Author Fran Edwards

Glam Adelaide Arts Writer & Reviewer

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With the upcoming anniversary of World War One this is a timely production and covering an oft-forgot section of the people who suffered through those dark days. Based firmly in the Adelaide Hills it reminds us of the difficulties faced not only by the men who marched away but also those who were left behind.

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Set in 16th Century Nuremburg, the story explores the annual song competition and rivalries of the Guilds that controlled the city. Pogner, the goldsmith, will give his daughter’s hand in marriage to the winner of the song contest, Walther von Stolzing wishes to take part but fails to understand the archaic rules and regulations that surround the entrants. He is, of course, already in love with Eva. Hans Sachs, the shoemaker, schools him in the requirements and encourages the newcomer to share his ideas. This brings us to Wagner’s main theme, what is art and how do we define it?

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The over arching theme of memory is used to highlight the conflict between the three sisters who are gathered for their mother’s funeral. No-one’s memory is the same, even to having doubts about whose memory is whose. These sisters are very different from each other and are dealing with their loss in a personal way.

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Set in Vienna in the spring of 1986 Old Wicked Songs explores the relationship between a student and teacher. In this case it is a pianist who is forced to study singing with an unknown teacher if he wishes to continue his studies with his chosen professor. The characters have trouble communicating with each other but have a common ground in music.

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Tea Tree Players Youth chose an unknown play for their latest offering. Written by John Rawson and Rob Smith, with music by Roslyn Jennings

Arts 6.0
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Mark Holden has had a long and chequered career, which he talks about in this wander down memory lane, but his focus seems to be more on family and his circus roots. He is the descendant of a long line of big top performers from the Holden Bros Circus and he feels it is still in his blood, and his family.

Arts 10.0
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With two stellar performers like these there is not much to say that hasn’t been said. Nancye Hayes has been gracing musical stages from her debut as a leading lady in Sweet Charity (1967) to playing Mrs Higgins in My Fair Lady not so long ago. She keeps working, in both musicals and plays, and keeps smiling. Her friendship with Todd McKenney is obvious. They have worked together for many years, since they met playing in 42nd Street. Todd has been an Australian favourite for many years both on Stage and on TV, and he has the same irrepressible optimism.

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Originally a 1942 film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, later developed as a stage musical by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge. It translates to the stage remarkably well.

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The Pearl Fishers is a remarkable opera. Written by Georges Bizet when he was 24 years old, it has freshness and a feel of other worldliness.

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This re-vamped version of the production was first produced in 2011 with mixed reviews. As with all shows changes will be better received by some and although they do not significantly change the show the difference is noticeable.

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The publicity describes this production as a dark comedy about the dark ages! That about sums it up nicely, with the emphasis on comedy. Michael Hollinger has written a play about moral dilemmas – we all face them – the concept of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

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Born Yesterday was written at the end of WWII but could have been written yesterday: the bombastic, bullying, misogynistic Harry Brock could easily be mistaken for a pre-presidential Donald Trump.

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Rossini’s comic opera about a barber who is also a matchmaker maintains its popularity through the years and this production, back from touring interstate, is as fresh as any modern piece.

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With a book written by Bill Russell and music by Henry Krieger this musical was first produced in 1997. Based on the true story of conjoined twins (the Hilton Sisters) who were the toast of Vaudeville, the story had a lot of heart and is full of unusual leads, many of who are based on people who were called freaks

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