Damian Callinan: The Lost WWI Diary

Melbourne Comedy Festival. Melbourne Town Hall (Old Met Shop). Mar 28 - !pr 12, 2015

Damian Callinan uses his many talents as comedian, writer, and actor and his obsession with World War 1 to create a funny yet moving glimpse into the life of Paddy Callinan, a soldier in the AIF from 1914 to 1918.  We follow Paddy and his mates through basic training, the voyage to the other side of the world and the fate that awaits them. 

Retro Vampt

Dracula’s Cabaret, 100 Victoria Street, Carlton. MICF 2015.

For over 30 years Dracula’s has been entertaining and feeding Melbourne locals and visitors. The latest offering Retro Vampt continues this tradition and takes us back to the funky 70’s. The action starts while you wait in line and there are not too many shows that require the audience to reach their seats by ghost train!


By Spiegelworld. Under the Spiegeltent on the Rooftop at Crown Melbourne. March 21 2015 – April 26 2015

Seamlessly and expertly put together, Absinthe is a wild and wonderful erotic romp made up of a variety of individual and group routines by international Circus performers and Burlesque artists.  From Chair Stacking (Oleksandr “Sacha” Volohdim) to breathtaking High Wire (Frat Pack), this show for adults taps into the inner child’s amazement for and love of The Circus, in a very grown up way.

The Sound Of Nazis

Writer, composer and musical accompanist: James McCann. Trades Hall, Old Council Chambers. 26 March - 19 April, 2015.

On the 50th Anniversary of Julie Andrews running across an Austrian hill top it is perhaps appropriate to review a slightly different version of the Von Trapp story.


By Samuel Beckett. Directed by Sam Strong. MTC. Southbank Theatre. March 21 – April 25, 2015

There is a moment in Beckett’s play about the “End of Days” where blind, wheelchair bound Hamm says “I was never there. It all happened without me,” and we should feel the pain of self -awareness in our chest at the realisation that we spend most of our lives disengaged from life itself, until it is too late and there is nothing left. We SHOULD – but we don’t, and that’s the weakness with this production. We don’t feel anything.

Indoor Fireworks

By Arthur MacRae. Blackwood Players. Blackwood Memorial Hall (SA). March 27-April 11, 2015

Blackwood Players’ production of Arthur MacRae’s comedy of manners, Indoor Fireworks succeeds reasonably well, despite struggling against the impediments of basic set and lighting together with the limitations of the cavernous Blackwood Memorial Hall.


By Giuseppe Verdi. Handa Opera on the Harbour. March 27 – April 26, 2015.

It’s a warm, autumn Sydney evening.  In the clear, blue sky a half moon rises and the evening star twinkles. The Bridge stretches across the horizon, the harbour swells gently – and the giant head of Nefertiti hovers above a stage that appears to float out from the Fleet Steps of the Botanic Gardens. Such is the magical setting for the 2015 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production of Verdi’s Aida.

Avenue Q

Music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Mark. Book by Jeff Whitty. Directed by Stephen Wheat. Trifle Theatre Company. Chapel off Chapel (MICF). 25th March -19th April, 2015

Oh what a delicious and totally satisfying dessert Trifle Theatre Company give us for their very first production.

Everybody Loves Lucy

By Elise McCann. Performed by Francine Cain and Richard Carroll.
The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. 25 March 2015

On the day I saw the show, Francine Cain had taken over from Elise McCann in Ms McCann’s tribute to the woman who embodied whacky, Lucille Ball. I’m pleased to report Ms Cain, a Rob Guest Endowment winner whose roles include Frenchy in Grease, is every bit as fabulous.

New Order UK

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Greek Theatre – The Parthenon. 26 Mar – 19 Apr, 2015

As one of the opening salvos in this year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival, New Order UK (despite sounding like the title of a band) got things off to a great start. Three up and coming British acts performed for around 20 minutes each, all so entertaining that the time seemed to fly.