Reviews

The Bleeding Tree

By Angus Cerini. Directed by Ian Michael. The Blue Room Studio, Perth Cultural Centre, WA. Nov 23 – Dec 11, 2021

The Blue Room’s The Bleeding Tree, set in an isolated Australian town, is an hour-long tale about the ultimate revenge. Featuring a cast of three First Nations women, it tells of a mother and daughters who despatch the abusive man of the house, then need to deal with the consequences.

Dracula

Ballet based on the novel Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker. Queensland Ballet & West Australian Ballet. Choreographer: Krzysztof Pastor. Composer: Wojciech Kilar. Libretto: Pawel Chynowski. Musical Arrangers: Michael Brett & Joshua Davis. Camerata Chamber Orchestra, Conductor: Nigel Gaynor. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. 24 Nov – 4 Dec 2021.

Will we ever get over our fascination with Transylvania’s most famous citizen? Since Englishman Bram Stoker first penned it in 1897, his epistolary novel Dracula has had countless reincarnations for the stage, film and television. This ballet version re-imagines the character as a ‘romantic villain’, a reinterpretation that was first used in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Verdi

Opera Queensland. Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Johannes Fritzsch. Soloists: Eva Kong, Sofia Troncoso, Rebecca Cassidy, Hayley Sugars, Rosario La Spina, Virgilio Marino, Jose Carbo, Samuel Piper and Timothy Newton. Compere: Jason Barry-Smith. Opera Queensland Chorus: Chorus Master: Narelle French. Director: Patrick Nolan. Concert Hall, QPAC. 20 November 2021.

Verdi was a showcase for the stars of Opera Queensland who rose to the occasion delivering some beautiful and haunting performances singing his ‘Greatest Hits’. Director Patrick Nolan and conductor Johannes Fritzsch assembled a collection of duets, trios, quartets and ensemble pieces from La Traviata, Macbeth, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Don Carlo, Nabucco, La Forza del Destino, Otello, Falstaff and Aida, that offered a complete overview of the composer’s work.

Callum Straford: Your Best Worst Nightmares

Written & performed by Callum Straford. The Butterfly Club, Melbourne CBD. 22 – 27 November 2021

Callum Straford is an engaging, amiable young bloke, who does sketches, stand-up routines, and sings his own songs, accompanying himself on piano or ukulele.  His material may veer briefly into satire, but mostly it’s about the trials and awkward interactions of contemporary life, such as an inept attempt to hook up at a party, a very decisive, even cruel dumping of a girlfriend, insomnia, the indifference of God, or talkback radio.  He is intermittently interrupted and corrected, to his chagrin, by a mentor/producer/director via the PA.  It’s the old self-referen

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol

By David MacGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr. Darlington Theatre Players. Directed by Gail Palmer. Marloo Theatre, Greenmount WA. Nov 19 - Dec 4, 2021

The first Christmas themed show of the season, Darlington Theatre Players present this show-within-a show, about a dramatic society where everything is going wrong. In a slight case of life imitating art, this show had a rough last few weeks of rehearsal - but has successfully made it to the stage.

Happy Days

Book by Garry Marshall. Music and Lyrics by Paul Williams. Murray Music and Drama Club. Directed by Tammy Peckover. Pinjarra Civic Centre, WA. Nov 12-27, 2021.

The Murray Music and Drama Club’s production of Happy Days is a nostalgia filled trip back in time. Based on the TV series of the same name, and written by the series’ creator, the show is good, clean, fun.

Central character Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli is convincingly played by Rp van der Westhuizen, in a well sung, highly charismatic performance that anchors the show well.

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged)

By Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. Directed by Vanessa Jenson. Melville Theatre, WA. Nov 19 - Dec 4, 2021

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged) is one of the funniest shows of the year. Ostensibly written by 17-year-old William Shakespeare, and lost until its recent discovery under a Leicester car park, this is an hilarious script, brought to fruition by three very talented performers and clever direction.

The Road to Huntsville

By Stephanie Ridings. Directed by Elodie Boal. Wynnum Fringe, Wynnum Library Meeting Room. 18 - 19 November, 2021

The 2021 Wynnum Fringe Festival boasted a talented line-up of local, national, and international acts performing in a range of venues in the Bayside suburb. While a library meeting room might not be a producer’s first choice for a play, in a way it seems quite fitting for Stephanie Ridings acclaimed one woman show, The Road to Huntsville.

Julius Caesar

By William Shakespeare. Sydney Theatre Company. Directed by Kip Williams. Wharf 1. November 15 – December 23, 2021

Kip Williams is making the sort of theatre that embraces all the creative possibilities of  twenty-first century technologies and talent. In this Julius Caesar he brings together video, smart phone technology, split second mixing, inventive sound composition and innovative lighting design – and three highly intelligent and experienced actors – in a production that challenges and inspires. That it does so on a very innovative interpretation of ancient Greek theatre-in-the-round is a wry tribute to the long history of theatre.

Treasure Island

By Ben Crocker. Directed by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce. Garrick Theatre, Guildford, WA. Nov 18- Dec 11, 2021

“The best thing about being in a panto, is the prerogative to have some fun” sing the ladies of the Smugglers Cove Women’s Institute, in Garrick Theatre’s pantomime Treasure Island. The same thing can be said of being in the audience of a pantomime, especially one that is as nicely produced, well performed and funny as this one.