By Joanna Murray-Smith. Directed by Marcelle Schmitz. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. July 1-17, 2011.

As William steps through the picture frame doorway of Isabel's art studio, she has exactly ninety minutes to convince him - her ex-husband, to return to her, rather than marry his younger girlfriend, in three days time.

This Is It - Team Mess

Team Mess. Director: Dara Gill. PICA Performance Space, Northbridge (WA). July 13-16, 2011.

If It looks like a duck and sounds like a duck - then its a duck...unless its a turkey.

Invited to a press conference for a new film 'This Is It' and surrounded by journalists recognisable from similar press events, this felt like the real thing.

Team Mess, a Sydney based performing collective, use the format of the press conference to construct a presumed narrative of the film, The audience questions and imput mean that a different show (and unseen film) are created each performance.

At Any Cost?

By David Williamson & Mohamed Khadra. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Sandra Bates. 15 July – 27 August, 2011. Q Theatre, Penrith – September 6 – 10, 2011.

The Harbinger

By David Morton and Matthew Ryan. La Boite Indie and Dead Puppet Society. Director: David Morton. Roundhouse Theatre (Qld). 13-30 July, 2011.

Dead Puppet Society’s vision, and the concept they chose to achieve it, attracts many disciples. I understand this sixteen night season is almost booked out already.

I interpret this new entertainment concept as the equivalent of speculative fiction in literature. The arcane title that confused many theatregoers gives it away: specific writers are regenerating archaic language through their stories.

Secret Bridesmaids’ Business

By Elizabeth Coleman. Mixed Company. Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse. 13-23 July 2011

If you know controversial information about the past behaviour of a friend’s partner or lover, should you tell them? The playwright poses this conundrum.

Superbly cast, masterfully directed by Simone de Haas, and achingly funny, this tragi-comedy with teeth is a welcome addition to Brisbane’s current fairly dour theatre offerings.

Tick, Tick … Boom!

By Jonathan Larson. Parade Playhouse, NIDA. June 13 – 16, 2011.

Don’t go along expecting another Rent, but musical theatre fans will want to see Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical Tick, Tick…Boom!

Hare Brain

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle WA. Directed by Philip Mitchell. July 9-23, 2011.

From the moment brightly clad cleaner, Jessica Harland Kenny, wrestles with a vacuum cleaner, it is clear that this is going to be a very different rendering of Aesop's The Hare and the Tortoise.

Take Me Home Country Roads – The John Denver Story

Music & Lyrics: John Denver. Script: Jim McPherson. Rick Price with the Colorado Quartet. Co-Director: Jodi Gallgher. Musical Director: Ed Bates. Bold Jack Production. 12th Night Theatre, Brisbane, 13 - 31 July, 2011

La boheme

By Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Opera Australia. Director: Gale Edwards. Set Designer: Brian Thomson. Lighting Designer: John Rayment. Costume Designer: Julie Lynch. Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House. July 12 – October 24, 2011.

Staging La bohème in Sydney is a bit like going into bat after Bradman. The bar was set at a stratospheric level by Director Baz Luhrmann’s production in 1990, which eventually made it to Broadway. How do you top it?

This production opened in what looked like the inside of an old warehouse in the shape of a gazebo…the home of Rodolfo and his impoverished bohemian artists.

Don's Party

By David Williamson. Director: Jeff Hansen. Melville Theatre, Palmyra, WA. July 1 to 16, 2011.

With the director of the reigning Finley Award winning production at the helm, and a well-respected cast, Don's Party promised to be worth seeing and it did not disappoint.

From the moment we glimpsed the beautifully recreated late sixties home, beautifully finished with groovy ring of truth detail, and saw Val Riches' gorgeous costumes, you could tell that this was going to be a well-rounded production, that took us back to election night in 1969.

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