Posts

Showing posts from November, 2018

Ungraceful - Comedy Review

Image
What: Ungraceful When: 29 November - 8 December 2018 Where: The MC Showroom Created and performed by: Julie-Anna Evans and Mason Gasowski Mason Gasowski and Julie-Anna Evans We don't see a lot of quality old-school sketch comedy on stage any more, even in the Comedy Festival. In Ungraceful Evans and Gasowski take us back to the days of Martin and Lewis, French and Saunders, and Abbott and Costello (without the pratfalls). This belly full of laughs is on at The MC Showroom and is a great way to get into the mood for the holiday season. You know the work is going to be funny when the artists are brave enough to perform on a blank canvas. White on black leaves nothing unseen and Evans and Gasowski are up to the challenge. For the most part Evans plays the straight man to Gasowski's clown. Gasowski has a body as fit and mobile as his facial features. He never stops moving and at times I found myself wondering how he ever found himself in that configuration. Evans is

The Melbourne Monologues: A Cabaret of Souls - Theatre Review

Image
What: The Melbourne Monologues: A Cabaret of Souls When: 27 November - 2 December 2018 Where: La Mama Courthouse Written by: Christine Croyden, Brooke Fairley, Alison Knight, Neil McGovern, Martin Rice, and Bruce Shearer. Directed by: Elizabeth Walley Performed by: Joanna Davey, Alec Gilbert, Isabella Gilbert, Ruth Katerelos, Martin Rice, and Callum Straford Ruth Katerelos, Alec Gilbert, and Martin Rice - Photo by Ian Thrussell It has been a year since the last Melbourne Monologues (probably because it is an annual event...) and Melbourne Writers Theatre brings to the La Mama Courthouse stage another 6 original and intriguing monologues by local writers. Whilst there is no unifying theme and it is a blind selection process, director Walley has again brought a random collection together with a strong unifying concept  making this year's offering, A Cabaret of Souls , a evening of added depth and extra layers in exactly the way circus and cabarets do. Alec Gilbert act

She Said, She Said - Theatre Review

Image
What: She Said, She Said When: 27 November - 1 December 2018 Where: The Stables, Meat Market Written and directed by: Sarah Sabell Performed by: Lee McClenaghan and Emma Jo Mckay Emma Jo Mckay and Lee McClenaghan She Said, She Said (a pun on the he said, she said riff) is a sad tale of a dying relationship told with great tenderness and even greater pain. In the shadow of the Mere Mortals series at Arts House which has been exploring the death and decay of the body, it is only fitting at the Meat Market we have a play about the death and decay of a relationship this week. Written and performed in a hyper-naturalist tone, the accuity with which Sabell tells this story can only mean she has lived it in some part somewhere in her life. The deft delicacy with which Mckay (Sam) and McClenaghan (Rachel) play the roles embody their understanding that the thoughts and feelings and emotions being examined are too big to be 'acted' and can only be truly felt by the audien

Gothic - Music Review

Image
What: Gothic When: 25 November 2018 Where: Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne Arrangements by: Andree Greenwell Performed by: Andree Greenwell, Andrea Keeble, Kylie Morrigan, Jessica O'Donoghue, Joshua Stilwell, David Trumpmanis, and Noella Yan Set and lighting by: Neil Simpson Sound by: Andree Greenwell and David Trumpmanis AV design by: Michaela French Sydney Ensemble - photo by Matthew Duchesne Gothic is a song cycle created and presented by the award winning composer Andree Greenwell and is a musical journey through Gothic literature and storytelling (although it is billed as a journey through Gothicism in music). First presented at The Seymour Centre in 2015, Greenwell brought it to Melbourne for a single performance this weekend. If you missed it don't worry, the cycle is available on CD and you can watch the Sydney production on YouTube . For those of you who don't know what the difference between a collection of songs and a song cycle is, the differenc

Pins And Needles - Theatre Review

Image
What: Pins And Needles When: 24 November - 15 December 2018 Where: Club Voltaire Written and directed by: Thomas Ian Doyle Performed by: Lucinda Cowden, Joanne Davis, Aston Elliot, and David Macrae Sound by: Benjamin Brooker Add caption Pins And Needles is the newest work being performed by prolific one act play writer Thomas Ian Doyle . Formerly the Co-Artistic Director of The Owl and Cat, Doyle has established a relationship with Club Voltaire and appears to have settled in comfortably to this space and Pins And Needles is playing there until mid-December. I have seen and reviewed a few plays written/and or directed by Doyle ( Longevity , C'est La Vie , The Love That Dares Not Speak Its Name , etc) so by now I am very familiar with his style and approach and in the past I have pretty much universally enjoyed his work. Unfortunately Pins And Needles does not live up to the rest of his catalogue. The story centres around 2 50+ heterosexual couples and, coincidently

The Director - Theatre Review

Image
What: The Director When: 21 November - 2 December 2018 Where: The Warehouse, Arts House Created by: Lz Dunn, Aaron Orzech, Lara Thoms, and Scott Turnbull Performed by: Lara Thoms and Scott Turnbull Designed by: Katie Sfetkidis Sound by: Kenneth Pennington Lara Thoms and Scott Turnbull - photo by Bryony Jackson The last step in my 'Mere Mortals' journey at Arts House is The Director . Taking us into the inner workings of the funeral industry, The Director takes over the The Warehouse for the next two weeks with laboratory cleanliness, the smell of burnt Weetbix, and a cacophany of schlock funeral music. The Director is the outcome of an earlier creative development called Departures. The project arose out of Thoms need to make sense of the strange realities of the funeral industry after the death of both her parents (at different times). Turnbull is an experienced 3rd generation funeral director. His family business was sold to 'the Coles of the funeral

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! - Theatre Review

Image
What: Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! When: 20 - 25 November 2018 Where: Main Hall, Arts House Created and performed by: Jon Haynes and David Woods Design by: Romanie Harper Lighting by: Richard Varbre Sound by: Marco Cher-Gibard John Haynes and David Woods - photo by Bryony Jackson In a world where dying is the great enemy to be fought to the death (pun intended), Ridiculusmus show us what it would/could be like to live to the ripe old age of 120 years old in their newest work Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! Playing at Arts House until Sunday, this show is a great wake up and reminder about what our aged population are experiencing and how time shifts for them - and there are heaps of bloody good laughs along the way although this show is not a comedy per se. Labeling the show 'seriously funny' is one of the most accurate program descriptions I have read. The final installment in the Ridiculusmus mental health trio ( The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapl

Rock Bang - Musical Theatre Review

Image
What: Rock Bang When: 15 - 25 November 2018 Where: Merlyn Theatre, The Coopers Malthouse Created by: Circus Oz and Die Roten Punkte Performed by: Casey Bennetto, Shannon Bourne, Robbie Curtis, April Dawson, Dean Matters, Alyssa Moore, Tamara Murphy, Kyle Raftery, Astrid Rot, Otto Rot, and Rockie Stone Musical direction by: Casey Bennetto Set and props by: Michael Baxter Costumes by: Laurel Frank Puppetry by: Lynne Kent Lighting by: Richard Vabre Sound by: Jim Atkins Stage Management by: Anna Pidgeon Rockie Stone, Robbie Curtsi, Astrid Rot, Otto Rot, Kyle Raftery, Alyssa Moore, and April Dawson - photo by Mark Turner Rock Bang  is the mockumentary circus rock opera spawned from the minds of Circus Oz and Die Roten Punkte and playing for two weeks in the Merlyn Theatre . The show is destined to pare down to a touring version but before it leaves town Melbourne audiences are getting an amped up power show the likes of which will never bee seen on stage ever again! We

Ophelia Thinks Harder - Theatre Review

Image
What: Ophelia Thinks Harder When: 9 - 24 November 2018 Where: Bluestone Church Arts Space Written by: Jean Betts Direction and sound by: Belinda Campbell Performed by: Sam Anderson, Sarah Clarke, Lansy Feng, Ruby Lauret, Aimee Marich, Artemis Munoz, Jennifer Piper, Leigh Scully and Matt Tester Set by: Sarah Clarke and Jennifer Piper Costumes by: Georgina Hanley Lighting by Jennifer Piper Stage Managed by: Valerie Dragojevic Jennifer Piper As we start to question and dismantle the white patriarchal canon - particularly the assumption that Shakespeare is timeless and universal - Ophelia is getting a bit of a work out on modern stages. Earlier this year in the Melbourne Fringe Festival we saw Ophelia/Machine , earlier in the year La Mama had Enter Ophelia , and in 2011 Chamber Made Opera produced Ophelia Doesn't Live Here Anymore just to name a few. The newest (and probably not the last) addition to this catalogue in Melbourne is the Wit Incorporated production of

While You Sleep - Music Review

Image
What: While You Sleep When: 7 - 18 November 2018 Where: Main Hall, Arts House Devised and AV by: Sal Cooper Composed by: Kate Neal Directed by: Daniel Schlusser Performed by: Jacob Abela, Phoebe Green, Isabel Hede, Zachary Johnston, Katherine Philp Isabel Hede, Zachary Johnston, and Katherine Philp - photo by Bryony Jackson Kicking off the new contemporary art series at Arts House, 'Mere Mortals'  is the musical performance While You Sleep . Created by long time creative duo Sal Cooper (video artist) and Kate Neale (composer), While You Sleep explores connections between the musical form of fugue and the psychological condition known as a 'fugue state'. Perhaps not the first time these two etymological sisters have been conjoined in art, there is definitely a certain natural pairing. The root of the word fugue translates to 'to flee' or 'to chase'. The musical form is a three structure composition. It begins with an exposition which

Bushland - Live Art Review

Image
What: Bushland When: 1 - 2 December 2018 Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Devised and written by: Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead Performed by: Sarah Kants Photo by Paul Blakemore Arts House has teamed up with the Royal Botanic Gardens for the contemporary art series 'Mere Mortals' and one of the...juicy (?)... experiences on the menu is Bushland by French & Mottershead . Bushland only runs for two days so make sure you plan ahead so you don't miss it. Bushland is billed as 'a love poem to the forest and the body'. Perhaps. It is definitely a microscopic meditation on the circle of life and how we fit in the natural order of the planet. Bushland is adaptation of an earlier work created by this artistic duo in 2017. Woodland was the original piece and was featured in the Times Museum program in China. Woodland was about self and mortality in an woodland landscape. Bushland works off the same theme but places us in nature, in the middle of a

The Infirmary - Live Art Review

Image
What: The Infirmary When: 7 - 18 November 2018 Where: Supper Room, Arts House Created by: Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy Performed by: Suzanne Kersten, Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy, Clair Korobacz, Victoria Morgan, and Julian Rickert Photo by Bryony Jackson One of the unique and exciting things about what is produced at Arts House is it's themed cross-discipline mini-festivals. In the month of November they bring us 'Mere Mortals', a collection of works with explores, interrogates, and celebrates the question of our mortality. It sounds a bit gruesome and somewhat fitting for a month kicked off by Halloween but the 'Mere Mortals' program is an intriguing collection of inspirations although it may be hard to find anything more intensely personal for us, the audience, than The Infirmary. The Infirmary is a hospital triage wing and ward where we, the patient, admit ourselves for diagnosis and treatment. It begins with a one on one interview where you are asked som

The Rug - Opera Review

Image
What: The Rug When: 31 October - 11 November 2018 Where: La Mama Courthouse Created and performed by: Ben Grant Designed by: Herbz Lighting by: Paul Lim Stage Management by: Jess Keepance Ben Grant The Rug is 'an electropera for one pale male' and is playing at La Mama Courthouse from Halloween to Remembrance Day. How appropriate. In a two week period where Melbourne is consumed by European traditions Ben Grant takes the time as a sad, lonely 'pale male' voice to speak out in this country of great potential - if unleashed... We often speak about artists talking in their own voices and telling their own stories. In a rare yet mighty occassion in The Rug this is exactly what Grant is doing. He is a white man speaking to white men and telling them their story. The rest of us can listen in and vicariously enjoy the conversation but this is a place for the pale male to congregate and speak up. The show begins with an eerie video homage to the coming of Autu

A Night Of Gluck Operas - Opera Review

Image
What: A Night Of Gluck Operas (Orphee et Eurydice/Iphigenie en Tauride) When: 31 October - 4 November 2018 Where: Northcote Town Hall Libretto by: (O) Pierre-Louis Moline (I) Nicolas-Fran├žois Guillard Composed by: Christoph Gluck Directed by: Kate Millett Conducted by: James Penn Performed by: (O) Louise Keast, Alison Lemoh and Rada Tolchalna. (I) Andrew Alesi, Finn Gilheany, Piri Jakab, Jonathon Rumsam, and Erin Towns. (Repetiteur) Pam Christie. Lighting by: Robin Czuchnowski Finn Gilheany and Jonathon Rumsam - photo by Burke Photography Usually when I ask myself why we don't have more opera on stage I realise for me the word opera means those hideous, overblown monstrosities created by Opera Australia and the answer seems obvious. Right now, however, there is a great double bill of Gluck operas presented by BK Opera at Northcote Town Hall which makes me realise we should be seeing so much more of it in this scale across all the stages of Melbourne. It helps the