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

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

May 3, 2022

Review: Into the Woods by Adelaide Youth Theatre at Star Theatre

Another outstanding production from Adelaide Youth Theatre for 2022 is Into the Woods. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, the incredible production team of Emma Riggs and Kerreane Sarti deliver once again a high quality show that spotlights the burgeoning young talent of South Australia. Into the Woods intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. The musical is tied together by a story involving a witch whom tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from these classic fairy tale characters to reverse the curse put on their family tree. While not a typical sung through musical, the dialogue in the show is characterised by the use syncopated speech, and delivered with a fixed beat or kind of spoken song. This was not a junior version, but a solid two and a half hour full show. I’ve always […]
April 30, 2022

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire at The Bakehouse Theatre

It’s a sad day when Adelaide institution, The Bakehouse Theatre, must close to make way for a carpark, but completing its tenure with Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, is to go out with a bang! Williams’ most popular work, A Streetcar Named Desire is one of the most critically acclaimed plays of the 20th century. There is so much to digest, interpret and analyse with this classic piece; the text directions, the naturalistic language, the overarching symbolism, the expressionism concepts, and the functions of the characters, to name but a few. This is why Streetcar is a firm favourite of dramaturgs all across the world! Set in the French Quarter of New Orleans during the restless years following World War Two, A Streetcar Named Desire is the story of Blanche DuBois, a fragile and neurotic woman on a desperate prowl for someplace in the world to call her own. After being exiled from her hometown for seducing a seventeen-year-old boy at the school where she taught English, Blanche explains her unexpected appearance on Stanley […]
March 31, 2022

Review: Constellations at The Bakehouse

Every now and then, a simple but affecting play lands in my lap and it is my duty to ensure as many people as possible can experience the joy, power and preciousness of these works. Constellations, is one such play. Suppose that life exists in a multiverse – a set of parallel existences that contain infinitely different futures. The possibilities in our lives are, quite literally, endless. Every possible event that could happen, does happen, in one universe or another. And if two people meet – are drawn together in every version of existence – every possible happy ending and heartbreak that could transpire, will. Marianne, a physicist, and Roland, a beekeeper, meet at a barbeque. They hit it off and go for a drink. Or maybe they don’t. They go home together, or possibly they go their separate ways. Perhaps Marianne is engaged to someone else, perhaps Roland is. Maybe she breaks his heart, maybe he breaks hers. Possibly they come together and their love story can finally be cemented and develop, or perhaps […]
March 27, 2022

Review: The 2022 Variety Gala at The Festival Theatre

The Variety Gala, a highlight on the entertainment calendar brings together a smorgasbord of local and international talent that makes up the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. While held earlier in the year for the first time, [blame a little show called Frozen for that] this did not deter the droves of punters ready to devour the tastings on offer for 2022. Hosted by the sarcastic and sardonic Paul McDermott, who scrubbed up quite nicely after a shave and haircut since I last saw him, the night’s theme was decadence, magic and revelry. This was hurled at us in spades. Isaac Hannam, began with an enigmatic welcome to country before throwing open the stage to the incomparable and iconic Tina Arena. I must admit, I’ve never seen her sing live in the flesh, and boy oh boy, is she worth waiting for. This years Artistic Director was silky and soulful and everything you expect from the star. Singing classics ‘Church’ and ‘Burn’ she was both gloriously effortless and sophisticated while ferocious and unstoppable at the same time. […]
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 7, 2022

Review: MACRO at Village Green, Adelaide Oval

An official opening night spectacular, MACRO is the merging of talent, culture, strength, and human connection. Lucky to have witnessed both Gravity & Other Myths [GOM] The Pulse and Djuki Mala previously, I was keen to see what this collaboration event would bring. Adelaide Festival Co-Director, Neil Armfield gave a heartfelt and humorous introduction, informing the 7000 strong crowd that MACRO is a co-commission between Adelaide Festival and Edinburgh International Festival, where it will tour later in the year. The beautiful and profound live welcome to country was an incredible ceremony to witness, with the entire cast of acrobats, performers and singers entering the stage to be cleansed with the spirit before seamlessly beginning the show. While there was much the same with the original Pulse production, this version was an utterly full partnership between GOM, Djuki Mala, Adelaide’s celebrated youth  vocal ensemble Aurora and a trio of Scotland’s most esteemed contemporary folk musicians. With big screens on either side of the massive stage, lighting rigs to rival any superstar concert and voices reverberating through […]
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: Blindness at The Queens Theatre

The curation of art during the Adelaide Festival is at it’s impeccable best with the addition of Blindness. Based on the 1995 novel by Portuguese Nobel Prize winner, Jose Saramago, Blindness is a socially distanced sound installation, produced by the Donmar Warehouse, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Walter Meierjohann. This latest version not only fits perfectly within the world we currently live, but the story is not far off from the sentiment of issues either. Blindness is the chronicle of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness infecting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The story follows a handful of unnamed characters who are among the first to be wounded with blindness, including an ophthalmologist and several of his patients. The ophthalmologist’s spouse, “the doctor’s wife,” is mysteriously immune to the blindness. After a lengthy and traumatic quarantine in an asylum, the group bands together in a family-like unit to survive by their wits and by the good fortune that the doctor’s wife has escaped the blindness. […]
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 […]
January 30, 2022

Review: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Dunstan Playhouse

Edward Albee’s classic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf finally makes it’s debut to eager and excited audience members, after rescheduling from September 2021. And it’s worth the wait. First staged in 1962, the play examines the complex and dangerous marriage of a middle-aged academic couple, Martha and George. In the early hours following a university faculty party, Martha invites an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as guests to her home, and draws them into their bitter, twisted and maddening relationship. A play in three acts, with two intermissions, the title, which alludes to the English novelist Virginia Woolf, is also a pun on the song ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?’ from Disney’s Three Little Pigs. In the first moments of the play, we are told that someone sang the song earlier in the evening at the party, and Martha repeatedly pesters George over whether he found it funny. Act One, entitled ‘Fun and Games’, flows as quickly as the liquor the characters are drinking. Martha and George engage in scathing verbal abuse […]
October 10, 2021

Review: Shrek Jr – The Musical by Adelaide Youth Theatre at Arts Theatre

The beloved story of an anti-social, territorial green ogre named Shrek, whose solitary life is interrupted after the diminutive Lord Farquaad of Duloc exiles a number of fairy tale creatures to Shrek’s swamp. Not happy with this new set up, Shrek decides to travel to Duloc to see Farquaad and regain his swamp. Along the way, Shrek rescues a talkative Donkey and he joins him on his quest. Back in Duloc, in order for Farquaad to become king, he must marry a princess, so after the recommendation from his Magic Mirror and his henchmen, Farquaad settles on Princess Fiona, who is trapped in a tower surrounded by lava and guarded by a terrifying, fire-breathing dragon. Upon arriving in Duloc, Farquaad is impressed with Shrek’s size and stature, and demands that Shrek must rescue Fiona on his behalf, and in return, will give Shrek the deed to his swamp. The two unlikely friends make it to the castle and fight off the dragon to escape with Fiona. Wanting to see her ‘Prince Charming’ in the flesh, […]
September 23, 2021

Review: Blood Brothers by The Princes Players at ANZAC Hall, Prince Alfred College

With book, music and lyrics by Willy Russell [of Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine fame], Blood Brothers, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a contemporary nature versus nurture plot, revolving around fraternal twins Mickey and Eddie, who were separated at birth, one subsequently being raised in a wealthy family, the other in a poor family. The different environments take the twins to opposite ends of the social spectrum, one becoming a councillor, and the other unemployed and in prison. They both fall in love with the same girl, causing a rift in their friendship and leading to the tragic death of both brothers. Inspired by a one-act play Russell read as a child ‘about two babies switched at birth. Originally developed as a school play in the early 1980s, Blood Brothers then ran for 27 years in the West End, before being reproduced on Broadway, with cult following. Making its way back to the school scene with The Princes Players, this production packs a punch with a complete cast and crew of high school […]
July 2, 2021

Review: Alan Cumming is Not Acting his Age at The Festival Theatre

When Scottish-American Renaissance man Alan Cumming agreed to become the 2021 Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival back in 2019, little did we know a pandemic named Rona was going to turn the world upside down and throw all plans for the arts world into a spin. As our first international Artistic Director, the whole city waited with baited breath to see what Mr Cumming would bring to the table. And what a banquet he served! From unusual and unconventional to downright unforgettable, this year’s festival is truly one to remember. Cumming has performed in concert halls across the globe; including the Sydney Opera House, the London Palladium, the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. He’s played God, the Devil, Hitler, the Pope, a teleporting superhero, Hamlet, all the parts in MacBeth and of course the EmCee in Cabaret in the West End and on Broadway. To spend an intimate evening with him, on the closing night of what I believe to be one of the best Cabaret Festivals yet, was an absolute privilege and […]
January 30, 2022

Review: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Dunstan Playhouse

Edward Albee’s classic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf finally makes it’s debut to eager and excited audience members, after rescheduling from September 2021. And it’s worth the wait. First staged in 1962, the play examines the complex and dangerous marriage of a middle-aged academic couple, Martha and George. In the early hours following a university faculty party, Martha invites an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as guests to her home, and draws them into their bitter, twisted and maddening relationship. A play in three acts, with two intermissions, the title, which alludes to the English novelist Virginia Woolf, is also a pun on the song ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?’ from Disney’s Three Little Pigs. In the first moments of the play, we are told that someone sang the song earlier in the evening at the party, and Martha repeatedly pesters George over whether he found it funny. Act One, entitled ‘Fun and Games’, flows as quickly as the liquor the characters are drinking. Martha and George engage in scathing verbal abuse […]
September 23, 2021

Review: Blood Brothers by The Princes Players at ANZAC Hall, Prince Alfred College

With book, music and lyrics by Willy Russell [of Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine fame], Blood Brothers, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a contemporary nature versus nurture plot, revolving around fraternal twins Mickey and Eddie, who were separated at birth, one subsequently being raised in a wealthy family, the other in a poor family. The different environments take the twins to opposite ends of the social spectrum, one becoming a councillor, and the other unemployed and in prison. They both fall in love with the same girl, causing a rift in their friendship and leading to the tragic death of both brothers. Inspired by a one-act play Russell read as a child ‘about two babies switched at birth. Originally developed as a school play in the early 1980s, Blood Brothers then ran for 27 years in the West End, before being reproduced on Broadway, with cult following. Making its way back to the school scene with The Princes Players, this production packs a punch with a complete cast and crew of high school […]
May 30, 2021

Review: Chess the Musical at Her Majesty’s Theatre

Capitalising on the success of the Netflix hit The Queens Gambit, StoreyBoard Entertainment bring to life a semi-staged concert production of the much loved, and listened to, Chess the Musical. With music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of the pop group ABBA, lyrics by Ulvaeus and Tim Rice, and book by Rice, the story involves a politically driven, Cold War–era chess tournament between two grandmasters, one American and the other Soviet Russian, and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. Chess symbolically reflected the Cold War tensions present in the 1980s. The musical has been referred to as a metaphor for the whole Cold War, with the insinuation being made that the Cold War is itself a manipulative game. As with other productions such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, a highly successful concept album was released prior to the first theatrical production. In the case of Chess, the concept album was released in the autumn of 1984 while the show opened in London’s West End […]
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 […]
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: 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 […]
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 […]
February 19, 2020

Review: Frank Woodley – *@#!KING CLOWN at The Factory, The Garden of Unearthly Delights

When you walk into a theatre set with a banana on a ladder, a bunch of balloons in one corner, two microphones stands and an array of costumes set on either side, you know you are in for a traditional Woodley treat. Known as the goofy half of Lano & Woodley, Woodley has carved an incredible career for himself with his slapstick, slightly innocent persona. After working together for almost 20 years, Woodley and Lane decided to part ways in 2006, which led to Woodley performing a number of solo stand up shows, leading to his latest offering, *@#!KING CLOWN. Directed by Bob Franklin with sound and lights by Benny (well done sir), *@#!KING CLOWN (I love writing that), is the story of Woodley’s journey to France to present at a 3 day masterclass with European clown royalty, Balzakov (cough, cough). Here he finds he is demoted to only speak for an hour, as ‘comedian’ from Australia, Franc Woodle, not the 3 days, and then becomes a student in the workshops of mime and funny. […]
February 3, 2020

Review: Seussical JR (Adelaide Youth Theatre) at the Arts Theatre

You’d think after seeing the older cast members perform Seussical, I’d be all ‘seussed’ out, but no, I’m back for more fun and frivolity with the younger performers in Seussical JR! Again, by rehearsing both shows at the same time, in the same time frame and performing in the same theatre, I’m surprised founders and producers Emma Riggs and Kerreane Sarti are still standing! Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and all your favourite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in Seussical JR., a fantastical musical extravaganza from Tony-winners Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Well done to the talented production team of Director Ned Baulderstone, Musical Director Kate Neville and choreographer Teagan Fisher for navigating such elocutionary and rhetorical lyrics with such a young cast! Seussical Junior is a sung through musical based on the many children’s stories of Dr. Seuss, with most of its plot being based on ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ while incorporating many others such as Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!, McElligot’s Pool, The Butter Battle Book, If […]
February 3, 2020

Review: Seussical the Musical (Adelaide Youth Theatre) at the Arts Theatre

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Adelaide Youth Theatre. In it’s tenth year, founders and producers Emma Riggs and Kerreane Sarti have created an incredible platform and learning ground for Adelaide’s young musical theatre talent; fostering the craft and building the foundations for a potential professional career. This summer school holiday show, Seussical, was put together in 2 ½ weeks with a cast from the ages of 12 to 21. Just read that again… Two and a half weeks. The incredible music of Stephen Flaherty and lyrics of Lynn Ahrens, based on the works of the formidable Dr. Seuss, was brought to life by the AMAZING production team of dual Director and Musical Directors Serena Martino-Williams and Jesse Budel and fabulous choreographer Nina Richi. Seussical takes us into the world of Dr Seuss, where we visit his beloved characters including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and JoJo. The Cat in the Hat guides us into the Jungle of Nool where we meet Horton, the kind hearted […]
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 […]