And as I always like to remind people, sometimes the shows that will stick with you months and years after you've seen them, that will leave an imprint on your mind, body and soul, will not always be the big budget, flashy ones but the ones that are only on for four nights with ten people in the audience. Support your independent theatre makers and venues - some shows can cost you as little as $20 and can be one of the most original, inspiring and though provoking performances you might see.
Take a risk, seek something new, unknown and different in 2023.
Here we go:
Click here to read our interview with Benjamin Nichols.
2. To Schapelle and Back - review
Click here for our interview with Alex Hines.
4. Future Joy Club - reviewtogether some beautiful people performing breathtaking acts in a extravaganza full of fun, laughs and love. Moira Finucane has a gift of drawing in the entire room and keeping them in the present, completely absorbed by what they are seeing. Even when she’s doing outlandish things with tomato soup or balloons, there’s a vulnerability and openness that carries out to the crowd. It’s a unique skill that she spreads out to the rest of the ensemble, making Finucane a uniquely skilled artiste. After the last two years we have had, Future Joy allowed performers and audience members to let down their hair, have a wild night of safe fun and head back into reality with their hearts full. It really was an unforgettable evening full of joy.
5. Buried Teabowl - Okuni - review
I'd seen Yumi Umiumare perform numerous times over the years but always as part of the ensemble in someone else's show. Buried TeaBowl - Okuni was the first time I attended one of her full solo works and it was an incredible experience. Incorporating dance, spoken word, song and a tea ceremony, this performance installation was an intimate and stirring passage through time, ritual, the past and the present. Umiumare's homage to Okuni, the power of ritual and female strength was a captivating work, which included an exquisite sound design by Dan West. It is fitting that this performance took place in an art gallery as what we witnessed often felt like art coming to life. She may have attempted to awaken the spirit of Okuni in Buried TeaBowl - Okuni, but through her generous guidance, Umiumare helped free the spirit inside all of us and provided us with a profoundly moving awakening.
7. We Too Us Too Me Too Too Too - review
8. The Beep Test - review
Created by Conor Neylon and Jackson Peele (Neylon & Peele), The Beep Test is an original musical theatre show set during a high school beep test. It was an exceptional fun hour of comedy that took an unexpected emotional look at dealing with the pressures that hang around us, the ones we put on ourselves during our formative years, and the lasting impact this can have. The backstory and motivations that Peele provided for his characters ensured that The Beep Test wasn’t simply about the race itself but used the race as a way to explore themes of greater consequence. Music and lyrics by Neylon were a wonderful blending of familiar musical theatre songs and pop, rap and other genres that propelled the story forward while highlighting the inner thoughts of the characters. The Beep Test was a fantastic example of when a shared vision flawlessly comes together resulting in an A+ production.Click here for our interview with Jackson Peele.
9. Bed and Breakfast - review
10. BATSHIT - review
Click here for our interview with Leah Shelton.
And just because rules were made to be broken, here are the shows that were pipped at the post:
11. Naomi - Written and performed by Patrick Livesey
12. Variations or Exit Music (review) - Written by Justin Nott and performed by Matthew Connell, Lachlan Martin, Yuchen Wang and Joss McClelland
13. Escalate (review) - Performed by Throw Catch Collective
14. GODZ (review) - Performed by Head First Acrobats
15. Mush (review) - Created and performed by Jeromaia Detto
If you fancy a further trip down memory lane, then have a look at my Top 10 shows of 2021.