Reviews

From Here To Eternity

Music: Stuart Brayson. Lyrics: Tim Rice. Book: Bill Oakes. Director. Tamara Harvey. Choreographer: Javier De Frutos. Musical Director: Tom Deering. The Shows Must Go On. Live Streaming 6-8 November 2020

Tim Rice gets top-billing in this musical version of James Jones’ classic best-selling novel about GIs in Hawaii before and during the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941. His lyrics are solidly professional and the best thing about this adaptation, which was filmed live at the Shaftsbury Theatre, London, in September 2013.

Mouthpiece

By Kieran Hurley. Queensland Theatre. Playhouse, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane. 30 October - 14 November, 2020

An emotional Director, Lee Lewis took to the stage on opening night to thank the audience for attending her first production at QPAC, and Queensland Theatre’s (QT’s) return to live theatre after 8 months of lockdown.

Richard III

By William Shakespeare. Streamed Shakespeare. Oct 16 – 18, 2020 and streaming on demand.

The people behind Streamed Shakespeare are certainly honing their production skills. This performance of Richard III, as well as being excellently acted and directed, is cleverly edited. That is not an easy feat when swords, notes, a ring, a decapitated head – and even a spit – are passed from screen to screen.

We Will Rock You

By Queen and Ben Elton. Platinum Entertainment. Directed by Trevor Patient. Crown Theatre, Perth WA. Oct 30 - Nov 22, 2020

In the absence of big touring productions, local company Platinum Entertainment has brought We Will Rock You to the Crown Theatre, with a show that feels like a national tour. Complete with merchandise, high quality production values, a high quality show and a big name star, this is has all the bells and whistles of a show imported from interstate.

Cinematica! Apocalypse Normal

Curator Tessa Spooner. An online presentation by La Mama Theatre. October 31, 2020

La Mama Theatre’s response to the continued lockdown of live theatre in Melbourne is Cinematica!

A Woman of No Importance

By Oscar Wilde. The Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Arts Theatre, Adelaide. Playing for a month from 31st October, 2020 on You Tube

The Adelaide Repertory Theatre presents its fourth and last virtual play, A Woman of No Importance. Their next play The Rivals will be presented live at the Arts Theatre Adelaide for three nights with a Covid-reduced audience.

I applaud their resilience and determination to keep theatre alive during this difficult time and wish them all the best for future ‘live’ performances.

We Will Rise

Topology at the Princess Theatre, Brisbane. 30 October 2020 (then touring regional Queensland)

Topology’s We Will Rise tour marks the launch of the Brisbane-based, Aria-nominated classical music quintet’s 16th album – a greatest hits collection that showcases the quintet’s two decades of original material. The performance features a back catalogue plus new pieces pick ‘n’ mix of compositions by John Babbage (saxophone), Robert Davidson (bass), and Bernard Hoey (viola), highlighting the talents of other principal artists, Christa Powell (violin) and Therese Milanovic (piano).

A Doll’s House

By Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Susie Conte. Tempest Theatre. Directed by Susie Conte. The Studio, Subiaco Arts Centre, WA. Oct 29-31, 2020

It is perhaps not surprising that Tempest Theatre, a company that focuses on feminist theatre would eventually examine A Doll’s House - one of the most iconic and controversial pieces of modern feminist theatre.

The Wind In The Willows

Music: George Stiles. Lyrics: Anthony Drewe. Book: Julian Fellowes. Direction: Rachel Kavanaugh. Musical Direction: Simon Lee. Choreography: Aletta Collins. London Paladium Production 2017. Streaming free on The Shows Must Go On. 29-30 October 2020.

If I were giving out stars then I’d have to say this would be a three out of five and that’s generous. When I reviewed the original cast recording in 2018 I found it ‘proficient, but unfortunately tediously twee,’ and I’m afraid viewing it live doesn’t make me want to change that opinion. Kenneth Graham’s 1908 book about the bucolic river life of Ratty, Badger and Mole, has been loved for generations, but for this adaptation Julian Fellowes lacks his Downton Abbey mojo, with not one quotable line in the entire show.

When the Rain Stops Falling

By Andrew Bovell. PAANDA - Performing Arts Association of Notre Dame Australia. Directed by Hannah Quaden. Notre Dame University, Fremantle. Oct 27 - Nov 7, 2020

When the Rain Stops Falling was an excellent choice of play for this young company, a fresh Australian contemporary show which is a bit of a change for this group which has performed many British classics. Had it taken to the stage in May as intended, it would have been very popular with Yr 12 Drama students, as this text is studied in many schools. 

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