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Review- La Boite’s Romeo and Juliet: a gamble that paid off

Above: Jack Bannister as Romeo and Darcy Goodna as Juliet. Below right Eugene Gilfedder as Friar Laurence. Photos by Stephen Henry. Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare Directed by Todd MacDonald Created by La Boite and QUT Creative Industries Roundhouse Theatre Kelvin Grove Brisbane Season: May 25-June 15. Duration 105 minutes with no interval. Bookings: 07 3007 8600 or www.laboite.com Putting a quartet of seasoned professionals alongside a bunch of third year QUT drama students in a highly edited version of Romeo and Juliet might be a gamble, especially when the students wear modern teen costumes to bring the action right up to date. But it was a gamble that paid off to produce a highly

Sydney review- Necrophilia: perky black comedy

Pictured: Adam Sollis, Ariadne Sgouros, Jack Scott and Emma O’Sullivan. Photos by Clare Hawley Necrophilia By Lincoln Vickery Directed by Lincoln Vickery A Jack Rabbit Theatre Production Limelight on Oxford 231 Oxford Street Darlinghurst Season: 22 May – 1 June 2019. Bookings: www.limelightonoxford.com.au Hands up all those who know what necrophilia is? It’s really off, right? And yes, it is. However, you’ve never seen it explained in such an amusing and confronting manner as told in Lincoln Vickery’s Necrophilia, now playing upstairs at Limelight on Oxford. The subject matter in Necrophilia is certainly chilling, macabre and weird. How anyone can derive sexual pleasure from a dead body is b

Review - X-Stacy: entertaining and challenging

Above; From left: Alison Telfer McDonald as Anne, Ruby Sanders as Stacy, Connor Hawkins as Ben and Ebony Hamacek as Jenna. X-Stacy By Margery Forde Directed by Elodie Boal Moreton Bay Theatre Company Neverland Theatre 5A 4-6 Burke Crescent, North Lakes Qld Season: May 24 – June 2. Bookings: www.trybooking.com Wow! An interesting and intriguing concept of life is explored in this play, which was first performed in 1998, as it explores how we find ecstasy in life. Here the choices covered the range from the Church through music and the Rave scene to taking ecstasy pills. Ben is drawn by the power of the beat which is pushed to the limit by his friend rave DJ Fergus who is a rising star. For Z

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to open in Brisbane next March

Above: Paul Slade Smith (Willy Wonka) and cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Photo by Brian Geach. The spectacular new musical Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is coming to Brisbane in March next year, playing at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC, following a hugely successful season in Sydney and Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne from August. Tickets for the Brisbane season will go on sale in July but waitlist now to be the first in line to purchase tickets at CharlieTheMusical.com.au Producers John Frost, Craig Donnell, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions are bringing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Brisbane. “Sydney audiences

Memorable trip on a super ship and fun at the Captain’s table

Above: Dee and the Captain share a joke. Below: The Captain's Club lounge.Below right: Welcome to the suite life As a prelude to our adventure of the Indian Pacific train my wife Dee and I took a five night cruise on the good ship Astor, and what a wise decision that turned out to be. The Astor is CMV vessel and a small ship in these days of super liners (she carries less than 600 passengers) and is the cleanest ship, I have ever seen. She was spotless and beautifully maintained throughout. And being small there were no long walks to get to dining rooms or entertainment. Like all cruise ships the cost of alcoholic drinks is high, so it was well worth spending an extra $100 each for the drin

Sydney review - The Poor Kitchen: rich entertainment

Above: Myles Waddell and Amy Victoria Brooks. Photo by Clare Hawley The Poor Kitchen By Daniela Giorgi Directed by Julie Baz A Patina Production Limelight on Oxford 231 Oxford Street Darlinghurst Season: 8 – 26 May 2019. Bookings: www.limelightonoxford.com.au How much tension can a kitchen hold? Not a lot, especially when there are highly charged Italians, home-made wine and olive oil, a contentious Will and a self-assured beneficiary from Down Under. This interesting mix of ingredients makes The Poor Kitchen lively and topical contemporary Australian theatre. The play is set in the kitchen of a small regional farm somewhere in Italy. Elle (Amy Victoria Brooks) has arrived from Australia, ha

Review – Qld Ballet’s The Masters Series: elegance, quirky fun and poignant drama

Above: Soldiers Mass. Below right soloist Georgia Swan in Serenade The Masters Series Queensland Ballet Playhouse Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: May 17-25. Duration: two hours 15 minutes including two intervals. Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or phone 136346. Production reviewed on May19. Rarely do I get to a matinee performance of anything but I saw this show on a Sunday afternoon in packed theatre with an audience that enjoyed every second of entertainment from a company that danced with the enthusiasm and verve of an opening night. The dedicated Artistic Director Li Cunxin was also in the audience cheering them on The Masters Series is a program of three

Sydney review - Folk: a lively and moving story

Libby Asciak, Gerald Carroll and Genevieve Lemon. Photo by Phil Erbacher Folk By Tom Wells Directed by Terence O’Connell An Ensemble Theatre Production Ensemble Theatre 78 McDougall Street Kirribilli Season: 3 May – 1 June 2019. Bookings: www.ensemble.com.au You have to love the Irish! They seem to have an optimism and cheeriness that’s so infectious, you can’t help but smile. Now, combine that with a Catholic nun named Sister Winnie, who likes a sneaky smoke and a Guinness, and the foundations for a heart-warming tale are set. Folk is easy theatre to watch. With only three characters and a simple plot, the audience can relax to the various catchy folk tunes which intersperse the play. Also,

Review - The Dinner Party: magical night of outstanding dance theatre

Photos by David Kelly. After party photos by Deanne Scott. Above: Josephine Weise and Bernhard Knauer Above: Jake McLarnon and Lizzie Vilmanis. BNelow: Jag Popham The Dinner Party Choreographer Natalie Weir Musical Director Tania Frazer Music by The Southern Cross Soloists Expressions Dance Company Cremorne Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: May 10-18. Duration: One hour without interval. Bookings: qpac.com.au or phone 136 246 Natalie Weir may have left Expressions, but her legacy lingers on. This was a magical night of outstanding dance theatre that left me wanting more. It was a powerful and intriguing night in the theatre. It was beautifully danced and

Revival of rock musical Hair head for Gold Coast

Above: Paulini who will play Dionne and Hugh Sheridan who will play Berger A new Australian production of the rock musical, Hair will be performed on the outdoor stage at HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast in October as part of a national tour which also takes Perth, Geelong, Wyong, Wollongong and Sydney. Leading the cast is award winning TV and theatre star, Hugh Sheridan, in the role of Berger as well as Paulini in the role of Dionne. Hair will be produced by David M. Hawkins (Liza Minnelli, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Cabaret) who has a assembled a talented local creative team with Set Design by Michael-Scott Mitchell, Choreography by Amy Campbell, and Musical Direction by Glenn Moor

Dame Edna's back from retirement!

The grand dame of world theatre, Dame Edna Everage, has been forced out of retirement by the demands of her adoring “Precious Possums”, announcing a surprise tour of Australia in September and October. In a letter to her fans, Dame Edna apologised for upsetting them when she announced her retirement from public life, blaming her manager, “failed actor and attention seeker” Barry Humphries. “One of the reasons I am adored pretty much worldwide is that I've always told you the truth; mostly the truth about yourselves, and even sometimes about me,” Dame Edna said. “However this is an apology. It's an apology for once telling you a wicked fib: a porkie, a cruel deceitful lie. I told you I had re

Sydney review- Joseph K: a cleverly scripted drama

Above: Tim Kemp and Danen Young. Below: Michael Brindley and Georgia Brindley. Photos by Clare Hawley Joseph K By Tom Basden Directed by Sean O’Riordan A Secret House Production Limelight on Oxford 231 Oxford Street Darlinghurst Season: 1 – 18 May 2019. Bookings: www.limelightonoxford.com.au Present day London is the setting for Tom Basden’s Joseph K, an adaptation of the novel The Trial by Franz Kafka. Joseph K (Danen Young) is an ambitious bank employee and is looking forward to some relaxation at home for his 30th birthday. His order of home delivered sushi arrives from a strange man named Gabriel (Michael Brindley) who is acting nervously and whose red pen has stained his shirt pocket. I

Review - Barbara and the Camp Dogs: this was theatre at its best

Above: Elaine Crombie, Ursula Yovich and Troy Jungaji Barbara and the Camp Dogs By Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine Directed by Leticia Càceres A Belvoir, in association with Vicki Gordon Music Productions Pty Ltd Production Presented by Queensland Theatre Bille Brown Theatre Montague Street South Brisbane Season: May 1-24. Duration: 100 minutes with no interval. Bookings: 1800 356 528 or www.queenslandtheatre.com.au This is simply a phenomenal piece of theatre. It is a fresh and original work filled with fun, drama, despair, hope and fabulous music. Three indigenous actors and a classy three-piece band held the audience members spellbound on opening night as they were taken on a wild ride

May the fourth be with you! A blast from the past

A few years ago I was reporting regular theatre reviews on Damien Lee’s Spectrum show on Radio 4EB. Damien always had a wide selection of guests on the show and one day I walked into the studio there were two very tall people just ending an interview. I recognised them and did something I have rarely done over the years – asked for autographs. They seem rather important now, especially on this day – May the 4th - and a sad passing. Guess who?

Fun night for foodies and cabaret lovers

She sings and she cooks and now Australia's Michelle Pearson (above) is set to make her Brisbane debut with her award-winning musical food show, Comfort Food Cabaret. Direct from performances at Copenhagen’s three Michelin star restaurant Geranium, Australia House in London, the Edinburgh Fringe, Tasting Australia, Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, guests will be wined and dined and delighted by Michelle's hospitality, storytelling, cooking and vocals. Diners will be serenaded by Michelle as she creates a delicious three course menu celebrating comfort food accompanied by a playlist of jazz, rock and pop tunes. "Michelle invites you into her scrumptious world and you

Opera Queensland’s star studded Tosca

Left: Rachelle Durkin. Above:L José Carbó Opera Queensland’s 2019 season continues from 13 to 22 June with a new production of Puccini’s politically-charged thriller Tosca, directed by Opera Queensland’s Artistic Director Patrick Nolan, conducted by Oliver von Dohnányi, and featuring an all-star cast headlined by New York based Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin. First performed in 1900, Nolan said Tosca’s importance was undiminished 120 years on. “Tosca is often described as the greatest opera of them all, owing in large part to Puccini’s exquisite score. Yet, as a story, Tosca still has so much insight and relevance for contemporary audiences. The questions it asks and the social, politic

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers – greater than ever

Just weeks after taking out the Best Major Festival or Event at the Australian Tourism Awards for the third successive year and being inducted into the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame, the 70th anniversary program for the 2019 Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has been unveiled. Over 10 days from September 20 to 29, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers will show off more than 1,100 hectares of public parks and private gardens will be on display with more than 180,000 bulbs and seedlings in full bloom. The program features a record 77 events (up from 66 last year), including award-winning parks and private gardens, internationally acclaimed music acts and some of the best food and wine experiences i

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