Reviews

The Boy From Oz

By Nick Enright, featuring the music of Peter Allen. Platinum Entertainment. Directed by Drew Anthony. Crown Theatre, Perth, WA. Jan 22 - Feb 6, 2021

The Boy From Oz is a huge exciting celebration of the life of Peter Allen. Platinum Entertainment gives us a production that dazzles and delights its Covid Capacity audiences. Highly polished, expertly and excitingly performed - this production is a treat.

The House on Fire at the Edge of the World

Book, music & lyrics by Conor Neylon & Jackson Peele. Directed by Jackson Peele. Musical direction Conor Neylon. Theatre Works Glasshouse, St Kilda. 20 – 24 January 2021

The House on Fire at the Edge of the World is the second music theatre show from WAAPA graduates Jackson Peele and Conor Neylon after their well-received The Beep Test.  Here, we have a ‘contemporary folk music’ theatre piece that successfully combines various musical styles and a book that has elements of melodrama, fairy tale, magic realism, comedy, absurdity, whimsy and adventure all to create an epic journey for its protagonist. 

All the Ways To Tell You

By Emily Burton, Bec Weldon, Ella Thompson and Lachlan McNeil. All The Ways Theatre Company / Fringe World. After Dark Studios, Pier St, Perth. Jan 21-23, 2021

All the Ways To Tell You is a devised theatrical work, brought to Fringe World for a short season by new company, All The Ways Theatre Company. Gentle, honest and sweet, it looks at all the ways to tell people how you feel about them. 

After Dark, a new Fringe venue for 2021, is an intimate venue, which is up 57 stairs - and feels like a space where you might see slam poetry or folk music - which is appropriate, as there are elements of both in this interesting little piece.

Spirit: A Retrospective 2021

Bangarra Dance Theatre. Sydney Festival. The Headland at Barangaroo Reserve. January 20 – 24, 2021

Nature and Indigenous spirits are powerfully invoked in this Bangarra dance retrospective staged for the Sydney Festival so rightly on the Headland in the Barangaroo Reserve. 

Against Jacob Nash’s beautiful forest and landscape backdrops, etched against blazes of colour, 20 dancers perform snippets from nine works. The vast headland stage is flanked by side screens offering closeup views of the dancers – and the intensity on their faces.

Heathers the Musical

By Lawrence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy based on the film by Daniel Walters. Wanneroo Repertory at the Limelight Theatre, WA. Directed by Elinor King. Jan 21 - Feb 6, 2020

Heathers kicks off Community Theatre’s 2021 year with a bang. A very strong production that bursts with life and colour is thrilling Wanneroo Repertory’s audiences at the Limelight Theatre.

Rewired: Musicals Reimagined by Hayes

Sydney Festival. Directed by Richard Carroll. York Theatre, Seymour Centre. 22-24 January, 2021

Sydney’s Hayes Theatre, now seven years old, is a leader in innovative, small-scale musical theatre in Australia. But like many theatres, this little powerhouse has been out of action during the pandemic, its intimate space now a particular challenge. So, for its 2021 return, it’s transferred to a larger space — and is back with a bang.

a boy wanted to

Written and directed by Taylor Broadley. Fringe World. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA. Jan 20-23, 2021

The World Premiere of Taylor Broadley’s musical, a boy wanted to, is dedicated to the 609 victims of school shootings in the United States. In the aftermath of a school shooting, six teenage survivors hold a sit-in protest against school violence and to call for gun reform. Holed up in their bedrooms, they live stream their lives as they call for people to listen and understand.

Dangerous Game

Fringe World. Downstairs at the Maj, His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth. Jan 19-23, 2021

Dangerous Game is an espionage and spy themed cabaret for Ace’s Cabaret and Fringe World, featuring vocalist Catherine Clarnette and eight fabulous musicians.

James Bond would feel very at home Downstairs at the Maj, which has a lovely touch of Bond-like sophistication with its cabaret setting. Catherine Clarnette looks every bit the Bond-girl in her copper-pink sparked evening gown - in front of the beautifully attired band.

Kenny

By Shane and Clayton Jacobson, adapted for the stage by Steve Rodgers. Ensemble Theatre (NSW). Jan 15 – 27, 2021.

There was a special air of anticipation at the opening night of Kenny at the Ensemble. More than a normal opening night. Even more than the opening night of a new season. The before show buzz was louder, more excited – even with QR codes, masks, social distancing, hand sanitiser and a team of COVID captains taking temperatures and religiously cleaning and re-cleaning every handrail and counter.

We Belong(ed) Together

Written and directed by Sylvia Cornes. Fringe World. The Ellington Jazz Club, Northbridge, WA. Jan 20-21, 2021

Sylvia Cornes could well be crowned Perth’s Queen of the bio-cabaret. While cabarets based on the work of famous singers are plentiful, few give you such an insight into the performers’ lives in the way that Sylvia brings her subjects to life.