Reviews

Quartet

By Ronald Harwood. The Adelaide Repertory Theatre. April 9 – 18, 2015

Acclaimed playwright Ronald Harwood (The Dresser) wrote this little gem in 1999; inspired after watching a documentary about the opera. Some may be familiar with the Dustin Hoffman directed 2012 film of the same name. The play centres on the lives of four retired opera singers who live in an English retirement village. You could be mistaken for thinking the subject matter might only appeal to the grey set, but you could not be more wrong. Entertaining from beginning to end, directors Sue Wylie and Ian Rigney have done a fine job in breathing life into an already fertile script.

The Good Son

By Elena Carapetis. The Other Ones. Directed by Corey McMahon. Produced by Joanne Hartstone. Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide. 8 April - 25 April 2015.

Though a family may strive to be a healthy, functional, organic being that nourishes its inhabitants and encourages growth, sometimes a family becomes a series of traps, little more than a poisonous snake than is driven to devour its young before swallowing its own tail. The Good Son is a riveting, believable, tremendously impressive depiction of such a family.

Faramondo

By G F Handel. Presented in association with Gottingen International Handel Festival and QPAC's Brisbane Baroque 2015. Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, Brisbane. Director: Paul Curran; Set and Costume design: Gary McCann; Lighting Designer: Gavan Swift. 10-18 April 2015

This presentation of Handel's last great opera is a fitting introduction to Brisbane Baroque 2015. With some demanding vocal virtuosity suitable in the main only for well-trained professionals, it demonstrates the composer in the prime of his style and is a fascinating exponent for those wishing to step back in time and experience what artistic talents (including the great castrato Caffarelli playing the title role) abounded in 1738, the year of its first performance.

4000 Miles

By Amy Herzog. Castle Hill Players. Director: Jewell Homad Johnson. Lighting: James Winters. Sound: Bernard Teuben. Pavilion Theatre Castle Hill. April 10 – May 2, 2015

Vera is a 91 year old ex-hippie activist. Leo, her grandson, who has just completed a bicycle ride across America, arrives at her Manhattan apartment at 3am, unexpected, exhausted, smelly.

Leo is a bit of a rebel. Rather than going to college, he’s achieved the altruistic ambition of celebrating the 4th July right in the centre of the country. But he’s carrying the burden of something that horrific that has happened along the way.

Rich Hall. 3.10 to Humour.

Part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Melbourne Town Hall, 9 – 19 April, 2015

Comedian Rich Hall, well known to Australian TV audiences from his frequent appearances trading quips with Stephen Fry on ABC’s QI, delivered an hour or so of very funny standup to a crowded basement at the Melbourne Town Hall at this year’s Comedy Festival.

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare. Bell Shakespeare. Directed by Peter Evans. The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre. 7 – 18 April 2015 and touring.

Love makes fools of us, according to this visually beautiful, musically stunning and uproariously funny take. Peter Evans’ As You Like It brings out all the caustic wit and wry observation in the text, and then some, and places it in a nostalgic dreamscape with a retro feel.

The Anzac Project

Dear Mum and Dad by Geoffrey Atherden and Light Begins to Fade by Vanessa Bates. Ensemble Theatre. 2nd April-10th May 2015

These two one-act plays were commissioned by the Ensemble Theatre to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Australia New Zealand Army Corps first national military action, on 25th April 1915, landing onto what is now known as ANZAC Cove in the Gallipoli peninsula on the Turkish coast. The big picture plan was to interupt the German oil supply and draw enemy troops away from Europe. The invasion was a disaster.

Cool 2B Kind: A 'Cult' Comedy

Ferry Productions. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Butterfly Club, Carson Place off Little Collins St, Melbourne. April 8 – 12, 2015

As “semi-profesional Christian edutainers” Jeremy and Fay are sharing their message of God’s love with the year 9 class of a suburban high school. These two members of the Ministry of Pastor GregTM share their evangelical messages  in a show which incorporates all the clichéd moves from a 1970’s Theatre in Education team, a casio keyboard, powerpoint presentation, cyber robots, a camel, catchy songs and cool dancing.  What Year 9 student could resist their message!

A Hip Hikers Guide To The Galaxy

Backwards Anorak. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Lt Collins St) Melbourne

Prince Harian and his underling Minge have landed on Earth from another world. We have one hour to find the owner of an ethereal voice as a mate for the Prince. While waiting for someone else to find to find his dream girl the Prince spends the hour bullying and physically assaulting Minge, encouraged by the musicians on stage (and the laughter of their friends in the audience). Then the Prince discovers Minge is the girl of his dreams and beds her; they have a child and he continues to bully and belittle her. The end. 

Fawlty Towers: The Dining Experience

The Aegean, 19 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne. Melbourne International Comedy Festival. 7-19 April 2015

Based on the much repeated television show of the same name this dinner show has been doing the rounds internationally since its inception in Queensland in 1997. In this live performance the audience finds themselves in a real restaurant being welcomed by Basil, Sybil and the hapless Manuel.