The world-renowned musical Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the rock and pop band who achieved massive international success during the 1960s and 70s. Since starting in 2005 in La Jolla, California, Jersey Boys has already toured the world in places like Broadway, West End, Japan and Singapore. It was first performed in Melbourne in 2009, and 10 years later it has returned to greet the Melbourne public once again at the Regent Theatre.20 March 2019
Contemporary classic Sweet Phoebe has been reimagined for Red Stitch Theatre under the direction of Mark Wilson, a quarter century after it premiered in Sydney starring a young Cate Blanchett. In this stark, intimate space, tightly wound couple Helen (Olivia Monticciolo) and Fraser (Marcus McKenzie) rove around their desperately upper-middle-class domain, eager to quash the insecurities plaguing them as they barrel towards mutually assured success.12 February 2019
Anyone who has ever thought about running away to join the circus probably dreamed of something like The Odditorium. Presented as part of the Midsumma Festival, it is a cabaret love letter to the magic of circus and vaudeville.11 February 2019
I am no theatre connoisseur. In my eyes, what makes a play good is its ability to make me feel. In this vein, I believe all of the arts – whether it be music, literature, theatre or visual – have a common goal: to move the audience. I don’t need a life altering experience every time I encounter art, but it has to elicit some kind of reaction in me.
Unfortunately, the only thing I really felt while watching The Trial of Dorian Gray was ambivalence.
I love the idea of space. The thought of the countless other worlds just (or not so just) beyond our own has always been a source of inspiration for me. Despite this, I have no desire to ever venture out to visit space myself – space themed talks are the closest I’m ever going to get to exploring the universe. How perfect for me then that in his show Dr Phil Dooley, science writer, physicist, entertainer, pianist and singer, promises to “take you on a trip around the cosmos and reveal the surprising things that make our world special”, all without having to leave the comfort and cool ambiance of the Butterfly Club.7 February 2019
When the lights went back up and the actors stepped forward to take a bow, it was abrupt. It felt surreal to see all of them smiling and holding hands just moments after they were trying to get as far away from each other as possible. I walked out in a daze, my mind still racing to figure out what just happened.23 October 2018
If you’re looking for a predictable play with a clear and rosy take away, The Antipodes might not be for you. However, if you’re in the mood for a fantastical, dream-like, and at times, deeply unsettling excerpt from playwright Annie Baker’s imagination, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.27 August 2018
Ultimately, audiences will come away with a better understanding of mental illnesses and what it means to live with them. Sitting in the dark, watching these shows, was an unmistakable sense of connection amongst the audience: alternating between moments of sympathy and of recognition. You either come away from these shows knowing more about mental health, or you leave thinking “Oh, so it’s not just me who feels like this”.13 August 2018