22 July 2013

July review previews

Sunday in the Park with George
Victorian Opera
20 July 2013
The Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne
to 27 July

Victorian Opera's Sunday in the Park with George is exquisite, and it's heartbreaking that it can only run for a week as so many people will miss this emotionally-perfect production of Stephen Sondheim's most personal work.


But even for nothing else, see it for Anna Cordingley's design. The most famous productions of George won awards for design. Victoria Opera doesn't have a Broadway budget, but Cordingley has created something that's as creative and original as Seruat and Sondheim. The costumes are made with material that's digitally printed with Seraut's colour palettes. This makes them look like they walked out of a new version of the painting and visually unite the two acts in ways that past designs haven't. Her detail is intricate and, even from the circle, it's easy to see that every hat is a finished work of art and her parasols are as beautiful as the music that sings about them. Meanwhile the set uses all of Seraut's known works and her cascade of falling colours is such a simple idea, but genius in how it supports the story and George's art.

After the success of Nixon in China, Victorian Opera are continuing to put Opera Australia to shame with a production that deserves to run for months, if only to show everyone who sees expensive opera and commercial music theatre why reviewers like me complain when they miss the mark.

It finishes on Saturday and its nearly sold out. So book now. And full time students and under 30s can get $30 tickets.

The full review is on AussieTheatre.com and will be here in a few days

Ubu Roi
5 Pound Theatre
18 July 2013
The Owl and the Pussycat

Ubu Roi is a mess. A filthy, mud-spluttered, cover-me-with-plastic glorious mess. 


Papa Ubu (let's call him Kevin) wants to be King. He's a greedy man whose childish behaviour destroys everything he tries to control in a world where the snot and poo jokes would put a poo-obsessed four-year-old to shame. 

So Cavanagh fills the stage with reeking mud and with Mattea Davies's faded grotesque glory design, Tim Wotherspoon's dripping sound and Doug Montgomery's lighting the space is so viserally vile that I was glad I'd worn wellies. Mud is flung as underwear and excess body hair turn to brown and the front row pull their plastic covers up to protect themselves from the ongoing political shit fight that's played out before them. 

The full review is on AussieTheatre.com and will be here in a few days.

Glory Box Paradise
Finucane and Smith
13 July 2013
to 11 August

"Art is fueled by passion, liquor and unrealistic expectations." Welcome to Glory Box Paradise and the ninth year of Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith's subversive and celebratory burlesque where the passion is as potent as any cocktail and unrealistic expectations are turned into exquisite beauty.

Is there anything left to be said about Finucane and Smith's Burlesque Hour shows? I've run out of passionate adjectives to shout about how damn amazing this work continues to be.


These are women who are sexual but are never sexualised. Women whose sexual power has nothing to do with control. Women whose sex live are shameless. Women who don't support any image or idea that going to repress, disapprove or hurt.  And this may be why every act is greeted with cheers.


The full review is on AussieTheatre.com and will be here in a few days.

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