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Review - Next to Normal: brilliantly bringing raw emotions to life

Next to Normal Music by Tom Kitt Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey Directed by David Harrison Music Direction by Julie Whiting Brisbane Arts Theatre Petrie Terrace Brisbane Season 23 February to 23 March. Bookings: or (07) 3369 2344 Next to Normal is the story of Diana, a mother, who struggles with a worsening bipolar disorder and the effects that this illness and its management are having on her family. This rock musical also addressed the issues of grief, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry all while trying to live a ‘normal’ suburban life. This was the most confronting show I have ever seen, as Diana plummets to rock bottom after years of medical concocti

Sydney review: The Caretaker: beauty is in the dialogue

Yalin Ozucelik as Aston (left) and Nicholas Papademetriou as Mac Davies. Photo by Sanja Vukelja. The Caretaker By Harold Pinter A Throwing Shade Theatre Company in Association with Theatretrongroup Production Directed by Alex Bryant-Smith and Nicholas Papademetriou Riverside National Theatre of Parramatta Cnr Market and Church Streets Parramatta Season: 21 – 23 February Bookings: The Caretaker, is a simple story. The narrative is uncomplicated, the characters are not complex, and we don’t have to decipher any secret meanings. The beauty of this play is in the dialogue and its ability to evoke emotional connections with the audience. The setting is a drab Lo

Review - Single, Asian, Female: a good script and some fine acting

Hsiao-Ling Tang (front), Courtney Stewart and Michelle Law (centre) Photo by: Stephan Henry. Deanne Scott's after-show shots follow the review. Single, Asian, Female By Michelle Law Directed by Claire Christian La Boite Theatre Company The Roundhouse Kelvin Grove Brisbane Season: 16 February - 9 March. Duration: two hours plus interval. Bookings: 07 3007 8600 or The second time around this is a tighter, funnier and a more entertaining than the original production. I did not check my watch once during the performance. I also laughed a lot and was well-drawn into the tensions and drama as they emerged. In fact I had a great night out at the theatre thanks to good script and so

Party time at the 2018 Matilda Awards- all the photos

It was all systems go before, during and after the 2018 Matilda Awards at the Brisbane Powerhouse, where artistic director Kris Stewart punctuated the award presentations with performances by Queensland entertainers including Michael Tuahine , from Song Lines who opened the show, Casus Circus, soprano Irena Lysiuk and the Dan Venz dancers backed by a great six-piece band. Luke Kennedy sang You're the Voice from his one man tribute the John Farnham, From Johnny to Jack with an uncanny resemblance of the young John. Judy Hainsworth and Lewis Jones compered the show and ended with a riotous satirical version of What About Me? The Matilda Awards also presented its inaugural Emerging Female Leade

2018 Matilda Awards: All the winners

Above: Paul Bishop with co-star Elise Greig in Poison, Below: Noni Hazlehurst in Mother. It was winners’ night at the Brisbane Powerhouse for the sell-out 2018 Matilda Awards on Wednesday night. One of them, Judy Hainsworth, was compering the show along with Lewis Jones. She was up there to collect the trophy for herself and her cohorts from Babushka who were nominated in two categories, Best design/composition and Best Independent Production. They won the gong for sound design. shake&stir’s A Christmas Carol had eight nominations and picked up a couple of awards. The award for Best Mainstage Production was a tie between The Prize Fighter and The Longest Minute and Debase Theatre Company was

Review – Death of a Salesman: a play with power and glory

Above: Jackson Mc Govern, Peter Kowitz and Thomas Larkin: Right: Angie Millikin and Peter Kowitz Death of a Salesman By Arthur Miller Directed by Jason Klarwein Queensland Theatre Playhouse Theatre Queensland Cultural Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: February 9 - March 2: Duration: two hours 40 mins including interval. Bookings 136 246 or This was a mighty production of a mighty play with a virtuoso performance from Peter Kowitz as Willy Loman, the salesman in question. He was on stage for almost the more than two hours of the production and held the audience enthralled by his performance as he slid from time-zone to time-zone without even a change of costume. His mastery

Sydney review - The Moors: enthralling theatrical experience

Brielle Flynn as Emilie and Romy Bartz as Agatha. Photo by Clare Hawley The Moors By Jen Silverman Directed by Kate Gaul A Siren Theatre Company and Seymour Centre production The Seymour Centre Cnr of City Road and Cleveland Street Chippendale Season: 6 February – 1 March. Bookings or 02 9351 7940 Somewhere in a stately manor in the English Moors are the remains of its one-time owner, Master Branwell, buried alive behind a brick wall by his conniving sister Agatha. She kept him alive by removing a brick and placing watery gruel in the hole so that one day he could father a child with the newly arrived governess Emilie. Sounds like a plan? Well, The Moors (by Jen Silverm

Review - Swing That Music: quality sounds from quality performers

Right: Emma Pask and Tom Burlinson. Photo by Gail Phillips Swing That Music Concert Hall Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Concert reviewed on February 11 “It don't mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing” wrote Irving Mills to a Duke Ellington tune back in 1931 and vocalists Tom Burlinson and Emma Pask took the advice to heart and swung like crazy to the Ed Wilson All-star Big band before a capacity house at the QPAC Concert Hall. The two of them and the big, brassy band put on a terrific show that took me back a few years to the days of dance halls and live, unamplified music. I suspect there would be more than a few who reminisced about Cloudland! The two sets ran for

Review – Love Letters: endearing, touching and extraordinarily special

Ray and Gloria swenson Love Letters By A.R Gurney Brisbane Arts Theatre Petrie terrace Brisbane Season runs until February 14. Bookings: Warming tender hearts across Brisbane’s city centre, Love Letters is a feel-good story you’ll fall head over heels for. Presented by Brisbane Arts Theatre, for a limited season, this tragi-comedy is sweet, funny and a guaranteed easy night out. Following the story of two lovers, who share a lifetime of experiences, audiences bounced between 50-years of friendship via handwritten love letters. The touching romance dived through highs and lows of any relationship and audiences were reminded how easy love can bloom through o

Not so happy journey on the Indian Pacific

The team that kept us sane - Bali, Francis and Allie. Right: James Ross our entertainer. Bottom right: working on he huge jigsaw puzzle with Trudy and Allie. After my wife and I had such a great time on the Ghan train from Adelaide to Alice Springs a couple of years ago we thought we would go the whole hog and take the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney – in Platinum class – which meant a full sized room with double bed and Bollinger galore. The four-day three night journey wasn’t cheap, more than $7,000 for the pair of us, but the trip, offered adventure, comfort and lots of sightseeing at places like Kalgoorlie, Broken Hill’s Pricilla Queen of the desert Pub and show, The Adelaide Oval p

Review- Secret Bridesmaids’ Business: oodles of comic charm

Left to right: Colleen (Virginia Leaver), James (David Law), Meg (Michelle Macwhirter), Angela (Kate McNair), Naomi (Susannah Kwan), Lucy (Kate Learmonth) Secret Bridesmaids’ Business By Elizabeth Colema Directed by Amy-Louise Anderson Gold Coast Little Theatre 21A Scarborough St Southport Runs until February 23. Bookings 5532 2096 Elizabeth Coleman’s Secret Bridesmaids’ Business has been a popular slice of theatrical chick-lit since it first premiered on the Australia stage back in 1999. This simple scenario, beautifully executed with a bitter-sweet twist and oodles of comic charm, never feels out of time or place. The characters are familiar and enduring

Review – Javeenbah Platform Festival: community arts feast

Age is Just a number 3R: Andy (Adam Hellier), Kathy (Naomi Thompson) and Hayley (Francesca Spear) Strictly Amateur: Colin (Damien Moran) dances with Cynthia (Cassia Rosenstraus-Krojs) with Jack (Jake Goodall) at the back with crutches. Javeenbah Platform Festival Featuring one act plays Age is just a Number 3R by Kellie Silver (directed by Rianna Hartney-Smith) and Strictly Amateur by Sherree Halliwell (directed by Kaela Gray). Plus various musical and dance acts. Javeenbah Theatre Company Cnr Stevens & Ferry Streets, Nerang Queensland Runs until February 16. Bookings: Tel 55960 300 The Javeenbah Theatre Company’s first outing for the 2019 season takes the form of a wide ranging community ar

Sydney review - Dorian Gray Naked: a clever piece of theatre

Right: Blake Appelqvist in the role of Dorian Gray Dorian Gray Naked- A new musical Libretto by Melvyn Morrow Music by Dion Condack A Popinjay Production Directed By Melvyn Morrow Limelight on Oxford 231 Oxford Street Darlinghurst Season: 30 January – 16 February . Bookings: If I’m asked what Dorian Gray Naked is about, the answer is simple: its about Dorian Gray, naked! Not only physically, but naked to the soul, where the factors that govern choices about morality, ethics and virtues are examined and explored. At the world premiere of Dorian Gray Naked we saw the character famously manufactured in the late nineteenth century completely stripped down and a self

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