Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director; produced playwright (21 plays). Scripts pub. Currency Press. She worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Coordinator of Prof. Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read her reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Shakespeare Company Botanical
Gardens, Observatory Gate, until March 12, 2016 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars:**** I reviewed the
production on Jan 2, before opening night, with the director's permission. KH
L-R Clockwise_ Mark Dickinson Andrew Hondromatidis Kevin Hopkins Hugh Sexton Antony Rive Scott Jackson
the hands of a bunch of clever clowns, Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies quickly
transform into madcap comedies that include Macbeth riding a wooden horse, King
Lear as a rap song and Hamlet as Masterchef.
Glenn Elston’s outdoor production, Shakespeare’s Best Bits, the clownish tradesmen
from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – known as The Mechanicals – annihilate the
Bard’s tragedies and histories in their riotous search for a play to perform
for the Duke’s wedding.
fine comic timing and delivery, hilarious characters, witty dialogue and direct
engagement with the delighted audience, the cast of six rollicks through
parodies of a parade of Shakespeare’s works.
the carpenter (Kevin Hopkins) leads the buffoons in a parody of an actor’s warm
up that precedes their hilariously idiotic rehearsals.
is first to suffer these indignities with Flute the bellows-mender (Antony
Rive) draped in tartan and gabbling in a shonky Scots accent while galloping
around the stage on a hobbyhorse.
him is the nearly naked Bottom the weaver (Andrew 'Hondo' Hondromatidis) playing
a yellow bearded Banquo who sports a furry, orange g-string that brings new
meaning to the name Bottom and new joy to ‘bad’ acting.
CHILDREN’S THEATRE Adapted by Glenn
Elston from the book by Kenneth Grahame By Australian Shakespeare Company Botanical
Gardens, Gate F, until Jan 23, 2016 Reviewer: Kate Herbert (reviewed on Dec 30, 2015) Stars:**** Review also run in Herald Sun online and later in print. This review was scheduled on Dec 31 to be posted on Jan 6. KH
Head Chief Rabbit (Roscoe Mathers), Toad (Ryan Hawke), Ratty (Leigh Piper)_Pic Matt Deller
is nearly three decades since Glenn Elston’s first production of his adaptation
of Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 children’s book, The Wind in the Willows.
boisterous and playful outdoor show is back at the Botanical Gardens but, for its
29th season, Otis Elston, who once played Portly Otter, takes on the
mantle of director of this show that captivates family audiences each summer.
book is very English and this production maintains the cheery, quaint style of
the story and characters but injects it with local, topical references, bad
puns, vivid costumes (Karla Erenbots) and bold make-up (Melanie Ranken) that
bring it into the 21st century.
Mathers as Head Chief Rabbitonce
again leads the band of merry animals in their adventures and engages the audience
of all ages with his sardonic humour, musical skill and cheerful rifling of
people’s picnic baskets.
is a simple tale of friendship, morality and adventure and the children not
only holler enthusiastically at the characters’ slapstick antics and idiosyncrasies
but they also go on a dangerous adventure with the Rat Pack and Badger Patrol
to rescue Portly the Otter (Alana Lewis) from the Wild Wood.
Music by George Stiles, book
& lyrics by Anthony Drewe, produced by Kenny Wax Family Entertainment,
presented by Arts Centre Melbourne Playhouse,
Arts Centre Melbourne, until Jan 17, 2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: 4 & 1/2 Review also in print in Herald Sun on Tues Jan 5, 2016 (TBC).
This pic is the UK cast. No pics available of the UK cast visiting Melbourne.
Picture three plump, pink singing piglets with their
frazzled, single mother and you have the children’s musical version
of The Three
Little Pigsthat premiered on the West End in 2015.
This vibrant, swift-paced production is billed as a ‘very
curly musical tale’ and boasts singable music by George Stiles with a witty book
and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, the award-winning writers of new songs for the
stage show of Mary Poppins.
Pig (Lizzie Bea), whose husband was eaten by the Big Bad Wolf (Taofique Folarin),
urges her three, dependent piglets, Bar (Mark Anderson), Bee (Sam Toland) and Q
(Daniel Buckley) to leave the sty and move into their own homes.
if you run their names together you get ‘BarBeQue’, which is just what the Wolf
plans to do to them to make yummy, pork crackling.
piglets pack their swags, leave Mum’s pigsty and, after endless arguments,
decide to live separately in three houses: eco-friendly Bee builds with straw,
muscular Bar uses sticks while Q the bookworm constructs a brick house.