My Fair Lady

By Lerner and Loewe. Old Scotch Music and Drama Club. Director and Choreographer: Robert Ray. Musical Director: John Ferguson.

The Old Scotch Music and Drama Club production of My Fair Lady was lavish, as it should be. The slightly abstract sets worked well, making scene changes smooth, and no expense was spared with the costumes.

The standard was set in the overture, when one could have been listening to a CD. The standard of the 23 piece orchestra was high. The chorus singing was also strong and the choreography breathtaking.


A Chorus of Disapproval

By Alan Ayckbourn. Hobart Repertory Theatre Society. Playhouse Theatre, Hobart. Director: Ann Lennon-George. Oct 22 – Nov 6.

Hobart Repertory Theatre Society presented Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval to a resounding chorus of intense approval from Hobart theatre buffs.Set in Wales, Hobart Rep’s last show for the 2010 Season is a hilarious romp in which Ayckbourn manages to weave small town sadness, pathos and bitterness into an insightful comedy revolving around an amateur light opera society’s production of The Beggars Opera.

Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert

Film Version - Village Cinemas

In late October, with little fanfare, Village Cinemas showed the film of the Cameron Macintosh concert to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of Les Miserables. This involved a concert performance of the show and was magnificent. The theatre looked like a sporting arena, the orchestra and choir were above and behind the main stage area and no expense was spared.

Brand Spanking New

Various Writers. New Theatre, Newtown (NSW). Program 1 - October 27 – 30. Program 2 – November 3 to 6.

What an absolute thrill to see so much new Australian writing getting a life on stage in one evening.

And you can get that thrill twice - this week and next - in Newtown, Sydney.

At New Theatre, over the space of two weeks, and two separate programs, seventeen short Australian plays will receive a quality airing in New’s third annual showcase.

While the scripts vary in quality, with some feeling like works in progress, though the best are excellent.

Three Sisters

By Anton Chekhov, translated by Lawrence Senelick and David Mamet. Cry Havoc. ATYP Studio, The Wharf (NSW). Oct 14 – Nov 6.

It’s fresh, it’s funny and it’s modern. Very modern, to the point of having an ipod and an iphone present. This is Chekhov for our times, for the younger generation coming through, learning about the work of the masters. This production has all the modern colloquialisms, the expressions and social interactionism of now.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Bell Shakespeare.Directed by Lee Lewis. Playhouse, Canberra Theatre, Oct 12 - 23. Playhouse, Sydney Opera House, Oct 26 - Nov 27.

This most recent production of Twelfth Night by the Bell Shakespeare Company is in stark contrast to the last one by the same company that I remember seeing (oh, how many?) years ago. The old production starring John Bell as Malvolio, with discontent and lugubrious expression after being caught with yellow cross garters is but one of the highlights from another age.

When the Rain Stops Falling

By Andrew Bovell. Brink Production with QTC. Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane. Oct 20 to Nov 6. Director: Chris Drummond.


Space Theatre. Flying Penguin Productions (SA). 21 to 30 Oct

Written by David Harrower and produced by Flying Penguin productions in association with the Adelaide Festival Centre’s InSPACE program, Blackbird is the revisited tale of an illicit relationship between Ray and Una. Set 16 years after the event, in a staff room at Ray’s place of employment, Una comes to confront him. Now an adult she has some unanswered questions, and despite the fact he has now changed his name to Peter, and moved on with his life, she has tracked him down via a photo she saw in a magazine.

Ben Hur - The Stadium Spectacular

Stadium Australia, Sydney. Directed and co-authored by Robert Hossein. Co-Authored by Alain Decaux.

Imagine spending $300 on a ticket to a big show and most of the dialogue is pre-recorded and way out of synch with the moving lips of the actors.

This was the reality for many in the crowd at Stadium Australia in a performance that I think should have been re-named Maximus Sillius.

This grand arena production of the famous movie and fable was slow and far too thin on the wow factor.

I understand the French Director had great difficulty with the language barrier, explaining what he wanted to cast, and it showed.

Wishful Drinking

Created and performed by Carrie Fisher. State Theatre, Sydney October 20 & 21, then touring nationally.

For anyone else, a stubbornly errant microphone might have taken some of the gloss of the performance. But Carrie Fisher responded to the calls of ‘We can’t hear you,’ in similar laconic style to all the questions she openly invited from the audience.

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