Proof by David Auburn

Wollongong Workshop Theatre. 13th to 28th November. Director: Luke Berman

Workshop Theatre has produced a very accomplished and satisfying late Spring production of David Auburn's modern American classic, Proof. The intimate Workshop production helped clarify the show's themes - a scientific savant narrative with a gender twist, layering a more general and endearing theme of generational redemption.

The Breath of Life by David Hare

Cairns Little Theatre. Director: John Hughes.

The Breath of Life by David Hare was Cairns Little Theatre’s last production for 2009. The production proved to be a thought provoking play for actors and audience alike.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The laughs started before the curtain opened. A voice-over announcer told us that Katarina Bychkova and Marina Plezegetovstageskaya were in … alas Ms Notgoodenov was out.

An onslaught of cheesey dance routines followed … as Swan Lake was plucked and dissected. How one of the men, who looked like he was almost seven feet tall, managed to balance en pointe made the mind boggle.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Queensland Theatre Company. Playhouse QPAC, 26.10.09 – 14.11.09

This great American classic can be compelling, sometimes even confronting, theatre, especially when performed in modern dress. Director Michael Gow cast it masterfully with nineteen superb actors to bring off the triumph of QTC’s 40th anniversary year. It deserves the full houses it is attracting. Gow and designer Robert Kemp made an inspired decision to bring the action downstage to draw the audience into the frontier ethos of a town bounded by a forest and fundamentalist views.

Happy Days by Samuel Beckett.

Company B / Malthouse. Belvoir Street Theatre.

Yes, this is the play which features a middle aged woman who is half buried in a large mound of earth. It’s one of those iconic images, much like Edward Munch’s The Scream is to the visual arts. Now is your chance to see the play which this image comes from. Belvoir Street is currently presenting Malthouse Melbourne’s production of Samuel Beckett’s classic play in its upstairs theatre.

Scenes from Communal Living

Marko Mustac Productions and Impro Australia. Fusebox at the Factory Theatre (NSW).

Marko Mustac Productions and Impro Australia have come together to put on a fun show around that perennially fertile subject of young people living communally. Scenes from Communal Living is the brainchild of Stewart McCure, a long time impro artist. Marko Mustac directed the show with a cast of six players. They were Emily Beale, Rachel Corbett, Graham Hyland, Steen Raskopoulos, Carlo Ritchie and Susie Youssef.

Pennies from Kevin - The Wharf Revue - On Tour

By Johnathan Biggs, Drew Fortsythe and Phillip Scott. QUT Gardens Theatre, Brisbane 4th & 5th March.

Stage Whispers first saw the Wharf Revue, Pennies From Kevin, during its 2009 Sydney season. We now add Jay McKee's review of the touring production's Brisbane visit. Dvid Spicer's original Sydney review follows.

The Ruby Sunrise by Rinni Groff

Ensemble Theatre, Sydney

Sandra Bates, the Ensemble Theatre's long standing Artistic Director, joined her cast on stage at the end of the opening night performance of young American playwright Rinni Groff's The Ruby Sunrise. It was then that she received a large bouquet of flowers from star actress, Amanda Muggleton. The occasion was that the production of The Ruby Sunrise represented the one hundredth Ensemble production in which Sandra Bates has been involved.

Theatre of Blood

Newtown Theatre (NSW). Friday Evenings at 11pm.

Blood - the title and graphic publicity images promised it – but a single slit throat and a bloodied nose does not a theatre saturate. The show’s producer and linking narrator Steven Hopley raised expectations further, making much ado of issuing plastic raincoats to the front row of the audience – no need – no jugular gusher.

Missing Pieces by Shelley Wall

Damshell Productions. Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst (NSW)

Betrayal takes many forms. In Pinter's classic play of the same title, Jerry has an affair with Emma, the wife of his best friend, Robert. In local playwright Shelley Wall's first play, Missing Pieces, two married women, Jackie and Carla, begin a love affair whilst their husbands, social friends, continue to play pool and drink together each week. Victims react in different ways when a betrayal is discovered. Whilst Robert becomes sullen and withdrawn, Jed in Missing Pieces, acts out violently.

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