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June 27, 2021

Adelaide Cabaret Festival: Thank you, Alan, it was a good time

Alan Cumming is Not Acting His Age
Adelaide Festival Theatre.

June 26. Duration : 1 hr 20 mins.

It is the final night of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Alan Cumming bounds on to the stage in a slim-fitting grey suit jacket and black tie, matching grey shorts and black and white Converse sneakers. “I feel twitchy and bitchy and manic”, he sings, “Calm and collected and choking with panic /But alive, but alive, but alive.”

The song is from …

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June 26, 2021

Adelaide Cabaret Festival: Mostly Marlene – Kim David Smith

This accomplished set may be mostly Marlene Dietrich – with mashings of Kylie and Madonna – but it is all Kim David Smith at his mercurial best.

Written by Murray Bramwell

Kim David Smith has been performing at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival for more than ten years. Back when he was still Kim Smith, he brought shows such as Misfit and Morphium Kabarett featuring his shape-shifting gremlin mix of nova pop, reptilian camp and – when he switched into persona …

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June 12, 2021

Adelaide Cabaret Festival: The Variety Gala

The opening night Variety Gala is a good chance to scratch and sniff the Cabaret Festival program. Raucously hosted by Hans, Adelaide’s own wunderkind, this year’s event is more off the leash than usual.

Written by Murray Bramwell

It’s that time again, the wintry middle of June and the Festival Centre opens up its venues (plus The Famous Spiegeltent) for fifteen nights of music, comedy and dysfunctional frolic. The Variety Gala, an institution since the festival began, not only lines …

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June 09, 2021

Theatre: The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race

State Theatre’s exuberant and entertaining new production is set in a small rural town where nothing changes, but change is overdue. Five women from Appleton chew through some timely questions about fairness, opportunity and gender equity.

Written by Murray Bramwell

“The potato race is a real thing,” writer Melanie Tait tells us in her program note for The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race, “It happens every year in my hometown…” Her town is not called Appleton though, it is Robertson …

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June 04, 2021

Theatre review: Watchlist

Overflowing with wit and mercurial polemic, Watchlist at The Bakehouse is an ambitious comedy with a sharp message.

Murray Bramwell

We often think only of fossil fuels as the prime cause of climate change. In Watchlist, the unlikely hero discovers the true impact of the global livestock industry and leaves us all with food for thought.

Basil Pepper is in his early twenties and lives in a world of his own. His closest associate is his bearded dragon lizard, …

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May 10, 2021

Private Lives

Euphoria
by Emily Steel
A State Theatre South Australia
and Country Arts SA Production.
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre.
May 7. Until May 15.

“The town in Euphoria is not based on any one town,” playwright Emily Steel writes in the program notes for State Theatre’s terrific new production, “but has aspects of many.” When travelling all over regional South Australia researching the play and interviewing locals, Steel asked people what was the best thing about life in their town. …

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April 21, 2021

Theatre review : The Gospel According to Paul

In ninety engaging minutes, writer and performer, Jonathan Biggins’ Gospel brings us, not just a fascinating study of Paul Keating but an account of a transformative time in Australian political history.

Murray Bramwell

You might say, that for satirist Jonathan Biggins, Paul Keating has been his bread and butter for a long time. As part of the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue, along with Phillip Scott, Drew Forsythe and a select group of associates, Biggins has made an art form …

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April 11, 2021

Theatre review : My Three Angels

Independent Theatre returns with an energetic revival of a comic farce with a heart of kindness – as three wily convicts become Christmas angels for a family facing financial ruin.

Murray Bramwell

Adapted in 1953 by Sam and Bella Spewack, from Albert Husson’s play Les Cuisine des Anges, My Three Angels is set in the French Guiana prison colony in 1910. It is a rambunctious tale of three convicts on work release who offer to repair the roof of …

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March 07, 2021

Agonising trajectory of live-streamed drama

Adelaide Festival

Medea
After Euripides
Written and directed by Simon Stone
Internationaal Theater Amsterdam.
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide.
Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mount Gambier.
March 4. Duration : 1 hr 20 mins.

Eugene Onegin
Selected chapters from the novel in verse
by Alexander Pushkin.
Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia.
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
March 5. Duration 3 hrs 20 mins, including interval.

Since inception the Adelaide Festival has been celebrated for its international program. But like so much else, …

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February 26, 2021

Festival review : The Boy Who Talked to Dogs

Adelaide Festival 2021

Slingsby takes Martin McKenna’s memoir The Boy Who Talked to Dogs back to County Limerick where it began. Featuring an Irish pub band, shadow dog puppets and Bryan Burroughs, brilliant as the talking boy.

“Sometimes you have to learn to be the hero of your own story,” writer Amy Conroy observed – and this is what the celebrated dog whisperer, Martin McKenna achieved. Or mostly so. His book about his wretched childhood on the Garryowen estate in …

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