Reviews

Grounded

By George Brand. National Theatre of Parramatta. Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. March 14 – 23, 2019

American playwright George Brand found his concern about drones being used in warfare shifted to the ‘pilots’ who manoeuvred them from bases in the US and the scary fact that, though the drones they control hover over a countries thousands of miles away, their strike ability is a horrifying 1.2 seconds. And, that the fierce concentration demanded of the ‘pilots’ in their lonely twelve-hour shifts, leads to just as many cases of PTSD as other fighter pilots.

Barrier Reef Orchestra

George Kniepp Theatre, Townsville. Conductor: Theodore Kuchar. 17 March 2018.

Townsville gave its adopted prodigal son, Ukrainian conductor Theodore “Ted” Kuchar a warm and appropriate standing ovation at the conclusion of Saturday night’s performance with the city’s 60-piece Barrier Reef Orchestra.

A View from the Bridge

By Arthur Miller. Melbourne Theatre Company. Directed by Iain Sinclair. The Sumner Theatre, 140 Southbank Blvd, Southbank. 9 March — 18 April, 2019.

The incisive social realism of Arthur Miller’s writing is well fired up in this text. Here Miller focuses his attention on the inner workings of Italian-American post-war immigration. Eddie (Steve Bastoni), Beatrice (Daniela Farinacci) and Catherine (Zoe Terakes) appear as a typical successful immigrant family. Despite their struggles, they create a humble but loving home and are able to offer Catherine opportunities for a better life. However, as the story unfolds, we discover that their family dynamics harbour some dark secrets.

Bad Auditions by Bad Actors

Wings2Fly Theatre. Stirling Community Theatre. Returned production, I performance only, March 16, 2019.

While Wings2Fly Theatre focuses on producing two plays per year, the company has remounted Bad Auditions by Bad Actors for one day only this month due to its popularity during the show’s short season in January. 

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare. Directed by Matthew Hobbs. Presented by St Luke’s Theatre Society. St Luke’s Theatre (Qld). 15 – 23 March, 2019

Shakespeare’s beloved comedy of mistaken identity, gender swapping and loves both requited and unrequited marks the first Shakespearean production to be presented in St Luke’s 62-year history. The community theatre group is enthusiastic and passionate in this offering, directed by Matthew Hobbs.

Around the Campfire

Devised by Big Fork Theatre. Directed by Chris Martin. Produced by Taylor Edwards. Visy Theatre, Brisbane. 16 March, 2019.

Kids and kidults alike are treated to improvised songs, stories and comedy sketches in Around the Campfire. The show is packed with imaginative flights of fancy and laugh-out-loud moments.

The 60 Four

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019. Various Locations. March 2 -30, 2019

The 60 Four have bought back the boy band era with all its rich harmonies, classy tuxedoes and snappy choreography. These boys (all in their early 20s) quickly have the audience in the palm of their hands, all backed by a tight 7-piece band.

Playing to a packed house of all ages, mainly Baby Boomers, they soon have the audience clapping along, swaying, using their iPhones for a light show and dancing in the aisles. I even heard some screaming from the back.

Grand Finale

Adelaide Festival. Hofesh Shechter Company. Choreographed by Hofesh Shecter. The Festival Theatre. 15 – 17 March, 2019

Grand Finale is indeed just that, a grand finish to the 2019 Adelaide Festival. Performed by the Hofesh Shecter Company from England and Israel, with an ensemble of ten dancers from eight different countries, this is a high energy performance with links to an international vocabulary of dance.

World Problems

By Emma Mary Hall. fortyfivedownstairs - 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Mar 12 – 24, 2019.

World Problems is the new experimental theatre project written and performed by Emma Mary Hall. Not familiar with her previous work, l found it an interesting and rather intriguing process as an audience participant. She vividly tells her story, recollecting her own experiences via a repetitive recall of  “You remember”. Confident and engaging, she takes you into her personal memory vaults from her childhood days, teenage years, adulthood, present day and into her own dystopic visions of herself in the future.

Zizanie

By Meryl Tankard. Adelaide Festival. Restless Dance Theatre. Space Theatre. 14-17 March, 2019

On researching the meaning of the word Zizanie, I found it generally means ‘discord’ or ‘chaos’, however it can also mean ‘to drive a wedge between’. I think the latter meaning is most apt for this stunning performance by Restless Dance Theatre. Whilst Zizanie is born of the creative mind of the talented Meryl Tankard, who saw the idea of chaos and messing about as being a starting point, it is the metaphor of ‘driving a wedge’ that gives a very strong message.

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