Reviews

Pippin

Book by Roger O. Hirson. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Produced by John Frost and Suzanne Jones. Sydney Lyric. Opening Night – Dec 3, 2020.

It was a thrill to finally return to a crowded, albeit masked theatre, to see a big musical. The opening night audience was excited to be there and gave a well-deserved ovation to the spectacular song “Magic to Do” - which combined a lovely tune, colourful costumes and circus tricks.

Pippin – first staged on Broadway in 1972 – is not a tier one commercial musical with general public name recognition that we are used to seeing in this venue, but is more in the field of classics which music theatre aficionados relish.

The Wharf Revue 2020: Good Night and Good Luck

By Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phil Scott. Sydney Theatre Company. Directed by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe. Parramatta Riverside Theatres in November 2020, then touring until February 2021.

The original Wharf Revue trio, with the talented assistance of Amanda Bishop, is back on tour with another collection of pithy parodies and caustic caricatures!

Based on the chaos of the year gone by, they wittily appraise everything from the bush fires (How do we Solve a Problem from Hawaii) to pork-barrelling (The Adventures of Bridget McKenzie) to more ‘intimate relationships’ (The Premier’s Dating Service).

Misfits School of Arts

Book and lyrics by Tim O’Connor. Music and orchestration by Dennet Hudson. Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre. Directed by Tim O’Connor. Harvest Theatre Stafford Qld. Nov 25 – Dec 5, 2020.

My first visit to the Harvest Rain Theatre was very productive, with such an exciting crop of talent on display as they reaped the benefits of their lessons there. This is a completely original production from the writing and composition to the staging. The stage is an open space on the floor, which meant the many dancers could launch into the routines with freedom and liberty – and they did.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

By Oscar Wilde. Adapted and directed by Kip Williams. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. Nov 25 – Dec 19, 2020

Just as Sydney theatre capacities have been lifted, arrives this perfectly timed brilliant production, which is up there with anything audiences have enjoyed streaming from the finest companies in the world. 

It began simply enough, with a bare stage and a single screen which Eryn Jean Norvill (the only actor in the production) was projected up onto, from a live broadcast.

The initial straightforward monologue was pleasant enough, as we focused on the fine porcelain features of her face and those deep expressive eyes.

Reuben Kaye Online

Melbourne Fringe. November 2020

Reuben Kaye’s new Melbourne Fringe show was performed at Assembly Checkpoint in Edinburgh in 2019 and is testament to his amazing talents. He is a sensational cabaret showman with an acerbic tongue and high-camp charm.

After winning a bunch of accolades from the Melbourne Cabaret Festival and the Adelaide Fringe between 2017 and 2019, he has gone on to perform and host on UK Channel 4 and Café de Paris in London, charming the pants off everyone across Europe with his signature style.

Peter Pan

Adapted by Kathleen Del Casale from the original play by J. M. Barrie. Wanneroo Repertory. Directed by Kathleen Del Casale. Limelight Theatre, Civic Dev, Wanneroo WA. Nov 26 - Dec 12, 2020

Peter Pan has been a seasonal favourite production for almost 117 years - beloved of audiences over many generations. Wanneroo Repertory brings us this family classic, with updates for a modern audience.

’Twas the Night Before Christmas

By Ken Ludwig. Harbour Theatre. Directed by Jane Sherwood. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. Nov 27 - Dec 13, 2020

Harbour Theatre are embracing the season, with their celebratory offering Ken Ludwig’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Ripcord

By David Lindsay-Abaire. State Theatre Company SA. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. 13 Nov - 13 Dec 2020

Ripcord is, on the surface, a rollicking comedic gem.  However, as one expects from playwright Lindsay-Abaire, the layers beneath are where the riches of the story lie.

Securing a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007 for Rabbit Hole, American playwright, lyricist and screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire excels in astute juxtapositions of comedy and tragedy within insightfully written texts.

Seagulls… flying through the times of plague

Created by Gianluigi Rotondo; directed by Roxana Paun. Monash University Student Theatre. Digital Festival. Melbourne Fringe Festival. 26-28 November 2020

‘It’s not where you’re born that matters, it’s where you choose to die – that is your country.’  Such is the motto of this compilation show, made up of migration stories, in prose and verse (told directly to camera), original music, resonant images of sea and shoreline, wheeling seagulls, and original artwork.  The speakers – storytellers and poets – are all international students from the most diverse range of countries – Lebanon, Rabat, South Africa, Italy, Romania and more.  Helena Valeria Manoussios was born in Austral

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde. Garrick Theatre, Guildford WA. Directed by Douglas Sutherland Bruce. Nov 26-Dec 12, 2020

The Importance of Being Earnest, while being one of the most oft produced plays in community theatre, is still a very popular choice for both audiences and theatre companies. Well done, as this production is, it cannot fail to charm - and remains an extremely funny play despite, as director Douglas Sutherland Bruce points out in his program notes, some of the satire now falling flat.

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