Dirty Birds

By Hayley McElhinney and Mandy McElhinney. Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA. Directed by Kate Champion. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. Nov 18 - Dec 18, 2023

The McElhinney sisters, Hayley and Mandy, appear together on stage for the first time, in this beautifully performed, self-written World Premiere.

This ambiguous two-hander explores play, memory and ritual, and is performed on a set by designer Bruce McKinnon that evokes images of childhood funny houses - it looks cosy and simple but seems to be made of cardboard - and potentially able to collapse at any time. Lighting, designed by Paul Jackson is intimate and emotive, and sound design and composition by Rachael Dease is organic and heartfelt. 

99 Dalmatians, the pantomime

Written and directed by Cath Willacy. Cairns Little Theatre – Rondo Theatre. Nov 24 – Dec 9, 2023

Based loosely on the film, this panto version follows the adventures of 99 Dalmatians and the attempt to abduct them for their fur.

Playing the Dalmatians are a talented group of children who also make an excellent chorus in a number of wonderful supporting songs.

Outstanding is Dwane McColm as Nanny S. Tate, the obligatory panto drag queen. Dwayne dominates the stage and delivers a montage of side-splitting one-liners.

Into the Spotlight

Ensemble Musical Theatre Company. Direction: Jo-Maree Courtney and Elise Bagorski. The Hidden Theatre. KickStart Arts Theatre. 17th-18th November 2023

The Hidden Theatre, in the KickStart Arts Centre, has become the venue for new small companies. True West by Jacob Golding and Sam Tooker (2022) , The Wasp by Crying Chair Theatre are examples of high-quality innovative theatre (2023) that chose this venue for its intimacy and comfort.

Improv RPG Call of Cthulhu

The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, WA. Nov 24-25, 2023

Improv RPG Call of Cthulhu is a new show from the people who have been running Improv D+D for the past eight years Like its predecessor, it is based on a role-playing game and is longform improvisation, with roadblocks and turns of fate designed to interrupt and complicate the action.

The Seagull

By Anton Chekhov, in a new adaptation by Andrew Upton. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. November 21 – December 16, 2023

Andrew Upton’s translation of The Seagull for the Sydney Theatre Company he once ran seems more radical, more flamboyant, than Benedict Andrews’ translation a decade ago which he also memorably directed.

That Belvoir production was set outside a south coast fibro holiday retreat; Upton’s is also somewhere Australian, in about 2000, on a now decrepit lakeside farming estate.

The History of the Devil

By Clive Barker. Presented by Polymorphic Productions. New Benner Theatre, Metro Arts, Brisbane. 23 November to 16 December 2023

It’s not often you see the horror/fantasy genre on stage at this time of year (although Scrooge’s tribulations come to mind) and there would not be too many productions that start with a content warning more comprehensive than Rage on ABC’s late-night timeslot. But the warning about ‘morbid humour, coarse language and blasphemy’ should also include a caveat – that this is all jolly good fun (for age-appropriate audiences that is)!

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

By Edward Albee. Red Stitch Actors' Theatre. Directed Sarah Goodes. Rear 2 Chapel Street, St Kilda East. 18 November - 17 December 2023.

Red Stitch have created a cracking theatrical coup with this production of Edward Albee’s most famous play. The attention to detail and the highly refined performances produces a level of excellence that has made this a sell-out show. Albee’s acerbic and astute observation of the way married life perpetuates a patriarchal system that promotes misogyny, materialism, and dog-eat-dog ambition is confronting. The play was written in 1962 and reflects the society of its time and despite the faithfulness of this production, it still resonates for a contemporary audience.


By Stan Lai. Wit Incorporated. November 22 – December 2, 2023.

Wit Incorporated, a vibrant inclusive theatre community from Footscray, who strive to connect and unite people with culturally rich stories and performances, have joined with Ren Ruidi in her directorial debut in an intriguing and challenging theatrical experience.

I ME SHE HIM provides an insightful exploration between two people during Hong Kong’s changeover, set between the 1980s and ‘90s, written by Stan Lai, an American born Taiwanese playwright/theatre director and pioneer of a new era in Chinese Theatre.

A Christmas Carol

A Version by Jack Thorne after Charles Dickens. Conceived & Directed by Matthew Warchus. GBW Entertainment presents an Old Vic Production. Comedy Theatre, Melbourne. 23 November 2023 – 7 January 2024

The supreme theatricality of this Old Vic production sweeps the audience along with it into a state of giddy happiness.  Above the stage and into the theatre there are hundreds of lights, the glittering lanterns and flickering candles of London streets.  On stage, the whole cast – some of whom are musicians too – all in Victorian dress of long black coats and dresses, top hats and bonnets – sing and create patterns and dances charged with energy.  Chris Nightingale’s music is familiar, a touch nostalgic, but just that bit different – and it conne

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

By Charles Busch. Presented by Little Ones Theatre. Directed by Stephen Nicolazzo. fortyfivedownstairs theatre, 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne. 21 November – 3 December 2023

The long and bitter rivalry between two fatally seductive vampiresses, La Condesa (Jennifer Vuletic) and Virgin/Madeleine (Artemis Ioannides), is portrayed in Busch’s iconic play. He authored one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history and it became a cult camp comedy classic alongside titles such as Elvira Mistress of the Dark and Death Becomes Her. Nicolazzo highlights all of these elements in this mischievous production.