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Strictly Ballroom The Musical

Strictly Ballroom The Musical

 

STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL, Global Creatues at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, April 12 2104. Photography by James Morgan: above – James Lacey and Phoebe Panaretas; right – the company.

BY BRYCE HALLETT

The story of Strictly Ballroom’s journey from stage to screen – and back to the stage, this time as a fully-fledged musical - echoes the film’s David and Goliath and Cinderella themes, and its spirit of creative freedom and indomitable passion. From humble beginnings, Strictly Ballroom, with its glitzy theatricality, bold characters, layers of fantasy and heart-warming tone, justly became the stuff of legend.

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PERPLEX

PERPLEX

PERPLEX, Sydney Theatre Company Wharf 1, 31 March - 3 May 2014. Photography by Lisa Tomasetti. Above: Tim Walter, Andrea Demetriades, Glenn Hazeldine and Rebecca Massey. Right: Tim Walter and Andrea Demetriades.

BY POLLY SIMONS

Elk costumes. Vikings. Volcanoes. Severed heads. Expect the unexpected is a phrase that springs to mind when describing Marius von Mayenburg’s play Perplex.

 

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MUSIC

MUSIC

Music - Griffin Independent and Stories Like These at SBW Stables Theatre, April 4 - 26 Photography by Kurt Sneddon main Anthony Gee; right: Anthony Gee and Kate Skinner

BY WHITNEY FITZSIMMONS

 

Music is writer Jane Bodie's second Griffin offering and by all accounts it's a worthy effort. However, it pales in comparison to her 2011 Griffin production This Year's Ashes, which was a wonderful, slick and contemporary new Australian work.

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THE GIGLI CONCERT

THE GIGLI CONCERT

THE GIGLI CONCERT, Darlinghurst Theatre and O'Punsky's Theatre at The Eternity Playhouse, 4 April - 4 May Photography by Wendy McDougall. Above: Maeliosa Stafford and Patrick Dickson; right: Patrick Dickson and Kim Lewis

BY WHITNEY FITZSIMMONS

Of all the existential questions posed by this production the one that resonated the most was, "Can O'Punksy's The Gigli Concert survive without actor Patrick Dickson?" Dickson's performance as the worn, shell of a man JPW King who still has enough zest for life left in him to eke out an existence is such a touching tour de force...

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THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR

THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR

 

THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, Belvoir and Malthouse Theatre at Belvoir, 30 March-18 May 2014. Photography by Lisa Tomasetti. Above: Zahra Newman and Gareth Davies; right: Mitchell Butel.

 

It would be difficult to know nothing about this production before its opening in Sydney because it's already mildly notorious. First of all it was supposed to be The Philadelphia Story - but then that was kyboshed by the sudden appearance of a hitherto unknown co-author of the play: the credited playwright's wife. At the last minute (how come?) her estate refused permission to Belvoir and Malthouse to allow magpie-director Simon Stone to wreak his usual havoc on the original and suddenly there was a gaping hole in each company's schedule. It's a play in itself, really. Well, a drama anyway or perhaps a crackpot comedy.

 

So what would you do? Well, you enlist a co-writer in Emily Barclay, then you get an apparently reluctant Robert Menzies in full priest garb to front the audience and tell them they're not getting what they're here for and paid for; nor will they be getting what they thought the alternative might be. He invites the disgruntled to leave but of course no one does and he gets reassuring laughter instead. It's a simple smart charm offensive and the audience is immediately onside and ready for anything. And anything is Ralph Myers' balletic revolve beginning one of its many pirouettes and suddenly we're backstage on the now redundant Philadelphia Story set. The actors are gathered ready to begin rehearsals and in various states of hysteria because there is No. Show. At a table, looking suicidal, is Zahra Newman (engaged to play Philadelphia's role of a lifetime Tracy Lord) she's clad in a glamorous evening gown befitting an American socialite of the 1940s and that's not the worst of it. 

 

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