Thursday, March 29, 2012

Contact! Operatic Soapie Invades the Suburban Netball Court

We've had musicals about political figures, sporting personalities, menopause, motherhood and goodness know what else, so why not a musical about netball. Why not indeed.

Contact! is opening next month as part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and insiders are promising a fun-filled look at the sport, and all-women's pursuits in general. Yesterday I spoke to Georgia Brooks, one of the stars-of-the-show, during rehearsal break. The article is now published online by Stage Whispers. Continue reading

Read my review of opening night
More previews, reviews and features

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: How to Train Your Dragon - Arena Spectacular

My review of the World Premiere of How to Train Your Dragon - Arena Spectacular in Melbourne is now published online by Stage Whispers.

The production was a hybrid theatre-movie event, with projection just as important as the dragons themselves. As a spectacle it does well. However the audience needs to indicate its appreciation far more than it does. Parents, please teach your children how to clap their hands when patronising live theatre.

Read the review
Read my earlier media call wrap

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sneak Peek: How to Train Your Dragon - Arena Spectacular

This morning I joined the media pack to get a sneak peek at the World Premiere of How to Train Your Dragon at Hisense Arena in Melbourne.

After three months of rehearsals, the Director Nigel Jamieson told me he is ‘not getting too much sleep’ saying while the show is completely safe, there are so many interconnected computer cues, that the slightest glitch has the potential to bring the show undone.

Hisense Arena is a mighty large, three-dimensional stage. And it needs to be in order to accommodate the show’s stars. Twenty-four dragons dwarfed their human counterparts, who had to battle for our attention this morning.

Each of the five largest dragons weighs 1.6tons, that’s about the weight of your family car, and each requires three operators: one driver and two voodoo puppeteers, with one manipulating head, tail and gross motor movement, and the other minor movements such as eyes, mouth and roars. Continue reading

Read my review of the World Premiere in Melbourne

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Outdoor Theatre: The Joys and Perils

Wondering whether to cancel your planned barbecue tonight? 
Spare a thought for Glenn Elston, for whom theatre productions over the past 25 years have included recalcitrant possums, a cast member falling into a lake, and many cancellations.
Since presenting The Wind in the Willows in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens in 1987, the founder of the Australian Shakespeare Company has carved out a reputation as this country’s outdoor theatre specialist, where the natural surrounds become the set. Continue reading

You may also be interested in
Romeo and Juliet (Royal Botanic Gardens)
Philanthropic Dairy Farmer Builds Theatre and Gallery (and then gives them away)
Production Camps - Why Bother?
More performing arts articles, profiles and reviews