Reviews

Strictly Ballroom

Music & Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper, Robert Hyman, Harry Vanda, John Paul Young, Osvaldo Farres, Joe Davis, David Foster, Sia Furler, Isaac Hasson, Bernie Herms, Baz Luhrmann, Mozella, Theron Feemster, Craig Pearce, Eddie Perfect, Linda Thompson, Elliott Wheeler. Book: Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce, adapted by Terry Johnson. Ipswich Musical Theatre Company. Director: Cienda McNamara. Musical Director: Robert Clark. September 14 – 23, 2018

The world of ballroom dancing has never been more accurately or lovingly portrayed as in the iconic Aussie movie Strictly Ballroom, with its splashy routines, larger-than-life characters, and endless sequined costumes.

#VAL: a glittery ode to queer men and their mums

Directed by Shaun Rennie. Downstairs at the Maj, His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth, WA. 13-15 Sep, 2018

Australia’s John O’Hara has a strong following Downstairs at the Maj, as this musical theatre performer, shortly to appear in School of Rock, also has quite a penchant for cabaret. His newest show debuted to capacity crowds and a very warm reception for this home-grown favourite.

HOME

By Geoff Sobell/Beth Morrison Projects (USA) – Brisbane Festival – The Playhouse, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) – 12–15 September, 2018

HOME starts, fittingly, with its creator and main performer, Geoff Sobelle, nailing together part of the structure that will become the house and setting for an extended one-act performance. In an entertaining use of black screen and lighting, the set is built before our eyes. Multiple characters then populate the stage, appear from nowhere, pop out of cupboards and refrigerators, share beds and then disappear. They perform the same actions – wake up, shower, go to the toilet (!), pass each other on the stairs, take out laundry baskets and get ready for the day.

The Actor Crack’d

By Bill Marshall. A Cracked Actors Production. La Mama at Trades Hall, Carlton, VIC. 14 – 23 September 2018.

Young actor Stanley Gold (Nicholas Jaquinot), has had some good reviews, but now he’s making a living from kur-ray-zee radio commercials for cheap electronics.  He’s desperate to play Hamlet.  He auditions.  They’ll let him know.  So, he’s in call-back limbo.  After a random street assault by thug Bruttus [sic] (Aleksander Eeri Laupmaa), he accepts some marijuana from his sister (Kaela Raku) and ends up lost somewhere without his trousers.  Arrested, he’s committed to a psychiatric hospital… and the rest of the stor

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

By Dario Fo, in a new adaption by Francis Greenslade with Sarah Giles. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. 10 September – 27 October, 2018

The sting in this mad buffoonery from Italy’s Dario Fo is that all of it had just happened.

An anarchist had plunged to his death from the fourth floor of the Milan police station in 1969, likely thrown out by cops during a long interrogation, following a bomb attack probably planned by fascists. 

Corrupt police and extremists, fake news and the distracting power of scandal are as familiar to us as to Fo’s audience.  The challenge today is to refresh the farcical carry-on with which Fo tried to rouse Italian workers to activism.  

Stark. Dark. Albert Park.

Created by Clare Mendes. Melbourne Writers' Theatre. Directed and Designed by Elizabeth Walley. Gasworks Arts Park (Vic). 14 – 22 September, 2018

Stark. Dark. Albert Park.is a standout Fringe Production of five fascinating, engaging stories from Albert Park. It is well worth making the trek to Gasworks for.

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre generates excellent programs of uniquely crafted and well-honed writing for performance (It has been doing so for 36 years). Carefully cast and cleverly directed by Elizabeth Walley - well rehearsed and a comfortable length - this program is a grouping of five satisfying and refreshing ‘framed snapshots’ about Albert Park.

 

Reasonable Doubt

By Suzie Miller. STARC Productions. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. Sept 12-22, 2018

Reasonable Doubt is a play written by Australian NIDA graduate and award-winning playwright Suzie Miller.

Murder Village

Big HOO-HAA! Melbourne Fringe. Fringe Hub: Arts House, Studio 1, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne. 14 - 21 September 2018.

This improvised comedy group provides a delightfully quaint interactive experience. Various stock characters populate Murder Village: Theophania Dalrymple (Sophie Kneebone), Henry Stuffins (Jason Geary), Dr Nelson Hawthorne (Lliam Amor), Sally Forth (Louisa Fitzhardinge) are among the villagers who are subject to imminent death. Audience members secretly vote for the victim, murder weapon and means of death.

Rovers

Written by Katherine Lyall-Watson. Directed by Caroline Dunphy. Devised by Belloo Creative. Presented by Brisbane Festival and QUT. The Block, Theatre Republic. 11 – 15 September, 2018

There’s something glorious about witnessing two succulent wild women expressing themselves fearlessly onstage. It’s even more magnificent when those two women have spent over thirty years apiece honing their craft. Barbara Lowing and Roxanne McDonald are resplendent in Rovers.

Le Grande Cabaret

Melbourne Fringe. Hares & Hyenas, Fitzroy. September 13 – 15, 2018.

Fringe at its Burlesque best!

Le Grande Cabaret is a sensational ensemble of sassy and refreshing acts with tangy twists and devilish cheek. The show begins with a jocular introduction by the masterfully witty and commanding Master of Ceremonies Patrick Collins.

This is a pacy, driven show with non-stop rollicking fun and entertainment. The show is divided into two sections, the good and evil. It begins with the exquisite Camilla Cream (Miss Burlesque Tasmania, 2018) dazzling us in her fairy floss pink ensemble, with an alluring fan dance.

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