Reviews

Merrily We Roll Along

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by George Furth. Luckiest Productions and Hayes Theatre Co. Directed by Dean Bryant. Choreography by Andrew Hallsworth. Musical Direction by Andrew Worboys. October 21 - November 27, 2021

Famished music theatre fans, kept away from live theatre by the pandemic, will have much to feast upon in this banquet of tasty morsels.

The company, which had staged one preview when the dreaded delta virus closed down Sydney, have been able to spend the extended break continuing to rehearse at times, bringing a rich depth to the characters that might not normally be available in a tight Hayes Theatre rehearsal schedule.

Open Homes – Journey to the South

OzAsia Festival 2021. Presented by Jeffrey Tan & No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability. Various locations in SA. Oct 22 – Nov 7, 2021

Open Homes is a wonderful initiative and collaboration between Jeffrey Tan from Singapore and South Australia’s No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability and is one of the highlights of this year’s Oz-Asia Festival. As the program notes state, ‘Behind every door of every home, there are stories that might never be told. Open Homes is a chance to hear them.

Clock for No Time

By Michele Saint-Yves. Rumpus, Bowden, SA. October 19-31, 2021

Clock for no Time is written, directed, and in the first act, narrated, by Michele Saint-Yves, who herself has an acquired brain disorder and is a recent graduate in medical neuroscience. This is a mesmerising, thought-provoking, inclusive piece of theatre.

Wait Until Dark

By Frederick Knott. Fremantle Performing Artists. Directed by Brenton Foale. The Actors Hub, Kensington St, East Perth, WA. Oct 21-30, 2021

The thriller Wait Until Dark, produced by Fremantle Performing Artists, is playing to capacity audiences at The Actors Hub studios.

Unusual to see thrillers on stage, this 1966 classic keeps its audience on the edge of their seats, while it features a bravura role for its leading actress. 

Suzy Hendrix is a blind Greenwich Village housewife who becomes the target of three con-men searching for a doll, containing drugs, which Suzy’s husband has unwittingly trafficked from Canada, for a woman who has since been murdered. 

Somewhere, Everywhere, Nowhere

By Alison Currie and Yui Kawaguchi. OzAsia Festival, The Space, Adelaide Festival Centre. Oct 21-23, 2021

Australian dance-maker Alison Currie aims to shift the boundaries of dance by incorporating inanimate objects within her praxis.  Berlin-based dancer Yui Kawaguchi visited Adelaide and performed during OzAsia in 2018, when the two women met and began a working relationship.  They have been collaborating remotely in the intervening years, exchanging stories and phone calls as well as holding video rehearsals.

100 Reasons For War

By Tom Holloway. Directed by Cassidy Bodenham. Roxy Lane Theatre, Maylands, WA. Oct 22 - Nov 7, 2021

Originally commissioned to commemorate 100 years since the involvement of Australia in World War 1, rather than a look at war itself (there are no soldiers) 100 Reasons For War, a vignette style play, looks at the little wars played out in lounge rooms, classrooms and cafes, while we hear a long list of wars and conflicts that have occurred since the beginning of “the war to end all wars”.

Destinations

OzAsia Festival. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. Oct 21, 2021

Returning after its cancellation in 2020 due to the global pandemic, the OzAsia Festival is a welcome return for those who have missed the arts - across all genres. For two weeks we can immerse ourselves in the works of many talented artists, celebrating our Asian connections.

Prior to the opening, Indigenous trio Ngangki Warra (Women’s Voice) brought the audience to its feet to clap and stomp in recognition of our original owners and heritage. It was a moving start to the evening.

The Laramie Project

By Moisés Kaufman and Tectonic Theatre Project. Red Phoenix Theatre Company. Holden Street Theatres. Oct 21-30, 2021

The Laramie Project is a 2000 play by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project  about the reaction to the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in Laramie Wyoming. Developed by members of that company, it has become a modern classic and is an example of verbatim theatre, based on the news reports, journals, diaries and interviews conducted, lovingly and powerfully documented to create this powerful, three act play.

Emily

By Stephen Metcalfe. Galleon Theatre. Domain Theatre, Marion Cultural Centre, SA. October 21-30, 2021

‘I am often of the opinion that love is not such a big deal,’says Emily, without much conviction. She is a Wall Street stockbroker who mixes it up with the boys: cynical, ruthless and manipulative, she lives alone, frightening off her dates when they threaten to get serious. That is, until she meets a nice guy with no money, who sees through her, challenges her, and makes her re-consider her entire way of life.

White Pearl

By Anchuli Felicia King. Sydney Theatre Company and Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta. OzAsia Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. October 20-23, 2021

White Pearl was first developed by Playwriting Australia through its National New Play Development Program and the National Play Festival in 2018 and has been staged professionally in Sydney, Brisbane, London, and Washington DC prior to this OzAsia showing.  The darkly comic production is co-presented by Sydney Theatre Company and the National Theatre of Parramatta.

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