AU ABROAD

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THEATRE

Arts Review: Trevor Ashley in Liza’s Back (Is Broken) - Arts Centre Melbourne (Performances To January 31)

It’s truly incredible what one man can achieve with a touch of sequin, a lot of pizazz and a set of lungs that support such badass pipes for a whole two hours. Trevor Ashley is one of, if not, the best drag queen performer this divine country has ever had. And yes Dame Edna Everage that includes you.

Theatre Review: The Golden Age - Wharf 1 Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company (Performances Until February 20th)

Two young men explore the Tasmanian wilderness in their youth. Francis, a young engineer and his friend Peter, a geologist, have bright futures ahead of them. But when they stumble upon a tribe of outcasts deep in the bush, they enjoy a moment of curious joy before despair.

Arts Review: The Fantasticks - Hayes Theatre, Sydney (Performances to 31st January)

The Fantasticks has become the longest running production of any kind in the history of American theatre, no small feat, and yet I hadn’t heard of it. So noticing we were getting a production here in the wonderful Hayes Theatre I went to listen on Spotify. I wound up a good deal confused- what is going on, are they talking about fruit, who on earth is this fellow and what in bejeebus am I trying to remember in September? As it turns out The Fantasticks is the type of musical that you really need to actually see performed, for then it brings worth a whole wonderful story and, at least a little, more sense.

Theatre Review: Opera Australia's La Boheme - Sydney Opera House (Performances through 23rd March)

When a story is told and retold and adapted in so many different ways you know there’s something special about it. This is of course the case with Puccini’s La Bohème, which has been adapted into popular modern musical RENT and used as inspiration for Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge just to name a few. In these instances there is something particularly special about finally being able to see the original work in its truest form.

Theatre Review: Opera Australia's The Magic Flute - Sydney Opera House (Performances to 16th January)

I have wanted to see Mozart’s The Magic Flute for so long. The “happy” opera, full of playfulness, colour and magic, a welcome change from my more recent (brilliant) but tragic La Bohemes and Don Carlos’. And boy was everyone correct! The Magic Flute is absolutely the happy opera.

Theatre Review: Heathers: The Musical - Brisbane QPAC (Performances through 17th January)

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Whether your faith is a God, the community or a Seers shopping catalogue sometimes we don’t ask the higher powers for something but he gives it to us anyway. Was there a riot demanding the 1988 cult classic Heathers be revamped into a musical? Probably not. But Off-Broadway is one of those whimsical places that bring you not what you ask for but what you’d never think of, and now in Brisbane Heathers: The Musical is waiting for you.

Theatre Review: Fiddler on the Roof - Princess Theatre, Melbourne (Performances through 27th February 2016)

Bright flashes beckoned us towards Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on Tuesday night as a myriad of celebrities sashayed along the red carpet. It was the opening night of Fiddler on the Roof and it seemed the entire city had come out to enjoy this long awaited spectacle. Long gowns brushed the floor, and champagne glasses clinked together as air kisses were received in greeting. The bell sounded and we made our way into the dimly lit theatre.

Arts Review: Circus Oz - Big Top at Entertainment Quarter, Sydney (Performances until January 24th)

Circus Oz has become an Australian institution in its 37 years of performing around the world. One of the world’s first ‘contemporary’ circus’ - presenting shows without animals in more artistic settings – the group is partly responsible for many of the current crop of art circus troupes we’re familiar with today. But Wait.. There’s More sees the gang return to Australia after much of 2015 overseas and finally bringing their rock ‘n’ roll approach back to Sydney audiences.

Arts Interview: Writer Ben Elton talks about the 2016 Australian return of Queen Musical "We Will Rock You"

Back in August 2003, We Will Rock You first opened in Australia at Melbourne's Regent Theatre. Written by Ben Elton (The Young Ones, Blackadder) and featuring no less than 24 songs from classic rock group Queen, the show was a huge success, with over 15 million theatregoers in 17 countries having since experienced the stage production. And now - from 30th April 2016 - the show is returning to Australia for a run of shows around the country. In advance of this, I sat down with writer Ben Elton to talk about the show's legacy, the changes we can expect, his plans for a new TV show in the UK and more...

Theatre Review: Hamlet - Montague Basement at PACT, Sydney (Performances until December 5th)

Annually and without fail, Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” sees a flavoursome reworking on a Sydney stage. Big or small, there is one. 2013 saw Belvoir Resident Director Simon Stone’s stripped and minimalistic rendition of the tragedy executed with a wealth of experience – Toby Schmitz playing the titular role, Robyn Nevin as Gertrude, John Gaden as Claudius, Emily Barclay as Ophelia and a series of contemporaries filling the gaps. 2014 saw a variety of drama students presenting on stage, notably Sydney University’s analytically complex reworking. 2015 brings new challenges in Sydney, two Hamlets running rampant on the same nights, with creatives exploring different thematic concerns.