Reviews

LadyCake – Three Birds Theatre

LadyCake. Photo by Sarah Walker.

There’s something exquisite about entering the Trades Hall to see LadyCake. It’s the slight vertigo that derives from crossing the threshold of time: walking up that darkly lit stairwell with flaking paint stuck yellowish to the wall and stairs buffeted smooth by thousands of trampling feet. Then you enter The New Ballroom and you’re transported… Read more.


Speed the Plow – Sydney Theatre Company

Speed the Plow – Sydney Theatre Company

After the week we’ve had and the blow it’s been for women and minority groups everywhere, the idea of escaping to the theatre – that great equalising arena, frequent champion of love and acceptance – is appealing. So it’s a huge disappointment when there’s no relief to be found. Sydney Theatre Company’s Speed-the-Plow just picks up… Read more.


The Production Company: Dusty

The Production Company: Dusty

The Production Company’s DUSTY at the Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne, is a disappointingly narrow tribute to one of the most complex and influential female musical artists that Britain has ever produced. The decaying grey of a derelict television sound stage. A young girl, Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien (Baylie Carson), dances in daydreams of Doris Day,… Read more.


The Odd Couple is an odd choice

Shaun Micallef, Michala Banas, Christie Whelan Browne, Francis Greenslade. Photo by Jeff Busby

“Is she pregnant? No just fat.” Boom-boom. It’s such a good week to remind us that women are best kept pretty or pregnant. The Odd Couple is the MTC’s end-of-year already-close-enough-to-sold-out cash-cow show with Shaun Micallef as Felix, the neat-freak cow, and Francis Greenslade, as Oscar the messy bull. The Neil Simon play opened on… Read more.


Anti-Hamlet

Anti-Hamlet. Photo by Sarah Walker

Shakespeare’s beloved Dane is savagely exploded in Mark Wilson’s Anti-Hamlet, appearing at Theatre Works. The familiar warble of “Advance Australia Fair”, as well as abundant references to familiar tropes of contemporary Australian living, not-so-subtly situate this bygone Denmark significantly closer to home. It’s 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare and Denmark/Australia stands on… Read more.



Marat/Sade – New Theatre, Newtown

Marat/Sade

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade is a mouthful of a play title and the onstage experience is similarly overwhelming. New Theatre’s production of what they – and we – will call Marat/ Sade is an explosive, political work about class… Read more.


The World Without Birds

The World Without Birds

Writer Christine Croyden weaves a rich ornithological allegory in The World without Birds, the latest offering from Melbourne Writers’ Theatre, at the La Mama Courthouse. In this semi-autobiographical fable, The Queen of Birds (Margot Knight) recounts the course of her life and her career, unpacking and exploring a lifetime of memories that she has collected… Read more.


The Light in the Piazza

The Light In The Piazza 2016. Image by Ben Fon

Perfectly cast and handsomely staged, the Melbourne professional premiere of exquisitely romantic gem The Light in the Piazza shimmers with radiant beauty. The rare adult musical that treat its audience’s intelligence with the utmost respect, 2005 Broadway hit The Light in the Piazza has an operatic quality to the elegance and splendour of its score…. Read more.


The Turquoise Elephant – Griffin Theatre Company

The Turquoise Elephant – Griffin Theatre Company

If you want to laugh your way into a downward existential spiral about the way humanity has screwed the world, then Griffin Theatre’s The Turquoise Elephant is the play for you. Climate change seemed to be on everyone’s minds in the lead up to the Paris Conference in 2015, when Stephen Carleton first started work… Read more.


A Streetcar Named Desire rides into La Boite.

A Street Car Named Desire - La Boite Theatre. Photography: Jeff Busby.

An achingly slow ceiling fan stirs trouble into the pea-soup air of a musty, humid summer on Elysian Fields, the allegorical destination of Blanche Dubois (Bridie Carter) – Elysian, referencing the land of the dead.  Dubois’ ‘desires’ apparently lead her right there as she arrives destitute at her sister Stella’s (Ngoc Phan) home, seeking sanctuary… Read more.


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