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SEX WITH STRANGERS

SEX WITH STRANGERS

By Michael Freundt Review Posted on August 19 2016

Sex with Strangers, Q44 Theatre, Swan Street, Richmond, Melbourne. August 18, 2016. Photography by Phil Speers, above and right: Carissa McAllen and Will Atkinson

Reviewed by MICHAEL FREUNDT

In the tradition of theatre in small, out-of-the-way places La Mama, The Stables, Upstairs at the Old Playbox, and The Butterfly Club – Q44 has established itself upstairs in an eclectic, intriguing, artistic building in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Richmond. Established by Gabriella Rose-Carter, an alumna of the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York, in 2013 as an actor’s training ground, it began producing, mainly North American contemporary drama, in 2014. 

 
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ALADDIN

ALADDIN

By Felicity Dayhew Review Posted on August 15 2016

ALADDIN, Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher at the Capitol Theatre from August 11, 2016. Photography by Deen van Meer, above: Ainsley Pelham, right: Michael James Scott 

BY FELICITY DAYHEW

Be prepared for sparkles, dancing and lots of singing in Disney’s Aladdin. Director/Choreograher Casey Nicholaw who is one of Broadway’s great talents and musical maestro Alan Menken show you the world of flying carpets, mystical caves, and magical genies in their lamps. Join Aladdin (Ainsley Melham), Jasmine (Arielle Jacobs) and Genie (Michael James Scott) in a crazy adventure through the colourful land of Agrabah.

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THE HANGING

THE HANGING

By Diana Simmonds Review Posted on August 4 2016

THE HANGING, Sydney Theatre Company at Wharf 1, 2August-10 September 2016. Photography by Lisa Tomasetti: above - Luke Carroll, Ashleigh Cummings and Genevieve Lemon; right: Luke Carroll

Joan Lindsay’s popular novel – and the even more popular movie adaptation – Picnic at Hanging Rock was set in 1900 in the intense atmosphere of an exclusive school for young ladies in rural VictoriaIt was a time when women, unhappy and frustrated by their constricted and subservient place in society, were rebelling – consciously or otherwise and severely discomfiting their men. As a consequence, while some women called it being a suffragette, many more were diagnosed with  “hysteria” and subjected to all kinds of treatments – including incarceration in “insane asylums” and hysterectomy if they didn’t respond properly.

 
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THREE SISTERS

THREE SISTERS

By Diana Simmonds Review Posted on August 1 2016

THREE SISTERS, Sport for Jove and Seymour Centre at the Reginald Theatre, 28 July-13 August 2016. Photography by Marnya Rothe: above: Lauren Richardson, Zoe Jensen, Janine Watson and Paige Gardiner; right: Paige Gardiner and Lyn Pierse

Three Sisters is, in this new translation for Sport for Jove by Karen Vickery, more than three hours of tragi-comic provincial life in czarist Russia at the turn of the 20th century. It compromises not at all in bringing the minutiae of Chekhov’s original to life and the result is deep immersion for the audience in a time and lives long gone.

 
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THE BEAST

THE BEAST

By Diana Simmonds Review Posted on July 31 2016

THE BEAST, Ambassador Theatre Group Asia Pacific and Red Live at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, 29 July-21 August 2016. Photography by Ken Nakanishi: above, l-r Heidi Arena, Alison Bell, Rohan Nichol, Christy Whelan Browne, Toby Truslove and Eddie Perfect; right: Alison Bell and Eddie Perfect

Eddie Perfect’s first full-length play is a curiosity. It was commissioned by Melbourne Theatre Company and staged there in 2013 to multi-starred approval and deliriously chortling audiences. It arrives in Sydney under the aegis of a commercial producer, subliminally trailing all that praise behind it, and yet it’s hard to reconcile the plaudits with what was offered on opening night.

The first thing to note, if you’re the sort who takes reviewers’ stars and producer’s carefully edited snippets of past reviews without a pinch of salt, is that it’s an entirely different production. The work of the earlier Melbourne cast, director and creatives is not what you’ll get in Sydney.

 
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TWELFTH NIGHT

TWELFTH NIGHT

By Diana Simmonds Review Posted on July 28 2016

WELFTH NIGHT – or What You Will, Upstairs Theatre, Belvoir St. 23 July-4 September 2016. Photography by Brett Boardman: above - Nikki Shiels and Damien Ryan; right: Keith Robinson

Twelfth Night is Shakespeare’s most divine comedy and one whose essential elements often go missing in productions that concentrate merely on laughs and silliness. Director Eamon Flack knows that, so, on the contrary, the tender threads of melancholy, love and longing that should underpin and make sense of the comedy are here as strong as you’re ever likely to encounter. The result is a sublimely human and joyous experience.

 
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