Friday, March 18, 2016

Theatre: The Drowsy Chaperone (★★★★½)

Music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison
Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar
Director Crispin Taylor
Music director David King
Choreographer Bernie Bernard
Set and costume designer Sallyanne Facer
Performed by WAAPA 3rd Year Music Theatre students
Geoff Gibbs Theatre, WAAPA
March 12 - 19

The Drowsy Chaperone, the first production by 2016 3rd Year Music Theatre class at WAAPA, is as delicious a concoction as you are ever likely to see.
It’s a small, playful riot of theatrical insider trading and sleight of hand, framed by a splendid conceit (it's a musical about a musical, the fictitious 1927 Broadway hit of the same name).
The songs sparkle like the showstoppers of the Golden Age of Broadway, the hoofing (choreographed by Bernie Barnard) the same. Broadway’s stock characters flit across the stage in something between parody and idolatry. The gags are terrific, and there’s a squillion of ‘em, the entendres, and the takes, double up from go to whoa.
I'm going again – for the sheer fun of it!

Read the complete review in The West Australian

Theatre: Coriolanus (★★★½)

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Michael Jenn
Set designer Chris Brain
Performed by WAAPA 3rd Year acting students
Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA
11-17 March, 2016

Here we are, in election season, when Australian politicians fix smiles and shout beers in workaday pubs, and American billionaires feed red meat to rednecks.
It’s the “demo” that comes with “cracy”, and political death awaits those who lack either the skill or stomach to pander to it. 

Coriolanus (Angus McLaren), had been bred for valour and honour by his formidable mother Volumnia (Anneliese Apps). For him, leadership was earned with swords not words. The soldier in him demanded submission, not popularity.
The scourge of Rome’s enemies is hardly less harsh on his own countrymen, and they are wary enough of his rise to power, even without his arrogance and contempt.
Fall and banishment, vengeance and death, are unavoidable for a character as fixedly self-absorbed as he is.

Michael Jenn’s production, with WAAPA’s 3rd Year Acting students, compacts the play without losing its structure or meaning.
It features a muscular, scornful performance by Angus McLaren as Coriolanus, but Jenns gives each of his charges their moment in the spotlight.

Read the complete review in The West Australian