Posts

Showing posts from October, 2023

HAMLET: Theatre Review

Image
WHAT: Hamlet WHEN: 20 October - 4 November 2023 WHERE: Mycellium Studios WRITTEN BY: William Shakespeare DIRECTED BY: Nicholas Opolski DESIGNED BY: Leah Downey COMPOSITION BY: Chris Collins and Michael Fenemore LIGHTING BY: Liam Mitchinson PERFORMED BY: Claire Baldwin, Megan Davis, Anthony Edward, Gilbert Gauci, Ryan Fahlbusch, Michael Fenemore, Charlee Liddell, Rouzbeh Nadjar, Don Nicholson, Anastasia Sidorova, and Alayne Wright AV BY: Regan Wood STAGE MANAGED BY: Eleni Rogers Charlee Liddell and Michael Fenemore - photo by Bernie Phelan I can't believe I am saying this, but I have finally seen a production of Hamlet I quite enjoyed. Staged in the cold depths of the Mycellium Studios carpark, the concrete finishes, low roof, and echoing chamber really suits this play because it becomes viscerally understandable how these people are so enmeshed in each others lives and how believable it is that they can feed on each other in frenzies of paranoia. This particular iteration of what

MINUSONESISTER: Theatre Review

Image
WHAT: MinusOneSister WHEN: 17 - 21 October 2023 WHERE: Theatre Works (Explosives Factory) WRITTEN BY: Anna Barnes DIRECTED BY: Marni Mount DESIGNED BY: Jodi Hope LIGHTING BY: Tom Vulcan COMPOSITION & SOUND DESIGN BY: Ethan Hunter PERFORMED BY: Miela Anich, Damon Baudin, Shontane Farmer, Maiah Stewardson STAGE MANAGED BY: Ella Campbell Maiah Stewardson, Shontane Farmer, and Miela Anich - photo supplied Melbourne Fringe 2023 has been an amazing blend of all the styles and modes of performance you could possibly think of. I have only been able to see the tiniest fraction, and the Festival finished for my at The Explosives Factory watching Doublebluff Theatre's presentation of MinusOneSister . MinusOneSister , written by Anna Barnes back in 2013, won the Patrick White Playwright's Award that year and has had several seasons across Australia since then. Earlier this year, as part of the coursework for her Masters in Directing at VCA, director Marni Mount staged this play and

BACK POCKET: Theatre Review

Image
WHAT: Back Pocket WHEN: 16 - 22 October 2023 WHERE: The Motley Bauhaus (Black Box) WRITTEN BY: Nikki Viveca DIRECTED BY: Maeve Hook COMPOSED BY: Lore Burns LIGHTING BY: Kyra Ryan PERFORMED BY: Chelsea Crosby, Sophie Gould, Isha Menon and Jalen Ong Chelsea Crosby, Isha Menon, Jalen Ong and Sophie Gould How can you not settle into a show with the opening line 'A queer dove into Time's back pocket...and Time strolled on.'? Jalen Ong  (a clown/sprite) is sleeping on a platform covered in an oversized patchwork quilt as these words settle into the space. Here we are, in Time's back pocket too. This is the beginning of a magical tale about finding peace and beauty in a dystopian obsessed world. Back Pocket , presented by Tart Theatre Collection as part of Melbourne Fringe, is that warm hug and meditation on gentle joy we all need in our lives. You can get your metaphorical hug at The Motley Bauhaus . Back Pocket is a dream of a space where you can do and be anything you wan

SPUNK DADDY: Musical Theatre Review

Image
WHAT: Spunk Daddy WHEN: 16 - 22 October 2023 WHERE: The Butterfly Club (Upstairs) CREATED & PERFORMED BY: Darby James DIRECTED BY: Casey Gould Darby James With a name like Spunk Daddy it is easy to assume this Melbourne Fringe Festival offering by Darby James is going to be a laugh a minute, lewd hour of traditional cabaret.  In this show you do get all those jizz jokes, but James has something to tell us about sperm donation and the end of the world. This little piece of theatre is not just a cabaret. It is a fully formed mini-musical. I first came across James last year when he presented his comedy show Protein . After seeing both shows I get the impression James had a bit of difficulty finding his centre after coming out of lockdown. I know I did, and there is something oddly comforting in seeing that other people were struggling too. In Spunk Daddy James is a salty seaman negotiating the stormy sea of sperm donation. James is a cis gay man who doesn't really want a famil

LEATHER LUNGS: Happy Ending - Cabaret Review

Image
WHAT: Leather Lungs: Happy Ending WHEN: 12 - 15 October 2023 WHERE: Trades Hall (Common Rooms) CREATED & PERFORMED BY: Leather Lungs Leather Lungs Every so often you go along to cabaret and get blown away from the moment the house lights go down to when they come back up. It's not as often as we would wish, but one such experience is Leather Lungs: Happy Ending at Fringe Hub, Trades Hall. Leather Lungs has a 4-octave vocal range (for real!). Leather Lungs has the vocal power and grit of Aretha Franklin , the sweet vocal lightness of Mama Alto , and the deep baritone of James Earl Jones . Leather Lungs also has jokes coming a mile a minute, enough cartoon voices to do his own Warner Brothers cartoon show, and enough pathos to bring the room to tears. Leather Lungs: Happy Ending starts like a lot of other drag cabaret shows. The artist comes on stage with a power melody, there are sparkles and spangles as well as an array of ass jokes and splayed legs. Right from the start thou

FOR LOVE NOR MONEY: Theatre Review

Image
WHAT: For Love Nor Money WHEN: 11 - 22 October 2022 WHERE: Trades Hall (Meeting Room) WRITTEN BY: Angus Cameron DIRECTED BY: Justin Nott PERFORMED BY: Clarisse Bonello, Matthew Connell, and Alexander Lloyd Matthew Connell and Alexander Lloyd - photo by Chelsea Neate I often get frustrated by the Fringe 45 formula and I have really enjoyed how some shows in the late timeslot this year have allowed themselves permission to expand beyond that and give their shows some of the time they need to develop and resolve. For Love Nor Money , showing in the Meeting Room at Fringe Hub, is one of those shows. Presented by Victorian Theatre Company , this new play expands to almost an hour and half which makes it a real and satisfying night of theatre. Love Nor Money , Angus Cameron's latest play, follows the love triangle of Mel ( Clarisse Bonello ), Liam ( Alexander Lloyd ), and Ryan ( Matthew Connell ). The play does not follow the natural timeline of their intersections. I don't know how

FLUSH: Theatre Review

Image
WHAT: Flush WHEN: 10 - 14 October 2023 WHERE: Queen Victoria Women's Centre (top floor) CREATED & PERFORMED BY: Isabella Gilbert DIRECTED BY: Elizabeth Walley STAGE MANAGED BY: Dylan Lines Elizabeth Gilbert - photo supplied Tinder shows abound and they generally follow a formula. Flush , on the other hand, goes much deeper, connecting climate change and 400 years of literary history with intensely minute detail of Tinder hook ups nobody wants, but all of us can relate to. Flush is being presented at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. The top floor of the QWVC is a small space, but a full glass wall with double doors opens onto an open roof space. Isabella Gilbert (performer) uses this adjunct cleverly, providing her with a space to play and extend and expand in the dance segments of the show, which is in effective counterpoint to the intimacy of her connection to the audience for the spoken sections.  The show opens with Gilbert i

ZAFFE: Event Review

Image
WHAT: Zaffe WHEN: 5 - 15 October 2023 WHERE: Malthouse Theatre (The Tower) CONCEIVED & DIRECTED BY: Stephanie Ghajar CREATED & PERFORMED BY: Taj Aldeeb, Jean Bachoura, Rawya El Chab, Camille El Feghali, St├ęphanie Ghajar, Ayman Kaake, Julia Landberg, Hadi Moussally, Meena Shamaly, Mia Shouha, and Lara Week DESIGNED BY: Ayman Kaake and Lara Week LIGHTING BY: Giovanna Yate Gonzalez STAGE MANAGED BY: Julia Landberg Meena Shamaly and Jean Bachoura - photo supplied What is the one thing everyone loves more than a wedding? The wedding party, of course! Zaffe brings you all the fun of a big nuptials event without bothering with the silly detail of someone getting married. Head to the Malthouse Tower this Melbourne Fringe season for fun, dancing, and (hopefully) a little bit of the wedding cake.  With Zaffe director Stephanie Ghajar and her collaborators allow us the opportunity to experience an ancient culture in its moment of great celebration. The word zaffe is from the middle-eas

DUCKY'S THEATRE OF THE INTERNET: Theatre Review

Image
WHAT: Ducky's Theatre of the Internet WHEN: 4 - 8 October 2023 WHERE: Long Play WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY: India Alessandra DIRECTED BY: Bronya Doyle India Allesandra - photo by Syd Farey What a fascinating, confusing and contradictory place the world has become with the arrival and embracing of the internet. There is so much screaming about privacy in a world where such a thing is perhaps now one of the luxuries of the rich, but to be seen amongst all the hubbub takes Herculean effort and a personal surrender akin to (and sometimes aligned with) sex working. It is into this fray that India Alessandra takes us with her Melbourne Fringe show Ducky's Theatre of the Internet , playing at Long Play. Ducky (India Alessandro) has a OnlyFans page and, after an absence of a year, is back with her first 24 hour live stream. With her phone and ring light on a selfie stand in one corner of her bedroom, in a leotard straight out of a Jane Fonda video , and with the most ridiculous plat

HOT FAT CRAZY - Cabaret Review

Image
WHAT: Hot Fat Crazy WHEN: 4-8 October 2023 WHERE: Trades Hall (Music Room) WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY: Thomas Bradford and Eadie Testro-Girasole Thomas Bradford and Eadie Testro-Girasole - photo supplied Tommy (Thomas Bradford) and Eadie (Eadie Testro-Girasole) are a powerhouse new comedy team on the Melbourne circuit. This year they debuted an explosive new cabaret at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and they have brought it back for a short return season at Fringe Hub as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Hot Fat Crazy is a jam-packed 50 minutes of great songs, hilarity and sock puppets. I first came across the work of these two fabulous performers in 2018 with Bradford's musical Tinder Tales . Hot Fat Crazy sees the pair lean into their strengths and their performances are high energy and faultless. Hot Fat Crazy sees Eadie's character writing in her diary as she reminisces about her time in a psychiatric facility. Everything seems quite normal for that first minute of the

BEARDIFUL: Cabaret Review

Image
 WHAT: Beardiful WHEN: 7 - 22 October 2023 WHERE: The Butterfly Club/Digital Fringe WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY: Sarah Jay Sarah Jay - photo supplied Nobody likes to be the first person to arrive at a party, but lucky for me Sarah Jay came through the door to make me laugh and cry, and she warmed the cockles of my heart with her first ever solo show, Beardiful . Produced by Picked Last For Sport , Beardiful is playing at The Butterfly Club for the first week of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and is then available On Demand as part of Digital Fringe. Whilst Jay is flying solo this time around (and the nerves do show), you will probably remember her from other superb Picked Last For Sport shows such as Creatures of the Deep and 2 Proud 2 Prejudiced . Beardiful kicksoff with  a rousing little number about just how hairy we women are, accompanied by the ukele. Instantly we are transported back to the fun and wit of previous shows, supported by her visage which would look at home in the t