Monday 27 May 2024

Enter an alluring bachanalian world with new immersive experience, When Night Comes

With much anticipation, Broad Encounters' new immersive experience is coming to Melbourne next month. After the record-breaking and award-winning production of A Midnight Visit and the recent, equally captivating Love Lust Lost, Broad Encounters are back with something different, something wilder, and something more rousing than ever before.

We spoke with the minds behind this upcoming theatrical adventure with co-creators and directors, Kirsten Siddle, Mike Finch and Scott Maidment.

 When Night Comes appears to be Broad Encounters' most ambitious and exciting project to date. Promising a unique, multi-sensory and intoxicating performance with theatre and cocktails, When Night Comes invites people into a tempting, intimate soiree with visions, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings to be met via its cast of sublime characters.

When Night Comes was born from an earlier work by Broad Encounters over two years ago, A Journey Most Unusual. "This was also for small groups only where they journeyed within a fantastical world where the senses were indulged and ignited," Siddle tells me. "I’ve often contemplated Hedonist and Dionysian philosophies and wanted to explore this more deeply in something that argued for sensorial pleasure and delight, both physiological and those of a magical and intuitive nature. Like much of our former work, When Night Comes, aims to be an escape from the ordinary, and an evening of marvellous extraordinary."

Wednesday 22 May 2024

The Last Word review

Imogen Whittaker likes to have the last word. In her cabaret The Last Word, and as she closes out her 20s, Whittaker reflects on that crazy little thing called love and the relationships she's had in her life.

Whittaker is an engaging storyteller and within the first few minutes of the show, her captivating charm hits every corner of the room. She finds great segues as she moves from song to song without having them feeling shoe-horned in. She's clearly thought about the structure and the purpose behind every little heartache she shares with us. She maintains a strong rapport with the audience and the repeated callbacks and pop culture drops create an atmosphere of familiarity, warmth and vulnerability in the room.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Share House: The Musical review

Living in a house share is a rite of passage for most people. It is the period of your life where you must look after yourself and do all your own cooking, washing and shopping, while navigating the trials and tribulations of getting along with who you've chosen to live with. Share House: The Musical is built on the success of Jude Perl's 2017 comedy-cabaret Roommates: The Musical, but now there's a 15-person orchestra and four actors joining Perl on stage as she tries to negotiate the dramas of living with others and the issues that arise from that.

Isabelle Davis and Anita Mei La Terra play Perl's housemates with Davis taking the role of the harsh Jane who has been friends with Lucy since high school, and La Terra being the super positive Alice, who is the new addition to this house. With the dynamics changing due to a third housemate, all three are forced to question whether this arrangement will work for them. The three actors, especially Perl, dazzle with their vocal performances and while all songs are enjoyable, the songs they sing together are extremely fun.

Sunday 19 May 2024

360 ALLSTARS review

360 ALLSTARS is a circus show that brings the urban streets into the theatre. With acclaimed international performers, a thumping live soundtrack, and animated projections and lighting, it promises to be a phenomenal evening of groundbreaking circus. Sadly, this show may have to rethink its title as while the artists are talented, this spectacle offers nothing exciting or unique to make it stand out among the rest.

There is a lot of filler in this production with individuals introduced and re-introduced a number of times and having the audience cheer - or scream - them on. The acrobatics are impressive and clearly require a high level of skill and strength, but they are tediously one-note where it seems like they have just one trick up their sleeve that is repeated. Yes, this might be aimed at children and families, but it doesn't mean that the same level of craft in adult circus should not be applied here, particularly as there are many Australian independent circus troupes doing this incredibly well.

Monday 13 May 2024

The Roof Is Caving In review

There's nothing quite like the excitement of moving into your own home and the freedom of doing what you want when you want. But there's always a dark cloud looming over you as you are at the beck and call of real estate agents and trying to foster a mutual relationship of respect between these strangers you have chosen to live with. In The Roof is Caving In, two university students move into their first share house and face the internal and external struggle of constantly compromising to hold on to the serenity and exhilaration of being in their first home away from home.

Written by Matilda Gibbs with Belle Hansen and Jack Burmeister, The Roof is Caving In is a highly entertaining absurdist look at the challenges in renting such as rent prices, housemate dramas and the vulnerable position renters are regularly in. The narrative moves at a rapid pace but still takes the time to highlight these issues while building towards its inevitable climax.

Saturday 11 May 2024

The Librar(IAN) review

If anyone was going to become a librarian, it would be Ian. I mean, his name is in the word librarian after all. Written and performed by Lochie Laffin Vines, The Librar(IAN) is a sweet, light-hearted look at Vines' own experience of working in a library without being saccharine.

Vines does a wonderful job in conveying the importance that libraries play in the community, one of the rare places where money is not needed to enjoy your time there. From the close-knit family that is formed within staff to the regular visitors who are sometimes there just for a chat and a sense of belonging instead of looking to grab a book and leave. Vines is an engaging storyteller who brings the world of libraries to life through his affection for his characters, who are no doubt drawn from his five years as a librarian.

He review

He commences with a man crawling out of the ocean and onto a beach. He looks frayed and exhausted. He has returned to a small town in El Salvador, a place he swore he's never set foot in again. Written by Rodrigo Calderón, He is a heartbreaking love story of a man growing up in a community run by toxic masculinity and homophobia.

Calderón gives a captivating performance as a man grappling with the trauma he has experienced. While the story veers into some serious melodrama and improbable twists, Calderón is able to keep the work grounded and allow for genuine emotions to be released and expressed. Calderón also brings great physicality to the role and transfers the man's emotional turmoil into a striking physical representation.

Saturday 4 May 2024

Hold Me Closer Tony Danza review

It's been over 50 years since Elton John asked Who's The Boss? sitcom star Tony Danza to hold him closer. Or did he? We have Friends to thank for this confusion. Queensland-based dance company The Farm have taken this malapropism and turned it into an immersive dance-theatre show with Hold Me Closer Tony Danza, where two dancers seek out connection and understanding in a world that is overflowing with information, and misinformation.

This work is intelligently presented yet retains an element of fun and silliness. A large gold circular sheet of thick plastic rests in the middle of the room, and running across the centre of it is a wrinkled gold wall with artists Kate Harman and Oli Mathieson standing on either side of it. The audience is also split, where they can see one performer and only hear the other behind the wall.