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June 01, 1988

Kitchen Synch

Kitchen Synch
Absurd Person Singular
By Alan Ayckbourn.
State Theatre Company.
Playhouse.

The State Theatre Company chose Absurd Person Singular because, as it was the first time any Alan Ayckbourn had been performed professionally in Adelaide, they wanted to present a proven winner. It is a good piece and epitomises Ayckbourn’s undeniable stagecraft. But in recent years TV audiences have seen this play, Absent Friends, Season’s Greetings and numerous repeats of The Norman Conquests enough for the production to have …

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Hating Alison Ashley

Hating Alison Ashley
by Richard Tulloch
Magpie Theatre Company South Australia
Directed by: Robert Draffin
Design: Julie Lynch
Cast: Eileen Darley, Annabel Giles, Michelle
Stanley, Claudia La Rose, Joanna Cooper, Michael
Habib, Peter Wood.

It seems that everyone has been hating Alison Ashley lately. Within the space of two weeks Richard Tulloch’s play has been staged in Sydney, Canberra and by the Magpie Theatre Company in Adelaide. Tulloch has adapted Robin Klein’s popular novel about big changes at Barringa East …

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May 01, 1988

Tricky

Dizzy Spells
Devised by Doug Tremlett and Terry O’Connell
Space Cabaret Club

The Legerdemain business has been losing its magic lately. It is either in the hands of TV hucksters with Dickensian eponyms and nylon hair or fading roues covered in dove crap. But now comes the New Wave – Doug Tremlett’s Dizzy Spells, a vertiginous blend of rock and roll, comedy and classic conjuring.

After five months in Melbourne and beyond, this four-figure show is as neat as …

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April 01, 1988

Flighty

A Flock of Flamin’ Galahs
Troupe Theatre
Centralia Hotel

Despite their “extensive and detailed” research into the life and times of five Australian eccentrics, Troupe have not managed to gather any semblance of unity or purpose into A Flock of FlaminGalahs, their Festival show at the Centralia Hotel on North Terrace.

They seem to hope that a collection of tableaux, some hoary old audience participation numbers and an over-long serve of inferior G-and-S will charm …

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Combing the Fringe

Filed under: Archive,Fringe

The Festival Fringe is always a bit of a chook raffle. With hundreds of events programmed, many with bizarre titles and uncertain provenance, it is difficult to know which is the best investment for the hard-earned rouble.

Daily reviews and colosseum star-ratings both hinder and help but more often it is the halitosis, or otherwise, of word-of mouth which decides. It is an unpredictable business, full of surprises – some delightful, some excruciating beyond measure.

This year’s range has been …

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Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
by David Holman
Magpie Theatre Company, South Australia
Directed by Chris Johnson

Design: Julie Lynch. Music: Alan John.
Cast: Annabel Giles, Sharon LeRay, Claudia LaRose,
Michael Habib, Tom Considine, Tim Aris.

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

This is the third Adelaide Festival in which the Magpie Theatre
Company has staged a new work by David Holman. It was the celebrated No Worries in 1984, and in 1986 The Small Poppies. But with Beauty and the Beast it …

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March 01, 1988

Shallow

1841
by Michael Gow
State Theatre Company
Playhouse

Theatre commissions are a bit like cargo cults. Titles are announced, brochures printed, runways are built and everybody waits for the play to land triumphantly. Except that, more often than not, it either overshoots the tarmac or pancakes unceremoniously in the midst of consternation and disbelief.

When the State Theatre Company secured the services of Michael Gow to write a play for the 1988 Adelaide Festival with additional support from the Bicentennial …

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Maximus

Circus Oz
Rymill Park

Circus Oz were always more fun than a bucket of frogs and their Tenth Anniversary World Tour performances at the Festival must be the best yet. They have an effortless mix of physical skill, adroit comedy, musical flair and sheer good nature.

Tim Coldwell, a founding member of the company, is a genial sight in his baggy suit and size 13 sneakers and straight away the show establishes an easy rapport with the audience.

A Bicentennial …

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Day for Night

The Mahabharata
Adapted by Jean-Claude Carriere
Directed by Peter Brook
Anstey’s Hill Quarry

The Mahabharata is a colossal work. Written in Sanskrit, the first versions date back 400 hundred years BC. Then, for nearly eight centuries this epic poem grew to more than one hundred thousand stanzas. Fifteen times longer than The Bible, it is like the Old and New Testaments, all of Homer and thirty years of Mandrake and the Phantom all rolled into one.

Peter Brook and playwright …

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February 01, 1988

Brook Review

The Shifting Point: Theatre, Film, Opera 1946-1987
By Peter Brook
Harper and Row

Peter Brook – A Theatrical Casebook
Compiled by David Williams
Methuen

Peter Brook is not only one of the great innovators of Post-war Western theatre he is also one of its most lucid explainers. His first book, The Empty Space, published twenty years ago, reads as freshly and sharply today as it did when Brook first delivered the four Granada Northern lectures on which the …

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