Reviews

Essgee’s HMS Pinafore

Lyrics: W S Gilbert, Music: A Sullivan. Players Theatre, Ballina. Director & Choreographer: Jaime Sheehan. 15th June to 1st July, 2018

HMS Pinafore has docked in Ballina and what a great show it is. This production is billed “for the 21st Century” and, as such, may take some ‘purists’ a little getting used to. It’s a fabulous introduction to the wonderful world of G & S.      

Director/Choreographer Jaime Sheehan along with Musical Directors Marie Caldwell and Warwick Binney have, once again, given us rollicking interpretation of this ageless classic.

Joanne Hartstone – The Girl Who Jumped Off the Hollywood Sign

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Space. 16-17 June 2018

Local girl, actor, writer and producer Joanne Hartstone has written and stars in The Girl Who Jumped Off the Hollywood Sign. As the title suggests, the show focuses on a fictional character Evelyn Margaret Edwards, stage name Evie Edwards, as she teeters atop the H of the infamous Hollywood sign, as she contemplates her life and the string of events that have led her to this point.

Sunglasses at Night: The 80’s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret

By Geraldine Quinn. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre. 15-17 June, 2018.

The full title to this presentation should leave punters in no doubt regarding what they’re going to get and whether it should appeal to them. On the other hand, it also seems fair to warn that those with no stomach for cheerfully adolescent vulgarity (there really are such people, so they say) should probably go elsewhere to find an evening’s entertainment. For the rest of us forever-young-and-childish Eighties-addicts, “Sunglasses at Night” will hit the spot.

Joey Arias – Three Floors of Madness

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Festival Theatre Stage. 14 June 2018

As the house lights rise ever so subtly Joey Arias slinks her way to the stage in black platform stilettoes, wrapped in green velvet. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist and very talented Charly Zastrau, her opening number is the Beatles classic A Hard Day’s Night, which perhaps could be a caution for the rest of the show.

The Beginning of Nature

By Garry Stewart. Australian Dance Theatre. Directed by Garry Stewart. Canberra Theatre. 14 to 15 June 2018 and touring internationally.

To a mostly live, powerful accompaniment composed by Brendan Woithe, played by the Zephyr Quartet, and sung by Karen Cummings and Heru Pinkasova, a troupe of nine dancers performed the world premiere in Canberra of The Beginning of Nature, the full-length (80-minute) version of a new work that patterns itself on various aspects of the natural world.

Andrew O’Keefe “Shouts” Johnny O’Keefe

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Festival Theatre Stage. June 13th-16th, 2018.

Most would be familiar with Australian celebrity host Andrew O’Keefe and his game shows ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘The Chaser’, but what many do not know, including this reviewer previous to this review, is that he shares a family surname with Australia’s own ‘King of Rock’n Roll’, Johnny O’Keefe.

Yma Sumac - The Peruvian Songbird

Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. June 14 – 16, 2018.

For those who have never heard of her, Yma Sumac is the legendary Peruvian soprano who was said to have been a descendent of the last Inca Emperor. Possessing an astounding five octave range, she passed away in 2008 at the age of 85.

Beginning her career in Peru, she became famous in America, then travelled to Russia and Europe before returning to the States.

A Noble Cause: Labour Prime Ministers from Watson to Keating

By Neil Cole. La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton. 14 - 24 June 2018.

Chris Watson, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating are vividly brought to life in this delightful collection of vignettes and musical interludes. The journey down memory lane is always a pleasant one but the pathway is littered with both accomplishments and shortcomings and allows Australia’s highly political history to come to the forefront.

The Hypochondriac

By Molière, in a new version by Hilary Bell. Darlinghurst Theatre Co. June 9 – July 1, 2018

Molière’s play is set in the bedchamber of Argan, a rich, neurotic and gullible man who employs adoctor and an apothecary who treat his imaginary illnesses on a full-time basis because of the lucrative fees they can charge. Add a greedy wife, a sleazy lawyer, an outspoken maid and a petulant daughter and you have the makings of a comedy that fits the genre in which Moliere chose to write, one that is based on double images – wise and foolish, right and wrong, good and bad.

Bliss

By Peter Carey. Adapted for the stage by Tom Wright. Belvoir and Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne. Director: Matthew Lutton. Belvoir Theatre, Sydney. 9 June – 15 July 2018

Adapted by Tom Wright, Artistic Associate of Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre and directed by Matthew Lutton, Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, this twin-company adaptation of Peter Carey’s first novel Bliss should be a winner. The fact that it isn’t has nothing to do with the cast, who give their all during its three-hour running time.

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