As a satire of job-hunting hell, The Hitmen struggles to strike its target. Nonetheless, Mish Wittrup’s new play offers some gory chuckles and a suite of energetic performances.17 March 2020
Never did I think the question, “Ever had a dream?” and all the self-doubt and fear of rejection which comes with that question, would be so aptly summed up for me by a one-woman operatic show. Mari-Poša, mezzo-soprano, known simply on stage as Maria, delivers a soulful and vocally powerful performance in El Vito!, performed in Melbourne CBD’s quirky and cool Butterfly Club, accompanied by the heartfelt talents of pianist Julian Wade.7 June 2019
If you’ve ever sat through a really long rant from a mate because their date flaked out on them or someone stole their lunch at the office, you would already have a sense of what People Suck: A Musical Airing of Grievances is about. It is an hour-long song cycle with an indisputable premise: all the ways people suck. With its catchy melodies and strong vocal performance, the cast takes you through jealous bridesmaids, anti-vaxxers, the different types of annoying people at your office and many more.6 June 2019
Every year Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) produces an education show, which is presented in the intimate Lawler Theatre before going on a regional tour. These productions have often been some of my favourite produced by the company, as they can afford to take more risks in script, actor and staging choices than in main stage productions. The 2019 education performance is The Violent Outburst that Drew Me to You, a 70 minute play by the Australian playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer. Directed by Prue Clark, the story follows 16 year old Connor, who is angry with everyone and everything. After relentless outbursts from their son, Connor’s parents decide to drop him into the forest for a week, where they hope he will calm down. Instead he meets Lotte.
In his one-man show, James Macaronas plunges his audience straight into a world that is both the familiar one we know, but also one of intrigue and exciting science fiction. Macaronas’ love and knowledge of science fiction is clear, with the show including elements reminiscent of Dr Who and other classic science fiction tropes.26 April 2019
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
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