Friday 30 September 2022

Cyrano by Virginia Gay REVIEW 29 Sep 2022 ****



Written by Virginia Gay after Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano

By Melbourne Theatre Company

At Southbank Theatre, The Sumner until Oct 29, 2022

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Stars: ****

This review is published only on this blog, but I will do a radio review on 3MBS Arts Weekly on Sat 8 Oct 2022. KH

CYRANO_Robin Goldsworthy (front), Milo Hartill, Holly Austin, Virginia Gay-picJeff Busby

Cyrano is a rollicking good night in the theatre with an intelligent and witty script by Virginia Gay, inventive direction by Sarah Goodes and delightfully quirky performances.


The production literally breaks the fourth wall not only by frequently addressing the audience, but with its set design (Elizabeth Gadsby) that features a demolished brick theatre wall that allows us to peer into the performance space that appears to be a backstage area.


Gay’s interpretation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano begins with a motley bunch of actors wrestling with ways to represent the famous Cyrano story on stage. This is meta-theatre: art talking about itself as it is created on stage.

Friday 9 September 2022

Bed & Breakfast REVIEW 8 Sept 2022 ****


Written by Mark Crawford with additional material from Tessa King & Ben Noble

At Chapel off Chapel until Sept 18, 2022

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Stars: ****

This review is published only on this blog. I'll present a verbal review on 3MBS Arts Weekly on Sat 10 Sept 2022. KH

Ben Noble & Alex Thew - photo by Cameron Grant
When Ben Noble and Alex Thew took their curtain call at the end of Bed & Breakfast I had a fleeting moment of expecting “the rest of the cast” to appear on stage; that’s how convincing the two actors were playing over 20 roles between them!


Canadian playwright Mark Crawford’s Bed & Breakfast, is a genuinely hilarious, warm, moving and clever play, superbly performed by Noble and Thew who play the central characters of Brett (Noble) and Drew (Thew) who move from Melbourne to a small country town to convert Brett’s Aunt Maggie’s rambling old house that Brett just inherited, into a B and B. The play charts Brett and Drew’s year of renovations and homemaking.


The production is directed deftly, precisely and inventively by Tom Healey who pushes the performers to their limits. These two versatile and admirable actors inhabit an entire community of people, transforming into old and young, male and female, progressive and conservative characters with a shift in posture, a change in attitude, accent or tone, or just a jacket.

Thursday 8 September 2022

Freaky Friday the Musical, 8-18 Sept 2022 PREVIEW ONLY


Freaky Friday the Musical, Music & Lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey

Produced by Theatrical

At Chapel off Chapel until Sept 18, 2022

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

This is NOT a review but a short preview taken from the Media Release for this production and company. KH

Freaky Friday  photo  by Evangeline Kepler Studios


Quote from Media Release:

K-Box REVIEW 7 Sept 2022 ***


Written by Ra Chapman, Malthouse Theatre

At Beckett Theatre, Malthouse until Sept 18 2022

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Stars: ***

This review was published only on this blog. I’ll present an oral review of it on 3MBS Arts Weekly on Sat 10 Sept 2022. KH

Susanna Qian, Maude Davey, Syd Brisbane_c Phoebe Powell

K-Box, written by Ra Chapman and directed by Bridget Balodis, explores a story about racial identity and issues surrounding inter-racial and inter-cultural adoption and, although the themes and narrative ideas have potential, they are not yet fully realised


Korean adoptee, 34-year-old Lucy (Susanna Qian), returns to her parents’ home in an Australian country town, unannounced and after a long absence, after leaving her boyfriend and her job with no explanation.


Lucy’s well-meaning but confused parents, Shirley (Maude Davey) and George (Syd Brisbane), welcome their obviously despondent and disoriented daughter with open arms but are bereft of ideas to help her through what Shirley believes – correctly, it transpires – to be a breakdown. Lucy does not leave the house for weeks and is obsessed with a large, now empty cardboard box that she played in as a child and called something sounding like “Ship” or “Chip”, a name that she discovers has resonance with her early childhood in Korea. Lucy keeps her precious box close, weirdly seating it at the dinner table, stroking it as she watches TV or squatting inside it like a toddler.

Monday 5 September 2022

Come From Away RETURN SEASON Sept 5 2022 *****


Book, Music & Lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein

At Comedy Theatre, Melbourne until Oct 30 2022

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Stars:  *****

This review published only on this blog. It repeats much of my 2019 review but includes the new cast for this 2022 season. KH

Cast of Come From Away - photo credit Jeff Busby

Come From Away is a remarkable, exhilarating and joyous celebration of the human spirit at its best, and the audience at this return season in September 2022 leaps to its feet in a standing ovation at the rousing finale. This show is a rare creature you should not miss.


On September 11 2001, 38 planes were diverted to a tiny town in Newfoundland, Canada, almost 7,000 passengers were met with warmth and open-hearted generosity. On that dark day, the 10,000 residents of Gander and neighbouring towns gave shelter, solace and a warm hearth to complete strangers displaced by the events of 9-11. These people shared their lives. Remember sharing?


In their electrifying and outstanding musical, writers, David Hein and Irene Sankoff, condense 16,000 stories from real interviews into a narrative set over five days, with dozens of quirky characters portrayed by an exceptional ensemble of twelve.

Friday 2 September 2022

La Cena Perfetta FILM REVIEW 2 Sept 2022 ****

(The Perfect Dinner)

ST. ALI Italian Film Festival 2022

At Palace Cinemas 15 Sept to 12 Oct 2022 

For dates:

2022 | 106 min | Italy | Comedy

Reviewer: Kate Herbert


This review was published only on this blog. KH

La Cena Perfetta: Salvatore Esposito, Greta Scarano Gianfranco Gallo


La Cena Perfetta is a delectable romance seasoned with a dash of menacing mafioso and a splash of comedy. It tracks the path of Carmine (Salvatore Esposito) – a member of the Neapolitan Camorra who has too much heart and soul for violence and crime – after his Capo and “uncle”, Pasquale (Gianfranco Gallo), banishes him to Roma to launder Camorra money through a cheap and tacky frozen food restaurant called Picchio Blu (Blue Woodpecker).


When Carmine encounters feisty and attractive Consuelo (Greta Scarano), haute cuisine chef and former owner of the restaurant, he follows his own dream and embarks on a dangerous path to build a Michelin star-worthy restaurant with Consuelo at the helm – but he diverts Pasquale’s money into his project without the Capo’s knowledge or consent. Danger looms!