Reviews

Nana’s Naughty Knickers

By Katherine DiSavino. Murray Music and Drama Club. Directed by Lori Anders. Pinjarra Civic Centre, WA. August 28 – September 5, 2020

Nana’s Naughty Knickers is a fun little romp of a comedy delighting audiences in Pinjarra. I had the pleasure of seeing a matinee with a predominantly senior audience who loved this tale of Grandmother Sylvia, who runs a sexy lingerie store, catering to a senior citizen clientele.

The Mystic Dr. Drake Radio Plays! A three-part series.

By Carli Stasinopoulos and Warren McKenzie The Adelaide Repertory Theatre. Playing for a month from 29th August, 2020 on You Tube

Before television started in Australia in 1956 there was radio! Families would sit in their lounge rooms, forget the humdrum of everyday life and tune in to Blue Hills or Dad and Dave from Snake Gully.

Radio plays are a genre all of their own. In fact, over the last two years they have made a comeback in Adelaide. First there was the Tea Tree Players’ 2019 production of Vintage Hitchcock – A live Radio Play and now the Adelaide Repertory Theatre’s third virtual play, The Mystic Dr. Drake Radio Plays!

The Viewing Room

By Mark Smith. Joondalup Encore Theatre Society (JETS). Directed by Tim Reissen. Padbury Community Hall, WA. August 21-28, 2020

Joondalup Encore Theatre Society (JETS) performed the Australian premiere of new American play The Viewing Room, after a Covid delay, at Padbury Community Hall. Set in the viewing room at a funeral parlour in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the deceased, Chester, wakes up to greet his family.

Darkfield Radio - Double

Darkfield Radio / Realscape Productions. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from Fri 17 July - 29 September 2020 at 8pm, 9:30pm and 10:30pm AEST

Radio plays are a genre all of their own. When you see the words ‘radio dramas’, you probably connect them with War of the Worlds back in 1938, but they are still around. In fact, we’re entering something of a golden age of an update to radio plays, thanks to the podcast boom.

Realscape Productions are a Melbourne based theatre company that specialise in producing multi-sensory theatre and events and have combined with Darkfield to present Darkfield Radio - Double.

Ruthless! The Musical

Music: Marvin Laird. Book & Lyrics: Joel Paley. Direction: Richard Fitch. Music Direction: Gareth Valentine. Choreography: Rebecca Howell. Streaming on BroadwayHD

This video of Ruthless! The Musical springs from a West End production that played the Arts Theatre in 2018. Since it first opened Off-Broadway in 1992, where it won the ‘Best Off-Broadway Musical’ award from the NY Outer Critics Circle, it has become better known as the show where Natalie Portman and Britany Spears understudied the lead ingénue Tina. Laura Bell Bundy played the role and went on to Broadway glory in Legally Blonde.

The Merchant of Venice

By William Shakespeare. Streamed Shakespeare www.streamedshakespeare.com August 21 – 23, 2020

As Coronavirus struck Australia, closing theatres all around the country and in the process darkening the lives of all those involved in arts, actors, directors, creatives, technicians and administrators were suddenly out of work and facing an uncertain future. But hope and the possibilities of technology soon stirred creative minds, and a small wealth of theatrical ideas emerged.

Welcome to The Masque

Genevieve Lemmon and Max Lambert. Riverside Theatres Digital. August 23, 2020

Genevieve Lemon is our unsung National Treasure. There is very little she cannot do. People who know her from TV shows like Prisoner know she is a fine comic talent. If you’ve seen the film Sweetie you’ll see her amazing range as a film actress, and who could forget her great performance on stage in Billy Elliot.

Captain Moonlite

By Jye Bryant. Australian Premiere. Redcliffe Musical Theatre, Qld. Directed by Jacqueline Kerr. August 21 – August 30, 2020.

Gay bushranger Captain Moonlite (as he named himself) was an interesting man, eventually executed for his incompetent bushranging activities, terminated by his involvement in the death of a policeman. Born Andrew George Scott in Northern Ireland to a religious family, he moved firstly to New Zealand, then eventually to Australia. His life spiralled downhill into crime, though he maintained some ethical standards from his youth. When his “gang” went bush, some had not even ridden a horse. They were destined to fail.

Next to Normal

By Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. Directed by Craig Griffen. Melville Theatre, WA. Aug 21 - Sep 5, 2020

One of very few musicals which will grace our community theatre stages in 2020, Next to Normal was originally slated for a May season. After an interrupted rehearsal period, it is performing to reduced audience numbers at Melville Theatre. This Pulitzer Prize winning musical is being very warmly received, and appreciated, with its hard hitting and poignant subject matter bringing many audience members to tears.

Switzerland

By Joanna Murray-Smith. Villanova Players. Director: Bruce Parr. Ron Hurley Theatre, Seven Hills, Qld. 21-23 August 2020

In her advancing years, author Patricia Highsmith has retreated to her hideaway in the Swiss Alps. A notoriously difficult woman who rails at the New York literary establishment and most racist groups and religions, she’s an alcoholic, lesbian, and prone to withering put-downs.

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