Reviews

Love and Mistletoe

By Raymond Hopkins. Stirling Players. Directed by Carole Wilson. Stirling Theatre, Innaloo, WA. Nov 24 - Dec 9, 2017

Stirling Players are celebrating the festive season with the Australian premiere of Raymond Hopkins’ Love and Mistletoe.

The curtains opened to applause for Carole and Ian Wilson’s beautifully designed, constructed and decorated set - which immediately gave a Christmas feel.

This relatively new play centres on the Millards, a couple whose marriage has seen better days. This Christmas Eve, Sue has decided to invite three single ladies to dinner, in order to find a new partner for her father.

The Railway Children

By Edith Nesbit, adapted by Mike Kenny. Harbour Theatre Directed by Jane Sherwood. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. Dec 1-10, 2017

Edith Nesbit’s The Railway Children, as adapted by Mike Kenny, is a family friendly classic brought lovingly to the stage by Harbour Theatre.

The White Mouse

Camerata. QPAC. Sunday 3 December, 2017

Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra – combines music and drama to tell the story of Nancy Wake, infamous WWII journalist and spy. The Gestapo’s most wanted, Wake was named the ‘White Mouse’ because of her ability to scurry across countries and evade capture.

Mort

By Terry Pratchett, adapted by Stephen Briggs. Roleystone Theatre, WA. Directed by Bradley Towton. Nov 25 - Dec 2, 2017

Terry Pratchett fans flocked to Roleystone Theatre’s Mort - with sell-out houses at every performance.

Director Brad Towton is a clear fan of the Discworld series of books, and clearly has a passion for the story.

Me and My Shadow

Written and performed by Tim Maddren. The Basement – as part of Sideshow. Arts Centre, Gold Coast. Dec 1st and 2nd, 2017, then Touring.

Like so many of our great stage performers, Tim Maddren trained at WAAPA and honed his skills in Musical Theatre (he’s just finished a run in Me and My Girl at the Hayes Theatre in Sydney after string of other shows). Unlike so many others, Maddren has a legitimate claim to fame – as any pre-teen will tell you. He is a multi award nominated member of the kids’ television musical group Hi-5.

Dog Show

Created & directed by Cassandra Fumi. Co-created & performed by Simone French, Tom Halls and Alex Roe. Co-created & dramaturgy by Alice Fitzgerald. La Mama Explorations. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton VIC. 21 - 3 December 2017

It’s difficult to say much about this show without spoiling its delightful surprises, or creating the impression that it couldn’t possibly work.  But it does. 

Virgins and Cowboys

By Morgan Rose. Motherboard Productions and Griffin Independent. SBW Stables Theatre, Sydney. 30 November – 16 December 2017

Over beers, three cowboys (ordinary blokes) chew the fat. It seems that Sam, a lowly Subway employee, has met two different women online, both of whom are virgins. What should he do? This is the light-hearted starting point of Morgan Rose’s study of female sexuality, which has come up from Melbourne’s FLIGHT Festival of New Australian Writing. It doesn’t stay light-hearted for long.

Earshot

Created by Kate Hunter and collaborators. 45 Downstairs (Vic). 30 Novenber 30 to 3 December, 2017.

Earshot is truly unique as an interesting rich idea - cleverly developed, realized and seamlessly presented with wit, humour and irony by Kate Hunter.

Two performers (Kate Hunter and Josephine Lange) dressed in fairly neutral blacks work in beautiful well-oiled synchronicity to play with the spoken word.

Oliver!

By Lionel Bart. Huon Valley Theatre (Inc) Tasmania. Huonville Town Hall. Directed by Rod Gray, Musical Direction by Sue Videroni. 17 Nov – 2 Dec 2017

Huon Valley Theatre embodies everything meritorious about community theatre. This production of Oliver! featured a vibrant and well drilled chorus (“Who will buy?”) and strong, well-cast principals.  Nathan Read’s Fagin was assured, adept in physical comedy although lacking any sense of menace. His “Reviewing the Situation” was the highlight of the show. Also notable were Tony Robbie (Mr Bumble) and Amber Jury (Widow Corney). Jury was in fine voice and the two provided a fine comic turn.

Mamma Mia!

Music and Lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. Book by Catherine Johnston. Originally conceived by Judy Craymer. Presented by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers & Linda Bewick. Canberra Theatre. 30 November – 17 December 2017 and touring.

This wonderful production of Mamma Mia! is nothing short of a distillation of sheer joy. The colours, the set, the costumes, the lighting, the sound design, the choreography, the acrobatics, and of course, the music – so much care has been put into making the show truly spectacular. I walked in with some trepidation having not seen the movie or either of the previous two productions, and was a bit concerned that it might be a hastily cobbled-together plot around the content of the songs. Let’s face it, that is true.

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