Reviews

The Other Place

By Sharr White. Fremantle Theatre Company. Directed by Chris Edmund. Victoria Hall, Fremantle. Oct 17 - Nov 8, 2020

The Other Place is the debut production of Fremantle Theatre Company, which has taken residence in Fremantle’s Victoria Hall. A stunning introduction to this new company, The Other Place is a stellar production which is playing to rapt, capacity audiences.

Victoria Hall is looking fresh and vibrant, with front of house, essentially a trendy laneway bar, a great place for a pre-show drink. A great atmosphere - and you may be lucky enough to meet Front Of House Dog Audrey, who takes her public relations job very seriously. 

La Mama Poetica Online

Featuring the work of artists: David Stavanger, Anne Elvey, Anisa Nandaula, Jocelyn Deane. Curated and presented by Amanda Anastasi. October 2020.

La Mama has presented poetry in a live format since 1967 and is one of the many traditions that form part of the La Mama project which nourishes emerging and talented artists. As with many other Arts enterprises, this event has been forced to pivot online. Unlike more performative Arts events, adapting to the online format for poetry readings is daunting. They are, by their very nature, much more intimate events that rely heavily on the physical presence of the audience.

Alexa, Turn The Lights On

Written and Performed by Jacob Watton. Toowoomba Empire Theatres, Toowoomba. October 16 & 17 2020.

If ever there was a year for theatre to explore the intimate conversations of a young man and his AI technology, 2020 is top of the list.

Originally scheduled to premiere in March, but postponed due to the nationwide lockdown, Alexa,Turn The Lights On - a story of humanity vs technology - featured in Toowoomba’s annual Curious Arts Festival over the weekend.

Self-professed Luddite Jacob Watton starred alongside Amazon Alexa technology and humorously pontificated about modern technology that has “taken over his house”.

Animal Farm

By George Orwell, adapted by Saro Lusty-Cavallari. New Theatre (NSW). Oct 13 - Nov 7, 2020.

With mainstage theatres serving up small cast COVID friendly productions, the New Theatre currently has the ‘biggest play’ on stage in all of Sydney. 

This production felt generous in many respects. It almost felt lavish seeing 15 people on stage in front of an audience (under 44) spread around the New Theatre, as allowed by current regulations.

Love Fail

By David Lang. Yarra Valley Opera Festival. Directed by Luke Leonard and presented by Gertrude Opera (online opera festival). 16-25 October, 2020.

Love Fail is an original work by David Lang that is inspired by the varied accounts of Tristan and Isolde. This story of star-crossed lovers has been adapted in many forms and continues to be pervasive in our cultural landscape. However, Love Fails is heavily focused on allusion and creates a unique and new text to address this classic tale. This performance is mystical and eerie in the way it elicits the spirit of the characters and their elusive and often shadowy presence.

An Enchanted Evening

Live at Riverside Parramatta and streamed. October 17, 2020

While some of us watched and listened online, an excited – albeit socially distanced – audience were welcomed back to Parramatta Riverside Theatre for An Enchanted Evening of music. Enchanting it was, bringing some of the most famous arias and love songs from opera and musical theatre on to a stage that has been bereft of a live audience for a long six months.

Gala – At Home

Yarra Valley Opera Festival. Presented by Gertrude Opera (online opera festival). 16-25 October, 2020.

The festival opens with a gala concert featuring performances from company singers over the past eleven years. The concert is hosted by Gertrude Opera’s Artistic Director, Linda Thompson, with Maestro Brian Castles Onion and the artists perform from their homes from around the world. The hosts take the time to have a friendly chat with each artist prior to their performance and this creates a warm atmosphere. Some performances are more relaxed while others try to create the formality of the opera and the variety of music and approaches makes the concert interesting and dynamic.

Alfie Boe – Bring Him Home Tour 2012

Alfie Boe. Guest Artists: Claude-Michel Schönberg, Matt Lucas, Melanie C, Tom Fletcher, Chakira Riddell-Morales. Brighton Festival Chorus. Heart of England Philharmonic (Boe’s Band). Conductor: James Morgan. The Shows Must Go On, YouTube - Streaming Free for 48hrs from 16 Oct 2020

The Shows Must Go On continues its free streaming this weekend with Alfie Boe’s Bring Him Home Tour from the Royal Festival Hall in 2012. The British tenor, who first came to notice in the O2 Arena Concert Production of Les Misérables (2002), is in thrilling voice, with impeccable phrasing, as he sings a good selection of modern musical theatre favourites.

professional premises

Written and directed by Andrew O’'Connell. Company O. Paper Mountain, William St, Northbridge WA. Oct 15-25, 2020

Company O is an independent theatre company that is particularly interested in performing new writing and insightful interpretations of the classics. This World Premiere production sort of ticks both boxes, as it tells about a company of actors presenting a not-so-insightful production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Vincent River

By Philip Ridley. The Curators Theatre, Christ Church, Milton, Qld. Director: Michael Beh. 13-31 October 2020

Brutally horrific, Philip Ridley’s Vincent River has been given a taut and harrowing production by Curators Theatre, with solid direction by Michael Beh. It’s the Brisbane premiere of this bleak play, which has had innumerable productions since its world premiere at the Hampstead Theatre, London, 2000. It’s not time specific, but judging by the music that permeates the production, it feels like we’re back in the eighties.

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