Reviews

The Lighthouse

Adelaide Festival 2020. Patch Theatre. Queen’s Theatre. Feb 25 – Mar 7, 2020

The best way to review a children’s event is to take a child with you, so I did and I watched how my granddaughter and the other children reacted and responded to the new interactive offering from Patch Theatre.

Set in the atmospheric Queen’s Theatre, The Lighthouse provided plenty of sensory experiences connected to light with an interesting soundtrack that was probably more appreciated by the adults than the children. I particularly liked the cello section.

Mother

By Daniel Keene. Directed by Matt Scholten. HOTA - 27th-29th Feb, 2020 and QPAC – 4th-14th March.

Noni Hazlehurst is a magnificent actress and she gives a bravura performance as Christie, a homeless alcoholic bag woman who lives a pointless existence day to day, lost in memories of one part of her life that ended tragically. It is flawless acting and the success of the 75-minute work rests solely on Hazlehurst’s performance. You can almost smell her, and you can certainly see the ingrained dirt on her feet and hands. Her physical performance is as strong as her interpretation of the text.

The Doctor

By Robert Icke. Almeida Theatre. Adelaide Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. February 27 - March 8, 2020

Is there any middle ground between Science and Religion? Can medicine play God?

The Doctor is a clever reimagining of Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi. Starring Juliet Stevenson, this is an astonishingly thought-provoking piece of theatre- masterfully written, beautifully directed and superbly performed.

Schnitzler’s play, first performed in 1912, deals with Viennese antisemitism towards a Jewish doctor held to task for refusing a Catholic priest permission to administer the last rites to a dying patient.

Spitfire Solo

By Nicholas Collett. Adelaide Fringe. Bakehouse Theatre. February 24 - March 7, 2020.

2020 marks the 80th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain. In May of that year German forces swept through France culminating in the French surrender in June. Hitler now had a full- scale invasion of Britain in his sights.

Effie in Love me Tinder

Adelaide Fringe. Spiegeltent. February 29, 2020

Well known for her inappropriate comedy and habit of using malapropisms, Effie, played by Mary Coustas is back at the Adelaide Fringe. She became a household name throughout the 1990s for the Wogs out of work stage show and TV series Acropolis Now. Having only recently been in TV commercials Coustas has reprised this character in a new show Effie in Love me Tinder.

The Will To Be

By Mark Salvestro. Adelaide Fringe. Studio at Bakehouse Theatre Adelaide. February 24-March 7, 2020

‘The course of true love never did run smooth’: William Shakespeare, A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Act 1, scene 1).

Never a truer word was said, particularly in The Will To Be, written, produced and performed by Mark Salvestro.

We are taken back to 1962 and a university lecturer (William O’Halloran) in Melbourne has been fired from his lecturing position accused of having an affair with a male student.

Requiem

A co-production of Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Adelaide Festival. Stage Director, Costume and Lighting Designer Romeo Castellucci. Musical Collaborator: Rachaël Pichon. Adelaide Symphony Orchestra – conducted by Rory Macdonald. Adelaide Festival Chorus. Australian Dance Theatre. 28 February & 1,3,4 March 2020

A requiem is a service or commemoration for the dead. Mozart’s unfinished Requiem was written only weeks before he died and is the inspiration for Castellucci and Pichon’s beautiful and moving interpretation of this funeral mass.

This production is a living, breathing work of art. It combines in equal proportions the best of theatre, visual art and music, through the combination of the singers, musicians, dancers, actors and the technical skill of the lighting, set makers, costume designers and crew.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Adapted by Mike Carter. Darlington Theatre Players. Directed by Rachel Vonk, musical direction by Michelle Ezzy. Marloo Theatre, Marloo Rd, Greenmount, WA. Feb 28 - Mar 14, 2020

Darlington Theatre Players’ production of Alice in Wonderland is a colourful and fun production, loyal to the original story, featuring an energetic multi-age cast. A musical of sorts, with pantomime elements, this large cast production is clearly aimed at a family audience.

Dance Nation

By Clare Barron. Adelaide Festival 2020. Scott Theatre. 21st Feb – 7th March, 2020

Dance Nation is girl power at its finest. American playwright Clare Barron’s script will leave you gasping as she explores the hopes, dreams and torments of six teenage girls and one boy.

In a deliberate move Barron breaks stereotypes with the casting of adults in child roles. It is refreshing to see an aging cast recapturing their youth. It becomes abundantly clear that this playwright is tired of apologising for being a woman and her un-filtered prose puts the nice girl cliché to rest.

Hades Fading (Hades Memudar)

By Mainteater. Written and directed by Sandra Fiona Long. Composed by Ria Soemardjo. Presented by La Mama, in association with Kath Papas Productions. La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton. 27 February - 1 March, 2020.

This is a delightful marriage between Indonesian culture and Greek mythology. The pairing of these two diverse and contrasting traditions seems incongruous, however, the blending of these two cultures could not appear to be more natural. This is a very unusual interpretation of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, yet the staging combined with the lighting, projections, music and costuming conjure up Hades in a precise and alluring manner. The long, flowing, white costumes, decorated with traditional Indonesian headdresses generates an ethereal quality to the personas.

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