Thursday 23 December 2021

Summer shows outdoors- Australian Shakespeare Company 2021-2022

I've not seen these productions yet but there are plenty of outdoor dhow by Australian Shakespeare Company. 

NB: All words below are NOT mine. They are from ASC website. KH

Saturday 11 December 2021

Dispatches from the Frontline, La Mama, 11 December 2021 ****



Produced & designed by Geraldine Cook-Dafner & Naomi Edwards

Part of La Mama re-opening War-rak/Banksia Festival

At La Mama, Sat 11 December 2021 at 8.30am & live streamed

Youtube Link:

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Stars: ****

Dispatches from the Frontline is an evocative and resonant reading by Geraldine Cook-Dafner of excerpts from the diary of a Victorian nurse, Sister Nan Reay, who served for four gruelling years on the frontline of the battlefields of World War One.


 With just her voice and gentle, magnetic presence, Cook-Dafner transports the audience –both live at La Mama and live streamed to our homes – to the Front in France and the field hospitals in which the medical staff from Australia and other countries struggle day after day and year after year, to repair the damaged bodies and spirits of the soldiers. Many cannot be saved or restored. Projected images provide haunting echoes of the war.


Seeing this piece, directed with a deft but light hand by Naomi Edwards, in the newly re-opened La Mama, performed in from of the La Mama fireplace and dark red brick was already intensely emotional, but it is deeply affecting to hear Cook-Dafner enlivening the words of Sister Nan Reay and painting pictures of the horrors of war, appalling injuries and pointless loss of life.


Nan wonders repeatedly what the point is of such senseless war. Her quiet insights resonate with our own experience of global conflict and of a global pandemic that has touched all our lives and her tenacity and courage are reminder of our gratitude to our own, tireless and selfless health workers.


Dispatches from the Frontline is a vivid provocative, challenging and profoundly emotional experience made even more poignant because these are the words of a real, Australian woman living and working as a nurse 100 years ago.


Watch the performance on YouTube:


by Kate Herbert

Sunday 5 December 2021

Cinderella Panto online -link to trailer

Cinderella Panto - Online

Available at until 22 Jan 2022.

See the trailer on this link: Cinderella Panto trailer (UK)

Running time: 90 mins. Subtitles available
Suitable for all ages. From £25* per household.

I haven't seen the entire show so this is not a review.

image from trailer:  Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Adam Price & Peter Duncan

 It's Christmas and the British Panto is back and this time it's online for you to watch with the family. It's littered with Panto dames and goofy songs etc.


"Peter Duncan’s Cinderella is now online for families, in cinemas and ready to stream to your school or group! 

"Family favourite and Blue Peter TV star Peter Duncan is back, following the phenomenal success of his pantomime film of Jack and the Beanstalk in 2020. He plays Billie Eyelash, an Ugly Sister, and has written and directed this spectacular, joyous new musical film of the pantomime Cinderella.

"Filmed entirely on location and packed with comedy, slosh and slapstick, it finally brings the pantomime genre to the big screen. You can boo, cheer and shout ‘he’s behind you’ to the characters on screen and sing-a-long to the songsheet at the end. 


Friday 3 December 2021

Ghost Quartet, (online), 3 December 2021 ***



What: Ghost Quartet (online version), Music, Lyrics & Text by David Molloy

Produced by Antipodes Theatre

View online:, filmed at Meat Market Stables

Reviewer: Kate Herbert


 This review published only on this blog. KH

L-R Willow Sizer, Hany Lee, Devid Butler-006-Jack Dixon-Gunn

Ghost Quartet by David Molloy, is a ghostly song cycle constructed around a mash-up of familiar and unfamiliar stories including Arabian Nights and Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher and drawing on a range of eclectic musical styles.


In this chamber musical directed by Brandon Pape, stories meander and characters merge, which is initially confounding, but eventually the bold tapestry of tall tales become clearer. Characters are reincorporated and live in multiple narrative worlds. For example, two women called Rose and Pearl are sisters, lovers, friends or mother and daughter.


A woman breaks her camera, someone falls from a subway platform, parents worry about their child who obsesses over a ghost, an astronomer wants to sing, four friends drink whiskey, a dancer laments. Characters merge, tell stories, then split apart only to appear again in another reality.


The cycle is arranged in four sections, like four sides of a double album, each song begin announced as “Side One, Track 1”, and so on, a device that breaks up the momentum and flow at times.


Four singer/musicians play all roles and instruments: David Butler (piano), Hany Lee (percussion, zither, piano), Patrick Shnur (cello, guitar), Willow Sizer (drums, guitar, ukulele).


The end of Side 3 is compelling and successful when three songs – Bad Men, The House of Usher-Part 3, and Prayer – ebb and flow with changing styles and rhythms like a musical theatre piece, incorporating dialogue, narrative and characters effectively into the songs.


The final song, The Wind and Rain, is a beautifully evocative and genuinely moving and melancholy lament in the style of an English or Irish folk tune. It is the tale of two sisters, a lover, jealousy and death and a fiddle that is strung with the dead girl’s long brown hair. I’m still singing it!


Ghost Quartet is an appealing and diverse production performed by a versatile cast. It is a good sign that it even works when watched online!


By Kate Herbert



David Butler

Hany Lee

Patrick Shnur

Willow Sizer


Creative Team

Directed and Designed by BRANDON PAPE

Musical Director DAVID BUTLER

Costume Designer JODI HOPE

Lighting Designer KIT CUNNEEN

Sound Designer EVAN DRILL


Assistant Stage Manager HOLLY ANDERSON

Graphic Designer JULIAN LEON


Social Media Management by CHLOE TOWAN and AUBREY FLOOD



Song List


Side One

1. I Don’t Know

2. The Camera Shop

3. Starchild

4. Subway

5. Usher, Part 1

6. Soldier & Rose

7. Any Kind of Dead Person


Side Two

1. The Astronomer 

2. Family Meeting 

3. Four Friends

4. Fathers & Sons 

5. Usher, Part 2

6. The Telescope 

7. Tango Dancer 

8. Monk


Side Three

1. Lights Out

2. The Photograph 

3. Bad Men

4. Usher, Part 3

5. Prayer


Side Four

1. Hero

2. Midnight

3. The Wind & Rain