Picnic At Hanging Rock

By Laura Annawyn Shamas, based on the book by Joan Lindsay. Townsville Little Theatre. Directed by Alan Cooke. Dancenorth Theatre, cnr Stanley Street/Walker Street, Townsville. 20-23 March, 2019.

It is hard to believe that Peter Weir’s seminal film Picnic at Hanging Rock first came to our screens 44 years ago.

Now regarded as one of Australia’s classic films, it has gone on to be adapted for television, and was first adapted for stage only three years ago by Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre in an interesting production which had five female actors play all the roles – male and female.


Phillip Adams BalletLab. Dance Massive at Temperance Hall, South Melbourne. March 19 – 23, 2019

Phillip Adams Ballet Lab presents his new show Glory for Dance Massive at Temperance Hall in South Melbourne, involving a pastiche of dance, choreography and visual art that transcends into a uniquely aesthetically disruptive art performance. Adams is a pioneering Australian based conceptual performer, previously based in New York who has performed successfully across the globe, who established Ballet Lab in 1998.


By Stephen Sondheim and George Furth. WAAPA’s Third Year Musical Theatre students. Directed by Andrew Lewis, Musical Direction by Craig Dalton. Roundhouse Theatre, WAAAPA, Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, WA. 16-23 March, 2019

WAAPA’s Third Year Musical Theatre students present Company, in a crisp, clean and clever production that is delighting its capacity audiences.

A great looking show, it features a streamlined set by student designer Ashlea Lansford, evocative and effective lighting design by Rhys Pottinger, top notch sound design by Noah Ivulich and thoughtful costume design by Monique Doubleday - the wedding dress is especially gorgeous.

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare. WAAPA Third Year Acting Students. Directed by Michael Jenn. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth. 15-21 March, 2019

WAAPA’s Third Year Acting Students are using the State Theatre Centre’s Studio Underground to present this large scale, production of Romeo and Juliet. Set in Verona, but in the 1950s, it is a passionate, gorgeous looking show, that sits nicely in its new time period. 

Dance Nation

By Clare Barron. Red Stitch Actor’s Theatre. Directed by Maude Davey. 17 March – 14 April, 2019

Dance Nation is a terrific show that is riddled with spontaneous full-bellied laughs.  Nine consummate actors work as an ensemble to unleash their inner pubescent selves, to play the mostly girls of a small town dance school, striving to shine and win an ever more prestigious series of interstate dance competitions. 

Neel Kolhatkar

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Rhino Room. March 5th – 16th, 2019

Neel Kolhatkar returns to Adelaide, doing what he does best; stand-up comedy. Kolhatkar rose to fame through his You Tube channel. Known for his funny observations and comedy skits, he has remained a popular comic with the younger generation.

This young comedian from Sydney does well with his observational humour. He can tap into the feel of the audience and know how far he can push a gag. His interaction with the crowd showed confidence and likeability. His cheeky smile did not hurt his cause either.

Renee Geyer

Adelaide Fringe Festival. Fortuna Spiegeltent. Saturday March 16, 2019

Four decades and 25 albums later, the fire is still burning in legendary artist Renee Geyer and the Spiegeltent was bursting at the seams with a noisy crowd, anticipating her return.

The audience roared as Geyer made her way centre stage with tambourine in hand. Accompanied by a four-piece band, she remarked that she was happy to be back in Adelaide.

Strictly Ballroom

By Baz Luhrmann (et al). Encore Theatre Company. Danny Gibson (Director), Denise Sam (Musical Director - vocals), Michael Stocks (Musical Director - conductor) and Michelle Withington (Choreographer). Princess Theatre Launceston. 15-30 March 2019

Tasmanian Theatre patrons have been known to travel to the mainland to feed their passion. Some have travelled overseas to see a first-rate professional show. This patron merely drove 150 minutes to be treated to an outstanding production boasting high production values and outstanding talent.

Russian Transport

Written by Erika Sheffer. Fishy Productions in association with Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Directed by Joseph Uchitel. Eternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst, Sydney. 9 to 31 March, 2019

Russian Transport, by award-winning playwright Erika Sheffer, was produced in the US by the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre Company.  Sheffer’s play has its first Australian season at Eternity Playhouse. (Eternity Playhouse is a wonderful venue.  Not only is there raked and staggered seating, with lots of legroom, stained glass windows and beautiful timber, but all three levels are wheelchair accessible.)  

Homer’s Odyssey – The Musical

By Loucas Loizou. Athens Productions. Adelaide Fringe Festival. Multiple Venues. 16 February-16 March, 2019

This was my final review for this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival, which began with The Flanagan Collective’s wonderful treatment of the classical Greek myth Eurydice. It somehow feels appropriate that my Fringe Festival experiences conclude with another great classical Greek myth – Homer’s Odyssey.

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