Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
By Nicki Bloom, Music by Cameron Goodall & Quentin Grant by State Theatre
Company SA Playhouse, Arts Centre, Melbourne Jan 29 to Feb 4, 2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars:*** Review also published in Herald Sun online today, Fri 30 Jan 2015, and in print on Sun 1 Feb, 2015. KH
Paul Capsis in Little Bird
Capsis is well known for blurring gender boundaries in his cabaret performances
and continues to do so in Nicki Bloom’s one-man play, Little Bird.
grim fairytale explores the rites of passage of a boy maturing into a man and
searching for his identity in a world that offers him no clear role models or life
frail, birdlike child called Wren is mysteriously born to a childless couple,
but his happy, family life eventually disintegrates when his mother leaves and
his father falls into despair.
departs on a long journey that sees this confused, young man first stumble into
a marriage with a lonely girl in the forest, then escape to the city and into
an equally unsatisfying relationship with Rocky, a brawny, dress-wearing
Alone on stage, Capsis
self-narrates the entire story and plays all characters using his full, spoken,
vocal range that shifts from a grumbling, dark bass – a tone that we rarely
hear in his singing – to high-pitched, childlike tones.
by Stephen Flaherty; lyrics by Gertrude Stein; adapted by Frank Galati,
presented by Vic Theatre Company Chapel off Chapel, until Feb
8, 2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: **** Review also published in Herald Sun online Fri 30 Jan, 2015 and in print later. KH.
Deidre Rubenstein and cast in Loving Repeating
Look out! There’s a new musical theatre gang in town and they’re debut show is
pretty damn good.
Langley’s production of Loving Repeating, a musical adapted by Frank Galati from the writings of famous, US expatriate
poet, Gertrude Stein (Deidre Rubenstein), is assured, sleek, entertaining
and just a little bit challenging.
eclectic, non-narrative style of the show corresponds to Stein’s ownabstract, poetic writings while the
title refers to her continuing love of the repetition of words, phrases and
ideas in her work.
“A rose is a rose is a rose,” probably her
most famous line, is clearly the inspiration for the sensual, red rose motif in
the set design (Nathan Weyers).
not linear in structure, the show provides a stylised chronology of Stein’s
life, highlighting her Psychology studies at college, her burgeoning passion
for women, her lifelong relationship with Alice B. Toklas (Gillian Cosgriff,
Nicole Melloy) and her idiosyncratic writing style.
gleefully inhabits the formidable but engaging character of Stein and, perched
in a pulpit-like box, provides narration based on Stein’s musings on diverse
topics including language, love and relationships.
Book, Music & Lyrics by David Wood; adapted from Judith Kerr's book Produced by KW &NB Ltd Company Arts
Centre Melbourne, Jan 2 to 18, 2015
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Review also in Herald Sun online on Jan 5 then later in print. Sorry for delay in uploading here. I've been on hols at the beach! KH
would you do if a gigantic Tiger appeared at your front door demanding tea?
you’re a 4 or 5 year old, evidently you’d squeal excitedly, point, shout, sing,
invite him in and then feed the hungry Tiger all of your yummy afternoon tea.
menu includes bikkies, buns, sandwiches, an enormous cake and everything
drinkable in the house, including Daddy’s beer.
Tiger Who Came To Tea is an adorably cute musical play for children that is written
and directed by David Wood and adapted from
Judith Kerr's popular, children’s picture
book that was published in 1968.
is a joyously playful show that tickles the funny bone of its target audience
(3 years +), a group that has a sense of humour that is notoriously difficult
children sing along with Sophie (Abby Norman), her Mummy (Jenanne Redman) and Daddy
(Matthew Dudley), count the hours as time ticks by on the kitchen clock and scream,
“He’s behind you!” when Tiger arrives at the door.
"GET OUT OF OUR PICNIC!" Adapted from Kenneth Grahame by Glenn Elston Australian Shakespeare Company Botanical Gardens, Gate F entry, until 24 Jan 2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: ****
Review also published in Herald Sun
after Sun 4 Jan 2015.
Sorry for delay in upload here but I've been away at the beach!
My favourite line from this show was the kid yelling, "Get out of our picnic!" Gold. KH
Yes, it’s that time of year
again. The Amazing Mr. Toad and his bonny, boisterous and belligerent pals are back in the
Botanical Gardens to play The Wind in The Willows for littlies and biggies
summer’s season marks the 28th year
of Glenn Elston’s outdoor production adapted from Kenneth Grahame’s original, very British book for children.
of the Willows cast, Roscoe Mathers, invests Head Chief Rabbit with his wry
humour, musical skill and easy, engaging manner as MC and chief jokester.
Rabbit also blatantly snaffles snacks from picnic baskets causing one
protective child to holler, “Get out of our picnic!”
children giggle and howl at the characters’ mad antics, go on an adventure with
Head Chief Rabbit, Ratty and Mole, then join a dangerous mission with the Rat
Pack and Badger Patrol to rescue little, lost Portly the Otter from the Wild
participate enthusiastically, calling out, “He’s behind you!” and singing
lyrics such as, “Waggle your ears, wiggle your nose,” or the inimitable “Quack