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

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

October 14, 2023

Review: FAME the Musical at the Arts Theatre

FAME is a stage musical based on the 1980 film of the same name, conceived and developed by David De Silva. With book by Jose Fernandez, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy, FAME follows the lives of several students who attend New York City’s High School of Performing Arts from their first year in 1980 to their graduation in 1984. The musical is significantly rewritten from film and television adaptations, with an almost entirely new score, except for the title Academy Award-winning song ‘Fame’. This full-length production is brought to life by the wonderful team from Adelaide Youth Theatre – brilliant training ground for young people in the arts. A triple threat dance major, sassy, confident and determined to make it in the big smoke Carmen Diaz, was portrayed with believability by Paige Tran. Her swan song ‘In LA’ displayed sincere vulnerability beyond her years. The intelligent but serious classical actor, Nick Piazza, was played by Jack Keukenmeester. With a secret romantic interest in Serena, Keukenmeester was authentic and genuine in his […]
October 12, 2023

Review: Finding Nemo Jr at The Arts Theatre

What a way to finish off the school holidays – exploring the big blue world of Finding Nemo Jr. Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr is a 60 minute musical adaptation of the beloved 2003 Pixar movie Finding Nemo, with new music by award-winning songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his small fry Nemo, who longs to travel the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured and taken to Sydney, Marlin faces his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of adorable characters such as the optimistic but forgetful Dory, a laid-back sea turtle Crush and his bale, and the supportive Tank Gang, not to mention making it past the Great White Bruce and his hungry shiver, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other, and themselves. The set is charming and bright with slick moveable stairs to create height and drama, an excellent fly system with nets […]
August 12, 2023

Review: Legally Blonde at The Arts Theatre

Omigod you guys! If you haven’t had enough pink with the Barbie movie, then head over to The Arts Theatre to soak in Pelican Productions’ Legally Blonde The Musical! Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the 2001 MGM motion picture, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, this revival is true to the original Broadway version. Premiering in 2007, the film was adapted into a Broadway and West End musical of the same name, nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards, winning three, including Best Musical, in 2010. The show tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrols at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. She discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, and she successfully defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. Throughout the show, very few characters have faith in Elle, but she manages to surprise them when she defies expectations while staying true to herself. A surprisingly difficult score, fun characters and story, Legally Blonde’s themes are […]
August 5, 2023

Review: Frozen Jr at the Arts Theatre

If you are unfamiliar with the premise of Frozen, then perhaps you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years. Let me help you… Frozen is a musical with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee, based on the 2013 film of the same name, which in turn was based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1844 fairy-tale, The Snow Queen. Frozen Jr is a 60-minute adaptation of the full-length musical, centering on the relationship between two sisters who are princesses, Elsa and Anna. Elsa has magical powers to freeze objects and people, which she does not know how to control. After inheriting the throne, Elsa flees, inadvertently causing the kingdom to become frozen in an eternal winter, and nearly kills her sister. She must sacrifice and show true love to save the day. After seeing the professional show last year, a number of times, [ahem 7], I know this is a tricky show to stage, but when the opening chorus begins and stunning projections are a set, […]
June 26, 2023

Review: Class of Cabaret at The Space Theatre

Class of Cabaret began in 2010 under the artistic direction of David Campbell at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival to provide a learning opportunity for talented and passionate secondary students to share their perspective on life through the art of cabaret performance. Now it’s fourteenth year, Class of Cabaret provides an expert team in the form of an experienced accompanist, a leading vocal teacher and mentorship from two renowned Adelaide artists to help these students explore issues and ideas to use the medium of cabaret to be a voice for their generation. Class of Cabaret shines a spotlight on tomorrow’s promising young stars. Two spectacular shows were staged, and I got to see the half of these young entertainers at the 6pm session. This year’s expert team comprised of mentors Joanne Hartstone and Mark Oates, director Brock Roberts, vocal coach Rosie Hosking and accompaniment and musical direction by the incredibly talented Ciara Ferguson. They opened with a group number, a medley/mash up of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colours and Sara Bareilles’ Brave before the first performer, Lillian […]
June 24, 2023

Review: Eleven O’clock on the Dot at the Quartet Bar

Eleven O’clock on the Dot celebrates the classic momentous songs that occur before the curtain closes on the second act. Iconic Broadway hits which usually establish the revelations and epiphanies of the main character. Philippa Lynas, a local girl come good, has created a brilliant in development showcasing all the unforgettable eleven O’clock numbers from the 1940s to current Broadway. Lynas, who spent 10 years in New York studying at the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy and then went onto to perform at quintessential venues such as Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall as well as lead vocalist for Cirque du Soleil, performs all the hits and has the audience singing along, and eating out of the palm of her hand. Starting with the title track of 42nd Street, Lynas smacks us in the face her outstanding jazzy pipes, but with highly trained classical undertones. We move through the Golden Age and the big brassy numbers, purely with Lynas on lead vocals, her incredible backing singers, Ben Francis [of The 60 Four fame] and […]
June 18, 2023

Review: The Fig Tree at The Banquet Room

One of the things I love about the Adelaide Cabaret Festival is the unique and exclusive glimpse we have into new or developmental works. The Fig Tree by Gillian Cosgriff is one of those. With her famously sharp-witted lyrics and on the nose musical comedy, she presented a first reading of her brand new musical, The Fig Tree. Partly inspired by Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree, and a Sylvia Plath quote from The Bell Jar, Cosgriff workshopped scenes and songs with three other local artists over 5 days to bring excerpts of this new work exploring relationships, choice, irresolution, monogamy, figs, parallel universes and love. The tree in question is both representational and physical, and as we learn with each fig plucked from the tree, an alternate universe is created for both the female characters. Showcasing Cosgriff as the protagonist, Liv, Jamie Hornsby as her loving and homely partner Tom, Lachlan Williams as the young summer love Elliot and Philippa Lynas [and her pipes!] as Liv’s recently divorced sister, Tess, these four embodied the […]
May 11, 2023

Review: Shore Break at Goodwood Theatre

Shore Break brings to life research drawn on by writer and performer Chris Pitman with those who find themselves isolated and living solitary existences in remote locations; those living on the fringe of society, in areas such as campgrounds and regional areas along the coast. Pitman used the conversations and experiences of these people to construct an exceptional one-hander, beautifully directed by Chelsea Griffith and presented by ninetyfive.theatre and Brink Productions. Ushered into the theatre, the audience were seated upstage, intimately face to face with the actor with an unpretentious black backdrop where the auditorium would be. A minimal set including a sisal rug depicting the desert dunes with Pitman already present. His un-named character opens with a poem – one he explains that he was forced to learn by his old schoolteacher and can’t ever forget. Verbose and descriptive as he illustrates the many characters of his story; his chain-smoking mother, ocean loving alcoholic father, gang leader school friend, his sincere English teacher and ‘live in the present’ girlfriend – we are engrossed and […]
March 31, 2023

Review: Come From Away at Her Majesty’s Theatre

Huzzah! It has arrived! The Broadway hit Come From Away has finally landed in Adelaide amidst much publicity and hype. And rightly so… The Canadian musical, with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein is based on the events in the Newfoundland town of Gander during the week following the September 11 attacks. There, 38 planes, carrying approximately 7,000 passengers, were commanded to land unexpectedly at Gander International Airport. Here tells the true story of how these frightened, stranded travellers from all over the globe were housed, fed and comforted by Gander residents following the attacks and reminds audiences around the world the capacity for human compassion amid evil and darkness. The characters in the musical are based on, and in most cases, share the names of the actual travellers and residents, which creates another layer of humanity and heart. Come From Away recreates the temporary community which lasted just five days but changed lives forever. The sensational creative team, headed up by Director Christopher Ashley, with Resident Director and Choreographer Michael […]
March 20, 2023

Review: Revisor at Her Majesty’s Theatre

When Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young collide, magic happens. Previous remarkable collaborations include Betroffenheit and The Statement, so Revisor is set on the same path. Based on the satirical play, The Government Inspector, published in 1836 by Russian dramatist and novelist Nikolai Gogol, Revisor is a well-known story of mistaken identity with underlying subjects of deceit, tyranny, bureaucracy, and infiltration. Using the original text to develop the story for both voice and body, Pite [using dancers from her company Kidd Pivot] and Young, bring a high-speed production of dance and theatre together with exaggerated movements that send up cartoon villains [reminiscent of the Icelandic children’s television series, Lazy Town], dramatic overplaying, and theatrical onslaught. A party of greedy and corrupt officials become struck with panic when they learn that an undercover Inspector is in their midst investigating their obvious indiscretions. They somehow manage to mistake a preening and charming civil servant, who just happens to be staying in the local hotel, for the Inspector and then proceed to entertain and schmooze him in the hope […]
March 13, 2023

Review: Smashed – The Brunch Party at The Spielgeltent

Smashed – The Brunch Party is the only way to start your Adelaide Cup day! As we picked up our breakfast banquet from the amazing buffet by Meez on Plus, and snaffle a Mimosa on the way in, we were treated to a pre-show disco with Lady Marmalade and other 70s hits blaring through the glorious Speigeltent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights. Our hostess with the mostest, Jazida, turned ‘Burn Baby Burn’ into ‘Brunch Baby Brunch’ with a gaggle of dancing avocados before we were introduced to each performer with their own individual act. Betty Bombshell, one of Australia’s most in demand burlesque artists, kicked off with a Shania Twain cowgirl number which not only showed off her bootylicious curvaceousness, but also her comedic timing. Malia Walsh [who can also be seen in kids Fringe show Children Are Stinky] provided hilarious acro interludes, as well as her own aerial set atop a champagne bottle – complete with fluorescent stiletto ankle boots to a mashup soundtrack of Cyndi Lauper and Britney Spears! Next up was […]
March 5, 2023

Review: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at Her Majesty’s Theatre

Opening the Adelaide Festival is one of the most famous pieces of English literature, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a 1886 gothic novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. A defining book of the gothic horror genre, this novella has had a significant impact on popular culture, with the phrase ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ being used in colloquial speech to suggest people with an outwardly good but internally disturbingly evil nature as having two personalities. The story follows the protagonist, Gabriel Utterson, a London-based lawyer who investigates a series of strange occurrences between his old friend Dr Henry Jekyll and a murderous criminal named Edward Hyde. Becoming obsessed to save his friend, Utterson is determined to uncover the links between them, and in the process comes face to face with the disturbing truth. Brought to Adelaide by the same prodigious genius team of The Picture of Dorian Gray, director Kip Williams has transformed this old story by using a juxtaposition of live filming, moving screens and multimedia – what has now been dubbed […]
March 2, 2023

Review: Damian Callinan Double Feature at The Kingfisher

As with most shows I review, I refuse to do any research before enjoying the performance in the moment. And boy was I glad I came into this one cold. Damian Callinan, award winning actor, writer and comedian has a surprise discovery of his mother’s 1946 diary, filled with tid-bits of her every day; work life, volunteer commitments with wounded servicemen, church activities and her wild social frolics. However, through this journey of unmasking and revelation, more questions are raised than answered, so we go on a cinematic voyage with Callinan, as he turns his mother’s diary, as well as his father’s retirement journal into a double feature of love and loss, with his parents as the stars of the show. We play the part of the test audience – and his family all have special roles in the making of the ‘film’. Great nieces and nephews [who bear a striking resemblance to Damian’s mother – the genes are strong in this family] are the storyboarders, makeup artists and boom operators. A lovely inclusion that […]
February 17, 2023

Review: Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? at Dunstan Playhouse

What an explosive way to open the season State Theatre Company South Australia! Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? is probably one of the strangest theatre experiences I’ve come upon. But would we expect anything less from the playwright who brought us The Zoo Story and  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? If you are wanting fascinating, intriguing and boundary pushing, then Albee’s your man. Albee adds the subtitle: Notes towards a definition of tragedy. The word tragedy is derived from the Ancient Greek word tragoedia which literally means goat song. The fundamentals of Greek tragedy are dotted throughout The Goat – violating the laws of human order, protagonists, usually powerful men or women, suffer not from moral flaw, but from error of judgement, the use of the Chorus who comment on the action of the story and give voice to the experiences before them. The Goat starts off conventionally and realistically, set in the stylish, geometric living room designed by Jeremy Allen. Heading up the family is Martin, played with astonishing ease by […]
January 22, 2023

Review: Frozen Jr at Influencers Theatre

If you are unfamiliar with the premise of Frozen, then perhaps you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years. Let me help you… Frozen is a musical with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee, based on the 2013 film of the same name, which in turn was based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1844 fairy-tale, The Snow Queen. Frozen Jr is a 60-minute adaptation of the full-length musical, centering on the relationship between two sisters who are princesses, Elsa and Anna. Elsa has magical powers to freeze objects and people, which she does not know how to control. After inheriting the throne, Elsa flees, inadvertently causing the kingdom to become frozen in an eternal winter, and nearly kills her sister. She must sacrifice and show true love to save the day. After seeing the professional show recently, a number of times, [ahem 7], I know this is a tricky show to stage, but when the opening lighting cue draws applause from the audience, you know […]
January 22, 2023

Review: West Side Story at Influencers Theatre

I tend to watch any production of West Side Story through rose-coloured glasses – it was the first musical experience I had with my dad, the 1994 Australian tour with musical theatre heavy weights Caroline O’Connor, Marina Prior and Todd McKenney. It remains my favourite musical of all time. There are moments when watching this production, that one forgets that the performers are indeed between the ages of 14 and 20, and they have not yet embarked on a professional career – that this is still them in ‘training’. And what a training ground Adelaide Youth Theatre is! To think that professionals have between 3 – 6 weeks of full day rehearsals, and these ‘kids’ brought this production to life in just two short weeks, is unfathomable. West Side Story is a musical conceived by Jerome Robbins with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Arthur Laurents. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, the story is set in the mid-1950s in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, then a multiracial, blue-collar neighbourhood. The musical explores […]
January 4, 2023

Review: Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at Her Majesty’s Theatre

What a treat for the Adelaide folk to start 2023! John Frost for Crossroads Live has brought not one but two fantastic, albeit completely different, productions to our state and the audience are lapping it up! This time, it is the mounting of a new Australian production to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the opening of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap in London. Agatha Christie remains one of the most prolific writers of all time, spanning five decades and over 80 novels and short story collections. She wrote over 19 plays, of which the most famous, The Mouse Trap, is the longest running play in the world. With more than two billion books published, Christie is outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Not bad, huh? What began as a 30-minute radio drama called Three Blind Mice, commissioned as a present for the 80th birthday of Queen Mary, consort of King George V in 1947, the story drew from the real-life case of Dennis O’Neill who died after he and his brother Terence suffered abuse while […]
January 2, 2023

Review: Hairspray at The Festival Theatre

What a way to ring in the New Year at the fabulous Adelaide Festival Theatre, watching the opening night of Hairspray! Based on the 1988 film, written and directed by John Waters, this revival is true to the original Broadway version. A dramatic departure from Waters earlier works, the film was a moderate success, however, became a cult film in the 90s. In 2002, the film was adapted into a Broadway musical of the same name, which won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2003. In 2022, Hairspray was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry as being ‘culturally, historically or aesthetically significant’ Hairspray is an American musical with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, with a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, the show follows self-proclaimed ‘pleasantly plump’ teenager Tracy Turnblad as she pursues stardom 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 […]
November 13, 2022

Review: Single Asian Female at Dunstan Playhouse

Written by highly acclaimed author Michelle Law and first commissioned by and premiered at La Boite Theatre Company in Brisbane in 2017, Single Asian Female tells the knowing story of Pearl, the quintessential matriarch, balancing family, business, and her love of karaoke. Set inside the humble family restaurant on the Sunshine Coast, The Golden Phoenix, Pearl and her daughters are at a crossroads. Zoe, the eldest, is in the throes of online dating, and having a quarter life crisis. Typical teenager Mei, is struggling with her identity in modern Australia, trying to get ready for her formal and fit in with the cool crowd. Of course, they see the world differently to their mother. Pearl is the classic (hilarious) onslaught of embarrassing observations, constantly questioning her Westernised children. But she holds a secret that threatens to tear their family apart. Brilliantly directed by Nescha Jelk (Euphoria, Jasper Jones), she ensures this work never turns into a cartoon of stereotypes, but retains the authenticity and accurate portrayal of these first and second generation Australians. As a […]
October 15, 2022

9to5 The Musical at The Festival Theatre

With much hype and enthusiasm, Dolly Parton’s 9to5 The Musical arrived in Adelaide to golden sparkles and bold colour. Based on the hit 1980 film of the same name, with music and lyrics by Parton herself, book by Patricia Resnick [the original screenwriter of the movie], this musical is [surprise, surprise!] still pertinent today – 40 years after it’s release. Originally pitched by Jane Fonda to make a political statement about women’s rights at the time, but make it comedy so it is more palatable, it follows the work lives of aspiring CEO Violet Newstead, Southern Belle Doralee Rhodes and newly divorced Judy Bernley. Increasingly anxious and annoyed with their misogynistic boss Franklin Hart Jnr they come together to take control of their office with uproarious results! Opening with the massive 9to5 sign and a big ‘wahoo’, Dolly Parton herself introduces the show via recorded video projection with some fun references to Adelaide. Leading into her hit song ‘9 to 5’ and joined by the rest of the cast, Parton makes appearances throughout the show, […]
March 13, 2023

Review: Smashed – The Brunch Party at The Spielgeltent

Smashed – The Brunch Party is the only way to start your Adelaide Cup day! As we picked up our breakfast banquet from the amazing buffet by Meez on Plus, and snaffle a Mimosa on the way in, we were treated to a pre-show disco with Lady Marmalade and other 70s hits blaring through the glorious Speigeltent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights. Our hostess with the mostest, Jazida, turned ‘Burn Baby Burn’ into ‘Brunch Baby Brunch’ with a gaggle of dancing avocados before we were introduced to each performer with their own individual act. Betty Bombshell, one of Australia’s most in demand burlesque artists, kicked off with a Shania Twain cowgirl number which not only showed off her bootylicious curvaceousness, but also her comedic timing. Malia Walsh [who can also be seen in kids Fringe show Children Are Stinky] provided hilarious acro interludes, as well as her own aerial set atop a champagne bottle – complete with fluorescent stiletto ankle boots to a mashup soundtrack of Cyndi Lauper and Britney Spears! Next up was […]
March 2, 2023

Review: Damian Callinan Double Feature at The Kingfisher

As with most shows I review, I refuse to do any research before enjoying the performance in the moment. And boy was I glad I came into this one cold. Damian Callinan, award winning actor, writer and comedian has a surprise discovery of his mother’s 1946 diary, filled with tid-bits of her every day; work life, volunteer commitments with wounded servicemen, church activities and her wild social frolics. However, through this journey of unmasking and revelation, more questions are raised than answered, so we go on a cinematic voyage with Callinan, as he turns his mother’s diary, as well as his father’s retirement journal into a double feature of love and loss, with his parents as the stars of the show. We play the part of the test audience – and his family all have special roles in the making of the ‘film’. Great nieces and nephews [who bear a striking resemblance to Damian’s mother – the genes are strong in this family] are the storyboarders, makeup artists and boom operators. A lovely inclusion that […]
March 20, 2022

Review: Hans – A Night at the Symph-Honey! at The Thebarton Theatre

I remember first meeting Hans at the Weimer Room back in 2003; a tall, thin and lanky teenager who was the interval act and compere at the weekly cabaret shows that were hosted in the dingy, Berlin-esque bar. He had a multitude of talent back then – all singing, all tapping, all accordion playing comedian, so it is hardly surprising he has reached the dizzying heights of Berlin boy wonder today. One might call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, as he has always dubbed himself ‘an international superstar’ Manifestation at its finest! Hans A Night at the Symph HONEY! marks his return to the stage since the dreaded C-word took hold of the arts world and spun it through the wringer. But being the stalwarts that we are, we dusted ourselves off and prepared for retribution. A what a night of reckoning it was! The magnificent Thebby Theatre was electric – both literally and metaphorically – as the highly regarded 18-piece Adelaide Concert Orchestra, ahem, The Ungrateful Bastards Orchestra, took to the stage to rapturous applause. […]
March 14, 2022

Review: Retail Reality at The Lark at Gluttony

A self-proclaimed glamorous bogan, Amelie Peters is a classically trained singer, international performer and accredited vocal coach who burst onto the stage with her flame hair and sequin covered curves. Just like a real-life Jessica Rabbit – but with personality and pipes! This young cabaret diva takes us through an hour of painlessly pitched parodies, cracking covers and her own original songs interspersed with stories and anecdotes from her [agonizing] years as a retail assistant. Let’s face it – we’ve either all been the retail worker who knows exactly what she is talking about or are the customer she’s lamenting about – either way, this show is for everyone! With satires of ‘9 – 5’, based on the irregular working hours of retail casuals, to the Whitney Houston/ Andrea Boccelli ‘I will always love you/Time to Say Goodbye’ medley – as an ode to her finally leaving her retail job, Peters has her full voice, and acting range on display. From a soft alto, to belting chest voice, flipping right up into the highest of […]
March 14, 2022

Review: The 60 Four at Norwood Concert Hall

Having grown up with the songs of the 60s and 70s thanks to my parents, it felt fitting to bring my mum to enjoy the musical extravaganza that is The 60 Four. A group of four young men, three of whom met in music class at school, who found and fell in love with the sound of the 60s back in 2015, thanks to cabaret performer Michael Griffiths. After performing a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons medley for an awards night, they received a standing ovation and were immediately booked for three gigs. Luckily for us, they have continued to hone and explore more music of the era, extending their repertoire into a two-hour show, jam packed with slick suits and even slicker choreography. With a venue as brilliantly suited to this style as the Norwood Concert Hall, and a stage set up to rival any celebrity playing in town, the boys roar onto the stage, decked out in matching green velvet jackets to bust out ‘Sherry’ from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, […]
March 8, 2022

Review: Classical Mystery Tour at The Moa, Gluttony

When I saw the marketing for the Classical Mystery Tour, I thought this would be perfect for my Beatles loving, drumming mad son. Not to mention, I grew up on the sounds of the rocking 60s and swinging 70s, so this world premiere of the legendary Beatles album, Magical Mystery Tour was right up my alley. Staged at The Moa, the famous outdoor venue at Adelaide Fringe’s Gluttony, this concert, at a pre-sunset time, was, quite literally, a magical ride through the soundtrack. Magical Mystery Tour album was born after The Beatles completed Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band  in April 1967. McCartney wanted to create a film that captured a theme of a psychedelic bus ride with McCartney’s memories of Liverpudlians holidaying on coach tours. The film was to be unscripted; various ‘ordinary’ people were to travel on a coach and have unspecified ‘magical’ adventures. Despite the widespread media condemnation of the film, the 1967 soundtrack release was a critical and commercial success. With Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles continued their studio experimentation that […]
March 5, 2022

Review: The Rite of Spring/common ground[s] at Her Majesty’s Theatre

There are certain opportunities in life that are unmissable, and beholding Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring is one of those momentous occasions. A German dancer and choreographer who was a significant contributor to a neo-expressionist dance tradition now known as Tanztheater, Bausch’s approach was noted for a stylized blend of dance movement, prominent sound design, and involved stage sets, as well as for engaging the dancers under her to help in the development of a piece. Her work, regarded as a continuation of the European and American expressionist movements, incorporated many expressly dramatic elements and often explored themes connected to trauma, particularly trauma arising out of relationships. From this, she created the company Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, which performs internationally to this day. Her thrilling Frühlingsopfer (The Rite of Spring), created in 1975, caused a stir in the dance world with its stark depiction, in which the Chosen One is sacrificed to gratify the misogyny of the surrounding men, all while dancing on a stage entirely covered in soil. Based on the ballet and orchestral concert work by composer Igor Stravinsky, The Rite is described by […]
March 1, 2022

Review: 360 ALLSTARS at The Flamingo at Gluttony

360 ALLSTARS, the phenomenal physical worldwide smash, that has been selling out Broadway, Edinburgh and the Sydney Opera House, is back at the Fringe! A show which features and explores all forms of rotation, 360 ALLSTARS connects the elite street to the masses to deliver a supercharged urban extravaganza. Boasting a stellar cast of young, hip and impossibly talented artists, including the 2x World Champion BMX Flatlander, two champion break-dancers, an internationally acclaimed basketball freestyler, and a World Record holding Cyr wheel artist, 360 ALLSTARS is a spectacular fusion of the extraordinary skill and originality that begins from street culture. Add to this a stunning live soundtrack delivered by US MC and live looping vocalist, Mirrah, and multi-award-winning master musician, producer and visionary Gene Peterson combined with incredible video projections, 360 ALLSTARS is as aurally exciting as it is visually astounding. As The Flamingo filled to almost capacity, we are treated to an intro of all the talent who will be entertaining us. Starting with B-Boy Sette, a champion break-dancer from Melbourne. A dancer for […]
February 28, 2022

Review: Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers at The Flamingo

‘Those who don’t believe in magic, will never find it’ Roald Dahl I, for one, am a magic believer, which is why I adore live theatre. And these words were beamed in front of us, as if to test our faith during this delightful and captivating children’s show, Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers. Presented by Get Lost & Found Ltd, Puffin and the Roald Dahl Story Company in association with Interactive Theatre International, a UK based theatre company that produces and promotes interactive comedy theatre, the show is an immersive and collective performance between two actors, and the audience. First commissioned in 2015 by Puffin Books to create a new children’s theatre show based on the works of the world’s number one storyteller Roald Dahl. This show was performed all over the UK and Ireland. In 2019, a collaboration with Roald Dahl Story Company created this new show and has been touring the world since. Especially conceived for ages six and up, the show fosters both imaginative and literacy skills through performance, games and […]
February 28, 2022

Review: 27 Club at The Moa at Gluttony

After missing out on seeing this rock show at last year’s Fringe, I finally got to witness the hype that is 27 Club. Presented by Andrew Kay, Australia’s premier rock and roll promoter, and Release Creative, the team behind last year’s hit Disco Wonderland and the Barossa Contemporary: Festival for the Curious, are bringing the house down again with this must-see gig. A simple premise – lets celebrate the greats of rock and roll with a rotating cast of Australian rock royalty. Featuring Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus, Kevin Mitchell of Jebediah fame, Carla Lippis, Dusty Lee Stephenson, Libby O’Donovan and a band that brings the house down – this is a concert for those who lived through the 70s, worshipped the 90s and celebrated the noughties. The icons of the ’27 Club’ – those that met their demise at the age of 27 by drink, drugs or jealous husbands– included blues influencer Robert Johnson, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse and Jimi Hendrix. Add the exactness of The Moa as a venue, […]
February 25, 2022

Review: Bodylex at The Bakehouse

I like to walk into shows impartial – I don’t do any research before, so I allow my natural appreciations and instincts to react. It has been a while since I’ve seen a true dance theatre work – and Bodylex did not disappoint. Produced and choreographed by creative academic, Rhys Ryan, Bodylex explores rules, regulations and laws and how our bodies respond to these forces either unintentionally or consciously. Questions are posed – do we resist? Conform? Adapt? This piece of experimental theatre is designed to provoke, engage processing of politics pursue examinations of the physical form. Upon entering the hazy black box of The Bakehouse, of which I’ll be extremely sad to see gone, the stage is set starkly with three dancers in simple, muted tone pants and singlet. Two side lights illuminate the space, and we hear the sound of a repetitive and pulsing clap or wood knocking together – this is the heartbeat of the soundscape that gets built upon as the tensions rise. The movement of the dancers – Anika de […]
February 24, 2022

Review: Arcadia Bohemian Cabaret at The Octagon

What is Arcadia? Utopia. Unspoiled. Uncorrupted. Presented by local South Australian company, Cocktail Creative, off the back of their award winning sell out season of Playback from Adelaide Fringe 2021, Arcadia is an escape to a desert paradise celebrating idealistic social values of the wild and free. A communal journey expressed through dance, aerial and music with a banging, psychedelic soundtrack. Music from the 70s spanning multiple genres of pop, rock, indie and RnB will see you plunged into a world where the soul, spirit and heart can be truly free. The Octagon at Gluttony is a great venue for this type of show, the cast of five dancers utilise the shape and space really well and have an obvious connection to each other. Starting with a steam punk, Mad Max feel then moving into bohemian, trippy vibes, finishing with massive pops of colour and texture, the costumes, set and lighting were dramatic and vivid. Vocalist Rachel Vidoni, who also happens to smash out a tune on the harmonica and a super sparkly guitar, had […]
February 26, 2021

Review: The Pulse by Gravity & Other Myths

Every now and then a work comes along to challenge our perception of human connection, strength, tenacity, and resilience. Out of the apocalypse that was 2020, Gravity and Other Myths [GOM] created their most ambitious work yet – The Pulse. Their highly structured international touring model was in tatters and they had to reinvent themselves for a new world. A world where touching each other was taboo and where people and communities were constantly readjusting and responding to the changing environment around them. I was privy to seeing some rehearsals and work in progress, but nothing prepared me for the behemoth I was about to witness. A cast of 30 strong acrobats and 30 young female vocalists brought The Pulse to life. Upon being seated, adorned with masks, the membranous soundscape, designed by Mik LaVage, strikes you in the core – reverberating through your soul with its ominous and palpating tones. With the house lights still shining bright, the curtain rises ever so slowly to reveal a bare stage, set as a rehearsal space – […]
February 25, 2021

Review: Playback – 80s Pop Show at Loverboy

What I love most about the Adelaide Fringe is the diversity of shows on offer; there’s cabaret, comedy, theatre, magic, circus, music, dance…and as a punter, to have to pick a few to see based on photos, a blurb and a ticketing link is not an easy task. That’s where I come in – I get to see a plethora of shows and tell you, the punter, what I recommend. And Playback, by emerging South Australian production company, Cocktail Creative, is one I highly recommend. Set in local west end nightclub, Loverboy, you enter via a rear laneway; all dingy, with graffiti on the walls I almost expected to see a group of guys huddled over a fire pit beat boxing similar to New York in the 80s! We are taken to an outdoor bar to enjoy a bevy or two before our pre-show host Big Sash Daddy took us through our paces with a game of ‘Name the Song, Artist, Movie and Year’. I’m not gonna lie. I LOVE these types of ice breakers, […]
February 21, 2021

Review: Parlour Games at Holden Street Theatres

I absolutely adore the Holden Street Theatres, and The Arch is the perfect backdrop for this tale of murder, mayhem, and mystery. Parlour Games, presented by The Green Guys Company, plays fact with fiction, as a voiceover announces that crime-writer Agatha Christie has gone missing. This was in actuality, a true fact. Christie went missing on December 3 1926 and was not located until 11 days later, in circumstances so strange that they raised more questions than they solved. Christie herself was unable to provide any clues as she remembered nothing. Or did she? Meanwhile, the play depicts eight of her biggest fans coming together in the hope to meet their literary hero for a book signing, at a little English tearoom, only to discover that during an innocent round of Parlour Games, one of them has killed Christie herself! What ensues is an hour of hilarity, classic ‘who dunnit’ interrogations, suspense and pandemonium. Was it The Hostess [Luca Sardelis]; the hard working, but nervous wreck owner of Munkwell Manor, convening the book signing? How […]