The Pineapple Club

Brisbane Comedy Festival. Brisbane Powerhouse. Fridays & Saturdays 25 February – 23 March 2014

Different from most of the acts featured in this festival, “The Pineapple Club” is a bastard product of Theatresports and Brisbane’s popular Impromafia company. The performance I saw featured four actors, Natalie Bochenski, Tristan Ham, Wade Robinson and Luke Rimmelzwaan;  MC, Dan Beeston; and Kris Anderson, an instrumentalist on keyboards and percussion. (The combination varies from show to show.)


Rhys Nicholson. Presented by Brisbane Powerhouse and Century Entertainment as part of the Brisbane Comedy Festival. 4-9 March, 2014

What I admire about so many stand-up comedians is their ability to dissect the smallest morsel of literally anything and bounce it around enough to extract substance, character, a touch of magic and, of course, humour. And this is pretty much what Rhys Nicholson did with his frank, up-front presentation of a selection of personal moments and memoirs. Quick witted, up-close and probing, there were references to induce more than a few nervous giggles, some very amusing quips and enough gaiety to tickle anyone's, and I mean anyone's, funny bone.


Created by Andy Davies. Performed by Nighthawke. Adelaide Fringe. March 6-8, 2014.

A worthy subject matter. A performer with stage presence. Descriptive prose that, in itself, is sure to sicken and galvanise in roughly equal measure. Why, then, does this solo presentation ultimately lack the particular quality that is spelled out in its title?

It is principally because this monologue, of an Australian soldier driven to serve in Afghanistan, is delivered in such a remorselessly consistent and understated tone, combined with the actor fixing himself firmly to the same spot on the stage for the entirety of the show's (relatively brief) duration.


A short play festival for emerging artists. Dionysus Theatre Company. McLelland College Performing Arts Centre. Until Saturday 8th March, 2014.

“Everyone has to start somewhere” is an old adage. On that basis, creative director Emma Sproule – who burst onto the scene in  2012 with an electrifying production of Exit The King – has created the first short play festival for the company, in the hope of it becoming an annual event.


Davine Interventionz. Directed by David Gauci. Musical Direction by Emma Knights. Choreography by Shenayde Wilkinson-Sarti. Songs by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Book by Douglas Carter Beane. Based on the Universal Pictures film screenplay by Richard Danus & Marc Rubel. Adelaide Fringe. Star Theatre One. March 5-8, 2014

"A place...where nobody dared to go..."? Apparently not; this season is officially sold out, and deservedly so. Director David Gauci's courage and vision in bringing as infamous a story/spectacle as Xanadu to the Adelaide amateur stage had paid off wonderfully. Audiences who come for non-stop fun will not be disappointed.

The tone of the stage adaptation is much more parodic and self-aware than the (apparently) sincere 1980 film, but the humour is smart enough to keep things from getting excessively silly or condescending.

Notoriously Yours

Written & Directed by Van Badham. Adelaide Fringe. Channel 9 Studios, North Adelaide. March 5-12, 2014

Combining narrative tropes beloved of Hitchcock with 21st century technological angst, Notoriously Yours tells the story of an ordinary suburbanite (Claire Glenn) who has a one night stand with a wanted hacker (Matt Crook), then finds herself arrested without charge, interrogated and blackmailed by ASIO into being part of an undercover operation. Sexual tension develops between the rookie spook and her handler, played by Brad Williams.

La Medea

Presented with Lo Stupro (The Rape). By Franca Rame & Dario Fo, adapted and directed by Laurence Strangio. Performed by Margherita Peluso. La Mama Courthouse, Carlton, March 5 – 9, 2014.

La Medea and Lo Stupro were both written in the 1970s by Franca Rame, an Italian political activist, artist and performer whose focus was gender politics and feminism. La Medea is her modern interpretation of the Euripidean drama, while Lo Stupro (The Rape) is an account of the real-life abduction and rape to which Rame was subjected in 1973.

[Disordered] Action Of The Heart

By Craig Wood & James Trigg. Directed by John Boyce. Adelaide Fringe. The Migration Museum, Adelaide. March 1-8, 2014

Over 1500 Australians were evacuated from Gallipoli in 1915, suffering from the after-effects of shellshock. This powerful minimalist production from One Of A Pair and 3rd Room Theatrical tells the story of one such individual, Private Dylan Moxley (Peter Norton).

The Shadow King

By Tom E. Lewis and Michael Kantor. Adelaide Festival. Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide. March 5 – 7, 2014

After an understated, slightly confusing beginning in which the audience seems to be witnessing a group of people in a jam session, a giant behemoth of a road train arrives, its menacing presence highlighting the beginning of a wonderfully different night of theatre, The Shadow King.

An Iliad

By Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson. Adelaide Festival. Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre. March 4- 8, 2014.

An Iliad is a stunning and absorbing solo performance by Tony Award winner Denis O’Hare, who embodies an ageless poet retelling the ancient story and never-ending destruction of war throughout the ages. In doing so, O’Hare illuminates the heroism, the impact on families and the personal stories that fill every moment in every war.

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