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Category Archives: Australian Stage

The Bugalugs Bum Thief

Playing at The Street Theatre this week is Monkey Baa’s latest incarnation of one of Australia’s best-named plays, The Bugalugs Bum Thief. No, it’s not quite Shakespeare, but it’s closer than one might assume.

Its central character, Skeeter Anderson, just one young member of Bugalugs’ coastal community, wakes up one morning to find his bum is missing, which proves inconvenient for him. He soon finds that just about everyone in town has had their bum stolen, including his friend Mick Misery, for whom it is not so inconvenient, as it means his mum can’t smack him. The advantages of life without a bum, however, do not prove to outweigh the disadvantages, and Skeeter sets out to identify the bum thief and locate everyone’s bums.

The entire town is brought to life through the generous energy of just three performers who present mums, dads, teachers, police and sailors as well as their main role as a child. It may not be universally accepted as a compliment, but Gideon Cordover, Carl Batchelor and Mark Dessaix make excellent children, which is particularly helpful when…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 

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Iolanthe

The trouble with satire is that it can so easily come across as melodrama. Satire is incredibly dependent on nuances in timing and expression, and unfortunately, Queanbeyan Players’ production of Iolanthe falls all too often on the melodramatic side of the divide.

Iolanthe, oddly enough, is not really about Iolanthe, but about her son, Strephon, and his love, Phyllis. A fairy, banished 24 years ago for marrying a mortal, Iolanthe is restored to the fairy community, and introduces to them her son, who it turns out is half fairy and half mortal (the lower half being the mortal bit). He is planning to marry Phyllis, a ward under the guardianship of the Lord Chancellor, who expects her to marry a member of the House of Lords…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 

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Brecht: Bilbao and Beyond

In a very short season at The Street Theatre is Brecht: Bilbao and Beyond. Not a play, but a series of songs, fables, poems and excerpts of plays, all written by the impeccable German wordsmith, Bertholt Brecht, and performed by two veterans of the stage whose presence is gentle, inviting and absolutely engaging.

Tracing elements of Brecht’s life and work from birth to death (and then back a little), we are treated to just a few gems of his amazingly generous humour and capriciousness…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 

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Crushed

Life is made up of a few critical moments separated by a lot of thinking about how we should have responded in them. Melita Rowston‘s play, Crushed, now playing at New Theatre, explores the struggle of dealing with regrettable decisions when they coincide with a disaster.

Crushed is the story of three school friends reunited 22 years after the disappearance of their mutual friend, Susie. Susie’s body was never found, but her shirt—that characteristic late 80s ‘Poison’ shirt—has just been discovered and the case is reopened. Kelly returns from Prague and finds a bed at Jason’s house first, then ends up moving to a room in Dazza’s pub. Sexual tensions between the three are never resolved, but that pales into insignificance against the doubt…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 
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Posted by on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 in Australian Stage, New Theatre, Pure Theatre, Theatre

 

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The Dark Side of Midnight

Political turmoil is an incubator of dramatic writing, and historical plays about moments of political change are relatively common. Less common are plays set in moments of political turmoil that are about the lives of people who lived through these moments, rather than about the political agitators who created them. This is a shame, as Tessa Bremner’s play The Dark Side of Midnight demonstrates with its very heartfelt story about British colonists living through the Partition of India…

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 
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Posted by on Friday, 28 October 2011 in Australian Stage, Free Rain Theatre, Pure Theatre

 

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Four Flat Whites in Italy

I suspect this may be the first time I’ve seen a New Zealand play on an Australian stage. It’s a novel irony to hear actors we know to be Australian making disparaging remarks about Australia in a New Zealand accent!

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Love Song

The warmth of John Kolvenbach’s play Love Song is brought to the fore in Centrepiece‘s production, which opened at The Q in Queanbeyan tonight. This play brings a vibrancy to themes that can be cold and stark, drawing humour and humanity into some otherwise dark places.

The rest of this post is published on Australian Stage.

 

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