Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Comedy: Joel Creasey - The Hurricane (★ ★ ★)

Perth Comedy Festival
Regal Theatre
April 24

When Joel Creasey last strutted his stuff in Perth, with his coming-of-age show Drama Captain, he was an obscenely young 22 and playing at a bowling club. Two years on he’s all, well more, grown up, has some TV credits to his name and is filling the Regal. Not bad for a kid not all that long out of Wesley College and Garden City Booragoon. If he’s not quite an international comedy star yet, he’s at least a pretty substantial starlet.

Theatre: Armour (★½)

Written and directed by Tom Jeffcote
Designed by Sally Phipps
Lighting by Chris Donnelly
Sound design by William Langdale
Performed by Danen Engelenberg, Matthew Kiely, Joel Sammels and Ben Weirheim
Blue Room Theatre
Until May 7

What are we to make of a show so extravagantly paved with good intentions?
In Tom Jeffcote’s Armour, a counsellor and three guys from his men’s encounter group meet – for some odd reason – in an out-of-the-way scout hall to do some good old-fashioned sharing and caring. 

They’ve each got their own reason to be there apart from the chance to spill their guts: Neil the counsellor (Matthew Kiely) is trying to ride a wave of cutbacks at the hospital he works at; a brilliant student off the rails Mawkie (Danen Engelenberg) needs to get his weekly government fix, ex rock-star Robbie (Ben Weirheim) needs to get access to his daughter and ex-soldier Quentin (Joel Sammels) needs to get an AVO taken out by his wife lifted.
They’re all wary of Neil, and each other, and the whole exercise looks more likely to end in violence than catharsis, but somehow, little by little, the barriers between them break down.
And that’s even before the shooting starts.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Theatre: The Dreaming Hill (★ ★ ★ ½)

--> by Hellie Turner
WA Youth Theatre Co and Southern Edge Arts
Directed by Renato Fabretti
Assistant director Simon Woodward
Designed by India Mehta
Performed by Michaela Barker, Luke Binetti, Thomas Blowffwitch, Daisy Coyle, Austen Faulkner, Cambell Greenock, Liam Longley, Lachlan McGregor, Tess McKenna, Mikayla Merks, Tahlia Norrish, Andrew Phillips, Liannah Prior, Sam Reeves, Zali Stipanicev 

WA Museum 14 – 18 April, Albany Heritage Park 23 – 26 April

As the centenary of our seminal national tragedy looms, the surge of commemorative activity ranges from the deeply felt to the cynical, from the sublime to the excruciating.
Hellie Turner’s The Dreaming Hill, which was commissioned by the WA Youth Theatre Company and produced in partnership with Albany-based Southern Edge Arts and the WA Museum, is an impressive, valuable addition to those commemorations.

There’s no need to mention individual performances in the 14-strong cast of arresting young actors from Perth and Albany who have been brought together for this production, merely than to congratulate them, and, of course, observe that their ages, from 14 and 15 to their early 20s, is the same as their brave compatriots a century ago on those beautiful, fateful shores. 

Link here to the complete review in The West Australian

Theatre: Old Love (★★★½)

By Chris Isaacs
Directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler
Performed by Nicola Bartlett, Arielle Gray, Nick Maclaine and Tim Watts
Blue Room Theatre
Until May 2

The Last Great Hunt, Perth’s hyperactive little theatre company that can, is back with a sharp, twisted domestic comedy for, and about, all ages.
Meet cool 30-ish couple Jim (Nick Maclaine) and Gabby (Arielle Gray) – he’s a work-from-home software maven, she’s a work-the-phones property developer.
They’re having a dinner party, but there’s tension. He’s been babysitting his niece, and hasn’t tidied up the debris; she’s struggling to choose between all but identical little black dresses. He’s way too relaxed about it; she’s way too uptight.
We know these people well. Let’s see what they get up to.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Theatre: The Importance of Being Miriam (★★★½)

Miriam Margolyes
With John Martin
Heath Ledger Theatre
April 7 - 11

She’s smarter than she first appears, is Miriam Margolyes. After a florid overture – Yes We Have No Bananas of all things – by her pianist John Martin, the “short fat” (her words) actress cruised onto Matthew Aberline’s set of chaise lounges, armchairs and oversized books. There followed a self-deprecating introduction about auditions and the limitations of her singing voice, before she led her eager audience through (I kid you not) I’m Henry VIII, I am and Daisy, Daisy.
She’d landed slap bang in the middle of their nostalgic comfort zone, but it hardly suggested the next couple of hours were likely to be either riveting or enlightening.
As it turned out, they were both.