Reviews

Bombshells

By Joanna Murray-Smith. Arena Arts. Directed by Christine Ellis. Roxy Lane Theatre, Maylands WA Sep 4-19, 2020

This Australian play, first performed in 2004, with Caroline O’Connor in all six roles, is being performed to appropriately distanced audiences by Arena Arts at Maylands’ Roxy Lane Theatre. This production features six actresses performing the sextet of monologues, each featuring a dynamic and interesting woman.

The Best of British

Directed by Maureen Bowra. Presented by Moreton Bay Theatre, North Lakes Qld. August 21 – September 13, 2020.

Another interesting production from Moreton Bay Theatre pushes beyond their normal choices. What was this? It proved to be as the name implied, with a wide range of songs of British origin, of course, from artists including “Rocket Man”, Queen and The Beatles. Thrown in for variety were skits based on The Two Ronnies, Benny Hill, Monty Python, and other comedians of the past. To round out the show, there were scenes featuring the characters of Ireland and Scotland.

BLEED

A Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital. Arts House (Melbourne) and Campbelltown Arts Centre (Sydney). June 22 – August 30, 2020.

For Bleed - the biennial live event in the everyday digital - the North Melbourne Arts House and Campbelltown Arts Centre have together curated a select group of artists from varied disciplines to combine, collaborate and explore their art brand, style and creative diegesis.

An Evening With Amy Lehpamer

Piano: Brendan Murtagh. Lyrebird Restaurant, QPAC. 4/5 September 2020

We knew she was good, but we didn’t know she was that good! Amy Lehpamer has been visiting Brisbane for the past few years as a leading lady in The Sound of Music, Beautiful and The School of Rock, but it was the breadth of her talent that was on display last night at QPAC’s Lyrebird Restaurant. Simply amazing!

Tilt 2020 (Program 1)

Various Writers. Various Directors. WAAPA 3rd Year Performance Making Students. The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, WA. Sep 3-4, 2020

Tilt 2020 is devised and performed by WAAPA 3rd Year Performance Making Students, who are in their last months of completing a Bachelor of Performing Arts. WAAPA’s Performance Making course focuses on "the creation of performance from the early stages of creative development through to a final performance for an audience”. This production is performed in two parts, and this review looks at Program 1.

Come To Where I Am – Australia, Volume 2

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

This is the second instalment of 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 snapshot of the disturbance of the virus into these peaceful and idyllic locations highlights the immense beauty of each place and the ways in which Corona has infiltrated our lives physically and, most importantly, psychologically. The pieces are recorded and read by the writers and makes for some sombre yet enormously uplifting performances.

Canberra 2060: Futures With a Capital F.

Boho Interactive.  Canberra Theatre.  1–5 September 2020.

After consulting locals and scientists, Boho Interactive created a range of models of Canberra’s future and used them to create mental mayhem by setting up deliberately unrealistic, rather fun scenarios for its participating audience (i.e., everybody) to work with in saving Canberra from a range of foreseeable threats and to

Suddenly Last Summer

By Tennessee Williams. Directed by Charles Langford and Brendan James. Growl Theatre, Windsor School of Arts. Brisbane. August 15 – August 29, 2020.

This one act play maintains so many of the traits of Tennessee Williams’ other plays, where a key female character experiences emotional and mental stress. The story tells of the effects the death of wealthy poet Sebastian Venable while on holidays with his cousin, Catherine Holly, have on his family and Catherine in particular. His mother hires a doctor to find answers and he does so via Catherine Holly’s revealing her truth.

Southern Baptist Sissies

By Del Shores. Director/Screenwriter: Del Shores. Streaming BroadwayHD/Amazon prime

Del Shores’ play Southern Baptist Sissies premiered in 2000 and has since gone on to become widely produced in regional theatres in the U.S. and even in London. Shores, an LGBT+ writer with credits such as Sordid Lives and Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will, filmed a recent Los Angeles production of Southern Baptist Sissies, incorporating footage shot in front of live audiences and without. The result is a technically proficient, enjoyable, and at times explosively funny movie of the live performance.

Sixty Dancers, Sixty Stories

Queensland Ballet. HOTA, Gold Coast. August 29th, 2020.

Oh, the bliss of going to see a live show once again. My heart sang with joy when I saw the audience all dressed up for something special. And special it was. The Lakeside Room of Home of the Arts was bathed in dappled light, with tables socially distanced and set with candles. There was a great air of anticipation as people waved to each other but avoided hugging and other intimacy. These are different times indeed. Nevertheless, we were HERE and we were part of a defining moment that reassured us that live performance could not be beaten down, Covid or not.

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