By Lucy J. Skilbeck. Milk Presents in association with Derby Theatre. Directed by Lucy J. Skilbeck. The Round at State Theatre Centre as Part of Summer Nights, Perth WA. Feb 6-10, 2018

Joan, presented by Milk Presents in association with Derby Theatre, is a simply stunning piece of theatre. A unique take on the story of Joan of Arc, this solo performance, with music, keeps its audience rapt, with its energy, ferocity and joie de vivre.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Music and Lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin. Conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with additional material by Jay Reiss. Gosford Musical Society. Director: Ruth Tiffen. Choreographer: Carolyn McNamara. Musical Director Ben Ross. Don Craig Room, Laycock Street Theatre. Feb 9-17, 2018

Unwieldy. Def: Awkward and cumbersome. To use in a sentence: “Unwieldy Is one of those words that is not only hard to spell, it also is the perfect word to describe the title of this deceptively cutesy-sounding play”.

This is the first viewing of this show for this reviewer, but it has been on the list for quite some time, due to the cult status it has attained in recent years. The show’s glowing reputation is totally justified - it’s a deliciously sharp and relatable satire. Spoiler alert regarding the plot: it’s about a spelling bee!

Amazing Grace

Manilla Street Productions. Creator / Director: Karen Jemison. Musical Director: Luke Hunter. Choreographers: Jeanne Sorich/Lucinda Williams. National Theatre, St Kilda. February 9 - 11, 2018.

Sometimes it pays to read the fine print. Three music theatre stars and a large ensemble. Should be a great night.

It was a calisthenics concert! Not my main line of expertise.

It was amazing!

The Escape Room:- The Speakeasy

Fringe World. Directed by Richard Maritzer. The Pleasure Garden, Russell Square, Northbridge, WA. Jan 27 - Feb 25, 2018

Whether you are Fringe Binging or just having small tastes of Fringe World, having a varied diet is key to having a healthy outlook. Whether your usual tastes run to theatre, music, cabaret or comedy, I highly recommend spicing up your Fringe experience with a trip to The Escape Room:- The Speakeasy.

What Did You Expect?

Fringe World. The Ellington Jazz Club, Northbridge, WA. Feb 8-11, 2018

What Did You Expect? gives you songs exactly as you would not expect. With a change of the genre, the style or the subtext, favourite tunes are turned on their head in unexpected ways.

Visiting Hours

By John Harrison, Constantine Costi and Michael Costi. bAKEHOUSE. KXT - Kings Cross Theatre. February 7 - 17, 2018.

Through dimly lit stairways and passages chillingly lined with black plastic, groups of twenty triaged ‘patients’ are led into the dreamy, delusionary miasma and hazy treatment wards of an off-the-grid sanatorium. Here, led by an obsessive clinician known only as The Doctor, a team of eccentric medical recruits ghoulishly prepare to share some unconventional therapies based on bizarre research and questionable experiments.

No Surrender

By Mic Smith. La Mama Theatre, Carlton, Vic. February 7 - 18, 2018

No Surrender is a new play about a triple poaching in South Africa.  It tells the story of an anthropomorphic Rhinoceros named Roger (Kevin Summers).  Roger has had his horn hacked off during a full moon. A  “poachers moon”, when rhinos are hunted down by the shadows they cast in the moonlight. Roger is bloody, bruised and confused when he discovers his brother Ralph and daughter Rhonda are lying dead beside him.

My Friend Miss Flint

By Donald Churchill and Peter Yeldham. Tea Tree Players (SA). February 7 - 17, 2018

Tea Tree Players have been tailoring live community theatre to their loyal audiences since 1976 and My Friend Miss Flint, the first of this year’s offerings, is no exception.

Premiering in 1984, My Friend Miss Flint is an often performed, typical British comedy. However, times have changed and references to “fat, unattractive women” are unnecessary and could be cut without affecting the play’s integrity.

Nadia Collins in Virgin Bloody Mary

Fringe World. Directed by Nadia Collins. Rosie O'Grady's, James St, Northbridge, WA. Feb 5-9, 2018

When you receive a phone call from God asking you to become pregnant with the Son of God, what is a girl to do? In Virgin Bloody Mary, Nadia Collins is an anti-heroine, rebel antithesis to the Virgin Mary, who chooses the wrong sperm and becomes pregnant with the Son of Satan.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical

By Allan Scott and Stephan Elliott. Directed by Simon Phillips. Regent Theatre, 191 Collins St, Melbourne. January 21 - April 29, 2018, then touring.

It is not hard to imagine how the visual splendour of the original 1994 film could be transposed to the stage. This tenth-anniversary return run lives up to every expectation and is just as flamboyant and impish as the film. This musical version is an absolute extravaganza of glittering costumes, awesome sets and fabulous musical talent.

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