Reviews

Once in Royal David's City

By Michael Gow. New Theatre, Newtown, NSW. March 19 – April 13, 2019.

Michael Gow tells his stories via believable characters and tight dialogue, especially when the messages are just a little bit angry, just a little bit critical, just a little bit emotional. Through his young protagonist, Will Drummond, Gow uses the theatre to raise issues that affect us all – inequality, exploitation, illness, loss. And in true political theatre style, he uses real situations and vulnerable characters who reach past the stage to tell us that “the war might be endless, and it’s probably already lost but that’s not a reason to give up”.

Dusty

Songs recorded by Dusty Springfield, book by John-Michael Howson, David Mitchell and Melvyn Morrow. Northern Light Theatre Company (SA). Shedley Theatre, Elizabeth. March 29 – April 13, 2019

Dusty Springfield is credited with saying, ‘It's marvellous to be popular, but foolish to think it will last.’ Little did she realise that her fame would last and she would become a pop icon whose music is still popular today.

Northern Light Theatre Company took a gamble presentingDusty. The show relies on a singer/actress who can belt out 24 of the pop legend’s hits plus carry out numerous wig and costume changes while still giving us a realistic character, from Dusty’s early beginnings through to fame, demise and resurgence.

Reagan Kelly

Written by Lewis Treston. Directed by David Hill. Presented by Rocket Boy Ensemble. Sue Benner Theatre. 20 – 30 March, 2019

Pretend to be normal and everything will get better. There would be few of us in the arts sector incapable of relating to that feeling. While Reagan Kelly is a fresh, Brisbane-based, laugh-a-minute comedy, that’s one of the deeper sentiments lying beneath the ample chuckles. Lewis Treston’s darkly clever script is packed with witty one-liners, ‘so funny because it’s true’ moments and surprises, the audience can barely catch their breath at times.

Animal Farm

By George Orwell, adapted for the stage by Nelson Bond. Life on Hold. Directed by Sarah Christiner. The Victoria Park Hotel, WA. March 27 - Apr 12, 2019

Life On Hold’s production of Animal Farm is more serious than one normally expects for pub theatre. This production, staged upstairs at the Victoria Park Hotel, is a well-polished, thoughtful Staged Reading or Reader’s Theatre version of George Orwell’s political allegory.

Perfect

By Jacqueline Mifsud. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Globe Alley. March 28 – April 7, 2019

Perfect is the new show by the up and coming talented and eccentric comedienne Jacqueline Mifsud. A defiant and self-righteous zany personality, she is determined to make her audience laugh at her and with her while she bursts open her cathartic bubble of life as a single thirty-three year old woman.

To Kill a Mockingbird.

Adapted by Christopher Sergel from the novel by Harper Lee.  Canberra Repertory, directed by Anne Somes.  Theatre 3, Acton, Canberra, 28 March – 13 April 2019.

A young, hardworking, negro family man has been accused of raping a 19-year-old white woman, and the trial judge has specially asked Atticus Finch, a highly principled, experienced, and capable lawyer, to defend the accused.  Through the trial and the weeks leading up to it, Atticus's young daughter, (nicknamed) Scout, comes to examine her own ideas and their implications with a degree of honesty and self-awareness that we hope will be infectious.

 

Dangerous Liaisons

Ballet by Liam Scarlett. Music: Adapted from the works of Camille Saint-Saens. Music Arrangement: Martin Yates. Queensland Ballet. Music Performed by Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Nigel Gaynor. Playhouse, QPAC. 22 March – 6 April 2019

Queensland Ballet started their 2019 season with Liam Scarlett’s marvellously erotic Dangerous Liaisons. Opening with a funeral and the widow being sexually comforted by her lover on the coffin, and featuring an explicit orgy of sexual games, this world premiere is probably the hottest and raunchiest show we’ll see in Brisbane this year.

I’m With Stupid

By Chas Dean. Melbourne Comedy Festival. Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets, Collingwood. March 27 – April 10, 2019

After years in the comedy scene as tech support, backup singer and general factotum, journeyman comedian Chas Dean has stepped up to the microphone for his first MICF show I’m With Stupid (A one man show).

Dean has a diffident, affable style, and is clearly comfortable on the tiny downstairs stage at Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets.  

The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race

By Melanie Tait. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Priscilla Jackman. 22 March – 27 April 2019

This is the time of the year when the Ensemble Theatre, anticipating an audience downturn during seasonal changes, stages two small-cast plays on the one setting. The first of these – brightly named The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race by Melanie Tait — has now opened and I bet that management is already cursing the shortness of the run. For this 90-minute, 5-female play is a real winner, witness its loud and prolonged welcome.

The Girl Green as Elderflower

Adapted for the stage by Richard Davies from the novel by Randolph Stow. Lyrics and Music by Richard Davies. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton. 20 – 31 March 2019

The Girl Green as Elderflower by Randolph Snow may well be a delightful premise to create a piece of theatre from.  However in this play’s current form, as adapted from the novel by Richard Davies and directed by Sara Grenfell, it does not translate into a fully affective, thematic piece of theatre.   

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