Reviews

Motherhood the Musical

By Sue Fabisch. Murray Music and Drama. Directed by Tammy Peckover. Pinjarra Civic Centre, WA. Nov 13-28, 2020

Murray Music and Drama’s Motherhood the Musical is another ‘replacement show’, as in the wake of Covid, the decision was made to downsize from a planned production of Happy Days to this fun, easy to stage four hander.

Old Love

By Norm Foster. Directed by Vanessa Jensen. Melville Theatre, Stock Rd, Palmyra, WA. Nov 19 - Dec 5, 2020

Usually when you see a show that feels very tight, very polished and beautifully finished, it is the result of a year or more’s planning by the director and many months of thought and preparation by the production team prior to rehearsal. Old Love feels like that - but it was in fact a very late replacement in the season, replacing not one, but two alternative productions slated for this season.

Beethoven’s Emperor

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat, Op.73 Emperor. Respighi: Pines of Rome (Pini di Roma). Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Johannes Fritzsch. Piano: Daniel de Borah. Concert Hall, QPAC, 20-21 Nov 2020 & Live streamed to Empire Theatre, Toowoomba 21 Nov 2020.

The year 2020 was supposed to be a 250th celebration worldwide of the work of Ludwig van Beethoven, but of course due to Covid most of the celebratory concerts were closed down. Whilst Queensland Symphony Orchestra had either cancelled or rescheduled most things this year, they still kept in place Beethoven’s Emperor as the last of their Maestro Series concerts, except replacing Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov with local virtuoso Daniel de Borah.

Bernie Dieter’s Berlin Underground

A secret location at Crown Perth. Nov 17-Dec 19, 2020

Bernie Dieter’s Berlin Underground has taken over a secret location at Crown Perth, to present a sexy, debauched kabarett, with great singing, amazing circus and a load of comedy.

A Bird’s Eye View of a Banquet in Brunswick

Gumboot Theatre in association with Brunswick Neighbourhood House. Melbourne Fringe Festival. 12 - 29 November 2020.

This theatrical piece employs the figure of the Kingfisher, a local Brunswick bird, as a way of looking at the wonderful kaleidoscope of culture in the area. A variety of individuals are conjured up who talk about their community bonds and how they are created through supportive and endearing exchanges around food, family and friends. 

Shadow Piece (Alt. Shadow Love)

Devised by Antoinette Tracey and September Barker. Outside Eye by Emma Hooppell. Melbourne Fringe Festival, 12 - 29 November 2020.

This short film is an exquisite exercise in the exploration of sound, movement, the body, cinema and urban space. The performance sits in a somewhat liminal space between film and theatre. Yet, it is another great example of how the current COVID constraints can actually produce new modes of artistic expression.

The Biscuit Readings

Performed by ‘Betty Bircher and Bert Bircher’ (Penelope Bartlau & Jason Lehane). Barking Spider Visual Theatre. Digital Fringe. Melbourne Fringe Festival. 18-19, 25-26 November 2020

‘Nothing defines a person more than their natural biscuit alignment’ – or so claims Betty and probably, if less dogmatically, the more stolid Bert Bircher too.  So, what is your biscuit?  Tim Tam?  Iced VoVo?  Ginger Snap?  How about a Florentine?  That’d be something.  To get an interactive reading from Betty and Bert, you’ll need to log on with Zoom, with a microphone, a camera and, all importantly, your face completely visible – so Betty and Bert can read you.  It only takes fifteen minutes, but you will

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

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