Reviews

The Dixie Swim Club

By Jessie Jones and Jamie Wooten. Tugun Theatre Co. Gold Coast. Director: Chris Hawkins. November 12th – 28th, 2020

The girls of the Dixie Swim Team: Sheree – Pamela Payne, Lexie – Tracy Carrol, Dinah - Judy Newman, Vernadette – Anne Westmorland and Jeri Neal – Gai Byrne, hold a reunion every year in a seaside bungalow at The Outer Banks, North Carolina. 

Since swimming in the team, the girls have all gone their separate ways but the annual reunion is sacred to each of them.

Chris Hawkins’ vision for the production includes an eye for detail and a great cast to carry this, his first production, off.

Homer’s Odyssey

A mini musical From Iliad to Odyssey with songs and spoken word by Loucas Loizou. Melbourne Fringe Festival. 12 - 29 November 2020.

In this unique adaptation Odysseus is an old man living in Ithaca who spends his time singing and telling stories. Among his tales are the Trojan war, the Cyclops, the underworld, Circe, the suitors, and Penelope. The performance treats the audience as people who gather at his house to listen to him reminisce about his adventures. This gives the show a perfect structure and rationale and, combined with a cavernous setting and simple costuming, gives the show a very authentic feel.

The Silver Tunnel

Written and directed by Warwick Moss. Presented by the Rev Bill Crews Foundation. Ashfield Uniting Church - NSW. November 9 – 14, 2020.

The Rev Bill Crews has a reputation for feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, nurturing the vulnerable. He’s also always been an innovator – and COVID-19 has inspired yet another new idea. To accommodate more socially distanced space for services, he’s taken all the pews out of his “grand old church” in Ashfield and put in brand new carpet. But that’s not all. “It is also perfect for bringing the wider community together as an Arts and Performance Space,” he writes. And that’s what he’s done!

Disenchanted: A Cabaret of Twisted Fairy Tales

Written & performed by Eliane Morel. Digital Fringe. Melbourne Fringe Festival Online. 12 – 29 November 2020

Eliane Morel – as ‘Madame d’Aulnoy’ with verray Fronch accent – invites us into her 19th century Parisian salon for a subversive take on some well-known – or well-worn – fairy tales.  This is no Freudian Bruno Bettelheim interpretation of hidden meanings.  Rather, in monologue, song and image, Disenchanted is a retelling of the tales from the point of view of the supporting cast – with a decidedly feminist slant.

The Things I Could Never Tell Steven

Music and Lyrics by Jye Bryant. National Theatre of Parramatta. Riverside Theatres. November 5 – 14, 2020.

This night left me confused. First, where to find parking with Church Street closed for the light rail redevelopment?  Then once inside the Riverside Theatre, why is the first musical Sydney has seen for six months being staged by a theatre company only known for plays?

Dinky-Di Double Bill – The Margarine Conspiracy and Down Came a Jumbuck

Stirling Players. Stirling Community Theatre, Stirling SA. 6-15 November 2020

The fire was roaring in the foyer, the sherry was sipped in our seats, and all appeared back to normal at the Stirling Community Theatre. Returning after a Covid-enforced absence throughout most of the year, the Stirling Players presented a double bill of lesser-known Australian plays to an eager but distanced audience.

Visitors

Realscape Productions in association with Darkfield Radio, an at-home immersive audio theatre experience - runs every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8, 9 and 11pm AEDT from October 16 until the end of December 2020

The show is beautifully set up with clear and precise instructions on how to arrange your very personalised listening experience and create a truly enveloping and engaging scenario. The audience is prompted to carefully choose a location which effectively produces an eerie atmosphere where the characters are invited into your home and, especially, into your psyche. 

Table for Six

Riverside Theatre, Parramatta and online. October 6, 2020

Can you still do the splits when you are well into your 40s? If you are Chloe Dallimore the answer is yes I can. Just months after retiring as MEAA president, the long legged blonde sent out a message to the industry that if you still have got it…. flaunt it!  Not only was she effortlessly down to 180 degrees on the floor, but she lifted her peg up to an eye wateringly steep angle, and did an effortless somersault to boot.

Rules For Living

By Sam Holcroft. Sydney Theatre Company. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Nov 2 – Dec 19, 2020.

Tinselled up for the silly season, the STC returns from COVID darkness with that old sit com trope of a dysfunctional family reuniting on Christmas Day, and then tearing each other apart.  But British writer Sam Holcroft adds an inventive touch of reality TV by flashing on screens each of the characters’ hidden idiosyncrasies.

The Boys in the Band

By Mart Crowley. GRADS - Graduate Dramatic Society. Directed by Barry Park. Dolphin Theatre, UWA, Nedlands WA. Nov 4-14, 2020

The Boys in the Band, first performed in 1968, was a ground-breaking play in its day, being one of the first plays to deal with gay themes - depicting homosexual friendships and anxieties. Recently revived on Broadway, and released as a movie last month on Netflix, this Graduate Dramatic Society production is the first in Perth since 1970.

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