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Review - Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade: an entertaining production

Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade: Adapted by Stephen Briggs Directed by Steve Beeston Presented by Brisbane Arts Theatre Petrie Terrace Brisbane Season: 14 September – 12 October. Duration 2.5 hours including interval. Bookings: Blending Terry Pratchetts Discworld with a parody of Phantom of the Opera, Maskerade has a lot to offer audiences. It is a funny, clever script which places iconic Pratchett characters into the world of Musical Theatre complete with sly references to characters from classic British Television such as Frank Spencer and Mrs Bouquet. Agnes Nitt has left Lancre to seek a career at the Ankh-Morpork Opera House, where she is chosen to b

Marcia Hines for Brisbane season of Shrek the Musical

Pictured: Ben Mingay, Lucy Durack and Marcia Hines Tickets for the Brisbane season of the multi-million dollar musical comedy Shrek The Musical will go on sale this Friday, 27 September. The Broadway smash hit will play at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC from 9 May 2020 following seasons at the Sydney Lyric Theatre and Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. Ben Mingay and Lucy Durack will play the lead roles of Shrek and Princess Fiona, both well-known for numerous roles on stage and screen. On screen Ben Mingay has been seen in Packed to the Rafters, Wonderland, Home and Away and House of Bond as Alan Bond. Ben has played Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys, the title role in The Phantom of the Opera, Zack in A

New book is a definitive look at Australian musical theatre

Musical theatre has a special place in the hearts of Australians. Whether it’s The Boy from Oz, Bran Nue Dae or Muriel's Wedding, Australians love to see Australian stories on the big stage with all the glamour, energy and vibrancy a musical can offer. However magical they are on stage, performances leave behind few traces. Australia has a rich, hidden history of achievement in musical theatre which is now largely forgotten. Drawing on their long careers in musical performance, and extensive research in public and private collections, Peter Wyllie Johnston and Peter Pinne have compiled a definitive account of the history of musical theatre in Australia. From small amateur performances in the

Review - Muriel’s Wedding the Musical: the brightest, happiest and most entertaining musical in year

Rhonda and Muriel. Photos by Jeff Busby. Muriel’s Wedding the Musical Book by PJ Hogan Music and Lyrics by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall With songs by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson originally written for Abba Directed by Simon Phillips Music supervisor Isaac Hayward Choreographer Andrew Hallsworth Based on the movie by PJ Hogan Produced by Global Creatures in association with the Sydney Theatre Company Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: September 21-October 26. Bookings: at or phone 136-246. This is the brightest, happiest and most entertaining large scale piece of musical theatre in years. For more than two h

Review - Fan Girls: joyously entertaining

Image one: The cast. Image two: Yve Blake as Edna. Photos by Stephen Henry. Fan Girls Book, Music and Lyrics by Yve Blake Directed by Paige Rattray A Belvoir/Brisbane Festival production in association with Australian Theatre for Young People Bille Brown Theatre Montague Street South Brisbane Season: September 2-October 5. Duration: Two hours 20 minutes with interval. Bookings: 1800 356 528 or What a joyously entertaining evening this turned out to be, and what a talent is Yve Blake! Not only did she write everything in then play - book, music and lyrics – but also played the lead role of star-struck Edna. She is now in her mid-20s and a thoroughly experienced wr

History repeats itself in new Queensland Theatre AD appointment

In a repeat of history Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Lee Lewis will take over from Sam Strong as Queensland Theatre’s Artistic director in January 2020. This is the second time she has stepped into Sam’s shoes for in 2013 she took over from him at Griffin Theatre. At that time Sam said: “Lee is one of the country’s finest directors, a passionate and persuasive advocate of new writing, and a person and artist of deep integrity. She has been a vital part of Griffin’s current success and she is ideally placed to lead the company into an even more exciting future.” “Next year we will celebrate 50 years of being Queensland Theatre: we’ve consolidated the Company as the nati

Jane Hutcheon to join David Suchet on tour

Australian journalist Jane Hutcheon will be joining David Suchet (pictured) on tour early next year when he makes his return to Australian stages in Poirot and More: A Retrospective. The tour will travel across the country in January and February allowing audiences in Perth, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle and Adelaide to experience this rare opportunity with one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating actors of our time. In her own words Jane Hutcheon remarks on this very special opportunity. “To say I’m thrilled to be joining David as interviewer in his upcoming tour, is a total understatement. “I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with David in 2

PRIMA to present the Queensland premiere of Flashdance the Musical

Pine Rivers Musical Association (PRIMA) is presenting the Queensland Premiere of Flashdance the Musical from 27 September to 6 October at the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre. Flashdance The Musical tells the story of 18 year old Alex, a steel worker by day and 'flashdancer' by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer. When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream. Featuring a cast of almost 40 performers, supported by a live band and under the guidance of professionals David Harrison (Director), Shelley Marshall (Choreographer) and Wendy Bird (Musical Director), Flashdance the Musical is a spectacle

HAIR revival heads for Gold Coast

Star of The Voice, Prinnie Stevens, Logie award winning TV and theatre star, Hugh Sheridan and two time ARIA Award winning Paulini lead a tribe of emerging Australian musical theatre stars in a new Australian production of HAIR, coming to HOTA, Home of the Arts, on the Gold Coast. HAIR, which also stars Queenslanders Matthew Manahan in the role of Claude and Angelique Cassimatis (Priscilla/Saturday Night Fever) as Jeanie, has already performed in Perth and Geelong to rave reviews and will head to Wyong, Wollongong and Sydney before concluding with two shows on the Gold Coast, on October 11 and October 12. HOTA’s Outdoor Stage provides the opportunity for the audience to experience the tunes

Review - The Actress: a bitter sweet comedy

Lydia (Susan Cary) and daughter Nicole (Hannah Collins) The Actress By Peter Quilter Directed by Helen Maden Javeenbah Theatre Company Cnr Stevens & Ferry Streets, Nerang Queensland Season runs until September 28. Matinee September 22. Bookings: 07 55960300 There’s a story of an ageing diva who had a wild and eventful career, but spent her final months being cared for by a socially conservative niece in her Parisian apartment. The legend has it that the dying actress, who had played all the great roles and had many lovers, would reflectively bemoan the fact that she hadn’t had a more conventional life with a steady husband and children. Watching award-winning playwright Peter Quilter’s gent

Review - Swing on This: non-stop parade of great singing

The pack, Luke Kennedy, Michael Falzon, Ben Mingay and Matt Lee Swing on This Produced by Good Egg Creative, GWB Entertainment and The Little Red Company Directed and choreographed by Chris Horsey Music direction by Craig Schneider Brisbane Festival Spiegeltent QPAC precincts South Bank Brisbane Season: September 7-11. Performance reviewed on September 8. Obviously Brisbane loves swing music. The Spiegeltent on the QPAC forecourt was packed to the gills with fans, and they loved the four talent-loaded singers who took standards and more modern songs and swung like crazy in an hour-long journey of great entertainment. So did I. Luke Kennedy (runner-up of The Voice), stage musical star Michael

EDC joins with Beijing Dance/LDTX for premiere production

EDC and Beijing Dance/LDTX in Stephanie Lake’s work Auto Cannibal. Photo by YIN Peng. In five weeks 20 dancers from two countries and two cultures overcoming language barriers, differences in physiques and artistic sensibilities will join to create two vastly different dance works when Expressions Dance Company and Beijing Dance/LDTX present Matrix. Defined as a “cultural, social or political environment or context in which something develops”, Matrix is the result of an immersive creative development in Beijing in August and September, producing two new works by multi award-winning Australian choreographer, Stephanie Lake, and Chinese choreographer, MA Bo. EDC’s six ensemble members are joi

Mates Theatre and the dreaded writers’ block

The cast Sometimes, to fix a problem, you have to let your imagination run wild. Mates Theatre Genesis presents the comedy Writer's Block on stage at the Birkdale School of Arts, Birkdale, Queensland, 18 October - 2 November, 2019. The “Brick Wall” is every writer’s enemy but Jane has discovered a way to make hitting it a little less tedious. Battling with wildly vocal and immensely frustrating hallucinations in the form of her two main characters, Jane sets about to write a play with all the romance and drama she lacks in her own life. Written by Australian author, Kellie Silver, Writer's Block is set against a 1940’s and modern backdrop, Writer’s Block is a comical romance with a hint of d

Dame Edna My Gorgeous Life tour begins next week!

The grand dame of world theatre, Dame Edna Everage, has been forced out of retirement by the demands of her adoring “Precious Possums”, and has announced 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

Sydney review- The Last Wife: a real crowd pleaser

Ben Wood as Henry and Nikki Shiels as Kate. Photo by Phil Erbacher The Last Wife By Kate Hennig Directed by Mark Kilmurry An Ensemble Theatre Production by arrangement with Emma Laird, Gary Goddard Agency Ensemble Theatre 78 McDougall Street Kirribilli Season: 30 August – 29 September. Bookings: Running Time: 2 hours 50 minutes including interval King Henry VIII certainly had a way with the ladies! After all, he had six marriages, all to varying degrees of success. But it was his last wife, Catherine Parr (Kate), who had a way with the King. The Last Wife by Kate Hennig is a faintly historical drama/comedy set in a contemporary context. The language, the costumes and the

Powerful music and intense physicality as circus and opera combine

Two of Queensland’s top arts organisations are joining forces to present Orpheus and Eurydice, a circus opera infused with desire and longing that melds sublime music and singing with the raw physicality of movement. Opera Queensland has partnered with contemporary circus company Circa to stage Christoph Gluck’s opera from 24 October – 9 November 2019 at Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC’s) Playhouse. Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz directs the genre-crossing production that combines Gluck’s haunting score and the vocals of counter tenor Owen Willetts (Orpheus) and soprano Natalie Christie Peluso (Eurydice) with the skills of eight acrobats. Orpheus and Eurydice is inspired b

Award winning dancer joins Expressions dance Company

Photo of Richard Cilli by Yin Sir Helpmann Award-winning dancer, Richard Cilli, has joined Expressions Dance Company for the Chinese and Australian seasons of Matrix. The Sydney-based dancer and choreographer has been a member of Sydney Dance Company, Dancenorth, K.Kvarnström & Co (Stockholm), Lucy Guerin Inc. and Chunky Move and has created work for SDC, The Australian Ballet, LINK Dance Company and WAAPA. He is a certified Countertechnique teacher, and loves to share his passion and curiosity as a performer, maker and teacher in Australia and around the world. EDC Artistic Director Amy Hollingsworth said Cilli’s talent, vibrancy and range would be adored by audiences, and would leave a las

Review - The Addams Family – The Musical: a polished production

The family in full voice. The Addams Family- The Musical By Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice Directed by Jay Ahrens Music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Based on characters by Charles Addams. Gold Coast Little Theatre.. 21A Scarborough St Southport Runs until September 28. Bookings: or 5532 2096 The kookie family with a macabre sense of the absurd, which began life as a Charles Addams cartoon, and wooed TV audiences in the 1960s finally went to Broadway in 2010. The award-winning musical, which ran for more than 12 months (no mean feat on the Great White Way), had some built-in safeguards which guaranteed it an audience. Now veteran Gold Coast Little Theatre director Jay Ahrens

Review - Queensland Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet: a stunning and spectacular production

Mia Heathcote and Patricio Revé as Juliet and Romeo. Photos by David Kelly Queensland Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet Choreographer: Sir Kenneth McMillan Composer: Serge Prokofiev Played by Queensland Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Olondra de la Parra Staged by Julie Lincoln Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: August 28-September 7. Duration: two hours 52 minutes with two intervals. Bookings: or 136 246 Performance reviewed was on Saturday evening August 31. What a magical production this was; a perfect storm of power and glory. The ballet was a reprise of a hugely successful season in 2014 with new dancers taking the principal roles magnif

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