A woman is striking a pose. A man is dancing.
News, Reviews, Theatre

A call for belonging

Review: Black Swan State Theatre Company, You Know We Belong Together ·
Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA, 21 March ·
Review by Nina Levy ·

From the moment she welcomes us to the theatre, performer and writer Julia Hales has us in the palm of her hand. This is the encore season of her work You Know We Belong Together, created with director Clare Watson and writer and associate director Finn O’Branagáin. A co-production by Black Swan State Theatre Company, Perth Festival and Dadaa, You Know We Belong Together had its first outing at last year’s Perth Festival. In recognition, no doubt, of the success of the 2018 iteration, the show has moved upstairs into the Heath Ledger Theatre in 2019, with a run three times the length of the original.

Described in the programme as a “live documentary”, You Know We Belong Together is based around a series of vignettes comprised of monologues, filmed interviews, sketches and chats. With Hales at it centre, the work is driven by her dreams: to find love, and to be on the long-running television show Home and Away.

A woman sits at a coffee table another woman dances. In the background is a projection of a train station.
“When I dance I feel like myself”: Lauren Marchbank dances as Julia Hales looks on. Photo: Toni Wilkinson.

But there’s more to this show than personal aspirations. You Know We Belong Together is a passionate call for inclusivity for people with disability, in particular on stage and screen. A woman with Down syndrome, Hales gives us an insight into her life and the lives of some of her friends with Down syndrome. We meet dancer Lauren Marchbank, who moves with loose-limbed release; Joshua Bott, whose dance-style is all about funk; Tina Fielding, a performer and palm-reader who’s always up for a laugh; the gentle Patrick Carter, whose talents lie in both performing and visual arts; and Mark and Melissa Junor, who met at a dance class and have been happily married for almost 19 years.

A woman standing in front of a portrait of herself. Both have their arms extended up and out.
Julia Hales. Photo: Toni Wilkinson.

And then there’s Hales, who manages the show with warmth, humour and sensitivity, whether interviewing her friends about love or taking us on a guided tour of her life. Though she keeps us giggling with her references to Summer Bay and its residents (cleverly supported by Tyler Hill’s set design), she doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff. We learn of her struggles, as a young adult, to come to terms with the fact that she is a person with Down syndrome, and her ongoing grief for her late mother. It’s honest, poignant and, most importantly, relatable.

And so when she asks why we don’t see people with Down syndrome on shows like Home and Away, the injustice of this absence is striking. Why, indeed?

Together with the creative team and cast, Hales, O’Branagáin and Watson have brought to the stage an engaging work that quietly but firmly lets us know, it’s time for change.

It’s a message everyone should hear.

You Know We Belong Together runs until March 31. 

Pictured top are Julia Hales and Joshua Bott. Photo: Toni Wilkinson.

A woman stands with her hands clasped over her heart.
Julia Hales manages the show with warmth, humour and sensitivity. Photo: Toni Wilkinson.
Please follow and like us:
Lady in field with hose pipe truck in background
April 19, Calendar, Lectures and Talks, Visual arts

Visual Arts: Talks: Meet the Artists | ‘Survival: Fight or Flight’

7, 9 & 14 April @ Mundaring Arts Centre ·
Presented by Mundaring Arts Centre ·

As part of ‘Survival: Fight or Flight’ on display at Mundaring Arts Centre 6 April – 19 May, artists Peter Dailey, Bev Iles, Patricia Tarrant, David Small, Denise Brown and Cathy Swioklo will discuss their work in the exhibition over a series of three free events.

Peter Dailey and Bev Iles | Sunday 7 April 1pm – 2pm
Patricia Tarrant and David Small | Tuesday 9 April 11am – 12pm
Denise Brown and Cathy Swioklo | Sunday 14 April 1pm – 2pm

More info
W: www.mundaringartscentre.com.au/
E:  info@mundaringartscentre.com.au

Pictured: Cathy Swioklo, ‘Hypervigilance’, 2019, soft pastel

Please follow and like us:
Features, News, Performing arts

2018 Performing Arts WA Awards nominations

The nominees for the 2018 Performing Arts WA (PAWA) Awards have been announced.

Traditionally covering theatre, in 2018 the PAWA Awards were expanded to include dance. The twelve theatre, six dance and five shared design awards will be presented at the 2018 PAWA Awards gala event, Monday 29 April, from 7pm, at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia.

THEATRE AWARDS

Best Mainstage Production, presented by Hawaiian
Hir – Black Swan State Theatre Company
Stay With Us – The Last Great Hunt
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll – Black Swan State Theatre Company
Xenides – Black Swan State Theatre Company
You Know We Belong Together – A Black Swan, Perth Festival and DADAA Co-Production

Best Independent Production
Frankie’s – The Blue Room Theatre & Variegated Productions
godeatgod – The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Squid Vicious
The Inconsequential Lives of Little Fish – The Blue Room Theatre & Frieda, Sam & Friends
Let me finish. – The Blue Room Theatre & Charlotte Otton
Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes – The Blue Room Theatre & Renegade Productions

Best New Work
Samantha Chester & Ensemble – HIRO: The Man Who Sailed His House, Samantha Chester
Julia Hales with Finn O’Branagain and Clare Watson – You Know We Belong Together, A Black Swan, Perth Festival and DADAA Co-Production
Barbara Hostalek – Banned, Mudskipper Productions
Libby Klysz & Ensemble – Frankie’s, Variegated Productions
Terence Smith – 52 Hertz, Beyond the Yard

Best Newcomer
Cassidy Dunn – The Talk, The Last Great Hunt
Mackenzie Dunn – Assassins & Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Julia Hales – You Know We Belong Together, A Black Swan, Perth Festival and DADAA Co-Production
Frieda Lee – The Inconsequential Lives of Little Fish, The Blue Room Theatre & Frieda, Sam & Friends
Angela Mahlatjie – Let me finish., The Blue Room Theatre & Charlotte Otton

Best Supporting Actor (Male)
Geoff Kelso – Assassins, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Russell Leonard – Slap & Tickle, The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & The Kabuki Drop & WAYJO
Will O’Mahony – Assassins, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Igor Sas – Hir, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Mararo Wangai – Improvement Club, The Last Great Hunt

Best Supporting Actor (Female)
Caitlin Beresford-Ord – Assassins, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Mackenzie Dunn – Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Vivienne Garrett – Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Jo Morris – Josephine!, The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Second Chance Theatre
Morgan Owen – Court My Crotch, The Blue Room Theatre & FUGUE

Best Actor in a Mainstage Production (Male), presented by Artist Management Australia
Jacob Allan – Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Gary Cooper – Skylab, Black Swan State Theatre Company & Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
Sam Longley – Tom Vickers and the Extraordinary Adventure of his Missing Sock, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre & Western Australian Museum
Will O’Mahony – Hir, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Kelton Pell – Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company

Best Actor in a MainStage Production (Female), presented by Moore Creative Artists
Julia Hales – You Know We Belong Together, A Black Swan – Perth Festival and DADAA Co-Production
Monica Main – The Swash-Line Secret!, The WA Museum Shipwrecks Gallery
Amy Mathews – Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Toni Scanlan – Hir, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Alison van Reeken – Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company

Best Actor in an Independent Production (Male), presented by Media Super
Humphrey Bower – HIRO: The Man Who Sailed His House, The Blue Room Theatre & Samantha Chester
St John Cowcher – Frankie’s, The Blue Room Theatre & Variegated Productions
Sam Hayes – The Inconsequential Lives of Little Fish, The Blue Room Theatre & Frieda, Sam & Friends
iOTA – Slap & Tickle, The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & The Kabuki Drop & WAYJO
Andrew Sutherland – Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes, The Blue Room Theatre & Renegade Productions

Best Actor in an Independent Production (Female), presented by Media Super
Holly Jones – Banned, The Blue Room Theatre & Mudskipper Productions
Frieda Lee – The Inconsequential Lives of Little Fish, The Blue Room Theatre & Frieda, Sam & Friends
Esther Longhurst – Frankie’s, The Blue Room Theatre & Variegated Productions
Della Rae Morrison – Banned, The Blue Room Theatre & Mudskipper Productions
Clare Testoni – The Beast and The Bride, The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Bow & Dagger

Best Director of a Mainstage Production
Gita Bezard – The Talk, The Last Great Hunt
Jeffrey Jay Fowler – In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, Black Swan State Theatre
Company
Adam Mitchell – Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Zoe Pepper – Hir, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Clare Watson – You Know We Belong Together, A Black Swan, Perth Festival and DADAA Co-Production

Best Director of an Independent Production
Susie Conte – Lysistrata, Tempest Theatre
Libby Klysz – Frankie’s, The Blue Room Theatre & Variegated Productions
Joe Lui – Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes, The Blue Room Theatre & Renegade Productions
Scott McArdle – Josephine!, The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Second Chance Theatre
James McMillan – Court My Crotch, The Blue Room Theatre & FUGUE

DANCE AWARDS

Best Production
Dracula – West Australian Ballet
Dust on the Shortbread – Anything Is Valid Dance Theatre
Structural Dependency – Brooke Leeder & Dancers, with Louis Frere-Harvey, Nemo Gandossini-Poirier and Matthew Thorley
“WA Dance Makers Project” – Co3 Australia

Best New Work
Carly Armstrong, Jessica Lewis & Amy Wiseman – You Do Ewe, WA Dance Makers Project,
Unkempt Dance
Serena Chalker & Quindell Orton – Dust on the Shortbread, Anything Is Valid Dance Theatre
Brooke Leeder & Dancers – Structural Dependency
Krzysztof Pastor – Dracula, West Australian Ballet

Best Newcomer
Michelle Aitken – Future’s Eve, Paper Mountain
Tanya Brown – In-Lore Act II, WA Dance Makers Project, Co3 Australia
Sarah Sim – Structural Dependency, Brooke Leeder & Dancers & Natalie Allen’s Sisters Vice from In SITU, Emma Fishwick & Kynan Hughes in association with STRUT Dance, Tura New Music & Artrage
Luci Young – Frank Enstein, Co3 Australia

Best Performer (Male)
Eric Avery – Dancing with Strangers as part of “Burrbgaja Yalirra (Dancing Forwards)”, Marrugeku & PICA
Zachary Lopez – Frank Enstein, Co3 Australia
Andrew Searle – “WA Dance Makers Project”, Co3 Australia
Oscar Valdés – La Sylphide, West Australian Ballet

Best Performer (Female)
Floeur Alder – Beyond, Supported by Ochre Contemporary Dance Company
Marlo Benjamin – Love/Less, Kynan Hughes & MoveMe Festival
Ella-Rose Trew – “WA Dance Makers Project”, Co3 Australia
Miranda Wheen – Miranda as part of Burrbgaja Yalirra (Dancing Forwards), Marrugeku & PICA

Best Director or Choreographer
Kynan Hughes – Love/Less, Kynan Hughes & MoveMe Festival
Brooke Leeder – Structural Dependency, Brooke Leeder & Dancers
Grayson Millwood & Gavin Webber – Frank Enstein, Made by The Farm in collaboration with Co3 Australia
Unkempt Dance – You Do Ewe, WA Dance Makers Project, Co3 Australia

THEATRE & DANCE: PRODUCTION AWARDS

Best Sound Design
James Brown & Laurie Sinagra – Frank Enstein, Made by The Farm in collaboration with Co3 Australia
Ben Collins – Seeking basics needs and other tales of excess, PICA & Renée Newman with Ben Collins
Ben Collins – The Talk, The Last Great Hunt
Joe Lui – Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes, The Blue Room Theatre & Renegade Productions
Eden Mulholland – In-Lore Act II as part of WA Dance Makers Project, Co3 Australia

Best Lighting Design
George Ashforth – Court My Crotch, The Blue Room Theatre & FUGUE
Matthew Cox – “Burrbgaja Yalirra (Dancing Forwards)”, Marrugeku & PICA
Joe Lui – Love/Less, Kynan Hughes & MoveMe Festival
Phoebe Pilcher – Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes, The Blue Room Theatre & Renegade Productions
Trent Suidgeest – Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Black Swan State Theatre Company

Best Stage Design
Maeli Cherel – The Inconsequential Lives of Little Fish, The Blue Room Theatre & Frieda, Sam & Friends
Stephen Curtis – “Burrbgaja Yalirra (Dancing Forwards)”, Marrugeku & PICA
Phil R. Daniels – Dracula, West Australian Ballet
Sohan Ariel Hayes – Ngarlimbah as part of “Burrbgaja Yalirra (Dancing Forwards)”, Marrugeku & PICA
Tyler Hill – Hir, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Rhys Morris – HIRO: The Man Who Sailed His House, The Blue Room Theatre & Samantha Chester

Best Costume Design
Alicia Clements – In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Stephen Curtis – “Burrbgaja Yalirra (Dancing Forwards)”, Marrugeku & PICA
Charles Cusick Smith – Dracula, West Australian Ballet
Lexi De Silva – La Sylphide, West Australian Ballet
Lynn Ferguson – Assassins, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Tarryn Gill – Hir, Black Swan State Theatre Company

Best Composition or Arranging
Michael Brett – Dracula, West Australian Ballet
Sascha Budimski – Love/Less, Kynan Hughes & MoveMe Festival
Georgina Cramond – Josephine!, The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Second Chance Theatre
Ekrem Mülayim – HIRO: The Man Who Sailed His House, The Blue Room Theatre & Samantha Chester
Nat Pavlovic – Night Sweats, The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Static Drive Co

Head to the Perth Theatre Trust website to book tickets for the 2018 PAWA Awards gala event.

Pictured top: Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of ‘Hir’. Pictured: Will O’Mahony, Toni Scanlan and Igor Sas. Photo: Daniel James Grant.

Please follow and like us:
A group of men singing on stage
Musical theatre, News, Reviews

Bleak, brutal and bittersweet

Review: WAAPA 3rd year Music Theatre, Company ·
Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA, 19 March ·
Review by Ron Banks ·

“What’s the point of getting married?” bachelor Bobby is asked by one of his many married female friends.

“Er, for company?” queries Bobby, uncertain of why one would commit to a lifetime with the same person, underlining at the same time the emptiness and loneliness of his own unmarried existence.

First performed in the early 1970s, Sondheim’s musical Company is now a timeless reminder that for many young people, getting married – and staying married – is a vexatious state of mind, and that the resolution of marital problems is never going to be easy.

The famous music theatre composer’s slate for the sketches that form Company is his home city of New York, a place where, it appears, hundreds of thousands of marriages go to die. Despite the slick New York night-clubs and bars, chic apartments and even the railway station that comprise its backdrop, Sondheim’s take on young relationships is bleak and bitter-sweet.

The play is a series of vignettes about young people who get married, the focal point of which is the one who does not get married. Bobby is a bachelor celebrating his 35 years in the single state with five couples who have opted for marriage as a resolution to the problem of curing loneliness. Love doesn’t seem to come into it, although they protest that it does. Well, these are cynical New Yorkers, you know, and this is a Sondheim scenario where too much sentiment is not good for you.

This WAAPA production is played in the round, an appropriate metaphor for these young couples as they circle around Bobby, trying to get him to get him to commit to marriage so he can be as unhappy as they appear to be.

Bobby has three girl friends over the course of the evening, but he is not really a seducer in the Don Juan league. Rather he is a confused young man who has not really found love and he backs out of relationships before they can get too serious.

We get to know more about Bobby through his interactions with his married friends, at the same time catching glimpses of his friends’ fears and foibles in regard to that particular state of legally-sanctioned relationship.

Conor Neylon captures Bobby’s personality and doubt with a convincing sense of confusion, and his delivery of the often-difficult Sondheim songs grows in confidence as the show moves through its many short, snappy confrontations.

This is a musical of set-pieces, with each couple showing what their lives have become in song, dialogue with Bobby, and the occasional spot of group choreography.

Each performer gets the chance to shine, and the graduating students make the most of their opportunities with style and pizzazz. Their outward sparkle is a poignant counterpoint to their characters’ inner insecurity and doubt. WAAPA director Andrew Lewis has wrangled their combined talents into a stylish ensemble. The costumes and settings are timeless, neither transposed to the present day, nor anchored back in the 70s. (The smart phones are the only disorientating clue that it might be the present.)

There is a stand-out performance from Annabelle Rosewarne as Amy, the girl who, on her wedding day, suddenly decides she does not want to marry Paul. She expresses her fears in a patter-song worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan but far more hip.

Company is famous for its song “Ladies Who Lunch”, delivered with convincing mockery and cynicism by Victoria Graves, as Joanne, whose marriage a second time is not going well.

Company is quite brutal in its dissection of modern marriage, but strangely fascinating and hugely entertaining in the hands of these young WAAPA performers.

Brutal yet honest.

But that’s the point of Sondheim, isn’t it? It’s why we love his work.

Company runs until March 23.

Pictured top: Conor Neylon, as Bobby, with the male ensemble. Photo: Jon Green.

Please follow and like us:
Juliet at her balcony
News, Reviews, Theatre

Students hit sweet spot

Review: Romeo and Juliet, WAAPA 3rd year Acting directed by Michael Jenn ·
Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA, 16 March ·
Review by David Zampatti ·

I suffer from an unfortunate condition called Veronaphobia, brought on by a couple of productions of Romeo and Juliet so excruciating that good manners and the advice of my lawyer constrain me from identifying, other than to say that at the first the urge to flee at interval nearly overcame me, and at the second it did.

There’s a reason for the malady. Romeo and Juliet, while it is an extravagant achievement of the English language, can be a rose that smells too sweet.

Shakespeare (who, remember, was likely only 30 and six years into his career) had just discovered his mastery, and hurled it at everything he did with little restraint. For this reason his great early plays, Richard III and A Midsummer Night’s Dream among them, need to be handled with great control and command.

Lack either, and things can get very ugly very quickly.

Happily this production, performed by WAAPA’s third year Acting students, directed by the visiting British actor and director Michael Jenn, is an antidote to what ails me.

Camilla Ponte-Alvarez (Tybalt) and Ben Chapple (Samson). Photo: Jon Green.

He navigates his ill-fated lovers and their squabbling families towards the West Side Story point of the compass, without working that relocation too hard (I’m okay for a character to cross the stage on a Vespa, and street knives actually work better than rapiers in Andy Fraser’s fight scenes). Kara Rousseau’s set in the Studio Underground is timeless and functional; the balcony is a platform on scaffolding that doubles as the upper levels of villas and palaces above Verona’s dangerous streets.

Most importantly, Jenn allows his young actors to attempt Shakespeare’s lyrical text (only fifteen per cent of the play’s lines are in prose) with a natural, colloquial rhythm, and this gives it clarity and accessibility.

Even Shakespeare’s most audacious conceit, the sonnet “If I profane with my unworthy hand” injected into Romeo and Juliet’s love-making, is natural and unforced, while maintaining its aching beauty.

The supporting cast give strong, distinctive performances: in particular Bryn Chapman Parish and Saskia Archer are perfectly drawn as the grasping daughter-peddling Capulets, Mercutio is given a sassy humour not always afforded Tybalt’s pincushion by Peter Thurnwald, and Ruby Maishman’s Friar Lawrence brings much more than the traditional hapless meddler in the affairs of the heart.

Jonathan Lagudi is a tall, dark and handsome Romeo, well suited to love and be loved, but the play is always Juliet’s, the “splendid” Juliet as Harold Bloom described her, the prototype of all Shakespeare’s great heroines, his too-young Rosalind-in-waiting, the girl whose bounty is as boundless and deep as the sea.

Poppy Lynch is a beautiful Juliet, sensible, determined and ready for anything love and death can bestow on, and take from, her. There’s nothing ethereal about her Juliet, and she acts her age (something too often overlooked).

It’s a fine performance that caps a fine production.

Romeo and Juliet runs until March 21.

Poppy Lynch as Juliet and Jonathan Lagudi as Romeo are pictured top. Photo: Jon Green.

Please follow and like us:
Boys dressed up in black homburg hats
April 19, Calendar, Children, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Children: Billionaire Boy

24 – 27 April @ The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia ·
Presented by CDP ·

David Walliams’ third novel for young audiences Billionaire Boy is a number one UK bestseller. In 2019,  CDP Theatre Producers (the team behind The 13-, 26-, 52-, 78- and 91-Storey Treehouses, The Gruffalo and David Walliams’ Mr Stink) are proud to bring the beloved novel to life on stage! Coming to the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia this April, it’s perfect for children aged 6-12 – and their adults!

Since 2008 David Walliams has taken the children’s literary world by storm; his bestselling novels have been translated into over forty languages and have sold over ten million copies in the UK alone. Walliams’ books have achieved unprecedented critical acclaim and countless broadsheet reviewers have compared him to his all-time hero, Roald Dahl.

Twelve year old Joe has everything a boy could ever want, from a golden underwater Ferrari to his very own cinema. Joe and his Dad have more money than you could imagine, but what Joe really needs is a friend.  When Joe arrives at his new school, life really gets tough. Facing the school bully, his Dad’s new girlfriend and the world’s worst school canteen, Joe is about to learn that money might buy you a lot in Raj’s shop, but it can’t buy you everything.

Don’t miss this original Australian adaptation with songs, laughs and yes, that cat sick and sweet potato mash from the canteen…

A talented cast of five bring the Billionaire Boy to the stage, exploring important social issues such as bullying, relationships and self-esteem through enjoyable, accessible comedy and loveable characters and lots of laughs.

“Billionaire Boy is a poignant tale about a boy who has everything. Everything except a friend. It’s a riches to rags story that will warm your heart. Filled with humour and soul, this is not a show you want to miss!” – Maryam Master (Playwright)

24 April at 10am & 12pm
25 April at 11am & 1pm
26 April at 10am & 12pm
27 April at 3pm & 5pm

More info:
https://www.ptt.wa.gov.au/venues/state-theatre-centre-of-wa/whats-on/billionaire-boy/

Please follow and like us:
Actors on stage holding puppets
April 19, Calendar, Children, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Children: Room on the Broom

23 – 28 April @ The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia ·
Presented by CDP ·

Room on the Broom live on stage returns to the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, from 23-28 April. Based on the much-loved picture book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler and brought to you by the award-winning team behind The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and The 13, 26, 52, 78 & 91-Storey Treehouses, the Witch and her animal friends are flying in to the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia following sold-out seasons across the country during 2016 and 2017.

The witch and her cat are flying happily on their broomstick – until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. A helpful dog, bird and frog find the witch’s lost things, and they all hop on the broom for a ride. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and – CRACK – the broom snaps in two! When a hungry dragon appears, who will save the poor witch? And will there ever be room on the broom for everyone?

Room on the Broom brings together physical theatre, music and beautiful puppetry to bring this much loved story about friendship, sharing and working together to the stage for children aged 3-8… and their adults!

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s beloved characters come to life in a production which has received critical  acclaim around the world:

“A truly theatrical feast that leaves both adults and children fully entertained. Five stars” The List

“Lively, accomplished production…a rollicking ride” Sydney Morning Herald

23 April 10am & 12pm
24 April 3pm & 5pm
26 April 3pm & 5pm
27 April 10am & 12pm
28 April 10am, 12pm & 3pm

The performance lasts for one hour.

More info:
www.ptt.wa.gov.au/venues/state-theatre-centre-of-wa/whats-on/room-on-the-broom/

Please follow and like us:
Music, News, Performing arts, Reviews

Good times ahead

Review: West Australian Symphony Orchestra, ‘Symphony No 40’ ⋅
Perth Concert Hall, March 15 ⋅
Review: Rosalind Appleby ⋅

As the summer festival season fades into the background local arts organisations are ramping up their seasons. On Friday night the Perth Concert Hall was buzzing with enthusiasm as the West Australian Symphony Orchestra welcomed new CEO Mark Coughlan (complete with a brass fanfare!) and principal conductor Asher Fisch took to the podium for his first concert in 2019.

The program included Poulenc’s lesser-known Stabat Mater alongside Mozart’s popular Symphony No 40, a hint of things to come according to Fisch who is interested in introducing forgotten gems of the repertoire to Perth audiences. The concert also featured 2019 artist in residence soprano Siobhan Stagg singing Ravel’s Shéhérazade. The Australian soprano (hailing from Mildura) is building a successful international career and will juggle her commitments as principal soloist at Deutsche Oper Berlin to return to Perth for performances of Strauss’s Orchestral Songs and Verdi’s Requiem.

Stagg’s luminous voice found the perfect vehicle in Ravel’s three songs inspired by the exoticism of the east. Shéhérazade sits at the lower end of the soprano range and Stagg’s creamy bottom register suited Ravel’s languid writing. The orchestra seemed to enjoy shaping Ravel’s colourful orchestration, with some darkly glorious low string and percussion timbres in Asie and moments of smouldering warmth in L’Indifférent. But the moment that will remain with me was Andrew Nicholson’s flute shimmering and sighing in a mesmerising duet with Stagg in La Flûte enchantée.

Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, written in 1950 after the death of a friend, took us down a darker road. The solemn opening soon gave way to spitting vehemence as the WASO Chorus, supplemented by the St George’s Cathedral Consort, sang with grim intensity. The two choirs were mostly well blended and their delivery of the line ‘dum emisit spiritum’ had a hushed glow however the exposed a capella sections were less successful with drooping pitch creating uneasy transitions. In the centre of proceedings was Stagg, her crystalline top end radiating light. Poulenc’s unexpected mood changes were cleanly conveyed by the orchestra.

Opening the concert was a crisp Symphony No 40, with the orchestra immaculately navigating Mozart’s deceptively simple transparency. Whiffs of opera buffa and opera seria mingle in this symphony in Mozart’s darker than usual musical elucidation of humanity. Fisch captured the mix of buoyancy and fragility with thrilling contrasts between elegantly poised phrasing and dynamics so soft you could hear the scratch of bow hairs.

The concert, with its inclusion of less familiar repertoire, a sensational artist in residence and an orchestra in good form bodes well for the year ahead.

Pictured top: soprano Siobhan Stagg.

Please follow and like us:
Man posing at end of white page
Calendar, Dance, May 19, Performing arts

Dance: The Line

15 – 19 May @ Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre ·
Presented by Raewyn Hill & Mark Howett ·

Co3 Australia presents The Line, a world premiering creation by Raewyn Hill in collaboration with Mark Howett. This powerful dance-theatre work draws on the boundary line that demarcated a prohibited area in central Perth for Aboriginal people between 1927 and 1954. Co3’s cast are joined on stage with live accompaniment by Co3 Associate Artist and award-winning musician Eden Mulholland and internationally renowned piano-accordionist, James Crabb.

More info
W: www.co3.org.au
E:  info@co3.org.au

Pictured: Stefan Gosatti Dancer: Ian Wilkes

Please follow and like us:
Group of Artists
Calendar, May 19, Music

Music: Apia Good Times – All-Stars Tour

17 May @ Perth Concert Hall ·
Presented by Apia with Premier Artists ·

The highly acclaimed Apia Good Times Tour returns for its seventh anniversary with a line-up of seven of their old-time favourite Oz music All-Stars. This will be the biggest Apia Good Times Tour yet,  with performances from Vika and Linda Bull, Brian Cadd, Joe Camilleri, Kate Ceberano, Russell Morris,  Ross Wilson and John Paul Young.

Relive all of the hits including Ginger Man, A Little Ray of Sunshine, Harley & Rose, Chained to the Wheel,  Bedroom Eyes, Pash, Never Let Me Go, The Real Thing, Wings of an Eagle, Eagle Rock, Come Said the Boy,  I Hate the Music and Love Is In The Air, to name a few.

Each All-Star will perform their hits and favourite songs, culminating in an extraordinary finale with all seven sharing the stage.

Don’t miss this unique, once-in-a-lifetime concert experience!More info

W: www.perthconcerthall.com.au/events/event/apia-2019
E:  boxoffice@perthconcerthall.com.au

Please follow and like us: