Tag Archives: Robert Grubb

TICKETS GO ON SALE TODAY FOR BILLY ELLIOTT THE MUSICAL

Universal Theatrical Group, Working Title Films, Greene Light Stage, Michael Coppel and Louise Withers Presents are delighted to announce that tickets for the Sydney season of Billy Elliot the Musical are now on sale at billyelliotthemusical.com.au

This 10th Anniversary Australian Tour will premiere at Sydney Lyric Theatre from October 10 followed by seasons in Melbourne at the Regent Theatre from February 2020, Crown Theatre Perth from June 2020, QPAC’s Lyric Theatre inBrisbane from July 2020 and the Festival Theatre at Adelaide Festival Centre from September 2020.

Featuring music by the legendary Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical has been seen by over 12 million people worldwide.  Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, it is the recipient of 85 awards internationally, including 10 Tony Awards, 5 Olivier Awards and 8 Helpmann Awards.

Starring as the tough but supportive ballet teacher Mrs Wilkinson will be Kelley Abbey, one of Australia’s most accomplished performers, internationally renowned choreographer and award-winning creative director.Kelley began her career in the long running TV series E Street before starring on stage in productions including Sweet Charity, Grease the Arena Spectacular and Fame the Musical. Her incredible choreography earnt her a Helpmann Award forThe Boy from Oz Arena Spectacular as she has proved to be one our country’s most creative and innovative doyens of dance and live performance. It is only fitting that she now steps into the shoes of Mrs Wilkinson to guide Billy through his unique dance journey. Continue reading TICKETS GO ON SALE TODAY FOR BILLY ELLIOTT THE MUSICAL

A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED

A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED. Pic James Morgan
Debra Lawrence as Letitia Blacklock in Christie’s
A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED. Pic James Morgan

I doubt you will pick  this whodunit. This is an excellent production of ‘a good old fashioned’ classic murder mystery as crafted by the Queen of Crime Dame Agatha Christie  in ‘the golden era’ .  It is oh so utterly British , a genteel  village murder mystery.

The original book was first published in 1950. A Murder Is Announced takes place in the village of Chipping Cleghorn and is set in Letitia’s house, Little Paddocks. It is a Friday 13th October and a murder is announced in the local paper. With Dame Agatha’s meticulous , convoluted  plotting there are plenty of red herrings , disguises, fake identities,  – is anyone really who they claim to be? – unexpected twists , long lost relatives , lots of suspects. And the motive behind it all is greed, lots and lots of money … or , at least possibly … (Letiticia will apparently inherit a fortune from the mysterious unseen millionaires, the Goedlers, who she used to work for). Or will she?! Cui bono?, as the saying is  .

Linda Bewick’s drawing room set, (two rooms actually – and why is one door sealed?) is wonderfully realised. Suzy Strout’s marvellous costumes and styling, (for Letitia and  Julia especially) and  the well-crafted lighting, sound and music (Matt Cox, David Tonion and Max Lambert) – all meld to create a clearly  illustrated world where the characters come across authentically.

Director Darren Yap with his excellent cast of eleven has got it just right and it is great to see some challenging roles for women. There are eerie blackouts and explosions and at a couple of points audible gasps and other reactions from the audience which nowadays is somewhat unusual .The tension of the piece is well developed and carried over both acts.

Debra Lawrance as the apparently threatened Letitia Blacklock is marvellous, all exquisite twinset and pearls and cool, calm elegance with a ‘stiff upper lip’. But what deep, dark secrets is she hiding ?Another  major role is that of Deirdre Rubenstein as Bunny , Letita’s friend and companion,  who is slightly mad – or is she?!

Others in the cast include Robert Grubb as the seemingly inept ,  rather craggy Inspector Cradock in a terrific performance. Carmen Duncan is elegant but rather highly strung and nervous as Mrs Swettenham and James Beck is imposing as her  author son Edmund.

The bright, energetic young things,- Libby Munro,( Phillipa)  Nathaniel Middleton ( Patrick)  and Elizabeth Sebben ( Julia) are delectably enigmatic  in their various roles. Victoria Haralabidou has much fun totally stealing the show as Mitzi, Letitia’s rather surly and strange parlour maid and cook, in a strong performance featuring great comic timing.

Miss Marple herself, quiet either in a corner knitting or energetically re-enacting scene- of- the- crime movements, is brilliantly played by Judi Farr who is perfect in the role. As Miss Marple she is a gentle, gracious and unassuming  busy body yet also has an agile and incisive mind.

If you like Agatha Christie (or Midsomer Murders) treat yourself and go see this terrific production.  Running time is 2 hours 20 mins including one interval.

A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED – a Miss Marple Mystery, is playing the Sydney Theatre until October 27 and then moves to the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne playing there from October 30 to December 4, 2013.