Into the Woods

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine. Savoyards. The Star Theatre, Manly, Queensland. March 7 - 14, 2020.

In Stephen Sondheim’s 90th year it is fitting to celebrate his life and indulge in a performance or two. The Savoyards community theatre group tackle Into the Woods – a sprightly 30-something, having premiered off-Broadway in 1986 – and its 28 musical numbers. This is a show that has attracted more than a dozen major awards for every avenue from writing, music, acting to lighting, set and sound design.

Joni Mitchell’s Daughter

Hartstone-Kitney Productions. Adelaide Fringe. Black Box Theatre. March 8 & 9, 2020

Canadian singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell emerged at a time when the world was trying to find peace amongst political chaos and war. Perhaps that is why we can still relate to the musings of this deep-thinking songstress. Her songs hold true today, because of her lyrics and stripped back interpretations.

Accidental Death of An Anarchist

By Dario Fo. KADS Theatre. Directed by Andrew Watson. KADS Town Square Theatre, Kalamunda WA/March 6-21, 2020

Accidental Death of An Anarchist is an unusual choice for KADS Theatre, perhaps best known for light comedies and farces. While this play is decidedly in the comic vein, Accidental Death of An Anarchist, though fifty years old this year, remains a strong choice - a political commentary that is a little outside the box.

Just Desserts

By Michelle Pearson. Adelaide Fringe. East Market Pavilion, Gluttony, Adelaide. 6-14 March 2020

Michelle Pearson stirs, folds and beats a recipe of politics, philosophy and personal stories into a perfect late-night treat for all the senses. Revisiting her cabaret show introduced to the Fringe in 2019, Pearson mixes up well known songs with her own take on the lyrics, this time around updating her storytelling to reflect the changes in her life over the last twelve months.

Falling from Grace

By Hannie Rayson. Directed by Elizabeth Morris. Presented by Villanova Players. Ron Hurley Theatre, 28 February – 8 March, 2020

The complexities of women’s friendships are laid bare in this Hannie Rayson (Hotel Sorrento) play. Relationships are tested, secrets revealed, and scruples challenged as three women – Maggie, Suzannah and Janet – navigate the trials of working with your best friends in the pressurised environment of a magazine.

Tom Skelton: 2020 Visions (What if I hadn’t gone blind?)

Adelaide Fringe. The Boardroom at The Griffins Hotel, Adelaide. 7-14 March 2020

Ten years on from losing his sight British comedian Tom Skelton looks back at the last ten years and indulges us in his ‘what if?’ moments, starting his show exactly at twenty past eight – 20:20.

He takes us on his journey from the first medical specialist’s appointment where he was told he would soon have only 5% vision, through each year of the 2010s, introduced by music and audio from that year.

Attenborough and his Animals

Adelaide Fringe. Clownfish Theatre. Cupola at the Garden of Unearthly Delights. March 2 – 15, 2020

One of the most recognisable voices in wildlife documentaries must be the dulcet tones of Sir David Attenborough. Providing us with an intimate look inside the world of animals, he has provided much joy for this reviewer over the years.

Clownfish Theatre is a UK based company comprised of performers Jess Clough-MacRae and Jonathon Tilley. Multi-skilled, they have found a way to transport the essence of this loved documentary maker and naturalist to the stage.


By Kieran Hurley. Traverse Theatre Company. Adelaide Festival. Odeon Theatre, Norwood. 6-14 March, 2020

Mouthpiecewritten by Kieran Hurley, is a moving, thought provoking piece of theatre about storytelling. It jars us into thinking about ownership. It asks us who owns the story. Should stories be appropriated by others?

"Everyone has a story," says Libby (Shauna MacDonald), the writer in the play. "Naw," replies Declan ( Angus Taylor), "Some ay us just have lives." 

The Sound of History

Adelaide Festival 2020. Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide. March 7, 2020

Before moving on to the review proper I would like to extend my best wishes to Brett Dean who co-created this concert. He is one of the most internationally performed composers of this generation and unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in Australia from a performance in Taiwan and is in the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare. Roleystone Theatre. Directed by Paul Treasure. The Amphitheatre, Araluen Botanic Park, Roleystone, WA. Feb 22 - Mar 8, 2020

Roleystone Theatre has presented Shakespeare in the Park for the first time, playing over 4 “late afternoons” in February and March. Joining a crowd of over 200 patrons at the penultimate performance, I found a great picnic atmosphere, and a great sense of occasion as patrons prepared to watch one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. The anticipation was rewarded with a high energy, exuberant production that was well directed and performed.

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