Restirring a Christmas classic

A Christmas Carol (shake & stir theatre company)

QPAC, The Playhouse

December 2 – 24

At certain times of year or age, we have perhaps all felt a little like the Ebenezer Scrooge of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella “A Christmas Carol”. As shake and stir theatre co’s adaptation reminds us, however, the cold-hearted elderly miser that we meet at the outset of the story is still capable of transformation. The initially spiteful and mean-spirited character’s redemption comes after he is visited, on the night before Christmas, by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley (now bound for eternity in the chains of his own greed after a life of hoarding his wealth and exploiting the poor), and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, which takes audiences to a lovely celebration of the festive generosity of spirit at the core of the Christmas season.

The award-winning production is as pantomime as Brisbane gets, particularly in the performances of Eugene Gilfedder as the misanthropist Scrooge, whose disdain for do-gooders and Bah! Humbug! desire to just be left alone, indicates that he is clearly far from merry… just ask his long-suffering clerk Bob Pratchett (Lucas Stibbard). More than just being cantankerous, however, Gilfedder’s Scrooge is quite funny, especially when relishing in his own amusements, which gives the character a depth beyond caricature. Bryan Probets, too, is wonderfully engaging as Marley’s ghost of Christmas past, present and future, particularly in drag as an Edwardian lady all dressed in white. And his physical commitment to floating in place and hovering across the stage is impressive in its add to the story’s authenticity.   

Michael Futcher’s nimble direction sees the perennial story pace along with performers jumping in and out of scenes and roles without detracting from audience investment in their worlds. Ross Balbuziente is magnetic as the younger, almost-once-married Scrooge of earlier times. He also banters buoyantly with Nick Skubij as children in the Christmas-present Cratchit family experience, both to juxtapose the family’s innocence and happiness against Scrooge’s misery, and also in foreshadow of the tragedy coming should Scrooge not change his miserly ways.

This is a grand production, perfect for the entire family, complete with live music, yule-tide carolling, innovative video design, lavish costumes, snow and a supersized turkey. Josh McIntosh’s design ensures that Dickensian London is brought vibrantly to life through a complicated but versatile mobile set design. Guy Webster’s sound design and Jason Glenwright’s lighting design, both cool us into the Victorianness of its drama and warm us towards its final affirming messages. And on-stage musicianship courtesy of internationally-acclaimed violinist Tabea Sitte soundtracks our transport across times.

While the show is now in its fourth year, this “A Christmas Carol” remains thoroughly innovative, particularly in its state-of-the-art video projections by Craig Wilkinson which awaken the story’s supernatural forces, particularly its ghostly visions and give us some Doctor Who type time vortex travel visions. While there are some moments of darkness, in keeping with its grim gothic ghost story origins, Nelle Lee’s adaption is ultimately a heart-warming tale that maintains the essence of the original, while igniting the appeal of the magical story to a modern-day audience. Indeed, it is difficult to leave the Playhouse Theatre upon the show’s end without being filled with uplifting appreciation for the Christmas spirit as something to be lived out every day.

Photos c/o – David Fell

‘60s summer stories

Away (La Boite Theatre Company)

La Boite Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre

October 25 – November 13

Along with “Summer of the Seventeenth Doll”, Michael Gow’s “Away” is Australian Drama 101. The play is a classic work easily able to be revisited and seen anew through a contemporary lens, celebration of which is central to La Boite Theatre’s revival of the much-loved work.

The summer print of usher outfits and preshow of-era soundtrack of The Seekers’ ‘Georgie Girl’ et al, transports us to the story’s summer beach holiday represented simply on stage. However, while Gow’s memory play is of a childhood of idyllic summer holidays of this sort, when the night hues unsettle from their pre-show blanket of the stage, we are taken not to the beach of its 1967 setting, but rather the conclusion of a school’s production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in which young Tom (Reagan Mannix) has starred as Puck.

The play serves as punctuation to the school year before families depart for summer holidays appropriate to their respective status. Class conflicts are evident as Tom’s immigrant parents, still full of wonder around the novelty of a summer Christmas, are condescended to by the strict mother of his classmate Meg (Billy Fogarty). Middle class Gwen (Emily Burton) is appalled that the working class English migrants will be spending their holidays in a lean-to-tent, as opposed to their prime caravan park spot. Meanwhile, school headmaster Roy (Bryan Probets) is flying his wife Coral (Christen O’Leary) to a glitzy Gold Coast resort for some rest and recreation, in hope to snap her out of her all-consuming grief over the recent death of their conscript son in Vietnam.

From its opening scene, issues of its time of social upheaval swirl around the play’s smaller, personal and human stories, for all three families have their own turmoil and are struggling in some way. When a force of Shakespearean proportions forces their respective vacations to fall apart, their crises are brought to a head by their intersection. As their secrets are shared, relationships are forged and repaired and new hope is fostered.

Mannix gives a brilliant performance in his professional debut, easily illustrating his character’s development from enthusiastic schoolboy to mature, mindful young adult and Fogarty’s conveyance of Meg’s stoicism serves a strong complement to this. Alongside them, a talented who’s who of Brisbane theatre fills out the cast. Ngoc Phan and Kevin Spink capture their character’s immigrant optimism in their easy-going attitudes in mask of the painful reality they know they will be facing in the future. As Meg’s father Jim, Sean Dow gives us patient character counterpoint to the blunt force that is his wife Gwen. Burton is brilliant in making Gwen immediately unlikeable as the highly strung woman always in need of a Bex and a bit of a lie down. However, while her manner is obviously hiding a deep hurt, her dialogue is so brittle and snipes so viciously spat out that some of the impact of her emotional journey is lost by the suddenness of her character change.  

Proberts is excellent as stoic headmaster Roy, delivering one of the play’s most moving monologues in reflection of the price needed to be paid for the life we have, in defence of his son’s conscription to Vietnam. And O’Leary is mesmeric in her delicate realisation of his fragile and frayed wife Coral, ready to retreat into the darkness and shadows that appear as metaphor for her grief.

A textured aesthetic suits the magical realism at the centre of director Daniel Evans’ vision. A swelling soundscape and sepia-toned nostalgia takes the audience into the post-holiday realities that end the play. Shakespearean references abound as a tempest of a storm catalyses a change for each family. Indeed, Brady Watkins sound design and composition, and Ben Hughes’ lighting design effectively combine to storm us through new year’s eve to 1968 and into interval.

Of era props and some exquisite 1960s gowns, assist in transporting audiences away into the on-stage world. Indeed, Sarah Winter’s set and costume design reveals an attention to detail even down to the shell cases that surround the stage lighting of the central stage. The round stage works well, not just for in-the-round audience engagement, but to represent the divide in families as conversations occur from across its sides. And Liesel Zink’s choreography is impressive, both in the initial ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ segment, and in the show’s creative considerations of all the opportunities of space to give levels from which observers can look down upon the action.

At 140 minutes duration (including interval), this “Away” is a long one, with not only inclusion of a play scene within a play, but an end of season campground concert performance, which although provide a comic balance to the heavy themes of the narrative’s drama, do drag things a little. Mostly, there is a delicate balance between the show’s tones, as fantasies and dreams explode from its domestic naturalism, however, some moments don’t land as well as others, such as when audience laughter continues without recognition of the mood change coming from the urgency of Tom’s desire to lose his virginity to Meg, meaning that the production isn’t as moving as it should be in some moments.

“Away” is a political and social time capsule story about reconciliation, acceptance of life’s obstacles and the need to move forward. Yet, in its exploration of suspicion of outsiders and fear of change, it still has a lot to say about who we were, through the lens of who we are now that we are more grown up as a nation, making it a worth a visit, especially for anybody yet to experience this classic and widely produced work from one of our country’s most significant playwrights.

Photos c/o Morgan Roberts

Holidays hope

The Holidays (Queensland Theatre)

Queensland Theatre, Bille Brown Theatre

November 14 – December 12

With stone fruit now on sale and schools this week farewelling their Senior students, it is clear that summer holidays are but a whisper away. For many in this COVID-19 year, Christmas holidays will mean a road trip to a regional destination, which makes Queensland Theatre’s world premiere production, “The Holidays” (which was postponed due to the pandemic) now particularly timely. And as the show begins with Dad Bob Holiday (Bryan Probets), his wife Summer (Louise Brehmer) and their son Oliver (Matthew Ianna in a Queensland Theatre debut) embarking upon a hours and hours journey to the beach house of Bob’s unseen eccentric artist father, we are reminded of our own similar summer road-trip experiences, thanks to its Aussie music soundtrack of Chisel and Australian Crawl et al that serves as a through-line from even the pre-show ambiance within the Bille Brown Studio.

What the work also captures is the meander of a leisurely long summer day. Laidback pacing means that while there are hints as to the reasoning behind the trip and the notable absence of Bob’s father from the scene, we are a frustrating two thirds of the way into the 80-minute work before any specifics are revealed. On its own, this could serve as a hindrance to audience engagement, however, storytelling is supported by innovative sound and audio-visual elements that balance the lack of action on-stage once the Holidays arrive at their unspecified Queensland beachside town.  

The beach represents an escape for Oliver and all he wants to do is spend time there. When he does, he speaks directly to the audience, who are transported along with him, in a literally wave of sight and sound courtesy of an all-Queensland creative team. Nathan Sibthorpe’s stunning video projections create a sense of immersion, not only taking the audience to the beach, in work with Sean Foran and Matthew Erskine’s composition and sound design, but elevating on stage action by illuminating it on screen, showing the canvases of artworks being discovered by Oliver as he searches through the mysteries of his grandfather’s seaside shack.

As the story is told through almost-teenager Oliver’s eyes, his parents are not entirely likeable in their constant dismissal of his attempts at communication, clarification and recognition, however, in Probets’ and Brehmer’s hands the characters are given more depth than this just this reading. Probets’ restraint appropriately conveys stern Dad Bob’s complexity and burdensome struggle with becoming engulfed by grief while still fathering within his own family. And Brehmer is a bright as her character, Summer Holiday, as she attempts to support her husband and buoyant her boy.

The standout, however, is Ianna. The newcomer is incredibly talented and easily holds audience command as he breaks the fourth wall for direct address and share of this thoughts and feelings, and guides us through assistance in building his imaginative world through restrained moments of audience participation. He captures Oliver’s feelings of being lost and confused as a consequence of his parents’ attempts to protect him from their family’s reality, however, without any dialogue nod as to his exact age, it is difficult to fully appreciate his turmoil.

The 2019 Queensland Premier’s Drama Prize winner is a tender and hopeful exploration of family relationships and associated notions of connection, memory and legacy. David Megarrity’s writing skilfully take us from the frivolity and humour of dad jokes, mum dances and a pack of puns to foreshadowed poignancy associated with big and deep subject matter. Laidback disposition aside, “The Holidays” is a beautiful play in its account of relationships between a father, son and grandfather and its later scenes are particularly moving as Megarrity draws its strings together in a one-dialogue-line bow to bring tears to many eyes. Indeed, the charming, simple story of real people and their relationships ensures “The Holidays” its own legacy… for shore.  

Photos c/o – Morgan Roberts

Sea change complexities

Hydra (A State Theatre Company of South Australia co-production)

Queensland Theatre, Bille Brown Theatre

March 9 – April 6

It has been a long time since I have read George Johnston’s 1964 Miles Franklin Award-winning faintly-disguised autobiography “My Brother Jack”, however, through the lens of undergraduate literary-study nostalgia, I still recognise the seminal Australian novel’s place as part of our country’s cannon, despite its challenge to our comfortable assumptions of national character. Still, like many I imagine, I don’t know much about Johnston himself, let alone his private life. Award-winning playwright Sue Smith’s work “Hydra” goes some way to filling this space, although ultimately the new work is about the author’s fellow novelist and Sydney Morning Herald columnist wife Charmian Clift, a modern woman with intellectual ambitions, serving as midwife to her husband’s great Australian novel determinations and while acting as carer to his declining health.

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The World Premiere Queensland Theatre coproduction with the State Theatre Company of South Australia is set on the Aegean island of Hydra, two hours south of Athens by boat. It is here that Johnson’s “My Brother Jack” was created, but it’s the fictionalised treatment of the story behind its creation that has us captivated. It is 1956 when, in search of the ultimate Aegean sea change, Australia’s famously scandalous literary couple, acclaimed war correspondent George Johnston (Bryan Probets) and talented journalist Charmian Clift (Anna McGahan) move to the Greek island to focus their lives fully on their writing, the two of them against the world in their Icaris-ish choice to fly towards the sun.

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Over their ten years in Greek, they have three children (the story is told from the perspective of their poet and novelist son Martin Johnston, played by Nathan O’Keefe) and write books, both collaboratively and individually. Indeed, the decade Johnston and Clift spent in Greece was one of intense creative productivity of nine novels for Johnston and two novels and a memoir for Clift.

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The couple’s self-exile begins as a bold and romantic rejection of expectation and an escape from the tyranny of city life as the duo become figureheads of the bohemian Hydra paradise full of writers, dreamers and free spirits, mocking the ockery and cultural cringe back home. Over the years they joined by a long list of like-minded spirits including Sidney Nolan and his wife Cynthia Reed, represented in the play as couple Vic (Hugh Parker) and Ursula (Tiffany Lyndall-Knight).

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It is a boisterous time of Turkish delight, honey cakes, ouzo and the duelling typewriters of equally-disciplined writers, until over-time things transition into a Greek tragedy of the couple’s own making as the good times transition to alcoholism and their banter becomes more hostile. And as they struggle with the unfairness of working hard but being poor, their relationship strains towards crises of jealously, illness and infidelity (c/o the flirtatious Jean-Claude, played by Ray Chong Nee, whose heavily-accented words may not always be as clear as his intentions).

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“Hydra” is a moving, emotional relationship drama, realised by the measured performances of its core cast of complex characters. McGahan is captivating in her control as the emotionally-expressive Clift, conveying a layered take on what easily could have been a one-note feminist frenzy. Indeed, there is a beautiful physicality to her reserved energy, especially in the scenes that weave into monologues some of her character’s original writings.

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Proberts is always a nuanced actor and, as such, he is tremendous as the tormented Johnston, giving a mercurial performance of initial charm and later heartbreak. Also particularly on-point is Hugh Parker whose supporting role as Vic is a standout of ‘50s stoicism and classic conservative short-back-and-sides look.

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Attention to detail is evident in all aspects of the production, including the juxtaposition of the more modern costuming of the couple’s adult-aged narrator son to those of characters in the recalled stories being enacted in his description. Notably, costumes are authentic but purposeful in showing not just its era-evocative sense of time but the narrative’s passing of years.

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There is an eloquent restraint to the aesthetic of Vilma Mattila’s design, yet the creation of sense of place is vivid, not just in the Greek Island setting but in its easy transition to an Australian living room after the ex-pats return home. Nigel Levings’ lighting sun kisses the iconic white washed setting and evokes the lyricism of Clift’s monologue share of ‘Peel Me a Lotus’ and alike, making it easy to appreciate its intimate and inspirational words of nature-worship, while Quentin Grant’s soundscape of idyllic ocean imaginings lightens the increasingly tense mood.

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Under Sam Strong’s restrained direction, “Hydra” is an intense slow-burn of relationship drama. More than just this, however, it is a sweeping tale full of big ideas like the cost of pursing dreams, and, as such, it is perfectly suited to the still-new Bille Brown Theatre and Queensland Theatre’s 2019’s Season of Dreamers. Though its setting may be an age away in time and place, its premise remains relatable as the dream of better is as old as humanity.

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Appropriately for a show set in Greece, the work is full of mythical allusions and motifs, making it accessible to all audience members, and it is, accordingly, understandable why its season is selling so well, especially for a new work. While you don’t necessarily need to know the backstory or writing of its subjects, like all good works, “Hydra” will leave you inspired to if not discover or revisit their literature, then at least read more about these greats of the Australian cultural landscape.

Photos c/o – Jeff Busby

Stirring up a Christmas classic

A Christmas Carol (shake & stir theatre company)

QPAC, The Playhouse

December 7 – 20

Shake and Stir’s “A Christmas Carol’ begins with a tune, the ironic ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman’ (because there is little about which to be merry for those suffering in Victorian era poverty). Still, it’s a lovely yuletide introduction, before it is interrupted by protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge (Eugene Gilfedder) and his famous humbug exclamation.

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Fast forward to Christmas Eve seven years later after the death of Jacob Marley and we see the money-lender Ebenezer again, a cold-hearted penny-pincher who despises Christmas, tight-fisted and hunched over his accounts counting his coals and cursing the happiness of others, despite being rich enough not to be miserable. In his disdain for do-gooders and desire to just be left alone, he is clearly far from merry… just ask his long-suffering clerk Bob Pratchett (Lucas Stibbard).

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After Scrooge is visited by his dead former business partner (Bryan Probets), now bound for eternity in the chains of his own greed after a life of hoarding his wealth and exploiting the poor, three other ghosts, of Christmas Past, Present and Future show Ebenezer the error of his ways. He consequently changes to see Christmas as a charitable and forgiving time of togetherness.

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Nelle Lee’s wondrous adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novella conveys a storybook feel, enhanced by the in-schools experience of many of its ensemble, which enables a craftedness of appeal for children and adults alike. At times, there is a pantomime atmosphere, not in the “he’s behind you!” sensibility of the peculiarly British tradition of winter musical comedy theatre, but rather in the all-encompassing spirit and sentiment of a traditional tale told in way that allows families to share in a theatre experience.

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QPAC’s notoriously chilly Playhouse Theatre in this instance suits the bleakness of the story’s shadowy staging and accompanying haunting soundscape. The large stage space is used to full and frenetic advantage, particularly in the flurry of early set transformations, that sees almost Escher-like creation and disassembly of sets while in use, as gothic house frames are precisely positioned to project laneways and interiors alike.

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The most highly impressive moments, however, come courtesy of the crucial design efforts of Jason Glenwright (Lighting), Chris Perren (Sound) and Craig Wilkinson (Video) in awakening the story’s supernatural forces, particularly through its ghostly visions. Although there may be a couple of frightening moments for the youngest of viewers (the show is recommended for children eight years and over and includes warning about its supernatural themes, haze, smoke, strobe effects and loud music), it is these production values that keep this “A Christmas Carol” innovatively fresh. Not everything is big and bold, however. The pathos of ‘all skin and bones’ Tiny Tim, the youngest song of Bob Cratchit, gravely ill as his family cannot afford to properly treat him on the salary Scrooge his father, for example, is captured perfectly in his ingenious representation.

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The last time I saw “A Christmas Carol” on stage, I found it bothersome that in realisation of his salvation, Scrooge sent a passing youth to buy a turkey for the Cratchit family’s Christmas meal, without giving the errand-boy any funds. Thankfully, in this show, the request is accompanied by some coins. It is but a small detail of course, but one that reflects the overall care the company takes in all of its productions, for it is the combination of these smallest considerations which ultimately group in production of such consistently high-quality work.

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Under Michael Futcher’s direction, everything about the show is tight and well-paced to maintain engagement of young and old alike. Many of the show’s hardworking cast members play multiple roles with ease. Gilfedder is perfection as the cantankerous Scrooge, both in his mostly-dour demeanour and when he excitedly transforms into a kindhearted person. And Probets is also wonderful as all four of the ghosts, often bringing an infectious sense of pantomime whimsy to his realisation of their characters. His Ghost of Christmas Past, in particular, is a jolly delight of impish, gleeful energy.

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I have never really been “A Christmas Carol” fan, apart from maybe the Muppet’s movie version (because I’m not totally heartless). Clearly, I am in the minority though; the Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of an evening, remains a classic holiday story despite being written in 1843. That this company can ignite the imaginations of the young and not-so, to regard its charm anew is a wonderful testament to their energy and spirit. Hopefully it will form part of a Christmas show ritual as audiences obviously cherish the tradition of its story and the endurance of its themes. Its tell of compassion, forgiveness, redemption and the might of kindness is made even more powerful by its humour and heart, making it maybe even better than the Muppets.

There is no better way to kick off your Christmas season than with the defining tale of the holiday in the English-speaking world, brought to magical life in a brand-new adaptation. With live musicians (Composer Salliana Campbell), yule-tide carolling, innovative video design, lavish costumes and, of course, snow, “A Christmas Carol” has something for everyone, even those who imagine themselves to be more bah humbug than Christmas Carole.

Shakespeare in song

Kiss Me Kate (Opera Queensland)

QPAC, Concert Hall

November 12

As the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, 2016 has seen many of the Bard’s plays brought to theatrical life as part of the global celebration of his work. But perhaps it has been a case of saving the best for last with Opera Queensland’s final production of the year, “Kiss Me Kate”. The semi-staged concert version of Cole Porter’s multi-award winning musical based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” features colossal collaboration as the company is joined by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and a dynamic cast of singers and actors to bring the classic of American theatre to life.

From the moment of its opening number of Hattie (Lizzie Moore) and company singing showbiz anthem ‘Another Op’nin’, Another Show’, the Porter features are on show with both catchy melodies and bold, witty lyrics (Porter is one of the few composers who wrote both words and music).  And when (as was the maxim for musicals of the golden age) Act Two opens with a big syncopated dance number “Too Darn Hot” it doesn’t matter that it does not contribute to the plot, such is the addictive appeal of its jazzy 1940’s sound.

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The backstage musical revolves around a disastrous Baltimore production of “The Taming of the Shrew”; newly divorced actors Lilli (Cheryl Barker) and Fred (Peter Coleman-Wright) are the show’s bickering couple Katharine and Petruchio, both onstage and off. Add in some secondary characters, such as  Lois (Naomi Price) who plays Bianca, Katharine’s younger sister unable to marry until her shrewish sibling has found a husband, her off-stage suitors and a pair of gangsters (Bryan Proberts and Shaun Brown) intent on collecting a gambling debt from Fred and you are in for a whole lot of fun.

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Barker and Coleman-Wright are wonderful as the warring lead couple, each with their own commanding stage presence. Barker is appropriate feisty on stage as the shrewsome Katharine; proud and haughty, she is sharp-tonged in her song ‘I Hate Men’ and full of violent threats in her titular duet with Petruchio. There is melancholic beauty in her vulnerability in delivery, of ‘So in Love’ and also Coleman-Wright’s reprise of the number, with vocals that resonate with the song’s tragic resignation of unrequited love.

In her dual roles of Lois Lane and sweet Bianca, Naomi Price’s vocals are also excellent. As the charismatic actress she is the quintessential airhead ingénue, with a blunt and brassy accent of the Cyndi Lauper sort, but absolutely charming in all that she does.  With equal prowess, she delivers the tender ballad ‘Why Can’t You Behave’ to her boyfriend Bill (Jason Barry-Smith), who had just missed rehearsal because he was gambling, and later brings cheeky personality to ‘Always True to You in My Fashion’ in which she defends her faithfulness to him despite seeing and accepting gifts from wealthy men.

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Cole Porter’s tuneful score is full of fabulous numbers and under the baton of Guy Noble, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra brings them to glorious life, from the gentle string sounds that accompany ‘So In Love’ to the creation of the light-hearted mood of ‘We Open in Venice’ and the buoyancy of ‘Where is the Life That Late I Led’. However, sound issues spoil some song delivery, distracting from the performance when opening lines are lost. It would be helpful, also, to have a song list included in the show’s program. Jason Glenwright’s lighting awashes the Concert Hall with luscious blues and purples and Josh McIntosh’s costumes twirl about the place to convey a real sense of its time. Even the posture and presence of performers help to take the audience back to its era.

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As a tribute to Shakespeare, the show includes borrowed lines like Hamlet’s rub. And then there is ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’, which, thanks to its encore ensemble delivery will earworm with audiences for days. The humourous ditty from Probets and Brown as the dim debt-collecting thugs, is packed with puns and malapropisms and delivered with delicious vaudevillian sensibility as it explains how to pick up women though the type of forced rhymes that resonate through much of Porter’s lyrics (think ‘Let’s Fall in Love’).

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“Kiss Me Kate” is full of colour and movement as its large ensemble scatters the action amongst the orchestra and amid the whirl of props being danced on and off stage. Indeed, under the direction of Kris Stewart, performers make good use of their limited space. To present any take of “Kiss Me Kate”, semi-staged or otherwise, is sure to be an ambitious adventure (the show won the first Tony Award presented for Best Musical in 1949), but given the success of their 2015 “Candide”, this show was always going to be safe in Opera Queensland’s hands. The result is not just a triumphant comical marriage of Shakespeare and Porter, but also of orchestral and musical excellence that feels equally fresh as it does of its time.

Photos c/o – Steve Henry