Reviews

The Holidays

By David Megarrity. Queensland Theatre. Direction: Bridget Boyle. Bille Brown Theatre, South Brisbane. 14 Nov – 12 Dec 2020

Artistic Director Lee Lewis, and the Queensland Minister for the Arts, Leanne Enoch, reopened the Bille Brown Theatre last night with a bottle of champagne. And what better way to welcome audiences back to the theatre after Covid lockdown than a glass of bubbly. With restrictions now lifted in Queensland, theatres are now able to offer 100% capacity.

It wasn’t 100% last night, but close to it for the world premiere of David Megarrity’s 2018 Queensland Premiere’s Drama Award winning play, The Holidays.

Make-up

Written & directed by Andy Moseley. Performed by Moj Taylor. Digital Fringe. Melbourne Fringe Festival. 18 & 26-29 November 2020

‘Lady Christina’, drag queen, completes her routine - with Hey, Big Spender’ – and wearily comes off a Wolverhampton stage to her dressing room.  The audience demands another encore, but they’d already had two.  The applause goes on and follows Lady Christina back to her dreary dressing room.  But the façade and the make-up come off – as they must .

REVISIT.exe

Created by Marcel Dornay & Monash Centre for Theatre & Performance. Writer & Dramaturg Greta Doell. Digital Fringe. Melbourne Fringe Festival. 13, 14 & 15 November 2020

The premise of REVISIT.exe is a student assignment in a university degree course (Humanities, of course), ominously titled ‘Ethics, Responsibility & Certainty’.  The assignment requires a decision on the ethical question at the heart of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s 1956 play, The Visit.  Was it ‘right’ for the dying town of Güllen to kill Anton Schill so as to benefit from the largesse of his former lover, billionairess Claire Zachanaissian?  That is, is an immoral act that will benefit thousands right or wrong?  Ti

Giselle

Queensland Ballet. Staged by Ai-Gul Gaisina. Choreography by Marius Petipa. HOTA Gold Coast. 12th-14th November, 2020

Queensland Ballet could be forgiven if they were bitter and twisted over the whole of their 60th anniversary programme being cancelled because of Covid 19. Instead, they managed to turn a tragedy into a triumph - first with the wonderfully exciting “sixty dancers- sixty stories” online; then a live performance adapted from those filmed performances. Now, to end the year, they have pulled Giselle out of their repertoire for a short season under the stars and beside the lake on the Parklands outdoor stage.

The Hollow

By Agatha Christie. Directed by Sharon White. Nash Theatre New Farm Qld. 14 November – 5 December, 2020.

When the name Agatha Christie is mentioned, our minds think of the many murder mysteries she wrote, starting over seventy years ago. Seldom do we think that she wrote a good many play adaptations of her own novels. Perhaps the most famous is The Mousetrap, which opened in 1951 and only closed this year due to the virus epidemic. The Hollow made its stage debut in 1952. Now, it debuts at Nash Theatre.

Wife After Death

By Eric Chappell. Darlington Theatre Players. Directed by Robert Warner. Marloo Theatre, Greenmount, WA. Nov 13-28, 2020

Wife After Death is a fresh, well-performed comedy performed by Darlington Theatre Players, to Covid capacity audiences. Tight and funny, with high production values, this relatively new show will have broad appeal.

George Boyd has created a very believable, beautifully finished set, nicely creating a sitting room in a country home. Naturalistic lighting design by Michael Hart and a well chosen sound design by George Boyd help set the scene.

The Lion in Winter

By James Goldman. Villanova Players. Ron Hurley Theatre, Brisbane. 7 to 22 November 2020

Well, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a family argument – or two – would it? And when your family is ruling the United Kingdom and parts of France in 1183, then you might have more to argue about than most. James Goldman’s 1966 play, The Lion in Winter, takes a snapshot of the age-old dilemma of royal succession from the Plantagenet family.

Iphigenia in Splott

By Gary Owen. New Ghosts Theatre Company. Director Lucy Clements. Flight Path Theatre, Marrickville, Nov 12 – 21, 2020 and online Nov 16 - 28.

Meg Clarke doesn’t have to worry about social distancing in this performance. She’s the only one on the stage – for over 80 minutes. It’s a difficult script, word and emotion heavy, in which her character, Effie, talks the audience through a time she wants them to understand - acutely. Skilfully she draws them into her story, making them laugh at times, shocking them at others, seeking their empathy, but never letting them get too close. There’s a reason she’s got them together and she’ll draw them in until she’s ready to tell them why!

Something About Skin: Contemporary dance with a robot vacuum

Created and Performed by Lee Tsung-Hsuan and Chang Chien-Hao. Melbourne Fringe Festival. 12 & 13 November, 2020.

The highly unusual concept of this performance has the choreographers and dancers Tsung-Hsuan and Chien-Hao working with a robotic vacuum. This very unlikely mediator of the show creates a quirky and unexpected perspective as the performance is livestreamed predominantly through the eyes of a moving camera placed on the vacuum. 

Puffs

By Matt Cox. Act, Belong Commit and Art in Motion Theatre Company (AIM). Directed by Lys Tickner. City of Gosnells Don Russell Performing Arts Centre, Thornlie, WA. Nov 12-15, 2020

Puffs, presented by Act, Belong Commit and Art in Motion Theatre Company (AIM) is the story of “Seven increasingly eventful years at a certain school of magic and magic”. An unauthorised satire, tribute and love-letter to the Harry Potter series, it is set in a school house called “Puffs” and the characters all bear names remarkably similar to characters mentioned in obscure parts of the Potter-verse.

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