers is even harder – unless you have someone who can manipulate the audience’s belief with creative sound and lighting. Someone like Mehran Mortezaei.

 

The Intriguing Case of The Silent Forest

By Mathew Crosby and The Thursday Group. La Mama Courthouse. July 3 – 7, 2019.

The Intriguing Case of The Silent Forest, written and directed by Mathew Crosby, is an astonishingly ambitious show - an exploration of trauma and its long-term effects on the human psyche, created and developed by The Thursday Group collective.

Crosby and company explore experimental and Japanese theatrical traditions including Tadashi Suzuki’s acting methodology in this ‘fractured noir’ murder mystery, developed from a short improvisational piece between Kathleen Doyle and Yoka Jones (The Thursday Group ensemble).

Madame Butterfly

Music Giacomo Puccini. Librettoy by Luigi Illica and Guiseppe Giacosa. Opera Australia. Conductor: Massimo Zanetti. Director: Graeme Murphy. Creative Associate: Janet Vernon. Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Une 28 – August 10, 2019.

Opera Australia's new production of Madame Butterfly is beautiful and stunning; a sumptuous treat for the senses and emotions.

I've been specifically tasked to focus on the new tech and video projection OA is using. If this production is anything to go by then OA are on the mark with not only the use of current tech but being the innovators in its development.

Yank!

Music: Jospeh Zellnik, Book & Lyrics: David Zellnik. Understudy Productions. Director: Ian Good. Musical Director: Trevor Jones. Choreographer: Dan Venz. Brisbane Powerhouse, 4-14 July 2019

Independent musical theatre company Understudy Productions keep gloriously punching above their weight. Their Men of Sondheim collected kudos for its look at the songwriter’s work through gay eyes, Edges introduced the songs of Pasek & Paul long before they became flavour-of-the-month, earlier in the year Naomi Price was electric in a well-reviewed revival of Sweet Charity, and now they’re showcasing the first Australian production of Yank!, a gay love story of two soldiers during World War II.

Muriel’s Wedding the Musical

Book by PJ Hogan. Music and Lyrics by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall. Based on the Movie with additional songs by ABBA. Global Creatures and Sydney Theatre Company. Directed by Simon Phillips. Set and costumes by Gabriella Tylesova. Lyric Theatre Sydney. Opening Night: July 4, 2019

With an almost new cast, Sydney welcomed back Muriel’s Wedding the Musical like beloved relatives at a family reunion. According to PJ Hogan, who wrote and directed the original film, the story of ‘terrible’ Muriel Heslop no longer belongs to him but to everyone who loves the story. Updated to bring Muriel into the social media age, the tale has been refreshed and makes more sense in age when someone can become famous for being famous.

The Cabin

Created by Joseph O’Farrell. Darebin Arts Speakeasy. Main Hall, Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre. 3 – 13 July 2019.

The Cabinreceived a really positive accolade from the audience and the foyer was abuzz with enthusiasm on opening night.  The kids are exhilarating and energetic and the performance is funny and fun.  My plus one and I had an enjoyable time.

Giantess

Cassie Workman. MELT Festival. Brisbane Powerhouse. 4 – 6 July 2019

After a journey to Brisbane’s Powerhouse catching post-work-commute conversations about spreadsheets and kitchen renovations, Cassie Workman’s performance in Giantess is like a lifeline to a fresh stratosphere. More multi-layered than mere mash-up, Giantess is a finely honed performance piece. Like all excellent comedy, it has an underlying sorrow that nails life truths that we can all relate to.

The Boxties: A net of souls. Songs of dislocation and common ground

Presented by QPAC. Directed by Steph McCaw. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, South Bank, June 27 – 29, 2019

Do we succumb to all fears or do we tell stories of the ‘kindness, courage and kinship’ amongst people who stood up against forces that sought to grind them down?

This is the question Ben Burrows leaves with the audience after more than an hour of insatiable music-making by a Brisbane ensemble whose collective voice strikes at the heart and the head.

Twigs That Never Took

Written & performed by Donna de Palma. Directed by Carmel Hyland. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton VIC. 3 – 7 July 2019

A woman, ‘Bianca’, in a wedding dress, talks about her life from flower girl to First Communion to her own first and then second weddings…  Bianca loves weddings, loves the euphoria of them, the ceremony, the music.  It’s afterwards, when real life resumes, that is the problem.

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