SIX

Theatre Royal, Sydney, August 30, 2022 She was sitting in the front row of the Theatre Royal stalls, which means she was practically onstage. The young woman was on her own, applauding like mad when she wasn’t paying rapt attention. Her hairstyle featured two little bunches on the top of her head just like those…

The Phantom of the Opera

Sydney Opera House, August 26, 2022 One of the stranger side effects of Covid has been Opera Australia’s double dip into The Phantom of the Opera. First up was the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour extravaganza directed by Simon Phillips earlier this year. Now a new production – new to Australia, at least – has taken…

Muriel’s Wedding returns to Sydney

Based on the film by P.J. Hogan. Book by P.J. Hogan, music and lyrics by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall. Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures. Lyric Theatre, Sydney, July 4 Muriel Heslop is a bogan, a ratbag, a complete dag. She’s cunning but not terribly bright. The hideous frock she lifts from Target to…

Assassins, Hayes Theatre Co

Hayes Theatre Co, Sydney, September 19. “I shall be remembered,” cries Charlie Guiteau as he dances his way to the scaffold, singing a plaintive hymn of his own devising. Charlie who? History can be cruel to those who seek to make their mark by whatever means possible. We may remember the effect of their actions…

Calamity Jane reclaimed

One Eyed Man Productions in association with Neglected Musicals and Hayes Theatre Co, Sydney, March 10. The high-falutin’ way to describe director Richard Carroll’s Calamity Jane is to say its abundant meta-theatrics put a contemporary, ironic frame around an old-fashioned musical, revealing fresh insights. If that sounds deadly, fear not. The low-falutin’ truth is that…

My 2016 Artists of the Year …

Last year I decided to institute my personal Artist of the Year award. There’s no money attached, of course, and I think we’d have to say it confers only a modest amount of fame. I was rather thrilled , however, to see that my inaugural winner, the multi-faceted mezzo Jacqui Dark, was subsequently featured in…

Aladdin, Capitol Theatre, Sydney

Disney Theatrical Productions, August 11. “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess,” said Oscar Wilde, who obviously wasn’t in a position to advise Disney on Aladdin but would not have been able to fault its abundance. It confidently contrives a standing ovation before interval, secure in the knowledge there’ll be another one at…

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Hayes Theatre Co, Sydney, July 6 I’m sure the good folk at Charlie Hebdo magazine won’t mind when I say, after seeing You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the Hayes last night, that je suis Charlie. I must also say that je suis Lucy, or at least the better bits of her (I hope)….

About last week … June 20-26

Sydney’s Hayes Theatre Co was the venue for another in the invaluable Neglected Musicals series (June 21). Rehearsal is minimal (a day only), there may be a sketchy set and a few props, and the actors – always very, very good – have books in hand. By some strange alchemy it always feels like a…

About last week … April 30-May 6

A week of contrasts started on Tuesday at the Sydney Opera House with the marvellous Bernadette Robinson in Pennsylvania Avenue, her follow-up to Songs for Nobodies. Both were written by Joanna Murray-Smith to give a narrative framework for Robinson’s rare talent and if Songs for Nobodies strikes one as the much better work, Pennsylvania Avenue…