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Monday, June 18, 2018

Local Theatre, with Cheryl Threadgold

The Never Ending Story did end. No actual Wolf on Wall Street.
Not even a small metallic-looking coat in Full Metal Jacket. Why don’t we keep our promises?
This as well as other important questions will not be answered – nor asked – in the premiere of Willem Richards’s new off-the-wall one man sketch show Full Metal Jacket and other impractical fashions at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.
After his four-star show in last year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival, Richards unveils an array of larger than life characters fused with his own brand of silliness.
You will see a doctor who refuses to diagnose his patients unless they are undressed – completely.
A clown who is so completely dead inside he will go to any length to feel something – anything.
And an employee who is being held back from excelling at work due to a very full tea cup – extreme word.
Before you come see Full Metal Jacket and other impractical fashions, go through your closet and wear your most ridiculous jacket to the show. Because laugher of the credulous kind is expected.
Venue: The Metropolitan Hotel, 36 Courtney St, North Melbourne
Dates: Monday, September 25 – Saturday, September 30 (Six shows)
Times: 7:15pm (50 min)
Tickets: Full $18 / Conc $15 (Sept 17-30) www.melbournefringe.com.au
– Cheryl Threadgold

Melbourne performer and singer-songwriter Katie Visser presented her one-woman show, Katie’s 80s, at Gasworks Theatre for the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
With her striking ‘big’ 80s hairdo, huge gold earrings and lovely smile, Katie gave her all to performing for the small audience on opening night.
Eighties songs are entwined with various stages of Katie’s life, appropriate because she explains it was music that got her through good and bad times.
Katie entertains while relating stories of romance as she meets Jack, Phil, Derek and others through online dating, until at 30 … she meets Nathaniel, ‘the one’.
I thoroughly enjoyed Katie’s refreshingly frank storytelling and good comedic timing, and felt the show would have benefitted from more dialogue.
Katie exudes goodwill, but from a critical perspective the black dress appeared uncomfortable and too short as it wriggled up and needed pulling down, particularly when Katie sat on the stool.
Gold jewellery and silver shoes may be an intended quirky mismatch, but this didn’t work. Choreography is needed to polish hand actions and moves and avoid the ‘step together’.
Finally, unscrewing the top of the plastic water bottle and replacing it each time after drinks breaks the show’s momentum. Best leave the top off, or use a glass of water.
Katie pays a respectful tribute to her favourite 80s icons such as Prince, Madonna, Tina Turner and Kate Bush, and points out as part of a life message, that they were individuals who did not feel the need to ‘fit in’.
Congratulations to Nicholas Gray on keyboard, who does terrific work as Katie’s accompanist throughout the show.
On opening night towards the end of the show, the audience was introduced to Nathaniel, ‘the one’ – a highlight after hearing about him in Katie’s story.
Katie enjoys success with her band and song-writing, and if addressing just a few issues, could enjoy similar success with her one-woman show. Hope so.
– Review by Cheryl Threadgold

Gospolation announces that their show will feature more than 70 performers making it the biggest show at this year’s Melbourne Fringe festival.
The highly acclaimed Gospo Collective will be joined by vocalists from Monash University with support from The Jones Juniors – the Gospo children’s program, to make a total cast of 73 performers, presented from September 28 – 30 at the National Theatre, St Kilda.
Gospo Collective Music Director and educator and performer, Charmaine Jones-Devasagayam, who has worked with greats like Michael Buble, Leo Sayer, James Morrison and Paul Kelly, said the audience would hear their favourite pop songs, remixed in her unique style that merges gospel and pop music.
“We have some of the best voices in Melbourne supporting the Gospo Collective.
They will be singing some of my favourite music in my signature style – you will have no choice but to get out of the crib and into the club with the harmonic flava’s of our most impressive and largest show yet,” she said.
The audience will hear reworked songs by artists like: Aretha Franklin, Bee Gees, Earth Wind and Fire, Kirk Franklin, Israel Houghton, Hezekiah Walker, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé …all sung in harmony by a dynamic backing choir.
A performance for young and old, Charmaine also said how the show is a production that will appeal to the music tastes of all ages and backgrounds.
“I am proud to say that we are knocking down the walls of ‘gospel’ to create something new and beautiful – using this style of music to re-work contemporary greats, puts a new spin on this genre and creates something not seen before in this country.”
Performance Season: September 28 – 30 at 7.30pm
Venue: National Theatre, 20 Carlisle St, St Kilda South
Tickets: Adult $40, Concession $36, Child $30. Suitable: All ages.
Bookings: gospo.com.au
– Cheryl Threadgold

The Ballarat Cabaret Festival returns to Ballarat from October 5 -8.
For the sixth year in a row, this regional festival brings cabaret entertainment into the heart of Ballarat with shows in the Ballarat Mining Exchange, Ballarat’s Mechanic Institute and the Lost Ones Basement Bar.
Acts have been handpicked by the 2017 Artistic Director Fiona Scott Norman and this year’s festival honours our artistic elders with performances from Debra Byrne (October 8) performing the songs she treasured as a young girl, and opening the festival.
The Bachelors From Prague (October 5), Jude Perl ( October 7) and Gillian Cosgriff (October 6).
The festival also includes new work from old hands, with Paul McDermott of The Doug Anthony All Stars (DAAS) and Steven Gates of Tripod, collaborating for the first time in Go Solo (October 6).
Dolly Diamond returns to Ballarat with a fresh take in a TV classic – Dolly Diamond’s Bl*nky Bl*nks (October 7 and 8).
The Ballarat Cabaret Festival showcases the next generation of Australian cabaret talent.
Cabaret Neu (October 8) features six superb acts from Federation University Arts Academy graduating class, while this year’s festival also features The Aspie Hour – a collaboration between two emerging cabaret stars, Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley.
Charlie D. Barkle and Oliver Clark battle it out to discover who the is the best James Bond in Shaken (October 7) and you can become your own cabaret star as Trevor Jones returns with the Key Party Piano Bar (October 6 and 7).
A 2017 Cabaret Festival pass can be purchased to see all festival performances; and there are also VIP Festival passes.
For more information about this year’s festival, meal and accommodation packages, cabaret tickets and all festival passes visit www.ballaratcabaret.com or call 5333 5888
– Cheryl Threadgold

Ophelia’s Inner Monologue is a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – a mix of drama, romance, comedy, music, and the woman’s perspective, presented by Aridhi Anderson on dates and at venues below.
Ophelia’s Inner Monologue is an exploration of the timeless themes of love, identity, power and choices – explored through a script with drama, romance, comedy, music, and more.
The play is a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, explored from the unique perspective of Hamlet’s girlfriend, Ophelia.
A young girl’s life spirals into chaos when her boyfriend’s uncle murders his father and marries his mother.
Ophelia struggles to find a balance between exploring her identity, fulfilling her duties towards her family and society, supporting her unstable boyfriend through his darkness, and finding light in her own. At the end of her rope, she turns to the internet for advice.
Ophelia’s Inner Monologue is written and directed by Aridhi Anderson, a lawyer-turned theatre artist/playwright/director/actor trainer. She has trained under and worked with renowned Indian theatre director Arvind Gaur (Asmita Theatre Group) for the past decade, and runs her own theatre group, The Day Dream, which regularly performs her work in New Delhi and now also in Melbourne.
Dates: September 19 – October 1
Times: 7.30 pm (19-21 Sept), 6 pm (Sept 22-Oct 1, 5 pm on Sundays). Venues: Dancehouse, Carlton North ( Sept 19-21), Courthouse Hotel, North Melbourne (Sept 22-Oct 1). Tickets: $25 (Full), $20 (Concession)
Bookings: melbournefringe.com.au or call 9660 9666

Stand-up comedian and writer Michael Shafar debuts his new show Kosher Bacon in the Melbourne Fringe Festival until September 30 at the Lithuanian Club, North Melbourne.
Since leaving a career in law for comedy, Michael Shafar has made a name for himself in Australian comedy, reaching the RAW Comedy National Final in 2016.
Building on from the success of Jewish-ish, Michael debuts Kosher Bacon; a show about paradoxes like ‘round squares’, ‘hot ice’ or ‘delicious tofu’. It also happens to be a show about marriage, the media, God and bar-mitzvah DJs.
Dates and Times: September 15-30 (No Mondays), 9pm (Sundays at 8pm)
Venue: Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne
Cost: $20 – $25
Tickets: melbournefringe.com.au
– Cheryl Threadgold

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