Reviews

Neighbourhood Watch

By Lally Katz. New Theatre, Newtown, NSW. September 8 – October 3, 2020.

This revival of Lally Katz’ 2011 hit was snatched from the New Theatre stage by COVID just before its opening night in March.  Now the plucky theatre – with strict protocols and distancing – has thankfully reopened its doors, and this play, with a different director, designer and some cast changes. 

Neighbourhood Watch is a deceptively difficult darkish comedy, telling in cinematically short scenes and flashes, an Australian neighbourhood story of inter-generational friendship, as historic griefs are reforged into new hopes.

Metamorphosis

By Stephen Berkoff from the novella by Franz Kafka. Hayman Theatre Company. Directed by Tereza Izzard. Hayman Theatre, Curtin University, WA. 8-12 September, 2020

Stephen Berkoff’s Metamorphosis is a retelling of the Franz Kafka novella, in which commercial salesman Gregor Sansa awakens in his family home one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed - described in the original as a “monstrous vermin”. Still able to think and feel, his family are forced to care for him, cope with the shame of his condition, and to cope with the loss of the family’s breadwinner.

Gaslight

By Patrick Hamilton. State Theatre Company SA. Directed by Catherine Fitzgerald. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. 4 – 19 September 2020

From the moment we join the socially distanced queue, we can feel an air of excitement that, for most of us, has been missing for the last six months. Not only is it a night out at the theatre, but at a newly rebuilt one: Her Majesty’s Theatre is a splendid reinvention of the original building. The façade remains but nearly everything behind it is new, with an almost-1,500 seat auditorium on three levels (though in these times, only every other seat was used) and it is furnished with rich reds and a forest of curved wood.

Bombshells

By Joanna Murray-Smith. Arena Arts. Directed by Christine Ellis. Roxy Lane Theatre, Maylands WA Sep 4-19, 2020

This Australian play, first performed in 2004, with Caroline O’Connor in all six roles, is being performed to appropriately distanced audiences by Arena Arts at Maylands’ Roxy Lane Theatre. This production features six actresses performing the sextet of monologues, each featuring a dynamic and interesting woman.

The Best of British

Directed by Maureen Bowra. Presented by Moreton Bay Theatre, North Lakes Qld. August 21 – September 13, 2020.

Another interesting production from Moreton Bay Theatre pushes beyond their normal choices. What was this? It proved to be as the name implied, with a wide range of songs of British origin, of course, from artists including “Rocket Man”, Queen and The Beatles. Thrown in for variety were skits based on The Two Ronnies, Benny Hill, Monty Python, and other comedians of the past. To round out the show, there were scenes featuring the characters of Ireland and Scotland.

BLEED

A Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital. Arts House (Melbourne) and Campbelltown Arts Centre (Sydney). June 22 – August 30, 2020.

For Bleed - the biennial live event in the everyday digital - the North Melbourne Arts House and Campbelltown Arts Centre have together curated a select group of artists from varied disciplines to combine, collaborate and explore their art brand, style and creative diegesis.

An Evening With Amy Lehpamer

Piano: Brendan Murtagh. Lyrebird Restaurant, QPAC. 4/5 September 2020

We knew she was good, but we didn’t know she was that good! Amy Lehpamer has been visiting Brisbane for the past few years as a leading lady in The Sound of Music, Beautiful and The School of Rock, but it was the breadth of her talent that was on display last night at QPAC’s Lyrebird Restaurant. Simply amazing!

Tilt 2020 (Program 1)

Various Writers. Various Directors. WAAPA 3rd Year Performance Making Students. The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, WA. Sep 3-4, 2020

Tilt 2020 is devised and performed by WAAPA 3rd Year Performance Making Students, who are in their last months of completing a Bachelor of Performing Arts. WAAPA’s Performance Making course focuses on "the creation of performance from the early stages of creative development through to a final performance for an audience”. This production is performed in two parts, and this review looks at Program 1.

Come To Where I Am – Australia, Volume 2

Presented by Critical Stages Touring in conjunction with Paines Plough. A live Facebook premiere event. Wednesday, 2nd September 2020.

This is the second instalment of the series which livestreams original works by writers exploring their experience of life under COVID-19 restrictions in a range of remote and exotic locations around Australia. The snapshot of the disturbance of the virus into these peaceful and idyllic locations highlights the immense beauty of each place and the ways in which Corona has infiltrated our lives physically and, most importantly, psychologically. The pieces are recorded and read by the writers and makes for some sombre yet enormously uplifting performances.

Canberra 2060: Futures With a Capital F.

Boho Interactive.  Canberra Theatre.  1–5 September 2020.

After consulting locals and scientists, Boho Interactive created a range of models of Canberra’s future and used them to create mental mayhem by setting up deliberately unrealistic, rather fun scenarios for its participating audience (i.e., everybody) to work with in saving Canberra from a range of foreseeable threats and to

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