Friday 27 August 2021

Berlin, MTC Digital 27 August 2021 ****



Written by Joanna Murray-Smith, produced by  Melbourne Theatre Company

MTC Digital Theatre filmed at Southbank Theatre. Available online until 31 December 2022

Reviewer: Kate Herbert


This review, first published on this blog on 23 April 2021, is a review of the live production of Berlin that was filmed for this digital version. KH

Grace Cummings & Michael Wahr, pic Jeff Busby


Berlin by Joanna Murray-Smith is a two-hander that shifts from seduction to philosophical discussion before taking a turn into complex, social and political issues.

 The play, directed by Iain Sinclair, takes place in Charlotte’s (Grace Cummings) hipster apartment (design, Christine Smith) in an expensive part of Berlin. Having met Tom (Michael Wahr), an Australian tourist, in the bar where she works, she invites him to her home after he tells her he has no accommodation.


Their playful, confident and sensual seduction is a like a game of cat and mouse – or cat and cat – as they tease and entice each other with wine, poetry and half-truths.

Thursday 26 August 2021

Beyond Paradise, Darebin Youth Project, Preview

This immersive work looks interesting so here's a little mention about the project. I love to see good, new work with by about young people. KH

Beyond Paradise

Presented by Pony Cam & Darebin Youth Service as part of Melbourne Fringe 2021

Dates: 1-3rd / 7-9th / 14-16th October Venue: Festival Hub - Trades Hall

Beyond Paradise - Photo by Theresa Hamilton

*The performance is taking over a multi-storey carpark. 

*It is working with 10 teenagers from the Darebin area - in partnership with Darebin Youth Services. 

*It is a participatory and immersive.

Tuesday 24 August 2021

The Production Company Archive 1999-2019


Click here for link: The Production Company Archive  

Jeanne Ken and Rachel. pic by Jim Lee

MEDIA RELEASE 24 August 2021


Two years ago, before our lives changed forever, The Production Company staged

its last production. Ragtime, an Australian premiere, was the company’s final show after twenty-one years of presenting musicals in the State Theatre at Arts Centre Melbourne. Founded by Jeanne Pratt AC in 1998, the company produced sixty-five musicals in more than five hundred performances between 1999 and 2019, selling more than a million tickets, presenting no fewer than ten Australian premieres and creating thousands 
of jobs and major career development for artists and creatives.


How best to remember the unique contribution the company made to the 
vibrant artistic life we all enjoyed in Melbourne?


Today, the company has launched an online archive celebrating the sixty-five musical productions they presented and the people who both created and starred in them.


Chairman Jeanne Pratt AC said, "What a wonderful time we've all had! I hope you enjoy revisiting the many brilliant shows we brought to Arts Centre Melbourne. Until we meet again, this is our way of saying thank you for your support of The Production Company."


The company’s Artistic director Ken Mackenzie-Forbes AM and Executive Director 
Rachel D Taylor are delighted to announce that The Production Company’s 

online archive is now live.


Ken Mackenzie-Forbes said, “We are understandably proud of the unique contribution we made to the musical theatre industry across twenty-one years. This online archive will enable our subscribers, sponsors, artists and creatives to relive the excitement of those years.  This journey through the archives will bring back the joy and delight these memorable productions gave us a

Rachel D Taylor commented, “The online archive is a major resource on the company’s history.  It’s a beautiful reminder of the outstanding job The Production Company did presenting and promoting Australian talent, giving Melbourne audiences the best shows for twenty-one wonderful years.  The website honours our artists, creatives and collaborators with a permanent presence, long after the curtain has fallen. It was a joy

to create and I think it will make people very happy.”



On the HOME page, there is an icon for each musical.

  • Click on an icon and see the original show announcement, the cast and creative team and enjoy a photo gallery of production images.
  • Each musical page also includes a copy of the show program, providing the complete details for that production.
  • Additionally, on the home page there are pull down menus featuring reviews from many shows and a history of the Pratt Prize for Musical Theatre.


Sunday 15 August 2021

The Wolves, LCT Private Reels ****1/2


Written by Sarah DeLappe, by Lincoln Center Theater (2017)

Lincoln Center Theater Private Reels, Online Broadway on Demand until 15 Aug 2021

Reviewer: Kate Herbert on 15 Aug 2021 (Melbourne, Australia)

Stars: ****1/2

The Wolves


On an indoor, fake turf field, a suburban, American, girls’ soccer team, stretches, exercises, trains, bickers and laughs.


In her play, The Wolves, Sarah DeLappe creates a slice of the life of adolescent girls. In rapid fire dialogue, they interrupt and talk over each other. The team has a volatile group dynamic, and these adolescents shift from childishness to adult behaviour and opinions in the blink of an eye.


As they stretch, they argue about ethics, political correctness, ambition, rivalry and winning – and they reminisce about those half-time orange slices at games in their not-so-distant childhood.


They are learning the rules of the adult world and, in so doing, they interpret, reinterpret and repeat what they have heard, regurgitating political views and social mores that are not yet their own.


They joke, giggle, accuse, reprimand, castigate, confuse and preach. There is very little silence in the world of these teens – until one of their number is injured, then one of their number does not return.


DeLappe’s writing is beautifully observed, multi-layered, passionate and often hilarious, while Lila Neugebauer’s direction is deft and seamless.


The ensemble is a cohesive team, just like the soccer teens are on the field. Each actor portrays a different teenager, ranging from the confident to the timid, the political animal to the politically incorrect, the silent, the voluble, the worldly wise or the sheltered and childlike.


The cast never falters as the team careers through their training and their adolescence until, at the end of the play, they bang up against real and palpable grief and loss that leaves them speechless.


The Wolves is an impassioned cry in the wild from these young women whose lives are not yet fully formed and whose futures hang heavily before them.


By Kate Herbert


Writer -Sarah DeLappe

Director- Lila Neugebauer






Monday 2 August 2021

The Mermaid (streamed) 2 August 2021 ***


Filmed at La Mama Courthouse on 15 July 2021, streamed on Vimeo

Reviewer: Kate Herbert viewed on 2 August 2021

Stars: ***

This review is published only on this blog. KH

                                                    The Mermaid, Allegra di Lollo- pic Pier Carthew

If you merge Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of The Little Mermaid with a smattering of myths and sightings of mer-people, then pop them in a blender with lots of teen angst, you come up with The Mermaid.


Directed by Cassandra Fumi, this devised production is a Youth Theatre performance (i.e. performed by young people and created with professionals) that took three years to develop.


The ensemble of nine actors aged from 12 to 19 perform this piece. It is episodic with some scenes that are movement-based, and others that rely on narration delivered on microphone by various cast members.


It opens with one defiant, young, trans actor who, as the host, suggests that we are about to enter the Coney Island Mermaid Parade – Yes, it’s a real thing in the US! Regrettably, we never see the Parade or this host character again.


In a confined set (Dann Barber) that is a giant, tiled, empty swimming pool, a girl (Allegra Di Lallo) – the titular mermaid –lies prone in a pink, plastic, paddling pool that has its own tail fin.