Reviews

The Vagina Monologues

By Eve Ensler. Fringe World. Directed by Sarah McNeill. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA/ His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth. Jan 18-30, 2021

Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, first performed in 1996, is the product of over 200 interviews with women of multiple ages, races and sexual orientation, about their vaginas. This production - vibrantly and poignantly presented by Lit Live for State of Play and the Fringe World Festival - is playing at two venues - Studio Underground, at the State Theatre Centre of WA, to be followed by a another short season at His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth.

Bring Out Your Dead

Written and Directed by Ella Randle. Fringe World / unBALANCED Productions. Cookery, The Girls School, East Perth WA. January 15-24, 2021

Bring Out Your Dead is a fun little black comedy from unBALANCED Productions that is brightening patrons’ late evenings at the Girls School.

When Riley wakes one evening after a very rough night, he finds himself on his couch with a dead body. Unable to remember the night before, he concludes that he must be responsible. With flat-mate Finn he tries to deal with the situation despite the interference of a nosy neighbour and a badly timed burglar.

Tale of Tales

By Clare Testoni. Directed by Clare Testoni and Paul Grabovac. Fringe World. Rehearsal Room One, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth WA. Jan 15-19, 2020

Tale of Tales is a gorgeously presented, beautiful story from Bow and Dagger Theatre Company, playing as part of State of Play for the Fringe World Festival.

Based on a true story and set during World War II, Antionetta, a known communist flees Italy for the safety of Australia, where she and her two young sons are interned as ‘enemy aliens’. Antionetta's husband, Sante remains in Italy, as part of the Italian resistance. They remain linked through the stories Antionetta tells her sons - linking them spiritually - although they have no contact.

Rapture: a Song Cycle of Desire and Ecstasy, Murder and Mayhem

Performed by Paul Capsis and iOTA. Directed by Michael Kantor. Sydney Festival: The Headland at Barangaroo Reserve. 16/ 17 January, 2021

Before Rapture begins on the new Sydney Festival stage at Barangaroo, the host Yumi Stynes prepares the audience. This work, she says, is a musical that the producers hope will soon be staged.

Do I Look Like I Care?

By Daisy Coyle. Directed by Elise Wilson. FringeWorld. Rehearsal Room One, State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth WA. January 15-19, 2020

Do I Look Like I Care? is an offbeat medical comedy presented by bear hands co for State of Play at Fringe World. Set in 1982, immigrant nurse Florence tries to find her place in a Perth hospital.

Fast paced and vibrant, this is almost a series of vignettes as we follow Florence (known as Flo) through her first two years in Perth, through a series of odd experiences, several hospital wards and her home in nurses’ accommodation as we meet a collection of strange patients and staff.

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged)

By Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin. Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent St, Sydney. Jan 16 – Feb 13, 2021

“With bated breath …” (The Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3) is how someone who’d seen some good productions of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield might anticipate another parody/merger of the works of the Bard emanating from that company.

Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched - A Wedding Extravaganza

Written and directed by Ahmed Kazmi. FringeWorld. Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth WA. Jan 15-24, 2021

Dr Ahmed Kazmi has been a Fringe favourite for a few years, with sell-out cabaret shows telling about his experiences as a doctor, both in Australia and the UK. This show, just as dazzling, funny and insightful as its predecessors, has a change in focus as Dr Ahmed shares his experience of his own Greek - Pakistani - interfaith - interfaith - interracial - same sex wedding.

Mismatched

By Daisy Productions. FringeWorld. Home Economics or The Library, The Girls School, WA. Jan 15-25,

Mismatched is a rather stunning musical cabaret that looks at mismatched couples and the songs that they may sing together. Expertly performed by Penny Shaw and Robert Hoffman, with musical direction and accompaniment by Tommaso Pollio - this is a show that despite its relative simplicity, feels like it belongs more in a concert hall than in a small venue at the Girls School - so you feel like you a privy to an extra special treat.

Maureen: Harbinger of Death

Written and performed by Jonny Hawkins. Co-conceived and directed by Nell Ranney. Seymour Centre, Sydney. 15- 21 January, 2021

When Jonny Hawkins enters the stage and explains that older women are his heroes and this show is a homage to them, he takes a risk, setting himself up to possibly fail by causing offence or simply not doing them justice. But thanks to thoughtful characterisation and a huge amount of sensitivity and care, this one-woman show proves touching - and compelling throughout.

Lucky Cat

Written and directed by Yvan Karlsson. FringeWorld. The Studio, Subiaco Arts Centre, WA. Jan 15-19, 2021

Lucky Cat is a sweet and joyous piece of family theatre, presented by Monkey Brain for Subilicious and Fringe World

Alex is the unluckiest child in the world, and everything seems to go wrong for her - her parents have split, her teacher never picks her and she doesn’t win colouring competitions - until she meets Tet - the luckiest cat in the world. Together they embark on an epic adventure to find Fate and get back Alex’s luck.

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