Reviews

A Simple Space

Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. The Octagon at Gluttony Adelaide Feb 22 to March 15 2020

A Simple Space pares circus right back to the basics - no flashy costumes, makeup, trapezes or clowns, just men and women in sports wear, t-shirts and a bare stage. The best bit is that they do it brilliantly!

Gravity & Other Myths is an internationally renowned circus company that has toured in over 30 countries. Adelaide based, they formed in 2009 and focus on circus skills and ensemble playing.

The Great Australian Play

By Kim Ho. Directed by Saro Lusty-Cavallari. Theatre Works and Montague Basement. Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda. 19 – 29 February, 2020.

In an ambitious quest to write a great Australian play, Kim Ho draws out a range of uncomfortable imagery that haunts our national consciousness and also addresses some of his own personal anxieties around his craft. This play is replete with examples of his artistry and the sophisticated command he has over his very skilful writing. His imagination seems to know no bounds and his inventiveness is beguiling. His talent often exudes from the text evoking a dense and highly refined sense of cultural history. The project is simultaneously incredibly impressive and incredibly overwhelming.

Bond – An unauthorised parody

By Gavin Robertson. Adelaide Fringe. Bakehouse Theatre. February 24 - March 7, 2020

Bond- An unauthorised parody, at the Bakehouse Theatre, is written and performed by the extremely talented Gavin Robertson and directed by Nicholas Collett. This show would be one of my ‘picks of the Fringe’. It is not just for the Bond lovers but for all lovers of sharp, clever, witty theatre and mime.  This is a wonderfully enjoyable hour and has the audience riveted to every word and action.

Casablanca - Radio Drama

Directed by Gary Klinger. New Farm Nash Theatre. February 21 – March 7.

Based on the well-known movie, this radio drama was first performed in 1944 to raise money for the war effort. It was more than just cast members sitting on stage and moving forward to read their various roles but a visual presentation to be seen as well. Thus the audience became fully involved while some may have compared this to the original movie. Nash Theatre tends to start their programme each year with a radio play and this year they have chosen well.

Keeping Up Appearances

By Roy Clarke. Hobart Repertory Theatre Company. Shauna-Lee Ward (Director). Rogan Brown (Set, Lighting and Sound Design). Annie Harvey (Costumes and Wigs). The Playhouse Hobart. 28 February – 21 March, 2020

Roy Clarke wrote the original Keeping Up Appearances television series as well as the stage adaptation. For this reason, Hobart Repertory’s production faithfully revisits all the characters and situations one has come to expect from the television show via an original script. The only difference is that there is no canned laugh track. The audience response is genuine and spontaneous.

The Happy Prince

Ballet based on the story by Oscar Wilde. Australian Ballet. Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Adaptation: Kim Carpenter & Graeme Murphy, Choreography: Graeme Murphy. Composer: Christopher Gordon. Set & Costume Design: Kim Carpenter. Conductor: Nicolette Fraillon. Lyric Theatre, QPAC. 25-29 February 2020

Despite the Australian Ballet’s wildly inventive production of Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, the piece is curiously lacking in dance. A pas-de-deux between the two leads, Adam Bull (Prince) and Marcus Morelli (Little Swallow), and some exquisitely brief sequences with the Little Match Girl (Benedicte Bemet), classical ballet per se is missing. But there’s plenty to please the eye in Graeme Murphy and Kim Carpenter’s playful, sad, and irreverent version that’s alive with child-like magic.

Conchita Wurst & Trevor Ashley In Concert

Featuring Kate Miller-Heidke. Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane, 26 February, 2020

Mardi Gras fever hits Brisbane with Australian and Austrian Eurovision and cabaret royalty together on stage for one glam-tastic evening of entertainment, celebrating friendship, diversity and the power of pop!

Kafka’s Ape

Adelaide Fringe. Holden Street Theatres, Adelaide. 25 February – 15 March 2020

“Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.” When Red Peter delivers this Aldous Huxley quote, we’re already uneasy in our seats, disturbed emotionally and physically – and wondering what we’re going to do with this experience.

The King

By Jimmy Lyons. Adelaide Fringe/ Red Phoenix Theatre. Holden Street Theatres, Adelaide, 25 February – 15 March 2020

When Roger (Nigel Tripodi) dares to stop and look at a bright red barrel of a barbecue, salesman Hank (Michael Eustice) pounces on Roger’s uncertainty, finding every button to push that persuades him to buy what he doesn’t need – and offer it as a wedding anniversary gift to his vegetarian wife, Melissa (Sharon Malujlo).

Tales of an Urban Indian

By Darrell Dennis. Adelaide Fringe Festival. The Bus Stop - Adelaide Botanic Garden. 25 February - 1 March, 2020

In Tales of an Urban Indian 35-year-old Canadian indigenous actor, Brendan Chandler ‘becomes’ Simon Douglas, growing up on two different reserves. This piece of non-traditional theatre is compelling, all embracing, challenging and uplifting. The 90-minute, one-man narrative, like his earlier performance piece, How Did You Find Me Here? is the journey of a young man coming to understand his Indian heritage and its impact on his life.