Ghost Sonata review (Opera Australia scenery workshop, Sydney)

GHhost-sonata
Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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We’re not in the Opera House anymore, Toto. It’s cold. The seats are uncomfortably plastic. And the opera is unlike any you’ve probably experienced before. In fact, the drafty, dusty setting – a warehouse in post-industrial Surry Hills, Opera Australia’s scenery workshop by day – befits the creepy nature of the work at hand. But

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Caroline, or Change theatre review (Hayes Theatre, Sydney)

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Musicals, Reviews, Stage |
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As the lonely, sex-starved, pill-popping housewife Harper Pitt said to the mannequin in the Mormon Center diorama: “How do people change?” “Well,” the mannequin responds, “it has something to do with God so it’s not very nice. God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy

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Chicago review (Capitol Theatre, Sydney)

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Musicals, Reviews, Stage |
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There’s a great scene in the often great Fosse/Verdon, the recent TV bio-series, if we’re to believe it, showing a tense rehearsal of Chicago’s final number before its Broadway debut in 1975. Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb have delivered a closing song for the character of Roxy, the cheeky Nowadays. It’s the perfect

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Lord of the Flies review (Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney)

Lord of the Flies group
Reviews, Stage |
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Lord Of The Flies seems to have been with us forever, from its ancient religious context to the idiom that transcends William Golding’s Nobel Prize-winning 1954 novel. And yet its stage incarnation, as adapted by British author and playwright Nigel Williams, is not much more than two decades old. Williams’ script is faithful and free-flowing,

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The Torrents theatre review (Sydney Opera House)

torrents
Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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The Torrents is not, in fact, a play about the battle faced by content creators against illegal downloaders. Stand down, tech-heads. It is, though, a play that speaks forcibly to the current moment. Unabashedly, somewhat gracelessly, so, if through a prism of a particular slice of 19th century pioneer Australiana. Its star is obvious from

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Whiteley opera review (Sydney Opera House)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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A particularly Antipodean colloquialism for masturbation is sung in full operatic voice in the Joan Sutherland Theatre mere moments into the world premiere of Whiteley. Behind the performers, the Hills Hoist is familiarly rendered (digitally) into the appropriately painterly backdrop. An Esky makes a welcome appearance in scene two. Yes, this is gloriously, garishly all-Aussie

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Once theatre review (Eternity Playhouse, Sydney)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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What’s left to say about a sold-out run of a cherished musical in a production already heaped with praise? Well, you’ll get no argument from me. Once is, unlike its characters to each other, easy to love. And this all-new production from Darlinghurst Theatre, a Sydney premiere, is a faithful and heartfelt adaptation. After seeing

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Anna Bolena opera review (Sydney Opera House)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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The jumbotrons are back. After Opera Australia gave Aida a digital makeover last year, with dazzling impact, the dance of the giant tellys returns to the Joan Sutherland Theatre to illuminate another bel canto work. The result is not as easy a fit. But thoughtful directorial moments and thrilling singing elevate a dusty piece of

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A Little Night Music review (Playhouse, Melbourne)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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A Little Night Music, Stephen Sondheim’s 1973 bodice-ripping musical, has become a favourite of opera companies over the years. And with good reason. It’s not that classically trained voices are necessarily required. Though when they are employed, as here in Victorian Opera’s elegant treatment at the Arts Centre, it makes for a luxuriously lush soundscape.

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Razorhurst theatre review (Hayes Theatre, Sydney)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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As music theatre opening numbers go, Razorhurst’s is hardly a showstopper. Crime maven Tilly Devine (Amelia Cormack) lumbers around the stage in a pathetic vaudeville display, slow of jazz hand and short of breath, at one point declaring “I’m not doing that” of a more athletic act of choreography. To be fair to Tilly, she

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