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Review – Monty Python’s Spamalot: rush out and buy tickets

Pic1: Arthur and the Knights. Pic 2: Galahad and The Lady of the Lake. Monty Python’s Spamalot Based on the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail Book and lyrics by Eric Idle Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle Directed by Alex Lanham Brisbane Arts Theatre Petrie Terrace Brisbane Season: November 23 – January 18. Duration: two hours 10 minutes including interval. Bookings: www.artstheatre.com.au or (07) 3369 2344 Monty Python’s Spamalot was first produced in 2005 and I have been trying to see it ever since, but somehow each time a production was staged in Brisbane, I missed it. Now thanks to the Brisbane Arts Theatre its mission accomplished – and the wait was well worthwhile The production

Sydney review - The Odd Couple: a classic crowd pleaser

Brian Meegan and Steve Rodgers as felix and Oscar The Odd Couple By Neil Simon Directed by Mark Kilmurry An Ensemble Theatre Production Ensemble Theatre 78 McDougall Street Kirribilli Season: 22 November – 29 December. Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes including interval. Bookings: www.ensemble.com.au Card nights were the big thing in the 60’s and 70’s. I remember my father used to go regularly on Friday nights, always at someone’s home, plenty of scotch, cigars and camaraderie. They were ‘secret men’s business’, an opportunity to let off steam, laugh and help keep your mates sane. The card night is central in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. It’s the perfect mechanism for bringing together a myriad

Review – Christmas Actually: a slick and highly entertaining production

Fun actually... the cast in action and Naomi Price. Photos by Dylan Evans. Christmas Actually By Adam Brunes and Naomi Price Little Red Company Production Presented by La Boite theatre company Roundhouse Theatre Kelvin Grove Brisbane Season: November 27-December 7. Duration: 90 minutes without interval. Bookings: qtix.com.au Here was another slick and highly entertaining production from the Little Red Company one hat definitely should not be missed. There was also a dynamite performance from Naomi Price that should not be missed. I saw her in Lady Beatle back in August and said at the time: “Naomi Price must be one of the best lyric interpreters in the country. Her considerable acting talen

Review - The King and I: a worthy production

Kellie Wilson and Malcolm McKenzie as Anna and the King The King and I By Rodgers and Hammerstein Directed by Stuart Morgan Gold Coast Little Theatre 21A Scarborough St Southport Runs until December 7. Bookings 5532 2096 https://www.gclt.com.au/booking.php There’s a general acceptance that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II created five masterpieces in the 1940s and ‘50s and one of them opened at Broadway’s St James Theatre on March 29 1951. The King and I, which tells the story of Anna Leonowens’ stay in Bangkok as a governess to the despotic King of Siam’s legion of children in the 1860s seems like an unlikely scenario for an American musical, but has been hailed as the writers’ most

Sydney review – Deadhouse. Tales of Sydney Morgue. Simmonds and Newcombe: The Deadly Run: macabre bu

Chris Miller as Kevin Simmonds and Jordan Gallegos as Les Newcombe Photo by Phillis Wong. Deadhouse. Tales of Sydney Morgue. Simmonds and Newcombe: The Deadly Run By Liviu Monsted Directed by Liviu Monsted An Actors Anonymous & Blancmange Production The Crypt, St James’ Church 173 King Street Sydney Season: 20-30 November. Duration: 60 minutes (No interval). Bookings: www.eventbrite.com.au For an intriguing, macabre but fascinating theatrical experience, I thoroughly recommend getting to Deadhouse. Tales of Sydney Morgue, now on at The Crypt, St James’ Church (opposite Hyde Park). Writer and Director of the current show called Simmonds & Newcombe: The Deadly Run, Liviu Monsted, tells the com

Sydney review - Packer and Sons: a riveting story

The Packers: Josh McConville as James and John Howard as Frank. Photo by Brett Boardman. Packer and Sons By Tommy Murphy Directed by Eamon Flack A Belvoir Production Belvoir Theatre 18 & 25 Belvoir Street Surry Hills Season: 16 November – 22 December. Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes including interval. Bookings: www.belvoir.com.au There is one particular scene in Packer & Sons which encapsulates the environment in which James Packer grew up in. His father Kerry wants young James (about 12 years old) to learn how to face a fast bowler. Kerry has just bought the latest automatic bowling machine and, under the supervision of one of Australia’s Test cricketers, wants the machine set at the speed of

Sydney review - The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!): a delightful theatrical experience

Pictured: Brooklyn Newey as Jeune, Luke Murphy as Billy, Andrew Jackson as Jitter & Emma Young as Abbi The Musical of Musicals (The Musical) By Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart Directed by Jo Finnis A City Theatre Production The Actor’s Pulse – New York Theatrette 103 Regent Street Redfern Season: 13-17 November 2019. Bookings: www.citytheatre.com.au If you can get your head past the repetition in the title, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a delightful theatrical experience. All the songs and tunes seem vaguely familiar and yet there is a refreshing originality and humour which makes the show thoroughly watchable. Even non-fans of musicals will get something out of it because of the

Review - Matrix: energy that would light up a city for a week

A scene from Auto Cannibal. Photo by Yin Pen Matrix Auto Cannibal choreographed by Stephanie Lake Encircling Voyage choreographed by MA Bo Expressions Dance Company and Beijing Dance/LDTX Presented by EDC/ Beijing Dance/QPAC Playhouse Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season November 13-16. Duration: one hour 30 minutes including interval. Bookings: qpac.com.au or phone 136 246 This cross-cultural mix of dancers provided a packed Playhouse audience with some stunning dance on the opening night of these two new works. Expressions Dance Company’s six ensemble dancers joined with 14 from the China and melded into a team that looked as if they had been together for ye

Review - The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged): a fast and furious celebration

Kaela Gray as she plays the three witches from Macbeth all on her own. The Complete Works of Willian Shakespeare (Abridged) by Adam Long, Jess Winfield and Daniel Singer Directed by Liam Mathers Javeenbah Theatre Company. Cnr Stevens & Ferry Streets, Nerang Queensland Season runs to Runs until November 23: Duration: 90 mins (includes interval). Bookings: Tel 55960 300 The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is a fast and furious celebration of the playwright many believe to be the world’s finest. This UK show, first presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe back in 1987, has played both in London (It had a nine year run) and around the world. It works – with the right cast – be

Review – Pulp: writers turn into their characters to create sheer lunacy

Pic 1: Andrew Wallace, Jason Nash and Michael Civitano. Pic 2: Michael Civitano and Megan Bennett. Pic 3: Erik de Wit. Photos by dan Ryan. Pulp By Joseph Zettelmaier Directed by Cameron Castles Centenary Theatre Group Chelmer Community Hall Corner Queenscroft ad Halsbury Streets Chelmer Season: November 9-30. Duration: two hours 30 minutes with interval. Bookings: www.centenarytheatre.com.au or 0435 591 720 Centenary Theatre group has never shied away from something different – even odd as this production turned out to be. Pulp is a puzzling play that has one act sending up the film noir private eye movies (think Bogie and Bacall) and the second turning into weird fantasy where pulp fiction

QSO’s season finale to stream live across Queensland, and world-wide

In a first for Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the season finale concert Timeless on Saturday 16 November will be livestreamed throughout regional Queensland as well as in various Wesley Mission Centres across Brisbane and to the rest of the globe via Facebook Live. Classical music fans will be able to enjoy conductor Alondra de la Parra’s (pictured) final concert as Music Director in venues in Ingham, Gladstone, Toowoomba, Nambour, Charters Towers, Beaudesert and Gympie. Cementing its reputation as the Orchestra For Everyone, Queensland Symphony Orchestra has also partnered with the Wesley Mission to stream the concert into a number of its residential aged care, supported accommodation and r

Sydney review - The Underpants: a riveting and funny experience

From left: Gabrielle Scawthorn, Duncan Fellows and Ben Gerrard. Photo by David Hooley. The Underpants By Steve Martin Adapted from the play ‘Die Hose’ by Carl Sternheim Directed by Anthony Gooley A Sugary Rum Productions and Seymour Centre Production Seymour Centre Cnr City Road and Cleveland Street Chippendale Season: 31 October – 23 November 2019. Bookings: www.seymourcentre.com 90 Minutes – no interval One goes to see The Underpants with some trepidation. The title alone could be a turnoff to some as it’s not a garment widely discussed among the finer circles. But then you discover the name Steve Martin in the promotions and that explains the logic in the title. Steve Martin, the masterfu

Review – Chicago: sassy, sophisticated and sexy as ever

Tom Burlinson and company. Photo by Jeff Busby Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Casey Donovan and Alinta-Chidsey. Photo by Peter Brew Bevan. Chicago Book by Fred Ebb & Bob Fosse Lyrics by Fred Ebb Music by, John Kander Original production directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: November 13- December 7. Running time 2hrs 30mins (with interval). Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or phone 136 246 The multi-award winning musical Chicago is as sassy, sophisticated and sexy as ever in a new John Frost production. The opening night audience welcomed the familiar cocktail of brassy, black stocking paraded sirens and much loved 1920s razz

Iron Maiden will return to Australia next May

Iron Maiden will return to Australia in May 2020 to perform 5 massive arena shows on their Legacy of the Beast World Tour with special guests Killswitch Engage. As always there will be an exclusive pre-sale for Iron Maiden Fan Club members, go to www.ironmaiden.com for all ticketing details. Telstra Plus member presale starts Monday 11 November at 1pm and is open until 1pm on Wednesday 13 November. Go to Telstra.com/music for further details. The Legacy of the Beast Tour is being hailed by fans and media as the most extravagant and visually spectacular live show of the band’s touring to date. The decades-spanning set-list of fan favourites and hits has garnered career best reviews around t

Rolling Thunder Vietnam back next year

Photo by Jeff Busby THE Australian concert drama Rolling Thunder Vietnam – Songs That Defined A Generation returns for a tour in March-April 2020, including the Queensland Performing Arts Centre [QPAC] in Brisbane, Hamer Hall in Melbourne and the new Coliseum Theatre in Western Sydney. The production, comprising songs, video footage and an emotive story, has become one of the most talked about musical and theatrical events since its world premiere in 2014. The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, is Patron of the Rolling Thunder Vietnam tour in 2020. “The show brings to life stories of courage, endurance, sacrifice and love in the context of the Vietnam War,” Dr Nelson

Finalists for Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2020-21

Anna Loren, Steve Pirie and Maddie Nixon.Photo by Glenn Hunt. The finalists for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award (QPDA) 2020–21 are Anna Loren, Maddie Nixon and Steve Pirie who were selected from the record-breaking field of 221 entries. This marks the largest intake of new dramatic works in the Award’s 17-year history, with entries received from every state and territory in Australia. “I congratulate Anna Loren, Maddie Nixon and Steve Pirie for this incredible achievement. I wish them well as they continue their development journey working with industry experts and look forward to seeing which script will be the next winning play on our Queensland stage,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszc

Review – Antigone: 70 minutes of power and passion

Christen O’Leary as Creon and Jessica Tovey as Antigone. Photo by Dylan Evans Antigone Adapted by Merlynn Tong after Sophocles Directed by Travis Dowling Queensland Theatre Bille Brown Theatre Montague Road South Brisbane Season: October 26-November 16. Duration: 70 minutes without interval. Bookings: 1800 355 528 or mail@queenslandtheatre.com.au What a stunning evening! A beautifully crafted, lyrical script, a technically and visually impressive set and five fine actors had the audience enthralled from the first second. It was truly 70 minutes of power and passion and was a triumphant finale for outgoing Artistic Director Sam Strong. Merlynn Tong has taken Sophocles’ tragedy of filial disc

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