As You Like It

By William Shakespeare. Belvoir (NSW). November 19 – December 24, 2011.

Belvoir’s rendition of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It is a rollicking ride and a big crowd pleaser. Full of cross dressing men and women, mistaken identities and a flock of jumping, grazing sheep, this production does provide a lot of colour and movement which makes it easy to watch for those not so familiar with Shakespeare.

But in his effort to reinvent this classic tale, director Eamon Flack has taken a lot of liberties with the script. Some ideas work and are really quite charming, but others fall flat.

Waxing Lyrical

By Shortis and Simpson. The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. December 2 – 4, 2011.

“If my nose was running money, I’d blow it all on you

I'd buy you a Cadillac and a new Mercedes too.

I'd build you that mansion up on the mountaintop.

If my nose was running money but honey it's snot.”

This show is a celebration of scintillating rhymes, rhythms, meters and scansion, good words, great words, some lyrics hilarious (like the above), and some excruciatingly awful.


By William Shakespeare. The Bridge Project. Lyric Theatre, The Star (NSW). December 1 – 11, 2011.

This much anticipated production from The Bridge Project sold out in near-record time, presumably on the name of lead actor Kevin Spacey. For those lucky enough to secure a ticket, what they’ll experience is a clear, traditional, sometimes funny reading of the very long play by director Sam Mendes with a ferocious, high energy central performance.


Conceived and Created by Untreated. Presented by Big West Festival. Writer / Director: Casey Nicholls. Performers – David Bol, Damien Busuttil, Justin Grant, Dara Klein and Rexson Pelman. November 16-19, 2011.

Under a bridge with a graffiti backdrop, a set of a couple of simple scaffolds and a stage of hilly rocky dirt to work on - raising the dust are five strong and talented young actors who express some of the torture of lives fractured and destabilised by brutal neglect, violent attack, the abuse of substances and mental illness.  This is confronting site specific theatre embedded in a wholly suitable site.

Under Milk Wood

By Dylan Thomas. Heidelberg Theatre Company. Directed by Chris Baldock, assisted by Helen Ellis. Nov 17 – Dec 3, 2011.

Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood is a dazzling piece of writing, so alive and so descriptive of the inhabitants of the Welsh village of Llareggub, you can see, hear, smell and feel the place. From this gorgeous source material, director Chris Baldock and assistant director Helen Ellis have created a truly magical show.

From its clever, deceptively simple set - allowing characters to move in and out of each other’s lives, doorways and hearts with ease – to the impressively consistent performances of its large ensemble cast, this show is a delight.

Starship Odyssey

Impro A.C.T. Directed by Christopher Allen. The Street Theatre. 25–26 November 2011.

Impro theatre is going from strength to strength in Canberra.  That may partly be due to the training that Impro A.C.T.'s players receive in creative response to the unexpected.  But it must be due too to the fun of watching the players' reactions and hearing great lines delivered unrehearsed.

The Ugly One

By Marius Von Mayenburg. Griffin Theatre, Sydney. Director: Sarah Giles. November 23 – December 17, 2011

Grey Gardens

Music: Scott Frankell, Lyrics: Michael Korie, Book: Doug Wright. The Production Company. Playhouse, the Arts Centre (Vic). November 24 – December 4, 2011.

Let us give thanks to the Theatre Gods for Jeanne Pratt, Chairman of the The Production Company, for being brave enough to bring to Melbourne many offerings, Grey Gardens being one, that larger commercial companies do not even have on their radar.

‘Allo ‘Allo

By Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft. Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre (Vic). Director: Nicholas Ryan. November 15 – December 3, 2011.

Café René is the centre of all the action in ‘Allo ‘Allo, the stage adaption of the popular BBC TV wartime comedy series, complete with the marauding Germans looking after their future, British airmen using the café as a safe house while the Resistance comes up with crazy plans to help them escape and poor René, the proprietor, his wife and two waitresses trying to run the restaurant in a little French village, despite all that is going on around them.

We Will Show The Country

Concept: Giordano Nanni. Adapted by Andrea James and Giordano Nanni. Ilbijerri Theatre Company (VIC). La Mama Courthouse Theatre. Director: Isaac Drandic. Designer: Darryl Cordell. November 18 – 27, 2011.

The motif for the Ilbijerri Theatre Company is Bold Black Brilliant. And this is the case for the company’s latest work We Will Show the Country.

We Will Show The Country is a unique collaboration of theatre and historical fact that tells the story of the Coranderrk station; land that is now, near present day Healesville.

The station, a thriving and self-sufficient home to a number of aboriginal clans in the 1800’s inevitably came under the threat of expanding European colonisation, displacing the inhabitants yet again.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.