Reviews

Writer’s Block

By Kellie Silver. Tugun Theatre Company, Gold Coast. Director: David Fraser. 9th - 25th August, 2018.

Kellie Silver is a Gold Coast playwright who first presented this play as a ‘one act’ piece and then developed it into the full length version. This is its second outing on the coast. I have been fortunate to see the metamorphosis of all three productions. 

(Not) The Last Night Of The Proms

Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Alondra de la Parra. Piano: Joge Viladoms. Didjeridu: William Barton. Brisbane Chorale and Students from Brisbane Girls Grammar School. Concert Hall, QPAC. 9 August 2018

This exciting and eclectic concert was not only a celebration of Empire, but also America and Australia, with Australia well represented by five works including one world premiere.

Not The Messiah [He’s A Very Naughty Boy]

By Eric Idle and John Duprez. Spotlight Theatre, Benowa, Gold Coast. 3-18 August, 2018.

This is the Queensland Premiere of Monty Python’s comic oratorio, based on the Life Of Brian, and for Monty Python devotees and it’s one not to be missed!

The creative team of Director Tony Alcock, Musical Director Matt Pearson and Choreographer Erin Brummage has obviously had a ball preparing this production with an on-stage orchestra of over thirty musicians and nearly as many singers.

Dial M for Murder

By Frederick Knott. Pymble Players (NSW). July 25 – August 11, 2018.

Pymble Players’ production of the well- known classic thriller Dial M for Murder was an intriguing and highly entertaining afternoon at the theatre.

Confessing I have never seen the Hitchcock directed movie from 1954 or any version of the play, I had no preconceived thoughts on this piece. Reading director Joy Sweeney’s notes in the programme I was a bit concerned to read that it had one of the most complicated plots to hit the stage.

The Wizard of Oz

By L. Frank Baum. Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg. Background Music by Herbert Stothart. Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company. A production by Richmond Players with Richmond High School. The “Mac” Auditorium, Richmond High School, Lennox Street, Richmond. August 10 – 19, 2018.

I had the privilege to sit in on the tech run of this production on Monday night and though there were a few little glitches (after all, that’s what tech rehearsals are all about), director Josie Dwyer, musical director David Catterall and their very efficient and hard-working crew have their show ready to “hit the high spots” – and there are plenty of high spots to hit!

Bi-Cycle

Written & performed by Sam Anderson. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne. 6 – 11 August 2018

Sam Anderson is a big, brawny, super-fit guy.  He has to be super-fit since in this show he rarely rests and is rarely still.  The sweat is real.  Dressed in work-out gym gear, his persona is a hepsi-pepsi, gung-ho, semi-bullying gym instructor and we’re his ‘class’, bent on self-improvement.  He’s on an exercise bike – well, the bike is mimed – and he’s pedalling fast.  Supposedly, we are too. 

Barnum

Music by Cy Coleman, Lyrics by Michael Stewart, Book by Mark Bramble Directed by Ralph Ashby and Theresa Kendal. Mousetrap Theatre Redcliffe Qld. July 27 – August 12, 2018.

This musical is based on the life of Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum over the period from 1835 through 1880, as he followed his belief that there is a sucker born every minute and, with the right amount of humbug, you can achieve wonders that people will pay to see. He is supported by the rationality of his wife, Chairy, as he introduces the oldest woman in the world, Tom Thumb, Jumbo the elephant and tours with Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind. He runs for mayor of Bridgewater, and wants to be a Senator.

King Of Pigs

By Steve Rodgers. Red Line Productions. Old Fitz Theatre. August 1 – September 1, 2018

Steve Rodgers is a fine actor masterly at playing decent if uncertain blokes. Now as playwright, he’s created a fascinating kaleidoscope of four men acting out some level of violence against women. 

The women are played by the one, Ella Scott-Lynch, who authentically modulates across four scenarios this vivacious, headstrong and expressive Everywoman.  The Men too are given strong performances.

Downtown! The Mod Musical! A Celebration of the ‘60s!

Created by Phillip George, David Lowenstein, Peter Charles Morris. Primadonna Productions and The Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. Directed by Carole Dhu. 2-4 August, 2018

This little-known musical (known as Shout! The Mod Musical outside Australia and New Zealand) was presented to sold-out audiences in Manpac’s Fishtrap Theatre, as a community partnership between Primadonna Productions and The Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.

This juke-box musical, is what it says in the title, as it follows a group of young women, fans of a popular magazine “Shout” from 1962 through 1970, featuring twenty-eight of the 1960s’ most memorable songs.

Torch Song Trilogy

By Harvey Fierstein. Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Eternity Playhouse, Dalringhurst (NSW). July 29 – August 26, 2018

This is a stunning production where writing, direction, design and acting come exquisitely together. It takes Harvey Fierstein’s beautifully written script and his very delicately drawn characters through the maelstrom of discrimination and the fight for acceptance. Conceived in the late 1970s, when homophobia and vilification reigned, Fierstein’s trilogy was way ahead of its time, an inspiration to others to “imagine the possibilities that could lead to positive changes”.

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