Tag Archives: King Street Theatre

DOWN AN ALLEY FILLED WITH CATS @ KING STREET THEATRE

 

Thrillers are tricky. TV only gets it right sometimes and even multi-million dollar movies can miss the mark. Go to the theatre to see a thriller and what do we want? For me, I want the experience to include some mystery, some high tension goings on and some unseeable, unexpected, plot twists. Throwing Shade’s DOWN AN ALLEY FILLED WITH CATS does a really good job putting all these on stage at King Street Theatre.

The self-named Timothy Timmony, an alchemist’s name if we ever heard it, appears to be a mild mannered, slightly absent minded and bumbling bookshop proprietor. As he is closing for the day, into his little shop bursts Simon Matthews, an adventurer of sorts with a rather odd desire for a book on the Napoleonic Wars. The mystery begins.

DOWN AN ALLEY FILLED WITH CATS is the little play that could. Written and set by Warwick Moss in the early 1980s in Sydney, it has had productions in London and off Broadway and one production received a favourable review in the New York Times in 1987. Moss has spoken in an interview about his love for the secrets behind cat’s eyes and how his book owner also relishes the ability of secrets to get you what you want.

The cast of Gabriel Egan (Simon) and William Jordan (Timothy) with director Tom Richards have created a production which balances the mystery of the developing storyline with the lighter moments as the unscrupulous young tomcat circles the streetwise and manipulative alleycat.

Egan brings that high energy on with him and manages the delicate task of keeping Simon dynamic without wearing out his audience or getting so big as to be out of character.

Jordan is equally effective at being openly secretive by engendering Timothy with the distinct impression he has just told a lie, even when being confessional.

The production elements tie in nicely to the 1984 setting and it’s worth staying in the theatre at interval to listen to some great Aussie rock tracks.

It’s quite a short offering but, apart from a dip in the second sequence, DOWN AN ALLEY FILLED WITH CATS is an entertaining pacey show.

DOWN AN ALLEY FILLED WITH CATS continues at King Street Theatre until 13 May.

JUNGLE BOOK, THE MUSICAL RETURNS TO KING STREET THEATRE

“Markus Weber and Michael Summ’s version of The Jungle Book is a beautifully-written musical derived from Rudyard Kipling’s famed writings.” Suzy Wrong, Suzy Goes See, April 2014

“With great songs and a meaningful story, excellent production, acting, lighting and sound – the Jungle Book can appeal to both children and adults.” Linda Moon, Weekend Notes, January 2016

JUNGLE BOOK – THE MUSICAL is back at King Street Theatre for the school holidays.

Based on the beloved stories by Rudyard Kipling, Artistic Director/Intendant of KING STREET THEATRE, Markus Weber and Michael Summ’s production of Jungle Book – The Musical will delight audiences once again during the Easter School holidays.           Continue reading JUNGLE BOOK, THE MUSICAL RETURNS TO KING STREET THEATRE

KOALA JOE – THE MUSICAL – Australian Premiere @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

Playwright/Director Markus Weber and Composer Michael Summ, have created KOALA JOE, a new musical journey driven by the spirit of The Dreamtime.

Joe, a homesick Australian boy, lives in a boarding school located above the snowline in Austria, and he is training to be a downhill skier.

Whilst asleep, a mysterious messenger from The Dreamtime visits Joe,  “I am Yalunda – daughter of the Great Mother Eingana, who once created everything. I am the water, the rocks, and the trees. I am a bird, a koala, a kangaroo and an emu too. I am the ancient bow, Toon and the Boomerang. I am Yalunda your sister and Yoola your brother too.” Continue reading KOALA JOE – THE MUSICAL – Australian Premiere @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

RAPUNZEL THE PANTOMIME @ King Street Theatre NEWTOWN

 

RAPUNZEL is the biggest and best pantomime show in Sydney, and written/directed by the talented Maria de Marco, who was inspired by the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Fast-paced family friendly fun with fourteen funny songs containing unique Australian twists and turns. Often ridiculous, always hilarious, and perfectly outrageous, exuberant and exciting, but always utterly charming, a very entertaining experience for adults and for children.

This is an Australian pantomime that has it all, and it is impossibly hard to imagine a better family panto. You will be wowed with humorous puns, cute gags, clever songs, child-friendly double entendre, inventive allusions and wacky costume choices, and two cute prop horses. Santa also makes a visit, with his huge bag filled with sweets for all the children.

The lonely Maiden lives her life, trapped in her bedroom at the top of a tall tower, and is unable to escape because her bedroom has no door and no stairs. Can she find herself just the one Prince Charming who is able save her? In the woods, there are many eligible bachelor princes. Unfortunately one Prince Charming is looking for the maiden with the other glass slipper. Another Prince Charming is looking for the maiden in the glass coffin.

RAPUNZEL has been quite deliberately designed to involve audience participation from all the children in the audience. Your kids are expected to help the cast whilst they are performing, by loudly yelling out either boo or yes. After the show, meet the cast, and you are most welcome to take photos.

The cast features JACQUI GREENFIELD as Rapunzel, THOMAS ADAMS, ALEX CHORLEY and SIMON WARD.

1. RAPUNZEL – SIMON WARD
2. FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD – (FR: OLIVER) – BART LIONEL
3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY – PATTY HILL/ MILDRED J. HILL/ RICHARD HARDELSTEIN
4. IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS – MEREDITH WILSON
5. BEIN’ GREEN – JOSEPH G RAPOSO
6. I GONNA BE (500 MILES)- CHARLIE REID / CRAIG REID.
7. PRINCESS – MATTHEW LEE ROBINSON
8. CAN’T STOP THE FEELING – J TIMBERLAKE / M SANDBERG / J SCHUSTER
9. HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO – J STEINMAN / D PITCHFORD
10. WHAT ABOUT ME? – G FROST / F SWAN
11. YOU’RE THE VOICE – K REID / A QUNTA / M RYDER / C THOMPSON
12. HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS – G AUTRY / O HALDEMAN
13. Reprise of RAPUNZEL – SIMON WARD
14. WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS – TRADITIONAL

Recommended. King Street Theatre has put together, a delightful and fresh panto production, filled with all-round family entertainment.

School holiday season, alive on stage from 17th to 23rd of December 2016 at the King Street Theatre, on First Floor at corner of King Street and Bray Street, Newtown.

For more information visit http://www.kingstreettheatre.com.au/

AUDREY OF THE OUTBACK @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

 

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The Eaton Gorge Theatre Company and EMU Productions are presenting “Audrey of the Outback”, directed by Juliet Scrine. Perfect school holiday entertainment, for you and your children, based on the award winning children’s book by Christine Harris. This stage adaptation of the popular novel, delivers a truly delightful classic tale.

The daily events of childhood on an Australian farm, during the 1930s is seen through the eyes of nine year old Audrey Barlow, who is growing up in the world’s biggest backyard. Audrey is full of hope, and has lots of questions, and is seeking answers, with both innocence and naivety. We relive the joys of being young, because young children of that age are not yet burdened with adult worries.

Audrey constantly wonders about the really important things in life such as, whether being a swaggie is lonelier than being a girl, and how many eggs can a chicken hold in their stomach at one time, is it better to be a cow or a sheep, and why are carrots orange? Join Audrey and her invisible friend Stumpy as they discover that friends are always close by, even in the Australian Outback. Audrey is determined, mischievous, imaginative and inquisitive.

This season features fifteen year old Darcy Scrine playing Audrey; Audrey’s brother Price is being played by sixteen year old Edward Atkinson; Dad and Toothless and Mr Akbar are all played by Ben Verdon; and Mum by Susan Kennedy. Darcy Scrine wears her hair in pig-tails and vividly portrays Audrey, and she is so much more alive than the Audrey in the book.

The delightful set created for this play, had the walls of her outback home, made from corrugated iron. Her invisible friend Stumpy is also made using corrugated iron. A 1930s outdoor toilet, takes pride of place on centre stage. Recommended for adults and kids 5+ (Please note all children under 2 are free, but must book a seat for the show).

School holiday season, from 2nd to 26th of July 2016 at King Street Theatre, Newtown.

 

 

AUDREY OF THE OUTBACK BY CHRISTINE HARRIS @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

Audrey, a 1930’s outback girl with the world’s biggest backyard.

The Eaton Gorge Theatre Company and EMU Productions are proud to present this timeless Australian tale of growing up. The story is based on the adventures of a 9 year old girl Audrey Barlow who lives in the outback in 1930’s Australia. There’s a lot of change occurring in the outside world as Audrey wonders about the really important things in life such as …whether being a swaggie is lonelier than being a girl and how many eggs can a chicken hold in their stomach at one time? Continue reading AUDREY OF THE OUTBACK BY CHRISTINE HARRIS @ KING STREET THEATRE NEWTOWN

IS IT TIME @ KING STREET THEATRE @ NEWTOWN

 

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The play starts with very happily married couple, Eva and Jim Rogers, sharing their never ending, eternal love story. Both are in good health. There is definitely no rush to complete their bucket list.

In the second act, immediately reminded of the play LAST CAB TO DARWIN, but very passionately presented from a very different point of view, and imminent death becomes a much more complicated issue.         Continue reading IS IT TIME @ KING STREET THEATRE @ NEWTOWN

JUNGLE BOOK – THE MUSICAL @ KING STREET THEATRE in NEWTOWN

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Markus Weber and Michael Summ’s musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s JUNGLE BOOK, had a very successful season back in April 2014, is a child friendly musical full of catchy lyrics. This is a fast-paced and very entertaining show for young and old alike, with plenty of dancing and songs and humour, and with enough context to keep the adults thoroughly entertained.

JUNGLE BOOK – THE MUSICAL easily delivers the eternally important message of being vigilant about ecological awareness and the need for constant conservation of the world’s wildlife.

This classic jungle tale features Mowgli (the man cub), Baloo (the bear), Bagheera (the panther), Kaa (the python), King Louie (king of the monkeys) and their arch nemesis Shere Khan (the tiger).       Continue reading JUNGLE BOOK – THE MUSICAL @ KING STREET THEATRE in NEWTOWN

MOTHER GOOSE IN THE WOODS @ KING STREET THEATRE, NEWTOWN

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MOTHER GOOSE IN THE WOODS 70
Production Photography by Thomas Adams

You have been patiently waiting all year, and finally it is time for the entire family to see a great big panto.

EMU Productions presents MOTHER GOOSE IN THE WOODS as the latest Australian pantomime offering at King Street Theatre in Newtown.

This show is an Australian premiere written and directed by Maria de Marco with musical direction by Peter Novakovich.

De Marco’s show easily manages to avoid most of the age-old puns, and brings something new for your young children to see this Christmas Season. The refreshing news is that this MOTHER GOOSE is a very clever Christmas pantomime with a few unexpected twists and is suitable for all ages. Continue reading MOTHER GOOSE IN THE WOODS @ KING STREET THEATRE, NEWTOWN

THE ODD COUPLE @ King Street Theatre NEWTOWN

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American playwright Neil Simon’s THE ODD COUPLE premiered on Broadway on the 10th March 1965 and ran for some 966 performances.

Neil Simon based the character of Felix on his older brother, Danny Simon, showing that a real person can sometimes be stranger than fiction.

The scenario sees the irresponsible lifestyle of “divorced, slovenly but casual”, sports-writer Oscar Madison take in “newly separated” television news-writer Felix Ungar.  Felix is continually depressed and intrusively obsessed with his ex. The real problem that causes the most tension is Felix’s over-the-top obsessive compulsive disorder, as he is so driven to constantly keep Oscar’s eight room apartment so clean, with constant house-keeping that makes it look like no-one lives there.            Continue reading THE ODD COUPLE @ King Street Theatre NEWTOWN

THE REMOVALISTS @ King Street Theatre

THE REMOVALISTS is one of David Williamson’s first and most influential plays, an iconic Australian play of the seventies dealing with domestic violence issues, that are still with us in 2015.

The Epicentre Theatre Company’s current revival features a  very well chosen cast that is well able to deal with the emotional and physical demands of the script.

We witness how people play word games with each other to win each situation, but each with their own subversive reasons, in this vivid exploration of the changing roles of women and men.

The play starts inside the Police Station with two policemen, in a crime ridden suburb of Melbourne. One officer has been in the Police Force for 23 years and is corrupt whilst the other is freshly-trained and nervous, on his first day on the job. They are called on a job to help two sisters, one of whom has been badly beaten by her partner. Continue reading THE REMOVALISTS @ King Street Theatre

Beyond Therapy @ King Street

Rebecca Scott as Prudence and David Hooley as Bruce in BEYOND THERAPY
Rebecca Scott as Prudence and David Hooley as Bruce in BEYOND THERAPY

Originally produced in 1981, Christopher Durang’s BEYOND THERAPY is a classic of its time and has had some spectacular names associated over time. Sigourney Weaver, Diane Wiest , John Lithgow to name just three. Robert Altman even made a film loosely based on it.

Johann Walraven, director of the current production at King Street Theatre views the text with a modern eye. His director’s notes speak of a “mid thirties” guy who sees his peer group change and wonders what choice is right for him. That generation was certainly well represented in the audience the night I saw the show. I was often alone in laughing out loud in response to the text and its 80’s references.

Bruce (David Hooley) is feeling the lack of marriage and children in his life, this despite having a male live-in-lover, Bob (Jasper Whincop). Abetted by his meddling and inept therapist, Charlotte (Nadia Townsend) he is placing ads in the newspaper’s lonely hearts column. Twice, he attracts Prudence (Rebecca Scott) who has been egged on by her therapist, Stuart (Andrew Johnson). After at first hating each other, the pair grow into a nervous relationship.

While Bruce has Bob to deal with, Prudence has her hands full with Stuart. She has had sex with him in the past and he is very keen to repeat the experience despite her mention of deregistration and his premature ejaculation issue. Bruce takes Charlotte’s advice as gospel despite the fact that she has some kind of nominal aphasia and a Snoopy toy to support her who barks when a patient makes her happy. And poor Bob is not going without making a splash! Continue reading Beyond Therapy @ King Street

Leaves @ King Street

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Newtown’s King Street Theatre is currently presenting a world premiere production of local playwright Steve McGrath’s new work, LEAVES. A co-production by Theatre Excentrique and Emu Productions directed by Markus Weber, the play is full of dark humour and is brought to life by three fine performances.

The show opens and we see film of three friends on their long hike to the remote site which then leads to their live appearance on stage. Their emergence  is heralded with a clever soundscape including kookaburras guffawing. Weber’s marvelous set design includes a bush track with leaves, tree stumps and panels at the back acting as a projection screen. Continue reading Leaves @ King Street

RELATIVE MERITS

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The current production of RELATIVE MERITS is a play about football that everyone should see.  Set in 1989, and first produced at the Stables Theatre in 1993, this twentieth anniversary revival explores homophobia, AIDS and family values at a time when many Australians were first coming to grips with these important issues. However, while this production is clearly set in 1989, the play still speaks loudly and clearly to a contemporary audience. While we have certainly come a long way since 1989, RELATIVE MERITS still has a compelling message for an audience in 2013; surely the current strident opposition to marriage equality is indicative of how many of these attitudes remain unchanged.

This production, starring Jeff Teale as Adam, the homosexual football hero and James Wright as his confused, homophobic brother Clay, explores the very close relationship between the two brothers and brings deep understanding of how their heavily Catholic background has influenced them. Their mother, who never appears on stage, is a powerful representation of the bigotry which still exists in many organised religions, and contributes to our understanding of Adam’s public denial of his homosexuality as well as Clay’s homophobia. Adam’s mourning for his partner is very moving, and Clay’s growing understanding that his love for his brother transcends his earlier prejudice is life affirming.

This production takes place on a very small stage, but the staging choices made by director, Les Solomon, are very effective. Both actors move easily through the audience, thus breaking the fourth wall, which immediately forges a closer connection between the audience and the characters. Clay’s anguish in the hospital scene is powerful, and his unrestrained joy at Mardi Gras is infectious. The fight scene between Adam and Clay is very well executed given the limited space available.

Barry Lowe has written an excellent play which still speaks convincingly to a contemporary audience. This is a didactic piece, but it works so well because it challenges stereotypes and requires the audience to engage with the characters in a very personal way, so that we become intensely involved in their story. Don’t miss this excellent production!

RELATIVE MERITS is playing at the King Street Theatre, corner King and Bray Streets, Newtown for a strictly limited season, Friday and Saturday nights at 10pm and Sundays at 7pm.

 

 

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA

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Berynn Schwedt plays Antony and Denby Weller is Cleopatra

It is easy to imagine how Shakespeare’s lesser known works present modern directors with an enticing platter for experimentation, to avoid comparisons with the countless other productions that are attached to some of his classics, such as HAMLET. The tragedy of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, Shakespeare’s play representing the sexual immorality and civil war in the late Roman era could be such an opportunity, and Ira Seidenstein, director of the current production of the play at Sydney’s King St Theatre claims just that.

Seidenstein’s production brings a mixed group of performers to the stage, from established through to emerging artists and a small ensemble of young performers who have been mentored through the development period.

Seidenstein holds nothing back, dragging his actors and audience through the full-length version of the play in order to “engage with the text”. While this shows a valiant ambition on the part of the director, it is a choice which seems to have allowed little consideration for the varying experience levels of his cast or to the fact that Shakespeare’s own company would not have performed the full play. Nevertheless, the actors give solid performances. Berynn Schwerdt (Antony), being the most experienced actor in the group is the natural standout. Jonathan Dunk (Octavius Caesar) and Robert J Edwards (Pompey) also show a lot of promise in their work.

If the role of the reviewer is to challenge, critique and ultimately enhance the creative climate of a community, then sometimes it is necessary for a bit of discomfort. My criticism of Seidenstein’s work is that it does not seem to reflect his vast experience and knowledge in the context of this production. Contrary to the statements of Seidenstein’s director’s notes about this being a daring new production, this show would have benefited from some dramaturgical discretion and better use of creative licence to work to the strengths of his cast. The end result is a lengthy production which lacks aesthetic clarity and textual cohesion.

Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing how these actors progress in future works and especial congratulations to the younger cast members who survived what was no doubt a mammoth rehearsal period developing this three hour work.

Ira Seidenstein’s production  of William Shakespeare’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA opened at the King Street Theatre, corner of King and Bray streets, Newtown on Wednesday 5th June and runs until Saturday 15th June, 2013