Saturday, 15 December 2018

My Favourite Theatre of 2018

Blasted
It’s that time of year again, when I look back over everything I saw on stage and put together a list of my favourite shows. I saw over 100 shows this year, mostly in Melbourne and a small number on one visit to Sydney.

I will link to reviews if I wrote one.

TOP TEN (alphabetical order)

The Almighty Sometimes – Griffin Theatre, Sydney

Kendall Feaver’s extraordinary debut play is about Anna, dealing with mood disorders and medication and the complicated relationship she has with the treatments and her mother. Superb cast and beautifully directed by Lee Lewis

Blackie Blackie Brown – Malthouse Theatre

Nakkiah Lui’s work is always amazing but this production, directed by Declan Green, was another step up for her – the satire sharper and bleaker and more hilarious than ever before.


Sarah Kane’s debut play from 1990s London is a tricky beast tackling difficult subjects but Anne-Louise Sarks nailed it with a superb production.


I had heard amazing things about this Griffin Theatre production over the last few years and was so glad it finally made it to Melbourne. An exquisite piece of theatre.

Calamity Jane – Arts Centre Melbourne

Another production from Sydney I’d heard amazing things about, only to miss it on its Melbourne debut earlier this year. Glad I finally got to see it from on-stage seating. Last show of the year, in my top ten. As I described it on Twitter – “Like the Doris Day movie, but gayer.”

Calamity Jane

An exceptional piece of queer theatre at Red Stitch; challenging and hilarious. Daniel Clarke’s production was superb.

Prize Fighter - Northcote Town Hall, Melbourne Festival

Yet another show that has travelled the country and I am glad to have finally seen. A tale of immigration that was about physical and emotional toughness. Unforgettable.


A musical comedy about romance, sexuality, narrative convenience and the “dead lesbian trope”. I hope this has a long life. I’d love to see it again.


Daniel Lammin’s treatment of Tommy Murphy’s play was subtle, nuanced and deeply moving. Superb.


An important story of people from the Torres Strait, a joyous celebration of family. Beautiful.


THE NEXT TEN (alphabetical order)


Little Ones took to the MTC stage and turned it upside. Incredible design, stunning cast, excellent production.

Abigail's Party
The Harp in the South, Parts 1 and 2 – Sydney Theatre Company

An epic Sydney story given the epic Kip Williams/STC treatment. A day to remember. The classic novel is set to be a classic stage play.

The House of Bernarda Alba – Melbourne Theatre Company

Patricia Cornelius did a wonderful job adapting Lorca’s classic play. Beautifully realised by director Letitia Caceres with an unforgettable cast of women.


post performed themselves and years of recorded conversations were elevated into something profound.


Trying to adapt this film to stage seemed like an impossible task but leave it to Matt Lutton and Declan Greene to pull it off with a performance for the ages by Eryn Jean Norville.

Melancholia
The Mission – Arts House, Melbourne Fringe

Tom Molyneux’s ode to his uncle and his ancestry was insightful and vital and very touching.

The Nightingale and the Rose - Little Ones, Theatre Works

Little Ones simple, effective adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story.

Prehistoric – Elbow Room, Meat Market

Elbow Room’s rocking work on Brisbane’s punk scene and the oppressive Bjelke-Peterson government.

Sneakyville – 45 Downstairs

Christopher Bryant and Daniel Lammin’s complex take on Charles Manson, his followers and the public’s decade-long obsession with the cult leader. Seared into my mind.



In the midst of despair, Rawcus’ moving work found hope in darkness.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

John Barrowman - Arts Centre Melbourne
Wild – Melbourne Theatre Company
Cock – Meat Market, directed by Beng Oh
An Ideal Husband – Melbourne Theatre Company
The Children – Melbourne Theatre Company
Elbow Room: There/Here – Lithuanian Club, Melbourne Fringe



PAST YEARS

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