Reviews

Managing Carmen

By David Williamson. Lane Cove Theatre Company. August 16 – 31, 2019

In his more recent works, David Williamson writes satirically in short grabs that move two-dimensional characters swiftly in an out of different settings. Even in professional theatre, making plays such as this work requires tight direction, snappy action, quick lighting changes and carefully rehearsed operation. Thus ‘managing’ Williamson is not something to take lightly. Whilst the dialogue might be amusing and the one-liners funny, a good satire depends on theatricality, timing and continuity.

Golden Shield

By Anchuli Felicia King. Melbourne Theatre Company. Southbank Theatre, The Sumner. 12 August – 14 September 2019

The play begins with a request from the Translator (Yuchen Wang): ‘Concentrate.’  Good advice since Golden Shield is a complex and demanding but also a very rewarding play.  Its ending is not ‘feel good’, but it is clear: something morally complex has been dramatised for us and it may be grim, but it is satisfying. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Based on the novel by Roald Dahl. Book by David Greig. Music by Marc Shaiman. Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. John Frost, Craig Donnell, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions. Her Majesty‘s Theatre, Melbourne. Opening Night: August 15, 2019

The magic of Roald Dahl’s much-loved children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been reimagined into a spectacular musical, now in Melbourne for a spellbinding season at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Agatha Crispie

By Cenarth Fox. Tugun Theatre Co., Gold Coast. Director: Jim Dickson August 15th to 31st, 2019

Agatha Crispie is a spoof on the work of the doyenne of English murder mystery writing, Agatha Christie, and a timely production with Agatha Christie Week fast approaching in the UK next month.

Following Christie’s style and success, Cenarth Fox has captured the “feel” of the murder mystery format. 

The standout performances came from Brenda Warren (Pimms – the maid) and Dave Fraser (Hercule Grey-Cells [Poirot]) with Gillian Crow (in the title role), Jim Fury, Kate Paraskevos, Marie Dickson, Jon Turley and Christine Ray.

The Wizard of Oz - The Musical

By L. Frank Baum, music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg. APAN Entertainment and HAMA Productions. Directed by Olivia Collier. The Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA.August 17 - Sep 1, 2019

The Wizard of Oz, presented by APAN Entertainment and HAMA Productions, is truly a large scale event, featuring 172 performers during its three week run, including primary, secondary and tertiary students, community and professional actors, plus community initiatives to allow people to attend the show, who might otherwise be unable to see a theatrical production.

Tryst

Kate Ceberano and Paul Grabowsky. Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane. 16 August 2019.

Remember hearing ‘The way we were’ or ‘We’ve only just begun’ for the very first time? Recapturing the magic of those original encounters would take a very special kind of performer. But you will believe it’s possible if you see Kate Ceberano perform her collection of songs, TRYST, with a mere piano (played by legendary Paul Grabowsky) between her and a bare, unforgiving stage and a room full of expectant music fans.

Becoming Bill

Book, Music & Lyrics: Bradley McCaw. Old Fashioned Production. Director: Neil Gooding. Musical Supervisor: Trevor Jones. Musical Director: Melfred Lijauco. Brisbane Powerhouse. 14-25 August 2019

New musicals are a difficult beast to master, but this new Australian work shows promise in its score, book and relatable characters. First time writer/composer Bradley McCaw has written about what he knows – his creative and personal life, and whilst it’s flawed like most of our lives, most of us will relate to the personable problems.

Tick, Tick…Boom!

By Jonathan Larson. Directed by Taylor Broadley. Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana, WA. August 16-24, 2019

Tick, Tick…Boom! is being presented by Koorliny Arts Centre in its smaller, intimate theatre space. Presented cabaret style, with a thrust stage that juts into the audience space, this venue is a great choice for this three-hander.

Originally written as a rock monologue for Jonathan Larson, this auto-biographical musical tells the story of his disappointment with turning thirty, having yet to achieve success as a composer of musicals - and of the workshop premiere of his well-received but unsuccessful dystopian musical Superbia.

The Apparatus

Adapted and Directed by Humphrey Bower. The Studio, The Blue Room Theatre, Perth WA. August 13-31, 2019

The Apparatus is a performance based on the works of Franz Kafka. Essentially a one man show, performed by adaptor and director Humphrey Bower, with some assistance from assistant director/stage manager/support performer Tim Green, it explores themes of absurdity, paranoia and torture, with links to issues of immigration, border protection and masculinity.

An Inspector Calls

By J B Priestley. Therry Dramatic Society. Arts Theatre, Angas St, Ade;laide 15 – 24 August 2019

Good theatre provokes and makes us think. An Inspector Calls is a parlor play which will leave you pondering, posing more questions than it does answers. Whilst being a play of social comment, pitting capitalism against socialism, it is riddled with dramatic irony and a plot which is very different to most murder mysteries.

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