Reviews

Songs From an Unmade Bed

Music: Debra Barsha, Mark Bennett, Peter Foley, Jennifer Giering, Jake Heggie, Stephen Hoffman, Lance Horne, Gihieh Lee, Steven Lutvak, Steve Marzullo, Brendan Milburn, Chris Miller, Greg Pliska, Kim D. Sherman, Jeffrey Stock, Joseph Thalken. Lyrics: Mark Stephen Campbell. Joymas Creative. Director: Lewis Jones. Musical Director: Rainer Pollard. Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane. 13 August, 2011.

This one-man song-cycle, originally produced by the New York Theatre Workshop, New York, 2005, is about a young gay man’s experiences in a big city (think New York) with love lost and found. It’s told completely in song using the lyrics of Mark Stephen Campbell working with 18 different composers.

Alex & Eve: The Baby

By Alex Lycos. Director: Michael Block. The Factory Theatre (NSW). August 11 to 21, 2011.

200 Greeks and 200 Lebanese walk into a theatre, what happens?

Two hours of riotous laughter provoked by the outrageous squabbles and self-righteous posturing of the Karrastopoulos and El Masri families.

The divide for this modern day love struck Romeo and Juliet is their Greek and Lebanese roots and all the baggage their heritage and their families constantly drag into their lives, now more complicated by a baby! But in the end loves conquers all, including disputes about whether the Greeks or Arabs created Baklava.

Talking Heads

By Alan Bennett. The 1812 Theatre (Vic). Director: Helen Ellis. Aug 11 – Sep 10, 2011.

1812 Theatre’s August season is two monologues from Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads.

Rising Water

By Tim Winton. Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. Director: Kate Cherry. June 25 - July 17, 2011. the Arts Centre, Melbourne - August 5 - September 10, 2011

Three of the most interesting characters in Black Swan's Rising Water are the rudderless, motorless and sailless yachts, Goodness, Shirley and Mercy, which form the set of Tim Winton's play. Gorgeously designed by Christina Smith, they have distinctive personalities and are wonderful metaphors for the characters that live aboard them, tethered to a Fremantle marina.

Worldhood

Australian Dance Theatre and the Adelaide College of the Arts (SA). Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. 10 to 13 August, 2011.

Once again Garry Stewart has found an artistic link for dance which his audience can relate to. In this latest production Worldhood, the work of visual artist Tom Buchanan provides the textural basis for the choreography, which starts simply emulating the action of creating the art and finishes by embodying the ideas and symbolising the beliefs inherent in it.

This production is a first for both ADT and AC Arts, who are collaborating together to pack the stage with up to 17 dancers at one time.

Blood Wedding

By Frederico Garcia Lorca, translated by Iain Sinclair. Sydney Theatre Company. Wharf Theatre (NSW). August 5 – September 11, 2011.

Frederico Garcia Lorca describes duende as a force not a labour, a struggle not a thought - the duende surges up inside from the soles of the feet.

One can sense that Lorca’s play Blood Wedding is full of this ‘mysterious force that everyone feels and no philosopher has explained’. But unfortunately Iain Sinclair’s production of this Spanish classic falls short and rather than being full of passion it feels more like an academic display of what he thinks Lorca is all about.

In Vogue Songs by Madonna.

Slide (Darlinghurst (NSW). August 10, 2011.

Get Into the Groove with the Charismatic Michael ‘Madge’ Griffiths

The Sum of Us

by David Stevens. HIT Productions. Parade Playhouse, NIDA (Aug 3 – 6, 2011), and touring.

It is a little presumptuous of HIT to advertise this production of The Sum of Us as the “Australian Stage Premiere”, considering that it has been staged – and staged well – by community theatre groups ever since the rights became available. Nevertheless, this is a very contained production.

Special

By The Rabble. Director: Emma Valente. La Mama Courthouse Theatre (Vic). August 5 – 21, 2001.

The Club

By David Williamson. Director: Isobel Denholm. Theatre on Brunker, at St Stephen’s Hall, Adamstown (Newcastle, NSW). August 5 to 27.

EYEBROWS were raised when Isobel Denholm was named as the director of The Club. What would a woman know about the wheeling-dealing and disputes that went on in the world of players and committee members of a football club?

But Denholm has had a husband and three sons, all football fanatics, so she’s well aware of the passions sports can raise. That was certainly evident in this production, which was the best of many stagings of The Club I have seen since its 1977 premiere.

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