28 December 2010

What I loved 2010 (best of...)

Sometimes we all need a break and for the first time in a long time I avoided the theatre for a month.

Already there are shows I wish I'd seen and I didn't make 100 reviews for the year, but there's 2011 to reach that goal.

So before 2011 reminds us how we're all a year older, thank you to everyone who reads Sometimes Melbourne. Google Analytics shows me that there are a lot of you and I'm thrilled every time you drop by or chat to me in real life.

I also want to thank the lovely JoJohn, Karla and James for their guest reviews during the year and everyone who reviews for AussieTheatre.com.

And thanks to everyone else who reviews, blogs, tweets, comments or joins in wine-fuelled post-show conversations. It's not always easy to put your name to your honest opinion, so I especially love people like Alison, Chris, John, Richard and Cameron, who all see over 100 shows a year and – even when there's bickering and name calling (only sometimes by me) – they all love and support Melbourne's theatre and art.

Sure reviewers certainly don't always agree with each other, and their readers are rarely shy to express their own disagreement, but even when we see the same shows, we all see something different. That's the joy of art. If it were objective and clinical, it wouldn't touch our hearts and we would never care enough to spend such chunks of our lives creating it, sharing it and indulging in as much of it as we can.

So it's time to remember another year of amazing theatre in Melbourne and those shows that made me so glad that I went out instead of staying home to watch Masterchef. 

Outstanding Artists 2010

Raimondo Cortese for Intimacy

Declan Greene for Moth
with bonus points, to be shared with Ash Flanders, for
 Little Mercy
and ... Gingo.

Anna Cordingle
y (set and costumes) and Paul Jackson (lighting) for Sappho... in 9 Fragments


Hannah Norris
My Name is Rachel Corrie
Phil Zachariah for Charles Dickens performs A Christmas Carol

I'm sorry that I didn't write a review for this bloody gorgeous show. After years of taking it to country towns and suburban town halls (with a visit to the Carlton Courthouse and the Famous Speigeltent), Phil Zachiriah and director James Adler made it to the centre of Melbourne and the gold-leaf splendour of The Athenaeum theatre. And this tiny show had standing ovations and teary-eyed cheers each night of its short run. Not only does it remind us what a master storyteller Dickens was (really, if you're a writer and anyone has ever mentioned that you need to think about your story... read this bloke), but it lets Phil be Charles Dickens – the role he was born to play. Dickens staged readings of his stories and, as he's no longer around, he's passed the spirit to Phil.  From Scrooge to Tiny Tim, Phil inhabits every character with the kind of love that makes them as real as our own mad families at Christmas time and it's the kind of holiday tradition that transcends faith-based celebrations to sit as one of the great stories of love and redemption that should be an end-of-year tradition for everyone.

Outstanding Productions 2010 


Kunst Rock: Die Roten Punkte – Button Eye Productions and Full Tilt
Carnival of Mysteries – Finucane & Smith

Special mention

Miles O'Neil's World Around Us

Boston Marriage – MTC

Dos or Duo – Stuart Christie and Kane Petersen

[title of show] –  Magnormos

Special mention

Another Opening, Another Show –  Manilla Street Productions

and I really enjoyed Mary Poppins

Human Interest Story –  Malthouse Theatre, Lucy Guerin and Perth International Arts Festival 


Special mention

Monster of the Deep 3D –  Claudia O'Doherty

Best of the Best

Bare Witness  La Mama and fortyfivedownstairs 
That Face  Red Stitch Actors Theatre
Intimacy – 
Ranters TheatreMalthouse TheatreMelbourne International Arts Festival

Special mention
Happily Ever After – La Mama

My Favourite of 2010

Tomorrow, in a year  Hotel Pro Forma, Melbourne International Arts Festival

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