Reviews

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By William Shakespeare. Eagle's Nest Theatre. Director: Colin Craig. Broken Mirror Studios, Brunswick. August 11 – 28, 2011

Ghosts in hoodies; an assassin in a white t-shirt and beanie; and a chorus of vampish women who would not look out of place in a 60s horror movie are all part of a modern take on Macbeth by Eagle's Nest Theatre.

'm' is a refreshing version of this most bloody of Shakespeare's plays, one that manages to be playful and fun whilst also capturing the horror.

Life x 3

By Yasmina Reza. Canberra Repertory, Theatre 3. Director: Garry Fry. 5–20 August 2011

Life x 3 demonstrates three various approaches to the one evening's events by two couples.  Altogether, the comparison is instructive.  In essence a very serious piece, the play offers as its chief amusement crescendoing clashes of fixed, self-interested viewpoints.

Noises Off

By Michael Frayn. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart (Tas). Director: Ingrid Ganley. August 5 – 20, 2011

A play within a play is an opportunity for Hobart Repertory Theatre Society to showcase the superb talents of its core group of actors, in its latest incarnation of Noises Off, written by Michael Frayn.

The play, described by director Ingrid Ganley as “the most fun you can have rehearsing a show”, is a fast-paced classic farce. “Simultaneously a traditional sex farce Nothing On, and the backstage “drama” that develops during rehearsal of Nothing On and then later on tour”, the show is side-splittingly funny.

Three Sisters

By Anton Chekhov. State Theatre Company (SA). Dunstan Playhouse. 5 to 28 August, 2011

As the title suggests this show tells the story of the three Prozorov sisters, Olga, Irina and Masha. They have been living in a small Russian country town for 11 years after their father, a military man, was posted there. Since their father died the girls have stayed in town, living a high-class life, wishing all the while to move to Moscow. In a desperate attempt to allay boredom they host social events with officers of a local military barracks.

The themes are essentially centred around following your dreams, and the consequences and outcomes of not doing so.

Songs From an Unmade Bed

Music: Debra Barsha, Mark Bennett, Peter Foley, Jennifer Giering, Jake Heggie, Stephen Hoffman, Lance Horne, Gihieh Lee, Steven Lutvak, Steve Marzullo, Brendan Milburn, Chris Miller, Greg Pliska, Kim D. Sherman, Jeffrey Stock, Joseph Thalken. Lyrics: Mark Stephen Campbell. Joymas Creative. Director: Lewis Jones. Musical Director: Rainer Pollard. Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane. 13 August, 2011.

This one-man song-cycle, originally produced by the New York Theatre Workshop, New York, 2005, is about a young gay man’s experiences in a big city (think New York) with love lost and found. It’s told completely in song using the lyrics of Mark Stephen Campbell working with 18 different composers.

Alex & Eve: The Baby

By Alex Lycos. Director: Michael Block. The Factory Theatre (NSW). August 11 to 21, 2011.

200 Greeks and 200 Lebanese walk into a theatre, what happens?

Two hours of riotous laughter provoked by the outrageous squabbles and self-righteous posturing of the Karrastopoulos and El Masri families.

The divide for this modern day love struck Romeo and Juliet is their Greek and Lebanese roots and all the baggage their heritage and their families constantly drag into their lives, now more complicated by a baby! But in the end loves conquers all, including disputes about whether the Greeks or Arabs created Baklava.

Talking Heads

By Alan Bennett. The 1812 Theatre (Vic). Director: Helen Ellis. Aug 11 – Sep 10, 2011.

1812 Theatre’s August season is two monologues from Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

Rising Water

By Tim Winton. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. Director: Kate Cherry. June 25 - July 17, 2011. the Arts Centre, Melbourne - August 5 - September 10, 2011

Three of the most interesting characters in Black Swan's Rising Water are the rudderless, motorless and sailless yachts, Goodness, Shirley and Mercy, which form the set of Tim Winton's play. Gorgeously designed by Christina Smith, they have distinctive personalities and are wonderful metaphors for the characters that live aboard them, tethered to a Fremantle marina.

Worldhood

Australian Dance Theatre and the Adelaide College of the Arts (SA). Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. 10 to 13 August, 2011.

Once again Garry Stewart has found an artistic link for dance which his audience can relate to. In this latest production Worldhood, the work of visual artist Tom Buchanan provides the textural basis for the choreography, which starts simply emulating the action of creating the art and finishes by embodying the ideas and symbolising the beliefs inherent in it.

This production is a first for both ADT and AC Arts, who are collaborating together to pack the stage with up to 17 dancers at one time.

Blood Wedding

By Frederico Garcia Lorca, translated by Iain Sinclair. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf Theatre (NSW). August 5 – September 11, 2011.

Frederico Garcia Lorca describes duende as a force not a labour, a struggle not a thought - the duende surges up inside from the soles of the feet.

One can sense that Lorca’s play Blood Wedding is full of this ‘mysterious force that everyone feels and no philosopher has explained’. But unfortunately Iain Sinclair’s production of this Spanish classic falls short and rather than being full of passion it feels more like an academic display of what he thinks Lorca is all about.

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