Posts Tagged ‘James Millar

05
Dec
16

Matilda the Musical

Matilda the Musical

Royal Shakespeare Company

QPAC Lyric Theatre

December 1 2016 – January 8 2017

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

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Matilda the Musical is hands down the best made and the best promoted show we’ve seen in this country. Not many productions live up to the hype preceding them but this one exceeds expectations. The elements combine in a perfect alchemy of joy, morality, imagination and witty, wicked humour, delighting kids, and daring adults to look around, pay attention to the children and begin to listen again to their own inner child.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda is the extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

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Queensland’s Matildas are Izellah Connelly, Annabella Cowley, Venice Harris and Eva Murawski.

On opening night we saw Venice Harris, and as the rockstar chocolate-cake-eating Bruce, Exodus Lale, both superb. We will have to return a little later in the season to see our Eva perform! Last night she was on standby and she was able to appear on stage for a very special curtain call with the standby cast, and composer and lyricist, Tim Minchin.

We rarely see a genuinely rapturous, heartfelt standing ovation from an actual full house at QPAC.

(Don’t believe every accolade you see on social media. I’m so often surprised/bemused to see claims of a standing ovation when only a smattering of the audience is on its feet!), but the opening night Matilda audience was as excited and appreciative and awestruck as you’ll ever get at the end of a show. 

It’s no secret that opening nights are a special kind of magic but Matilda the Musical is a show with a buzz that makes you feel like every night is opening night. If there’s a person in the world who hasn’t enjoyed it, I’d like to meet them and ask, “WHAT’S YOUR DAMAGE?” There’s nothing to dislike here (except Miss Trunchbull and the Wormwoods and we’re supposed to loathe them). Matilda the Musical is an uplifting, life affirming, incredibly moving experience, and the cast of children a dynamic new breed of Australian talent. (Minchin has said the girls who play the Brisbane Matildas are four of the best, in this extremely demanding role, in the world. High praise indeed!). We recognise them by their tremendous hearts and rich, clipped voices, their explosive energy and their neatly contained egos. There are adults in the industry who can learn from these hard working and humble kids. (Those adults are not in this show!). And the synergy between adult and child performers makes this show extra special. The ensemble’s opening number, the fast-paced, bright and brilliant, memorably cheeky Miracle, followed by Matilda’s Naughty, and the School Song, choreographed and executed with military precision, testament to the extraordinary talent on stage and off.

There are also a number of must-be-something-in-my-eye moments.

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One of these moments is the beautifully bittersweet When I Grow Up. This is a smiling-while-tears-are-running-shamelessly-down-cheeks scene, reminiscent of Mary Poppins’ Let’s Go Fly a Kite. The use of a slippery slide and timber seated swings hanging from the gods creates a child-sized whimsical world of wide-eyed possibility. I want a swing hanging from the gods in my backyard! When the “big kids” fly out over the audience we gasp in surprise and delight and abandon – even those of us who have seen it before – and our hearts fill to bursting.

It’s not often that a production succeeds in pouring pure glee over an entire audience. 

A fully engaged little kid sitting next to me, so smart, asks his mama if they are sad because they don’t want to grow up. The kid is no older than four or five. Other innocent comments throughout the evening earn smiling, murmured responses from a lovely older gentleman in front and giggles from the rest of us. There’s a little bit of healthy fear happening too. True to the original story, there are some quite frightening moments in the show, just as there are in our dreams and ordinary lives, and the mother does her best to quietly comfort her child. I know parents sometimes avoid taking kids to the theatre because they know it will be their kid to shout out something in the middle of a show. They think this will annoy the other punters and leave themselves embarrassed and apologetic so they decide to give it a miss until the kids are older, and they and the child miss out on an awesome experience and lifelong memories. If you’re a parent wondering whether or not you should take the kids to the show, STOP WONDERING, BOOK THE TICKETS AND TAKE THE KIDS TO THE SHOW.

If the teens and the spouse are slightly wary, they should know Matilda the Musical is also, obviously and subversively, a very grown up show. If nothing else, tell them to hang in there until the final number, the epic kid rock anthem, Revolting Children, which is a showstopper they’ll be singing (and stomping!) for you for days, even weeks. Probably for the next six weeks…of school holidays…lucky you.

The burning woman, hurling through the air with dynamite in her hair, flying over sharks and spiky objects, caught by the man locked in the cage…

The Acrobat and the Escapologist, the story-within-the-story, which has been somehow magically more fully woven through the production since last seen, and which Matilda tells to Mrs Phelps (the fabulous Cle Morgan, a delicious performer of exquisite expression and passion; she shines in this underwritten role). You’ll remember it doesn’t appear in Roald Dahl’s book. The dramatisation of – spoiler alert – Mrs Honey’s parents’ romance, is a neat theatrical device to move us into another realm of storytelling, the segments perfectly placed throughout the show now to allow us to wander through Matilda’s imagination. Her voracious reading and imagining is her escape from a despicable family and horrible home life (loud, brassy, not-real-classy caricatures of the worst possible parents, in Daniel Frederickson & Nadia Komazec in Marika Aubrey’s absence).

There are so many dark themes and dastardly deeds detectable in life, which children need to be able to process just as grown ups do. Roald Dahl knew this, and Minchin and Dennis Kelly make a considered art of serving it straight up, without apology.

Elise McCann is a stronger, more focused and better settled Miss Honey than when we saw her early on in the Sydney season, her rendition of My House poignantly, perfectly delivered, the vocal tone just divine. And the incomparable James Millar, as the formidable Miss Trunchbull, takes the cake (and makes poor Bruce eat it!). Millar’s hilarious, highly physical performance is another highlight. His performance is so polished and so perfectly ridiculous and reasonable at the same time that you might have a hard time now, as I do, listening to the original Trunchbull, the much-loved Brit, Bertie Carvel. Sorry, Bertie.

Can we have an original Australian Cast recording please and thank you. 

Hugh Vanstone’s lighting and Rob Howell’s costume and set design transfer spectacularly well to the Lyric Theatre and MD Peter Rutherford’s orchestra is spot on. The only superfluous number for me is Mr Wormwood’s Telly, but others love it. 

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Matilda the Musical lifts our spirits and raises the musical theatre bar. It’s a show that proves the book, the film and the real life lens we look through every day can be improved upon. YES. The way we view the world is a choice we make every day. And Matilda reminds us that putting things right and standing up for ourselves and for others is easier than we’ve been led to believe.  

Don’t even think for a second you can miss it. There is no gift more magical or inspirational you can give yourself and those you love than Matilda the Musical

 

Brisbane Opening Night Company:

Matilda – Venice Harris
Bruce – Exodus Lale
Alice – Tahlae Colson
Amanda – Isla White
Hortensia – Madison Randl
Lavender – Charlotte Smith
Eric – Elias Geffen
Nigel – Alfie Jamieson
Tommy – Jake Binns
Adult Cast as follows:
Miss Trunchbull – James Millar
Mrs Wormwood – Nadia Komazec
Mr Wormwood – Daniel Frederiksen
Miss Honey – Elise McCann
Mrs Phelps – Cle Morgan
Ensemble – Stephen Anderson, Reece Budin, Travis Khan, Daniel Raso, Rachel Cole, James Bryers, Leah Lim, Adam Noviello, Patrick Whitbread
Swings – Cristina D’Agostino, Matt Douglass, Hannah Stanton, Clay Roberts, Danielle Cook

 

 

 

 

 

10
Jun
15

Dust Covered Butterfly

 

Dust Covered Butterfly
Metro Arts, Thomas Hutchins & Jake Shavikin
Metro Arts Sue Benner Theatre
June 2 – 20 2015

 
Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

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Dust Covered Butterfly invites you along for a morally challenging ride of epic proportions ignited by fictitious story and fuelled by real events of serial killers, survivors, and kidnap victims. This new performance locks performer, character, and narrative in a basement with live original music where only the strongest can survive.

 
Plastic bags. Holy. Hundreds of them. White plastic shopping bags, having attained a reputation for languid beauty thanks to a famous film and awful infamy thanks to a number of killers. (I started a serial killer Google search but it was too disturbing). It’s a creepy set, living, breathing, and pulsating, but corpse cold at first, until later when it bleeds red. I don’t remember seeing the Sue Benner Theatre like this, although I recall sitting at a long table in the space where our seats are, with our bare feet in the dirt below, to join Robbie O’Brien and Erika Field for dinner during The Raven. Still, I’m disoriented, which is probably the ideal state in which to view this show.

 

We sit at the base of a stage of steps – the rises where the seats would be if we were not sitting in them on the stage – and slowly, a male silhouette appears to reign over this strange, silent white world. Microphones have been pre-set in their stands on the bottom step, the apron as it were. As if it were a stage. As if it were a cabaret show about to begin. AND WITH CHRIS FARRELL’S ENTRANCE IT DOES.

 

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Think of Llorando in Mulholland Drive and, I don’t know why, but you’ll have the sense of it. Somehow Farrell manages to contain immense sadness veiled by something approximating sheer determination to enjoy the good times whilst struggling to behave appropriately in public places. When you see Farrell perform that might make more sense. Or…it might not.

 

 

 

 

Farrell is a beautiful, complex performer, taking us on a journey in this show that feels like we’re watching Dexter, in chapters, on the National Geographic Channel. It’s kinda’ wrong but it kinda’ works.

 

 

The text is Cotter’s, borrowed and torn apart and stitched together again from various sources, interviews with serial killers and personal accounts from survivors of the most unimaginable atrocities in basements for extended periods of time. I think I hear later, literally on the street outside Metro Arts, that the original concept was for a show without text. This almost explains the contemporary dance element, each performer indicating through shivers and ticks and leaps, an aspect of their character or their actions throughout the piece. It almost works at times, and at other times it’s distracting or not quite clear enough to warrant the extent of the repetition.

 

And the single plot line is not quite as clear as it could be – we need just a few more obvious clues as to what’s happening, but perhaps these are present when the players switch roles. So, there is work to do, but in this stage of its four-year life cycle, Dust Covered Butterfly is nevertheless an extraordinary combination of intriguing elements and formidable talent.

 

There are SO many elements, so many layers to this show, and just one disturbing theme.

 

 

What happens in the mind of a serial killer to make them decide to…

keep someone? AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS?

 

 

Captor – Captive – Bait

 

 

Three figures prepare to take on the roles and apparently, due to the audience vote; there is a different outcome for each performance. (And this as interactive as it gets, however; you might find this is confronting enough and not even feel comfortable to raise your hand!). On opening night we witnessed Katy Cotter as Captor, Bella Anderson as Captive and Michael Whittred as the Bait. Each is as comfortable in their role as if it were the only role they play during the season.

 

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Anderson is stunning, or if I were to apply senior student speak, Anderson is a total babe; I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more from her. She’s a trembling, remorseful captive with SPUNK. Poor thing. My heart breaks while my head whispers, “You stupid, stupid girl!” This is obviously the desired effect, it feels right. As Whittred, clad in a trench coat and jocks, leaps between the role of the Bait and his other as ROCK GOD. Robbie Williams, we love you but just stand still sometimes like THIS. OK? OK.

 

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Very effective. Whittred’s presence and his haunting, searing rock musical score make this show the Something Rotten of the season and I expect to see a few noms on the table, regardless of the final outcome in the popularity stakes. (There are only 50 seats per performance). There is strong work here. Whittred’s rock mini-score is so polished, it’s ready for the studio. In fact, there’ll be a recording available at the end of the season. Leave your details at Box Office to get a copy so you can say, “I heard it first”.

 

In its current form it really does feel as if the show is crying out to be a musical. I’d love to see it put in front of James Millar and Peter Rutherford (then see them get behind it!). Dust Covered Butterfly is the stuff of New Musicals Australia, a development process that takes its successful participants to Hayes Theatre for a full season. AND THEN THERE’S THE NEW YORK MUSIC THEATRE FESTIVAL. Of course, with the final shows this weekend, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s part of the Queensland Cabaret Festival. GUYS, YOU REALISE THE LINK HERE IS KRIS STEWART.

 

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As you might expect, Cotter plays the Killer coldly, and as you might not expect, warmly, with devastating compassion for her captive. Her care and concern becomes chilling and we get a glimpse into a serious case of Stockholm syndrome, which continues to fascinate me because of course, anybody in a long-term relationship is familiar with it. No, really, you must recognise the cycle of seduction and isolation and protection and obsession and intimidation and destruction… Is it just me? Okay, don’t tell Sam I said that. Maybe tell him? No, don’t tell him. Okay, tell him. I’ll just be here…waiting.

 

Cotter’s pink top reads not, “This is my dance space” but “KILLER”, and Anderson is dressed in a flirty white Some Like It Hot baby doll Marilyn frock with curious blackened – dead – fingers and toes, like Laura Palmer, dead, wrapped in plastic. But it’s not David Lynch throwing this party; it’s Thomas Hutchins, in his directorial debut, and it’s impressive. I like the choices here and I’d like to see it live again. Go catch it in this form though. It has a very short lifespan in this interesting space, with the current season ending June 20.

 

Production pics Morgan Roberts

 

 

05
Aug
14

David Harris brings his intimate cabaret Time is a Traveller to Brisbane Powerhouse

Son of a coal-mining dad and a secretary mum, this is the story of an Aussie country kid and what lead him to tread the boards in some of Australia’s biggest musicals.

 

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Following an extended and sold-out season at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre, leading man David Harris, brings his intimate cabaret to Brisbane Powerhouse this Saturday August 9.

(Saturday is David birthday! Remember to wish him Happy Birthday!)

 

You may know David from productions such as The Pajama Game, Fiddler On The Roof, Breast Wishes, Children of Eden, Boy From Oz, Beauty and the Beast, Wild Party, John & Jen, Little Women, The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie or Legally Blonde

 

David Harris & Lucy Durack. Image by Jeff Busby.

 

Wicked

 

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Miss Saigon

 

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Gutenberg! – The Musical

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Damn Yankees

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Into The Woods

 

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Or from a special visit to Matthew Flinders Anglican College

 

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Time is a Traveller weaves together the songs and stories that have helped David shape his career. From growing up in country New South Wales and the embarrassment of his first school musical, to the talent quests in RSL clubs, yodelling in the Swiss alps and the highs and lows of performing his dream role.

David’s latest cabaret is an intimate, personal and candid story of one of Australia’s most acclaimed leading men best known for his Helpmann Award nomination portrayals, of Chris in Miss Saigon, Fiyero inWicked and Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde.

In Brisbane David will be joined by Special Guest Ana Marina

 

http://anamarina.com.au

Catch him in this intimate setting before he embarks for the bright lights of New York.

 

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David Harris with Jordi Russell, currently studying at AMDA NYC

 

22
Apr
14

Sunshine Coast Arts April 11 – 18 2014

 

SCD Arts Friday April 11 2014

 

Xanthe Coward

 

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There is always so much on, is it any wonder we struggle to fit it all in? But with the new-look Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance website, at least we have no more excuses when it comes to finding out about what’s on. The website (livetheatre.com.au) has all the audition, production and booking details you need to see and be involved in local live theatre. With tickets just a click away it makes scheduling a fun social night out or a hot date at the theatre a no brainer. Enjoy full-scale musicals, dramas, comedies, reviews and one-act plays at a theatre near you. Get involved by emailing your local theatre company or jumping onto their Facebook page and offering your skills and enthusiasm. Community theatre is a hobby for some and a training platform for a professional career for others. No matter your level of involvement, from audience member to cast member, you’ll be glad you connected with other local theatre lovers and theatre makers. For details check out livetheatre.com.au

 

Deathtrap

Ira Levin’s intriguing murder mystery, directed by Chris Mills, will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish! Suspense mounts steadily as the plot twists and turns with devilish cleverness in this play within a play. Season continues April 9, 11 & 12 at 8pm and April 12 at 2pm. Bookings livetheatre.com.au or call 5441 1814

 

Pirates to Pinafore

It’s an all-star cast of performing the complete works of Gilbert and Sullivan in just 89 minutes! Starring Philip Gould as Sir Arthur Sullivan, alongside veteran comic actor, Brian Hannan as W.S. Gilbert, Pirates to Pinafore delivers all the hits and highlights of the thirteen G&S operettas we have come to know and love, including songs from Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado. Noosa Arts Theatre April 11 &12 at 7:30pm. Matinees April 12 at 1pm & April 13 at 2pm. Bookings livetheatre.com.au or call 5449 9343

 

The Gentleman Magician

Bruce Glen, The Gentleman Magician, says, “Magic isn’t just for children – why should they have all the fun?” It’s a one-man magic show for adults only, which will challenge you to explore your imagination without a single top hat or rabbit involved. Noosa Arts Theatre Saturday May 3 at 1pm & 7:30pm. Bookings livetheatre.com.au

 

Mothers’ Celebration Concert

Treat mum to a very special concert featuring Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir and Oriana Youth Choir singing all her musical favourites from their extensive repertoire. A scrumptious afternoon tea is included in the ticket price. Buderim Memorial Hall Sunday May 4 at 2pm. Bookings livetheatre.com.au

 

Barmaids

Directed by Anne Grant, Barmaids is about Val and Nancy’s response to change when management decides to replace them with topless popsies. Saturated with humour, karaoke, and a chook raffle too. The Lind from May 16. Bookings livethetare.com.au

 

Auditions

 

Sweet Charity

Charity Hope Valentine is a taxi dancer who longs for love, but has bad luck with men. Auditions at Coolum Civic Centre Monday April 7 at 8pm and Wednesday April 9 at 7pm. Details livetheatre.com.au

 

Jerry’s Girls

Jerry’s Girls celebrates the music and lyrics of award-winning Broadway composer, Jerry Herman, in a two-hour musical evening. Information night at Noosa Arts Theatre Wednesday April 16 at 7:30pm. Auditions at Noosa Arts Theatre Wednesday April 30 at 7pm (soloists) and Sunday May 4 at 10am (ensemble). Details livetheatre.com.au

 

 SCD Arts Saturday April 19 2014

 

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The King and I

 

Local performer, Patrice Tipoki (Fantine in the upcoming touring professional production of Les Miserables and recently seen in A Little Night of Music for MontroseAccess and Tipoki Productions’ Songs For a New World), made her professional musical theatre debut as one of the Royal Children in Gordon-Frost’s 1991 production of The King and I.

 

Tomorrow night John Frost and Opera Australia present the Australian premiere of the acclaimed revised production of The King and I at QPAC. Final tickets for the limited seven-week season were released this week so I hope you got online and got yours. Why is it important to see this production? For the same reasons it’s always important to see as much excellent live theatre as possible. A wonderful show with a rich story and endearing characters, sumptuous costumes and memorable music (with songs dubbed by Marni Nixon, you’ll recall, for Deborah Kerr in the movie version), which lifts us up and carries us away for a little while to another world. Live theatre is the ultimate escapism. And for those of us who are involved at some level in the industry, it also helps us to recognise and appreciate what “good” looks and sounds like. And we must know what good is if we’re going to claim to produce it!

 

This particular production features 37 Brisbane children on stage. Many of them, just as Patrice did, are making their debut professional appearance. There are so many reasons to catch this lavish production. Bookings qpac.com.au

 

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James Millar Joins Jesus Christ Suoper

 

Special guest at this year’s Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance Soiree, James Millar, has secured a role in the US Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, which we saw here last year.

 

James is first understudy to Pontius Pilate, and joins Incubus lead singer, Brandon Boyd (Judas), Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams (Mary Magdalene) and Ben Forster (Jesus) in a 50-city tour. For details check out jesuschristsuperstar.com

 

 

Bruce Glen The Gentleman Magician

This is a truly intriguing one-man magic show without involving a single top hat or white rabbit. Bruce Glen, The Gentleman Magician, will challenge you to explore your imagination. Marvel at extraordinary magic, together with “tall tales and true”, inspired by the charm and wonder of some of our greatest storytellers. Noosa Arts Theatre Saturday May 3 at 1pm & 7:30pm. Bookings livetheatre.com.au

 

Mothers’ Celebration Concert

Celebrate mum with Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir and Oriana Youth Choir and enjoy a lovely afternoon tea at Buderim Memorial Hall Sunday May 4 at 2pm. Bookings livetheatre.com.au

 

Barmaids

A great Australian comedy written by Katherine Thompson and directed by Anne Grant, Barmaids tells the tale of Val and Nancy as they face the prospect of being replaced by topless popsies. The Lind from May 16 at 8pm. Bookings livetheatre.com.au

 

Auditions

 

Jerry’s Girls

Jerry’s Girls celebrates the music and lyrics of award-winning Broadway composer Jerry Herman in a two-hour musical entertainment. Auditions Wednesday April 30 by appointment via livetheatre.com.au

 

14
Feb
14

Sunshine Coast Arts February 14 2014

 

 

SCD Arts Friday February 14 2014

 

Xanthe Coward

  

Season Launch Soiree

 

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Last Saturday night, the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance, with special guest from London, Australian actor and writer, James Millar, celebrated in style at Noosa Arts Theatre. Sam Coward, in his fourth year as President of the Alliance, hosted the sold out event, at which member theatre companies offered a sneak peak of their 2014 seasons.

 

Congratulations must go to Denise Campbell and Nancy Moule, who were both inducted in the Hall of Fame. Both ladies have each given over 40 years of service to the local theatre community. The President’s Award honoured the dedication and diligence of Stephen Moore, and new members BYTE & XS Entertainment were welcomed to the Alliance. Thank you to Bendigo Community Bank, major sponsor of the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival at The Lind in August. Watch this space for details.

 

From the Sunshine Coast Daily

 

THERE will be close to 50 live productions across the Sunshine Coast from farcial comedy to musicals thanks to the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance.

 

At the Season Launch Soiree this week, the current seven members of the Alliance presented a preview of their theatrical offerings for 2014.

 

The gala evening, held at the Noosa Arts Theatre, saw the who’s who of the local theatre fraternity, rub shoulders and kick up their heels.

 

There were also a few VIP guests including the award-winning actor, singer director and writer James Millar, a graduate of WAAPA, and star of many national and international cabarets and musicals.

 

Also seen out and about, were representatives from Bendigo Bank.

 

Several of Bendigo Bank sponsors several member groups individually including Tewantin and Marcoola Community Banks.

 

 They are also sponsors of the National One-Act Playwriting Competition and now, are the major sponsor for the annual Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival.

 

Bendigo was represented by new Regional Manager Rob Chittick and Marcoola Community Bank branch manager, Judy Blackall.

 

The Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance opened it’s doors this year to new members and in doing so, have attracted several new member groups including the Performing Arts Kollective (PAK) from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Suncoast Repertory Theatre, and award-winning choir Oriana Arts.

 

They join long time members BATS Theatre Co, Coolum Theatre Players, The Lind Theatre, Noosa Arts Theatre, along with new members Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence (BYTE) and XS Entertainment.

 

There were two new inductees into the Hall of Fame, with Denise Campbell (The Lind) and Costume wonderwoman Nancy Moule, both inducted. Both ladies have volunteered for over 40 years to various theatre groups, in various capacities, and they were thrilled to have their contributions acknowledged.

 

The outlook for the Alliance is hugely positive and last night saw a fabulous display of talent, the night culminating in a stunning performance from PAK to round off a fabulous night.

 

For anyone wanting to join a local theatre group, or find out more about theatre on the coast, visit the website, www.livetheatre.com.au

 

The Making of The Great Lover

 

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Edith (Kirsty White) is a writer who tells it as it is, and if it is the taboo subject of women’s sexuality, then so be it. Her husband, Percy (David Frank), returns from WWI to find the woman he left behind has changed. How will he react to a woman who has turned ideas of women’s sexuality upside down and now seems to be leading a crusade against the rightful domain of men? Discover this deliciously decadent tale of exotic desire tonight with your Valentine, when The Making of The Great Lover, written by Jo Denver and directed by Denver & Michelle Connelly, opens at The Lind in Nambour with a special Gala Opening Night event. Season continues February 15 – 22. Bookings online lindlane.com.au or call 5441 1814

 

NT Live – Coriolanus

 

See Donmar Warehouse’s acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus at Noosa Arts Theatre, thanks to NT Live and Free Air Entertainment. Starring Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, War Horse) and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), journey alongside hero and defender, Coriolanus, as he confronts realpolitik and the voice of an angry people in ancient Rome. Two screenings only, on Sunday February 23 at 6:30pm and Monday February 24 at 10am. Bookings online noosaartstheatre.org.au or call 5449 9343

 

Hamlet. Psyched.

 

Explore Hamlet’s mental state – he’s distraught by his father’s recent death, furious at his mother for her sudden marriage to his uncle and confused about his relationship with his girlfriend! Hamlet has some serious issues! Combining classical text with contemporary material, HAMLET.PSYCHED. is a theatrical exploration of the human psyche. Directed by USC’s Drama Discipline Leader, Jo Loth, this is a new psychological thriller based on William Shakespeare’s classic text. Chancellor College Performing Arts Centre in Sippy Downs February 26, 27 & 28 at 5pm and February 27 at 8pm. Bookings online (click on “conferences and events”) payments.usc.edu.au

 

Hat Fitz and Cara

 

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Hat Fitz & Cara welcome you to a night of live music seeped in authentic realism.  This dynamic duo is a unique combination that have skillfully combined their music of hill style country blues with old time folk.  Their material is original yet crosses the boundaries as if written from a time once forgotten.  The night will include music from their acclaimed album Wiley Ways and performances of their new writings for the first time ever.
Wiley Ways won Best Blues Album of the Year 2013 Chain Awards Australia & Spiral Earth 2013 UK. One night only at Noosa Arts Theatre on Friday February 28 at 7:30pm. Bookings online noosaartstheatre.org.au or call 5449 9343

 

Accidental Death of An Anarchist

 

Comical, kinky and corrupt, the Performing Arts Kollective (PAK) Presents Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Directed by Peta Beattie. March 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at SCU Uni Club (University of the Sunshine Coast). Bookings online trybooking.com

 

Minefields and Miniskirts

 

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Adapted by Terence O’Connell from Siobhan McHugh’s book, Minefields & Miniskirts is a collection of stories and memories from the women who were affected by the Vietnam War. Nearly a thousand Australian women played a part in the war and the lives of all these women were changed forever by Vietnam. For many of them it was the most vital and alive they had ever felt. The play features many iconic songs of the period written by female singer/songwriters including Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Carole King, Buffy St. Marie and Melanie Safka.

 

A volunteer, a journalist, a nurse, the wife of a Vietnam vet and an entertainer cross paths at an Anzac Day march during the 1980′s. The women are transported back to the 1960′s and early 1970′s to their youthful experiences in Vietnam into a memory world where rice paddies, paper lanterns and ancient temples team with G.I’s, orphaned children and constant bombardment.

 

Minefields and Miniskirts is full of surprises. The pain of war is in this play, but you should also come prepared to laugh. No bomb ever killed the Australian sense of humour. These are the voices of those who were actually there: ordinary women revealing how they survived a war and discovered what they believed in. Opens March 13. Bookings online noosaartstheatre.org.au or call 5449 9343

 

Auditions

 

Auditions for The Lind’s Sweet Fanny Adams, directed by Errol R J Morrison will be held March 27 & 31 at 7pm. A rollicking Aussie musical, Sweet Fanny Adams, will be staged from 11 for 10 performances only. It’s a great opportunity for singers, and actors who like to sing! Set in 1930’s Sydney and telling the story of the rivalry between brothel owners Kitty Divine and Fanny Adams, it is set in the era of the infamous razor gangs, BUT, there’s nothing dark about this show. It’s a rollicking story of the brothel business, sly grog parlours, corruption, deception and even, love. For more details email erjmorrison@optusnet.com.au or call 0412396373

 

11
Feb
14

Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance Season Launch Soiree

 

Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance Season Launch Soiree

Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance

Noosa Arts Theatre

Saturday February 8 2014

 

Attended by Xanthe Coward

 

So our Season Launch Soiree happened on Saturday. It happened, as things do, despite the death of somebody near and dear, which I won’t write about here, but which I thank our theatre friends for acknowledging without giving us the heavy burden of talking about it. We were there to celebrate Sunshine Coast theatre, and celebrate we did!

 

In fact, we’d been in sort-of-determined celebration mode since Saturday morning, when I insisted on hosting our first ever Desire Map Bookclub get together with a few girlfriends. When I say “our” I mean mine, but Sam was there to put a table together for me and chat with the girls while I made tea. Lots of tea. We like our tea. (Luckily, we’d started on tea and stuck to it because there was nothing non-alcoholic happening later!). We had a lovely morning – it was the quietly beautiful blissful start to the weekend that I needed (thanks girls).

 

desiremapbookclub_firstever_girls

 

We headed to Noosa with our guest for the Soiree, James Millar, who happened to be in Mooloolaba on holiday in between writing, workshopping and performing whom we’d booked especially for the gig, ages ago. Of course we stopped for lunch at Bistro C – don’t worry, there was some food too, though we could argue that Matty’s oyster shots make a legit meal.

 

shotsandveauveandthatsall

 

Thanks to the major sponsor of our theatre festival in August, Bendigo Community Bank, and to all our member theatre groups, the night was a great success! We got a sneak peak at some of the work we’ll see at local theatres this year, including an awesome preview from the Performing Arts Kollective (PAK)! We welcomed Nancy Moule and Denise Campbell to the Hall of Fame and celebrated Stephen Moore, recipient of the President’s Award.

 

Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance President, Sam Coward, was an exceptionally charming and witty host and James Millar was without a doubt, an absolute hit!

 

For more photos check out the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance Facebook page.

 

jamesmillar_synda_sam_soiree2014 annamcmahonandshaunbennett racheljordiashleigh syndajuliaxanthe

 

samandxanthe_soiree2014

 

 

 

 

11
Feb
14

Sunshine Coast Arts Friday February 7 2014

 

SCD Arts Friday February 7 2014

Xanthe Coward

Millar to join Soiree

 

Lucy Maunder & James Millar in Noel and Gertie. Image by NicholasHiggins

 

Tomorrow night at the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance Season Launch Soiree at Noosa Arts Theatre, the local theatre community will welcome special guest, James Millar, a graduate of WAAPA, and writer, composer and performer. Millar, now based in London, was seen recently in Sydney as Noel Coward opposite Lucy Maunder’s Gertrude in Noel and Gertie. When he’s not performing, Millar is writing and has two musical productions under his belt already, both co-written with Peter Rutherford (LoveBites and The Hatpin). Last year the award-winning pair won the Victorian College of the Arts’ New Work Music Theatre Project, which aims to further develop new musicals. Millar and Rutherford, received $38 000 and a two-week workshop for their newest show, A Little Touch of Chaos. After the Melbourne workshop, Millar will head home to London to start rehearsals for a mega-hit musical that we can’t tell you about yet. Don’t think he’ll tell you tomorrow night either, as producers have a strict embargo in place.

 

Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance President, Sam Coward, is looking forward to seeing old and new members at the Soiree and says, “2014 promises to deliver a whole lot of new – new website, new members, new festival, new faces. We are opening up the doors and welcoming anyone who’d like to get involved”. For details go to livetheatre.com.au and get last minute Soiree tickets online noosaartstheatre.org.au or call 5449 9343

 

The Making of The Great Lover

 

makingofthegreatlover_girlsWhen the play, That Woman, was performed at The Lind in Nambour in 2012, it played to capacity audiences. The next offering from Jo Denver at this busy theatre, The Making of the Great Lover, is expected to elicit the same enthusiastic response so be sure to book early.

 

Kirsty White, as the fearless independent writer Edith Hull, leads a stellar cast of local actors who breathe fire and humour into the script, which shows how every character is influenced by Hull’s controversial book, The Sheik. This influence extends over the miles, all the way to Hollywood, providing the springboard that will catapult a young actor to stardom and earn him the title of ‘The Great Lover’. Shaun Bennett is full of surprises as he takes his character from a shy and confused foreigner trying so hard to be an American, to the dynamic star of the silent screen…Rudolph Valentino. Opens Valentine’s Day February 14 8pm. Season continues February 15, 19, 21 & 22 at 8pm and February 15, 16 & 22 at 2pm. Bookings lindlane.com.au or call 5441 1814

 

Minefields and Miniskirts

 

If history is told by the victors, the story of war is usually told by the blokes. Now it’s the ‘sheilas’ turn. Nearly a thousand Australian women had a part in the Vietnam War as entertainers, typists, consular staff and army nurses. The one thing they have in common is that their lives were changed forever by Vietnam. For many of them it was the most vital and alive they have ever felt.

 

Minefields and Miniskirts records the voices of those who were actually there; ordinary woman revealing how they survived a war and discovered what they believed in. Adapted from Siobhan McHugh’s book, this play reveals through a collage of true stories, the extraordinary experiences of ordinary women in surviving a war. March 14, 15, 20, 21 & 222 at 7:30pm and March 16 at 2pm and March 22 at 1pm. Bookings noosaartstheatre.org.au or call 5449 9343

 

Four Weddings and an Elvis

 

Sandy, the four-times-married-three-times-divorced wedding chapel owner has seen her fair share of matriomonies. Witness four of her most memorable in a hilarious and heartwarming musical rom-com by Coolum Theatre Players, featuring Jennifer Rousset, Wendy McDermott, Richard Kent, Wayne Staniland and Marilyn Davies. March 21, 22, 28 & 29 at 7:30pm and March 23 & 30 at 2pm. Bookings coolum.com.au/theatre or call 5446 2050