Reviews

The Bloody Chamber

Performance text by Van Badham based on the story by Angela Carter. Directed by Matthew Lutton. Malthouse Theatre, August 6-10, 2013

The Bloody Chamber is Angela Carter’s retelling, in gothic horror dress, of the grim tale of Bluebeard. In this incarnation, with performance text by Malthouse Theatre’s Associate Artist (Literary) Van Badham, the story is narrated in first person by Alison Whyte, who plays the latest in a long line of doomed brides.

Fireface

By Marius Von Mayenburg (translated by Maja Zade). Stories Like These and atyp Under the Wharf Walsh Bay. 1 to 17 August, 2013.

Hot Siblings

Dysfunctional families can spark internal hatred, be the catalyst of abhorrent behaviour and ignite abnormal desire. Fireface has all of these and more… A brother and sister love and desire each other a little too much and their parents don’t love each other at all. And they all co-exist in a tightly packed tinder-box of a home which forces feeds fiery conflict and a final conflagration.

Trollop

By Maxine Mellor. Queensland Theatre Company. The Green House (Bille Brown Studio). 1-17 August, 2013.

Trollop has been around for eighteen months since it won the 2012-13 Queensland Premier’s Drama award, during which time it was developed for this much-anticipated premiere.

RICHARD III

By William Shakespeare. Director: Megan Dansie. University of Adelaide Theatre Guild, Adelaide. Little Theatre, Adelaide. 3rd –17 August, 2013.

The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild’s brilliant and unconventional take on Shakespeare’s Richard III is riveting in its intensity, with the contemporary setting conveying a strong sense of alternate reality.

Blood Brothers

Book, Music & Lyrics: Willy Russell. Harvest Rain. Director: Tim O’Connor. Musical Director: Maitlohn Drew. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. 1 - 17 August 2013

Amanda Muggleton is the reason to see Blood Brothers. As Liverpool mother Mrs Johnstone she’s the glue that holds this whole production together. She grabs the role by its throat and wrings every ounce of pathos out of it.

Willy Russell’s play with music, loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’s The Corsican Brothers, ran 24 years in London’s West End and still packs an emotional punch. Harvest Rain’s pro/am production is the first time the show has been seen in Queensland.

Equus

By Peter Shaffer. Director: Chris Baldock. Mockingbird Theatre Company. Brunswick Mechanic’s Insitute - Performing Arts Centre. August 3 – 17, 2013.

When Peter Shaffer’s play about a boy who mutilates horses first opened in 1973 it was considered confronting, shocking, and disturbing. It still is, but the word exhilarating must be added, because of this production. This is theatre at its finest; an astonishing collaboration of text, performance and direction. To be prosaic, it’s bloody marvellous.

The Complete Works Of Shakespeare (Abridged)

By Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. State Theatre Company of South Australia. Aug 1 – 3, 2013, and touring.

The Q, Queanbeyan Arts Centre. 24-27 August and touring Australia

Taming of the Shrew

By William Shakespeare. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Directed by: Julie Waddington. 26 July – 10 August 2013

Many adaptations of Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare have focussed on the romantic comedy aspect of this centuries-old play. The most recent version by Hobart Repertory Theatre Society, under the direction of Julie Waddington, has a slightly different take, focussing on gender politics with a twist. Baptista has two daughters: the elder, Kate the shrew, must be married off before sweet, agreeable Bianca can be wed.

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare. Impulse Theatre. King Street Theatre, South Newtown (NSW). July 31 – August 24, 2013.

Looking at my program- an image of two lovers on the beach against a backdrop of the Australian flag - I was excited to see this classic tale portrayed in the context of Sydney’s Cronulla riots. The result was a mixture, with some aspects resonating perfectly with this adaptation, while other parts operated outside the whole Cronulla thing. Those aspects of the production that reflected the racial tension evidenced in the riot were done so well that I was disappointed not to see more.

Miss Ophelia

By Ramses Graus, with Mirthe Klieverik, from Michael Ende’s book ‘Ophelia’s Shadow Theatre’. Translated into English from the original Dutch by David Colmer. Het Filiaal (Netherlands). Director: Ramses Graus. Set Designer: Joris van Oosterwijk. Musical Director & Sound. Designer Gábor Tarján
. Artistic Director & Direction Coach Monique Corvers. Fairfax Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. 31 July – 4 August

If I told you a finger-puppet show about a quiet old lady, presented on a set made of cardboard shoeboxes and everyday items, was a hit with primary school children, I doubt you’d believe me. But here we have Miss Ophelia, an exquisite gift from The Netherlands, based on the book by Michael Ende (The Never Ending Story).