Reviews

Wonnangatta

By Angus Cerini. Sydney Theatre Company. Roslyn Packer Theatre. Sep 21 – Oct 31, 2020

Angus Cerini’s bush ballad is set high in the brutal beauty of Victoria’s alpine country; it’s a Gothic murder thriller told by two cattlemen in search of the bodies.  

And it’s true. The murder of Wonnangatta Station manager Jim Barclay and then his cook and station hand John Bamford in 1918 has never been solved.

The Small Hours

By Francis Durbridge. Stirling Players WA. Directed by Janet Brandwood. Stirling Theatre, Morris Place, Innaloo, WA. Sep 18-Oct 3, 2020

The Small Hours is a very well constructed thriller by Francis Durbridge. Perhaps more familiar to British audiences, where his television series ran from the 1950s through to the 1980s, Durbridge wrote novels, radio and TV thrillers as well as plays. The Small Hours, first performed in 1991, was the penultimate work published in his lifetime, and has a strong Australian connection.

The Man Who Dreamed

By Ciaran McConville. The Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Playing for a month from 26th September on You Tube

The Man Who Dreamed continues the run of The Adelaide Repertory Theatre’s series of virtual plays, each a different genre, with playwright Ciaran McConville’s unpublished early script, first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe is no exception.

Interestingly, this play starts with a prologue of sorts featuring McConville outlining the birth of his play, based on a quote from T. E. Lawrence.

Red

By John Logan, directed by Jesse Richardson, Ad Astra, Brisbane – 17 to 27 September 2020

Relatively new Brisbane theatre group, Ad Astra, exists to push its creative team to new and starry heights. They work from a small converted office space on Misterton Street in the Valley, a short walk from the hub of King Street, and close to the iconic brick facades of the Exhibition Halls and the Old Museum. It is a great location for replicating the look and feel of Mark Rothko’s studio at 222 Bowery on New York’s Lower East Side in 1958, the setting for John Logan’s award-winning RED.

Come To Where I Am – Australia, Volume 3.

Presented by Critical Stages Touring in conjunction with Paines Plough. A live Facebook premiere event. Wednesday, 2nd September 2020.

This is the third instalment in the series which livestreams original works by writers exploring their experience of life under COVID-19 restrictions in a range of remote and exotic locations around Australia. The pieces are read by the writers and the recordings are live-streamed. Each work reflects on the disturbances caused by the pandemic and the way lives have been dramatically disrupted. 

Class of 2020 Showcase

3rd Year Batchelor of Acting and Bachelor of Musical Theatre Students. Queensland Conservatorium. Burke Street Studio Theatre, Woolloongabba, Qld. 17-26 September 2020

It’s ironic that the last show I reviewed before the Covid  lockdown was the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University's Musical Theatre students in Elegies – A Song Cycle, and now one of the first shows I’ve reviewed after the restrictions have been eased is their Class of 2020 Acting and Musical Theatre Showcase.

Let the Right One In

By Jack Thorne, based on the novel and film by Hohm Ajvide Lindqvist. Harbour Theatre. Directed by Jo Sterkenberg. Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park, WA. Sep 18 - Oct 4, 2020

Harbour Theatre are currently performing their third Post COVID production, which must be some sort of record nationally. As with most productions in the current climate, this was cast and had commenced rehearsing before the shut-down, so is the product of a long but stressful incubation period.

Quartet

By Ronald Harwood. Wanneroo Repertory. Directed by Gwen Browning. Limelight Theatre, Wanneroo. 17 Sep - 3 Oct, 2020

Quartet is a comedy set in a retirement home for former performers. We meet a quartet of former opera singers who many years earlier recorded a very well received version of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Robert Benson-Parry and Dave Browning have convincingly created a music room and its adjoining terrace in this country home, with beautiful decor (Rob Vincent and Polly Waugh) that sets the scene well. The show is lit with precision by designers Brayden Neilan and Paul King, and features a well created sound design by Paul King and Daniel Toomath.

Lord of the Flies

Written by William Goldling. Stage adaption by Nigel Williams. Directed by Zachary Crisan. Redcliffe Musical Theatre, Queensland. September 18 to 27, 2020.

Since it was first published in 1956, this book has been read by so many people - adults and school students.  The image in your mind while reading does not match what you see here on stage in this production. These British school students, ranging in age, are wrecked on an island in the Pacific Ocean during the war and have to find a way to survive while living in hope of rescue. Initial attempts to work together in a structured way soon degenerate into two major groups with very conflicting views on life and how to survive.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

By Kent R. Brown. Teens at Garrick. Directed by Gail Lusted and Rodney Stickells-Palmer. Garrick Theatre, Guildford WA. 17 Sep - 3 Oct, 2020

Billed as “a comic thriller starring Shirley Holmes and Jennie Watson”, this ‘Teens at Garrick’ show is inspired by the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and is set in 1889 at 221b Baker St, and the Murky Moor of Devonshire, featuring the nieces of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

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