LIA LOVES... THEATRE. DANCE. CULTURE. EVENTS.

Follow her adventures as Adelaide's premier theatre buff, arts contributor, educator and ambassador!

January 1, 2020

Review: Billy Elliot the Musical at the Festival Theatre

Billy. Elliot. Those two simple words fill my body with feelings of nostalgia, acceptance, tenacity, forgiveness and perseverance. When I first saw the film in the early 2000s, it made a lasting impression on me. Imagine my excitement, when Elton John wrote the music and Lee Hall provided the book and lyrics to turn this coming of age dance drama film into an award winning and global phenomenon musical. While Adelaide missed out on the original 2008/2009 tour, Universal Theatrical Group, Working Title Films, Greene Light Stage, Michael Coppel Entertainments and Louise Withers Presents are now bringing the 10th Anniversary Australian Tour to Adelaide for a limited run after a hugely successful Sydney season. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, the plot revolves around Billy, a motherless British boy who begins taking ballet lessons, which is polar opposite to his coal miner father and brother’s working class, union fighting beliefs. His ballet teacher, Mrs Wilkinson, recognises Billy’s potential, and suggests he audition for the Royal Ballet School in London. The story of his […]
October 27, 2019

Review: The Village at the Festival Theatre

On an unexpected wet and windy Adelaide night, Stan Lai’s The Village provided a heart-warming and comforting night at the theatre. Set at the end of the Civil War in 1949, in a Military Dependents Village in Chiayi, Taiwan, the story crosses a span of 50 years and three generations – the Zhao, Zhu and Zhou families. From the first generation fleeing mainland China after the Kuomintang was defeated, yearning to go back home, to building temporary homes which become their permanent homes, The Village traces the lives of these families and explores themes of identity, belonging and community. Drawing from real life stories in such villages, acclaimed legendary director, Stan Lai has captured poignant experiences and crafted an epic and masterful theatre production that depicts a true, touching history of Taiwan. We are introduced to the first generation, who settled into their makeshift village home, Formosa Village One, after fleeing to safety in Taiwan. It was presumed to be a temporary refugee exile, but transformed into a permanent communal melting pot that would vibrantly […]
October 18, 2019

Review: Techno Circus at the Dustan Playhouse

You know you are in for a zany night out when critics have described this show as ‘multi-layered hyperactivity for the stage’. Bringing my 11 year old son as my date/fellow critic, we walk into the theatre to see a parade of audience members having their photos taken on stage in various states of crazy poses. We discover these photos are then used as part of the shows finale. More on that later. Techno Circus is presented by SIRO-A, a group described as ‘Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group’. Personally, I loved these guys more! SIRO-A are renowned worldwide for their spectacular performances that combine special effects, incredible projections, mime, dance, puppetry, comedy, illusion and high energy techno music. They have wowed audiences of all ages with their Golden Buzzer winning act from America’s Got Talent, attracted millions of views on YouTube, sold out shows across the globe, and now are ready to take Adelaide on a ride as part of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Oz Asia Festival. This show is a feast for […]
October 13, 2019

Review: Hairspray Jnr at Adelaide Youth Theatre

When asked to review Adelaide Youth Theatre’s (AYT) production of Hairspray Jnr, I jumped at the opportunity. This ain’t my first AYT rodeo, and most definitely won’t be my last. AYT are widely known to produce world class productions for youth performers, and this show reinforces their reputation. Hairspray is an American musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman, and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters movie of the same name. The songs include 1960s-style dance music (my favourite!) and ‘downtown’ rhythm and blues Set in 1962 Baltimore, generously sized teenager, Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real life Buddy Deane Show. When Tracy wins a role on the show, much to the current star Amber Von Tussle’s dismay, she becomes a celebrity overnight, wins the heart of the local teen idol, Link Larkin and leads the town to social change as Tracy campaigns for the show’s integration. I absolutely […]
June 17, 2019

Review: Paul Capsis with Jethro Woodward and the Fitzroy Youth Orchestra at The Famous Spiegeltent

Paul Capsis. The man, the myth, the enigma. I have been a fan of Capsis’ since I watched him explode on the screen in ‘Head On’. Then seeing him as the totally mad, flamboyant reincarnation of Rumpelstiltskin in the State Theatre and Windmill collaboration – I was smitten. An award-winning, versatile, original and seasoned performer, he knows how to turn it on and turn it up. And he has been non stop since. Making a dramatic entrance and belching out the Skyhooks 70s classic ‘Ego is Not a Dirty Word’, we realise that this will be a night full of unexpected eccentricities and rip-roaring, emotion charged entertainment. And not only with Capsis out front, but with the marvellous and musically gifted Jethro Woodward and The Fitzroy Youth Orchestra supporting, we knew we were going to be witnessing something of a rarity. Wrapped in leather, fur and jewels, Capsis informs us he received a call from Julia Zemiro to be part of the Ad Cab Fest in 2019, after a five year absence. However, she had […]
June 15, 2019

Review: Bobby Fox The Irish Boy at the Dunstan Playhouse

Settling into the Dunstan Playhouse on a cold and dreary night, the only thing we needed to warm the cockles was a pint and a good story. Thankfully, we got both. Entering dressed in a kilt to wolf whistles from the crowd, the stage slowly lit up each musician as they joined in the opening song. And what an eclectic mix of musos it was! After learning the correct Irish way to cheer for a song you like (Yeaow!, if you are curious), the audience went wild when the dazzling talents of the fantastic Mr Fox were unveiled. A remarkably charming, charismatic and captivating stage performer, Mr Fox (I enjoy referring to him in this formal manner) brings his distinctive storytelling, song, dance and limericks all wrapped up in his delectable Irish accent, to Adelaide for the first time. If it sounds like I’m crushing on Bobby, you’d be right. What’s not to love about a handsome, blue eyed, tap dancing, kilt wearing Irish man who sings songs about loving Bonnie lasses and his ma’m? […]
June 12, 2019

Review: Unsung at The Space Theatre

The scene was established the moment you walked into The Space Theatre. Filled with orchards and peacock feathers strung from the balcony as well as the iconic peacock chairs from the era of the 70s sitting near the front of the stage. A beautiful setting for an incredible show. The crowd was full of baby boomers, and some youngins like myself, ready for the music of the night…a celebration of the music by the women in Australia during the 50s, 60s and 70s. We first saw a projected video of Merle Thornton and Rosalie Bognor who famously chained themselves to the bar at the Regatta Hotel, Brisbane in 1965, not only to gain women’s right to drink at a bar with men, but to bring to light the real issues women were facing at the time – equal pay, equal treatment and a revision of the sexist laws that plagued Australia. The very talented Amelia Ryan, of Simply the Breast and The Breast is Yet to Come fame, cleverly brought to life the unsung women […]
June 10, 2019

Review: The Hot Sardines at The Famous Spiegeltent

When I was a young performing arts student living in Perth, I frequented the jazz bars and underground clubs scouring the city for the hip, sweet sounds of the ragtime blues. My housemate at the time was a jazz muso, so I had big band rehearsals in my house all the time. It’s safe to say, I have a soft spot for this style. Tonight, as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, we were packed like sardines in The Famous Spiegeltent, to see The Hot Sardines. With the house full sign out front, we were ready to be dazzled by this New York based jazz ensemble. Co-led by lead singer Elizabeth Bougerol and pianist Evan Palazzo, she tells the story of how they met at a jazz jam advertised on Craig’s List. She was looking for a piano player, but not just any piano player. One who knew and understood a particular song, Fats Waller ‘Your Feet’s too Big’. She asked Evan if he knew the song and the rest as they say, is history. […]
June 6, 2019

Review: End of the Rainbow at The Royalty Theatre

Like most little girls, my first memories of Judy Garland have something to do with a yellow brick road, an emerald city and red slippers. I watched in awe of this young girl skipping and singing her way into my heart and I too wanted to be part of her seemingly magical and perfect life. But End of the Rainbow doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Garland’s last days; instead it rips you through the bright lights and dark pits that tormented her, enabled her, and eventually killed her. The regal, old Royalty Theatre provided the perfect backdrop for The Ritz Hotel London, 1969, where Garland was preparing for a 5 week stint at Talk of the Town nightclub. Orchestrated and managed by her fifth and final husband, Mickey Deans, with her long suffering accompanist, Anthony Chapman, we watch the relationship between the three characters bounce between banter, comedy, hatred, power, joy, pain, love and truth. And bear witness to the mental and physical decline of the world’s darling. Peter Quilter’s worldwide smash brings to […]
May 27, 2019

Review: Katie’s Birthday Party at the John Bishop Room, Adelaide Festival Centre

Bringing my nearly 11 year old son, who has just moved schools and is making new friends, to a one woman show about the trials and tribulations of a young girls journey from childhood to adolescence, seemed very timely and opportune. I remember my twelve year old self as slightly sensitive, hopeful, emotional and enthusiastic and I suspect, after a few personal conversations with my own pre-pubescent son, he feels the same. Internationally acclaimed solo performer, Mary-Frances Doherty gives a remarkable and real performance of 12 year old Katie, who is very happy we all could attend her birthday party. She is disappointed her best friend, Tracy, couldn’t come – she was busy making an appearance at another party. To begin with, Katie is very flippant about Tracy not being able to be there, but by the end, she is openly and visibly upset; the least she could do was answer her calls, like her posts or share her videos! In a vulnerable, exposed and intimate horseshoe setting, we are thrown together to celebrate Katie’s […]
May 27, 2019

Review: The Gruffalo at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

If you have children, and perhaps even if you don’t, you have almost definitely read The Gruffalo. A children’s classic by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler which has sold over 13 million copies, won several prizes for children’s literature, has an Oscar nominated animated film, it is now also the play which has had sell out seasons on Broadway and London’s West End. The story of The Gruffalo is based on a Chinese folk tale of a fox that borrows the terror of a tiger, however Donaldson was unable to think of rhymes for ‘tiger’ so instead invented a word that rhymes with ‘know’. And the rest, as they say, is history… The mouse’s tale is one that unfolds in two phases; whereby the mouse uses crafty tricks to circumvent danger. On his way through the deep dark wood, the mouse encounters several dangerous animals (a cunning fox, an eccentric, sergeant-type owl and a maraca wielding snake). Each of these animals, clearly intending to eat the mouse, invite him back to their home for a […]
March 18, 2019

Review: Barnum at the Goodwood Institute

March Productions debut musical offering, Barnum, is a night of triumph, energy and monumental talent. With a perfectly simple, but effective set we are transported to the 1800s, where Anna and Amy Beecher take us on a historical journey with pictures and artefacts of Barnum’s life as we take our seats. P.T Barnum truly was an intriguing man, with a knack for promotion and humbug. This sets the scene for the extravaganza we are about to experience. Our first introduction to Barnum is him running through the audience with gusto, to end up on stage and immediately breaking the 4th wall to narrate his story. I am instantly drawn into Jayden Prelc’s portrayal of Barnum – charismatic, magnetic, dynamic, not to mention his natural comedic timing and prodigious voice. He navigated the wordy script and musical numbers with such relish. A true and rare performer of his age, I anticipate a professional career in his near future. Watch this space. His Charity Barnum, played by Alana Iannace, was sublime. She had steely strength and independence, […]
March 17, 2019

Review: Grand Finale at the Adelaide Festival Centre

Knowing nothing more than the title and its origins prior to the performance, Hofesh Shechter Company’s Grand Finale is a spectacular blend of electronic soundscape, live classical musicians, evocative lighting and choreography that is part contemporary, part trance and part traditional. We open to a bleak, dark stage, where huge black blocks, which resemble tombstones, shadow the musicians playing in the background. Ten culturally and artistically diverse dancers portray the survivors, if you will, of the sinking Titanic; while the quintet of musicians continue to play in sweet harmony, oblivious to the disaster that surrounds them. The mini orchestra is seamless as they move around the stage, inconspicuously and almost magically, with as much grace as the dancers themselves. The dancers. Oh the dancers. I’ve never seen an ensemble interpret the idiosyncrasies, nuances and manic silence of choreography quite like these incredible artists. Their language of movement, authenticity of storytelling through their bodies..it is quite the experience. One I’ve not felt like this before. While Shechter’s choreography has repetitive phrasing, it never feels monotonous. Quite […]
March 17, 2019

Review: Ulster American at Dunstan Playhouse

Theatre. The area in which something happens. And by god does it happen. Opening night buzz of the most talked about, and shocking, Ulster American was palpable; excited theatre goers packed Dunstan Playhouse to the sounds of 70s funk music, ready, or not so ready, to take in David Ireland’s extraordinary satire. Set in an apartment in London, an English director, an Oscar-winning American actor and a Northern Irish playwright meet to rehearse a West End play. Sounds like the beginnings of a good old fashioned joke, right? Well, the joke is on us. As the three converge to discuss the play’s challenges they will face when rehearsals begin the following morning; historical accuracies, national identity, politics, misogyny, feminism, Princess Diana and Brexit become the topic of debate in this contemporary, yet classic three-hander. No sooner do the actors hit the stage, one would not dispute their undeniable talent to hold the audience in the palm of their hand. Jay Conway (Darrell D’Silva) the boisterous, egotistical, contentious American box-office movie star, is equal parts intimidating, […]
March 4, 2019

Review: Palmyra at AC Arts – Main Theatre

Palmyra. A desecrated but still majestic city in Syria that was once one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. Destroyed by ISIS soldiers during their first occupation in 2015, the locals stood in disbelief, clapping their hands to their mouth when they saw the rubble, an act intended to terrorise the Syrian people. Look what they’ve done. And this is how we are introduced to Palmyra, the inventive oeuvre conceived, created and performed by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas. Lesca and Voutsas are quite the pair. Working together since 2015, it is difficult to draw the line between reality and theatre; and this is what makes Palmyra so thrilling, applaudable, palpable, captivating and at times, uncomfortable. Performance art at its best. The stage is set with two black chairs, each with a plate by the legs. Except one plate is broken into pieces. ‘Llook what they’ve done’ to ‘they have really gone for it’ Voutsas utters. At the start, their relationship is playful; waltzing and spinning, dashing around the stage on […]
March 3, 2019

Review: Blaas at Thomas Edmonds Opera Studio, Adelaide Showgrounds

Blaas. Where does one begin? Quite simply, it is an experience like no other, one in which words cannot do it justice. Schweigman& present their Australian exclusive performance of Blaas, and it will delight, confuse, charm and ignite intense thought long after you’ve left the space. Blaas means ‘blow’, ‘breath’, ‘bubble’ and ‘bladder’ in Dutch and is a concept devised from the minds of award-winning director Boukje Schweigman, fashion designer turned visual artist Cocky Eek and performer Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti. A study of space and time, wind and air and movement; this is theatre never encountered before. We are asked to leave our shoes and belongings at the door, and put scrub slippers over our feet. Already some theatre goers are uneasy. Upon walking into the stark, white room we sit on the white bench, and look out onto the large mass of white fabric at the back of the stage. Static noise is played through the speaker; an edgy sound that can be interpreted as almost cicada sounding. Slowly, we see the fabric rise […]
March 2, 2019

Review: Woman at the Bally at Gluttony

Looking for a night out to celebrate all things women in a man’s world through the storytelling of cabaret? Then head on over and catch Woman by the vocally talented chanteuse, Jodie Stubbs. She will take you on a historical journey through time; from the Garden of Eden, to the turn of the 20th century to modern day motherhood explored through song, story and comedy. Using music from Broadway, 60s classics, R&B, pop; you’ll enjoy this one-woman show as she navigates what it’s like to ‘have it all’. Jodie makes her grand entrance with strong opening vocals, before walking us through the long history of female oppression, beginning with the story of Florence Nightingale. She first sings ‘What’s Up?’ by 4 Non Blondes, and this becomes her theme song for the night…before she is interrupted by her ‘ringing’ phone – the babysitter. She then strives to get through her one hour show recounting how you can be a mum, cabaret star, wife and career woman – without having to check on the kids! The systematic […]
March 1, 2019

Review: Paul McDermott and Steven Gates at the Garden of Unearthly Delights

Tonight’s Fortuna Spiegeltent, the most elaborate and superbly air conditioned tent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights is the home of Paul McDermott and Steven Gates’ Go Solo (Together, as they say) for the next ten days. McDermott and Gates became friends in 1999 after meeting at the ARIAs, but this marks the beginning of their musical duo, after singing together privately for 5 years. Two of Australia’s most adored and revered comedic singer-songwriters, McDermott, from cult musical comedy group Doug Anthony All Stars and Good News Week (my fave) and Gates, one third of Tripod, bring Adelaide a show of old friend barneys, reminiscing, witty banter and spontaneous drivel scattered amongst their genius lyricism and songbook catalogue. We begin with Shopping Mall, Paul’s tongue in cheek ode to finally understanding common life after his high roller times with DAAS, followed by a rock, Chilli-Pepper-feel rendition of White Man Prison (loved it!). A beautiful Be My Queen, by Gatesy, with comical vocals by McDermott lead into an impromptu heckle of a 13 year old audience […]
February 28, 2019

Review: Sex and The Musical at Treasury 1860

Walking into Treasury 1860 on a hot Adelaide night, a Cosmopolitan was just what I needed to cool me down. And the cosmos were indeed flowing, in this perfect venue for Sex and the Musical. Taking our seats to the theme music that took me back, it’s hard to think that the show actually ended in 2004. But with 2 movies and reruns still going, this iconic and cult series still has a huge following. We are taken back before the action starts, a prequel, when Carrie’s boss tells her she’s losing her edge, so she goes on the hunt for a posse of friends ‘sweet, smart, sassy and sexy’ to help her get her mojo to write her successful columns again. Carrie’s opening song, The most interesting woman, is a hilarious send up introducing us to the main character, but also questioning how she affords her luxurious lifestyle on a columnists wage. A question we have all asked ourselves! Stefanie Rossi has the hair, the body, the look and the tutu to bring musical […]
February 23, 2019

Review: Djuki Mala at the Garden of Unearthly Desires

Tonight’s sold out, highly anticipated, award winning show, Djuki Mala are quirky, high-voltage, compelling, cheeky and joyous. And that is just the crowd warmer! Direct from Elcho Island, Djuki Mala (meaning bird mob) perform an incredible fusion of traditional Yolngu culture, contemporary dance and storytelling. They achieved overnight success when Frank Djirrimbilpilwuy (Big Frank) uploaded a clip of the ‘Chooky’ boys dancing to Zorba the Greek back in 2012. Lionel, Big Frank’s son, created this special video as a thank you to the Greek nurse, Liliane, who cared for his sister while she was sick. From the success of the video, which has had over 2.5 million views on YouTube, they have toured all over the world with their exuberant and effervescent interpretation of dance, song-lines and pop culture. Beginning with a history of colonisation, we see an opening of the four dancers in traditional costumes and ochre, with Gara (spears) and Galpu (spear thrower) and are introduced to Margaret, Big Frank’s wife, via the multimedia projection on stage. She tells us about Big Frank, […]
February 19, 2021

Review: Club Queens – Opening Night

When the recommendations say mature audiences, not family friendly with occasional coarse language and mild sexual references, you know you are in for an insatiably good night! Billed as the late night after party to tickle your fancies, Club Queens really will be the place to be seen on a Friday and Saturday night during Adelaide Fringe season. Opening night hosts, cabaret doyenne Amelia Ryan and arts royalty Mitchell Butel set the tone with their parody song about Covid, cabaret, clubs, and the Clare Valley, all to the tune of ‘I will Survive’. After welcoming the dignitaries and special guests, all formalities were thrown out the window for a night of unencumbered fun, unpredictable laughs and a teaser of shows that played earlier in the night or are yet to premiere. The show began with Australia’s favourite Cabaret performer and icon, Carlotta, who taunted and heckled the crowd, much to their delight, all the while smashing out dazzling show tunes leaving the audience wanting more! Jo Lawry was up next with her soothing, velvety and […]
January 25, 2021

Review: Moana Jr by Adelaide Youth Theatre

It’s no secret I am a big fan of youth productions in South Australia. In the words of Whitney Houston ‘I believe the children are our future…’ and the sensational cast and crew of Adelaide Youth Theatre’s production of Moana Jr are testament that the future of theatre is in good hands! Moana Jr is a 60-minute musical adaptation of the 2016 Disney animated film, bringing the adventures of Moana and her village of Motunui to life onstage. Moana Jr features all the beloved songs from the film, written by Tony®, GRAMMY, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina, including “How Far I’ll Go,” “Shiny,” and “You’re Welcome.” This delightful and heart-warming coming-of-age story follows the strong-willed Moana as she sets sail across the Pacific to save her village and discover the truth about her heritage. Moana and the legendary demigod Maui embark on an epic journey of self-discovery and camaraderie as both learn to harness the power that lies within. With empowering messages of bravery and selflessness, Moana Jr […]
January 18, 2021

Review: Les Misérables at the Adelaide Youth Theatre

Celebrating their first big show in their 10th anniversary year, Adelaide Youth Theatre [AYT] marks this occasion by restaging of one of the most famous, grim and difficult musicals of all time – Les Misérables. As a recap, the story follows former prisoner Jean Valjean, who, after being released from the watchful eye of Inspector Javert, is unable to find work because of his status as an ex-convict. He eventually steals from a local church, but when apprehended, the priest claims that Valjean was given the valuables. This triggers a change in Valjean, and he constructs a new identity for himself as a pillar of society and a local businessman. Years later, he adopts a young girl named Cosette, whose mother Fantine, a former employee of his, became a prostitute and died a horrible death in the gutters after being fired. As the years progress and the French Revolution begins to foment, a grown Cosette falls for a passionate revolutionary named Marius, while Javert begins to close in again on Valjean’s secret past. Upon entering […]
October 22, 2020

Review: Scotch College Stop the Presses! at Scotch College, Adelaide

In today’s current climate, getting to see live theatre is an absolute treat, so when the opportunity to review Scotch College’s Stop the Presses! came along, I snapped up the chance! I was completely bowled over by their production of Les Miserables in 2019, so I was excited to see what they present this time around. I. Was. Not. Disappointed. Stop the Presses! is essentially a showcase of songs from popular musicals over the years. This gave the students, ranging from years 7 to 12, an opportunity to shine across multiple roles, with characters and stories. At first glance, it looks like a random compilation of musicals, however delving deeper, each musical has a common theme of hope, resilience, strength and support. Traits these kids had in spades! The opening number, Welcome to the Rock from Come From Away was gritty and true, with fabulous accent work. Jim Martin lead the charges with his strong stage presence. ‘Stop the World’ was full of fervent intensity, especially from Adele Hubmayer and Jack Raft; exceptional young performers […]
October 20, 2020

Review: Grease at the Arts Theatre

Well, Grease certainly is the word! And for our first foray back into theatres, being welcomed by Rydell High is a treat! We are all familiar with the cult film Grease, however this version is based on the Broadway musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School, the story follows ten working class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of peer pressure, politics, personal core values and love. With a score borrowing heavily from the sounds of early rock and roll, Grease was initially a raw, aggressive and sometimes vulgar show, but subsequent productions sanitised it and toned it down. The show references social issues such as teenage pregnancy, gang violence, sexual exploration and rebellion. All which are still current issues the youth of today face. The musical’s basic plot is a subversion of the common trope of 1950s cinema, where instead of the male lead being transformed into a more sensitive and sympathetic character, it is the woman who is drawn into the man’s influence and transforms […]
March 18, 2020

Review: Two Crews at Space Theatre

I was lucky enough to gain a personal invitation by acclaimed director and choreographer, Nick Power to his third independent work, Two Crews. And who else better to come and witness this hip hop battle work for the Adelaide Festival, than my own little B-Boy, my middle son. Two Crews is the collision between France and Australia in the form of Parisian, all-women hip hop dance company, Lady Rocks, founded by choreographer and dancer Lea Cazauran. Representing Australia is Sydney based Riddim Nation, a collective who bring all styles of street dance fused with elements of their traditional culture into the ring. We arrive to see the vast open space, ready for the crews to battle it out. As they enter, they warm up in their respective corners, silently staring down their opponents. The way the stage was set, felt like the audience was pitted against each other! Clad in leopard print shirt with braids, Clairea is the first to take to the stage with a light-footed, almost lyrical popping and locking sequence, before the […]
March 11, 2020

Review: The Artist at AC Arts

A typical artist’s studio. Paint splattered floor. A wooden, ricketty shelf with finished canvas’ tucked away. A window for natural light. A red table with a white chair. A red ladder leans casually against the shelf. We see a pair of yellow socks poking out from underneath the easel, where The Artist himself is hidden behind his canvas, deep within his creative process. So preoccupied that he often dipped his paintbrush in his cup of tea, and drank from his paint water! My eye, and ear, is drawn to a leak in the ceiling. I am a little concerned, as it is very close to the lighting rig, but my concern soon turns to relief as the annoying drip is all but part of the show. There is a chuckle-inducing scene involving the drip, his cup of tea, and a teabag. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination… Thom Monckton is a New Zealand born, Finland based physical theatre artist trained in circus arts at CircoArts in Christchurch and then at the famed mimodynamics school […]
March 7, 2020

Review: How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the Goodwood Institute

‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert and Tony Award-winning musical with Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser, is a story about the triumph of the typical man amid the mockery of big business. Once again, March Productions brings a quite adult-themed musical to life with a young cast, and while the wordy and 1960s dated show proved a little challenging at times with some stumbles over monologues, producer Alice Kennett should be very proud of the modern and sophisticated end product. The stellar production team of Michelle Davy, Mark DeLaine and Brady Lloyd should be highly applauded for their fabulous work on this little gem. When a restless, ambitious and charmingly manipulative window washer named J.Pierrepont Finch (that’s spelt F.I.N.C.H) comes across a book entitled ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’, he decides to begin his climb up the corporate ladder. Guided by the Voice of the Book, and a dose of his own canniness, Finch begins his […]
March 6, 2020

Review: Luminarium: Daedalum at R.C.C, Adelaide Fringe Festival

Architects of Air (AoA) are really onto something. Alan Parkinson, founder and designer and artistic director has built and toured over 500 exhibitions in more than 40 countries, sharing his ‘sense of wonder at the phenomenon of light’. Inspired by natural forms, geometric solids, Islamic and Gothic architecture; each new creation is a maze of winding paths and domes where visitors may lose themselves in sensory bliss. A luminarium takes between 4 to 6 months to build entirely by hand by a workforce of around 6 people. Built entirely in AoA’s Nottingham workshop using a custom-made PVC unique to AoA. A luminarium will last for approximately 300 days of exhibition spread over 4 years, after which it is cut into pieces to be recycled. The luminarium structure is designed with functionality in mind as a temporary building to include portability, accessibility, stability and a modularity to allow the structures to be reconfigured for different sites. Daedalum takes it’s name from Daedalus. In Greek mythology, he was the father of Icarus and the architect of the […]
March 6, 2020

Review: Cold Blood at the Ridley Centre

I don’t like to read about a show before seeing it. I much prefer to go in unaware and come to my own conclusion. With all the hype surrounding Kiss & Cry Collective’s Cold Blood, it was difficult to shield myself from the talk. However, I managed to observe opening night only knowing I was watching dancing hands in a tiny set. The brainchild of husband and wife creative duo, dancer and choreographer Michele Anne De Mey, and acclaimed director and screenwriter Jaco Van Dormael and texts by Thomas Gunzig, Cold Blood takes us on a whimsical and entrancing ride. It is the story of seven unpredictable and startling deaths through a multitude of scenarios, using human hands and tiny, child-like toys to demonstrate the silly but fading feebleness of life. This fascinating mix of art forms – dance, film, text – is true genius and is nothing short of original fantastical theatre. As we sit and see a large projection screen, below is the live activity of dancers, camera crew and technicians that create […]
March 5, 2020

Review: Frankenstein: How to Make A Monster at RCC

Debating whether to sit in the elevated section or centre front upon arrival with my guest, I’m glad we decided centre front. We were up close and personal with all the action. Making it’s Australian debut at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) Beatbox Academy all the way from the UK, lead by the coolest cat Conrad, are a bunch of uber talented youth presenting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in an innovative and electrifying combination of beatbox, theatre and song – all live and all made from the mouth. We begin the evening hearing about BAC’s collaboration with our own youth arts centre, Carclew, and Conrad introduces three incredibly raw, but oh so adept kids; Ocean, T-Dog and Eemes, as a curtain raiser to the evening’s performance. They had been workshopping beats, jamming, raps and writing lyrics. Except Ocean. She had no lyrics and was going to freestyle with words the audience threw at her. Chicken, Madhouse, Rabies, Sausage. Yep, she killed it! Conrad then turned the audience into a Beatbox orchestra by […]
February 28, 2020

Review: Blanc de Blanc Encore at the Fortuna Spiegeltent, Garden of Unearthly Delights

After seeing the inceptive Blanc de Blanc two years ago, my expectations were high. I was hoping this wasn’t going to be like a bad sequel following a great original. I wasn’t disappointed. Strut and Fret’s gutsy and uninhibited blend of comedic cabaret, dynamic dance numbers and awe arousing aerials will leave you applauding like mad and wanting for more. Seated in the round, the stage is set with champagne on ice, and large circles, or balls if you will, creating the backdrop. The opening Gatsby-inspired party really got the crowd fired up and in the mood for what lay ahead. Our incredible and wacky hosts for the evening, Felix …. and Remi Martin took us on a journey to Parisian glitz and glamour, transported us through vintage French flavours and fantasies and opulent times of the City of Light. Their interluding gag shows were an absolute highlight for me, as was their chemistry, banter and connection on stage together. Scenes of the cast lip-synching to various songs about drinking while a spotlight followed them […]
February 27, 2020

Review: Maho Magic Bar at The Garden of Unearthly Delights

Set in a bespoke pop up bar, with all glittering, neon Tokyo lights on the outside and cool cherry blossom elegance on the inside, Maho Magic Bar will give you and your friends an intimate night of magic and illusion. Leave reality at the door, and be consumed by the wonders of magic and wicked delectation. Direct from Japan, Broad Encounters bring these four masterful enchanters and their zany host, for a world premiere in The Garden of Unearthly Delights. A brilliant celebration of Japanese culture – both contemporary and traditional, Maho Magic is a shimmering hour of delights, drinks and dazzling magic. We are ushered to our table where we join with another raucous group of four and are introduced to our first up close and personal magician, Shohgo Yamashita; a pioneer of eye-popping tricks (so says his business card). He takes our drink order then proceeds to perform a series of card tricks that will literally blow your mind. A sweet boy wonder of a charmer, don’t let his innocence fool you! As […]
February 26, 2020

Review: The Will to Be at the Bakehouse Theatre

I’ve always had a soft spot for The Bakehouse Theatre, having performed there myself many years ago. It is a casual, intimate space, perfect for the one man play, The Will To Be. Written, produced and performed by an incredibly creative and talented young man, Mark Salvestro, The Will To Be is a thought provoking, one act exploration of sexuality, societal suppressions and shame laced with the words of Shakespeare. We first meet the character, William O’Halloran, sitting atop his desk reading a letter to himself as we take our seats in the studio theatre. The eloquent, historical set implies this is the office of an intellect; with books, certificates and work scattered across the room. A carefully placed coat rack with jacket and hat strategically placed, and a melancholy late 50s early 60s soundtrack playing in the background. Salvestro articulates the nervousness, flustered and overwrought O’Halloran with such a befitting authenticity of someone dealing with an indecent homosexual discretion being discovered in the 1960s. He tells us he has been fired one month before […]
February 21, 2020

Review: The Choir of Man at The Moa, Gluttony

Entering the hustle and bustle of the fab venue, The Moa, with one of my all-time favourite nostalgic tunes, ‘You Call Me Al’ blaring, you know you are in for a good night when you are invited up on the stage to enjoy a beer as you walk in! The Choir of Man is the international success from the hitmakers, Andrew Kay and Nic Doodson. And what a hit it is! Put a pack of 9 twenty-something young, talented men together to sing, drink and talk for almost an hour and a half and what you get is incredible adrenalin, high voltage energy and pure, undiluted entertainment! A cast of seemingly ordinary guys will blow you away with their incredible choreography, tight vocals, sweet poetry and dynamic instrumentals featuring songs from rock, folk, pop and Broadway! The scene was set with the opening number ‘Welcome to The Jungle’, which also happens to be the name of the pub the show is set in. After this bolt of lightning initial scene, we get to meet the […]