Theatre Review:
November 2019

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Theatre Review November 2019

by Anthony Howes

Anthony presents more news of arts and entertainment every Saturday from 10 am till 12 noon on Capital Radio 101.7 FM & Capital digital.

For the past eight years, at about this time, I have been involved in the production of a presentation whose sole aim is to raise funds for the homeless. This year that involvement is the same, but the presentation will be different.

Previously, script-writer Jenny Davis has woven her magic around Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; this year she has looked to the life and works of Mary Anne Evans, or, as we know her, the brilliant author, George Eliot.

One of the greatest writers of the Victorian era, George Eliot’s concern for justice and equality for the poor and needy of society, plus the colour and vitality of her novels, poetry, and indeed, her life, makes for entertainment that is both telling and with a message as vital today as when she was alive.

The presentation, by the Order of St John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller and the parish of Christ Church, Claremont, will see all proceeds from ticket sales go to St Bart’s, as it continues to provide care for poor and needy in our community.

As always, Perth’s professional thespians and musicians have given freely of their talents to bring this story, called True Seeing Is Within (taken from Eliot’s writings) to colourful life. It features verse, performance and montage of music from the new musical Silas Marner (the Eliot novel), by composer John Taylor (whose London and Broadway hits include the musical Charlie Girl) and who has returned to live in his native Perth.

Performers include Irene Jarzabek, Jenny and Bernie Davis (and yours truly) together with singing stars from musical theatre, and the Phillips Chorale, directed by the internationally renowned musician Marilyn Phillips.

There will be two performances (of approximately an hour and twenty minutes duration) on the 200th anniversary of George Eliot’s birth, Friday, November 22 at 7.30 pm and Saturday November 23 2019 at 2.30 pm. The beautiful parish church of Christ Church, Claremont is the venue, all proceeds go to St Bart’s in support of the homeless or those at risk of homelessness.

The major arts organisations have just, or are about to, release news of their 2020 seasons.

Black Swan State Theatre Company’s season season looks at power, progress and place. First up is Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet, about post-war Perth. Next is an adaptation of Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, set in Manjimup. Other titles include Wake in Fright, Orwell’s Animal Farm and Oklahoma! (I am told that this version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic will be as you’ve never seen it before).

WA Ballet’s season is non-stop. February - The Quarry presentations; March - works by the Company members at Ballet HQ; May - His Majesty’s for The Sleeping Beauty; June - contemporary works at STC; Sept – Dracula returns to HMT; Nov/Dec – Nutcracker at HMT; also Nov/Dec – ballet lovers excerpts at HMT. A year of outstanding colour!

The rationale behind West Australian Opera’s season is the presentation of opera that moves, enchants and reveals the magic of being alive. Jimmy Chi’s Bran Nue Dae (Regal) is first; then Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel (Opera In The Park); Beethoven’s Fidelio; Tim Finn’s The Nightingale (both at the Concert Hall); Mendelssohn's Elijah (Winthrop Hall) Leoncavallo's Cavallera Rusticana & Mascagni’s Pagliacci; Raminsch’s The Nightingale; Mozart’s Cosi Van Tutti (all at HMT).

Check the various brochures for booking details: what a choice!

Published in Messenger, November 2019. Photo credit Pia Johnson

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