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.

The Glass Menagerie

By Tennessee Williams. Genesian Theatre (NSW). Director / Designer / Composer: Timothy M Carter. October 16 – November 13.

Universal themes, including family, desertion, broken dreams, dealing (or not) with reality and the impact of our decisions on others, are at the heart of Tennessee Williams’ first great dramatic success, The Glass Menagerie, an autobiographically inspired memory play.

A slim plot provides the hook on which to hang an intense, complex psychological drama.


Music: Guiseppi Verdi. Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni. Opera Queensland. Director: Shane Placentino based on the original by Graeme Murphy. Conductor: Peter Robinson. Set & Costume Design: Roger Kirk. Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane, Oct 16 – 30, 2010

Bingo: The Winning Musical

By Michael Heitzmann, Ilene Reid and David Holcenberg Pantseat Productions, at Theatre on Brunker, Newcastle (NSW). September 23 to October 2

The United States writers of Bingo offered Pantseat Productions the musical’s Australian premiere rights after seeing YouTube clips of songs from another offbeat show the Newcastle group staged last year. Pantseat’s delightful production certainly justified the faith shown in them. The musical focuses on the experiences at a weekly bingo tournament of three women who are so passionate about the game that they brave driving through a hurricane to get there.


Book by Alfred Uhry. Music by Jason Robert Brown. Regals Musicals Society (NSW). Director: Meg Day. Musical Director: Jennifer Parbery. Choreographer: Lauren Nalty. Rockdale Town Hall. October 15 – 23.

Community Theatre is at its best when it introduces a new work into a city, which professional theatre is unlikely to try, and does it very well. Such was the case with The (Rockdale) Regals' production of the fascinating and beautiful musical Parade. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1999, but has never been seen in Sydney. Parade is about the story of Leo Frank. He was a Jewish pencil factory owner in Atlanta Georgia, who in 1913 was wrongfully accused and convicted of the murder of a thirteen-year-old girl.

The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table

By Wesley Enoch. Bungabura Production. Director: Leah Purcell. Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane. Oct 15 – 30, 2010.

The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table is original, riveting theatre. It’s easy to see why Wesley Enoch’s play won the 2005 Patrick White Playwrights Award, because it’s poetic, searing, and wildly funny. As the evening progresses and layer upon layer of lies are stripped away, the dark DNA of the piece is exposed. There’s little real joy in this family with no room for sentiment.

Death by Sausage and Room to Move

Latest Sunshine Coast (Nambour and Buderim) reviews from Simon Denver

Death by Sausage by Genevieve Yates

Nambour Lind lane Theatre (Qld). Mitchell Street Theatre. October 1 – 10, 2010.

Der Rosenkavalier

Music: Richard Strauss. Libretto: Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Opera Australia. Sydney. Until October 30.

The conductor Andrew Litton was so animated during the overture that he looked like he was trying to wind up a giant machine. The music, after all, was meant to simulate furious sex between 17 year old Count Octavian Rofrano and his much older married lover Feldmarschallin, Princess Marie Therese. An ecstatic fortissimo explosion of four horns is the climax, so when the curtain opens we see the lovers languishing post coutil on the royal bedspread. Much slapstick follows when the Princess fears her husband has arrived home.

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