Tuesday 23 October 2018

Mockingbird review

Giving birth and becoming a mother are supposed to be some of the most fulfilling and happiest moments of a woman's life. Except when it's not. Postnatal depression (PND) affect 1 in every 7 women who give birth and in Mockingbird, writer and performer Lisa Brickell places PND under the spotlight.

Through comedy, cabaret and mask play, Brickell weaves a tale that follows four generations of women from one family and how PND impacts each woman and the cruel and painful ways that it was treated and the stigma they had to endure. Our protagonist is Tina, a counsellor who is experiencing some anxieties about having children with her partner. Tina begins to share with us the stories of her great grandmother, grandmother and mother and how these events have come to play on her mind with regards to becoming a mother.

Saturday 20 October 2018

Circus Oz's Sidesault review

With Circus Oz's Sidesault, circus companies are provided with an opportunity to present experimental works that challenge what contemporary circus can be. Ranging in ideas and approaches, there is literally something that will appeal to all types of circus fans. In its final weekend of shows, we are presented with ground breaking juggling, a deeply personal look at love and heartache and a deep-dive into the absurd and the unusual.

First up are Byron Hutton and Richard Sullivan with Jugg Life, demonstrating that while juggling requires a lot of skill, it can be more than throwing items in the air. It's a playful, exciting and original exploration on how juggling can be adapted and what can build from that. Their Mortal Kombat street combat is a perfect example of what can happen when you change how you look at something, resulting in some pretty intense moments, and the cause of the widespread terror in the audience (and perhaps Hutton and Sullivan) when a lap top gets in the way of a juggling club.

Friday 12 October 2018

Moira Finucane's Dance Hall!: The Diva Carousel review

Art has the ability to change people's way of thinking and it has the ability to unite us. In Moira Finucane's Dance Hall!: The Diva Carousel, a number of Melbourne's finest talents come together to celebrate art and to inspire us to be better and do something good, particularly with the way the current Australian Government has been treating refugees, women and people from the LGBTQI community.

While the show is a little tamer than you might come to expect from Moira Finucane, it is still a hugely entertaining evening with a mix of regular faces and new faces within the Finucane family. Maude Davey wins the crowd over with each one of her acts, including her puntastic turn as Earth. Her performance of The Angels' "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again" is always a joy to watch and was clearly an audience favourite. James Welsby's highly energetic vogueing number is an empowering reminder for constant self-growth and self-exploration and learning to be comfortable in your own skin and never denying who you are. 

The singing and dancing continue throughout the night with Paul Cordeiro literally having people dancing in their chairs with some seated choreography to Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limit". Chanteuse Clare St. Clare performs a gorgeous cover of Beyonce's "Halo" and counter-tenor diva Mama Alto hypnotises the audience during their performance of Des'ree's "Kissing You". In her Melbourne diva debut, Willow Sizer cranks out a commanding rendition of the Eagles' "Hotel California".

Sunday 7 October 2018

Love Bird review

It's a parent's worst nightmare. The day their eight-year-old daughter falls in love. To Mr. Ping Pong, her pet cockatiel. Despite its absurd storyline, Georgina Harris' Love Bird is an offbeat approach to exploring sexuality, gender and identity through a highly unconventional relationship that has plenty of laughs with moments that will surprise and strangely delight audiences.

Having not seen its first staging earlier in the year at The Butterfly Club, it feels like time and thought has been put into grounding the work, particularly by Jessica Martin who plays Franny. She delivers a nuanced performance showing Franny as being naive and innocent but with a yearning to comprehend who she is and what her place in society is. As ridiculous as the premise of her being intimate with a cockatiel is, Martin sells the emotional connection she seeks that she can't seem to find from the humans around her.

Saturday 6 October 2018

Just A Boy, Standing In Front Of A Girl review

M is just a boy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to love him. How sweet and cute. Except in Jane Miller's Just A Boy, Standing In Front Of A Girl this is anything but, as our protagonists find themselves slipping into a life that is darker and more desperate as their relationship progresses. Presented by 15 Minutes From Anywhere, this production continues in the same style as their 2014 show Motherfucker, in adapting classical texts into a contemporary setting.

Keith Brockett delivers another wining performance that's always so committed to the character with the perfect amount of enthusiasm as J. He is paired well with Annie Lumsden who plays M, with both actors displaying the tragedy and the comedy of the circumstances their characters find themselves in. The supporting cast of John Marc Desengano, Andrea McCannon and Glenn van Oosterom produce some wonderful work with the various characters that they portray.