Reviews: Plays

Hydrarchos – Sydney Fringe Festival (NSW)

Playing at the Flight Path Theatre as part of Sydney’s Fringe Festival, Hydrarchos revolves around a legendary Sea Serpent Skeleton of the same name. Historically, the legendary serpent was supposedly discovered by Albert Karl Koch in the 19th century. This grand archaeological find turned out to be a hoax however, but it is the significance this made in the 19th Century and its ripple effect that writer Grace Davidson Lynch has chosen to focus on, with mixed results. Read our theatre thoughts now!

Chain Play – Sydney Fringe Festival (NSW)

Slanted Theatre is only one and a half years old, but they’re already making a difference.  This is their fourth production in such a short time, and it’s enlivening for an audience to watch Asian theatre-makers just doing their thing. Chain Play is a cleverly conceived pair of short plays that have been written by a slew of over 20 people.  Each writer had to create one scene, and they could only read the scene just before theirs. The results are not as mad as you might think. Read our theatre thoughts now!

The Other End of the Afternoon – New Theatre (NSW)

The Other End of the Afternoon is a hidden gem of the Sydney Fringe. Winner of the Silver Gull Play Award in 2021, Bokkie Robertson’s brand-new play follows the story of “top hat Clive” (Sam Wallace) – a teenage boy desperate to escape his hormonal high school life by time travelling to “the other end of the afternoon”. A rag-tag, lovable bunch of characters include Clive’s flamboyantly queer stepbrother and aspiring panel beater/crime lord Xavier (Sam Martin), bully/popular girl turned love interest Bianca Zhu (Sophie Teo), and Dylan the troubled art nerd (Dominique Purdue). Read the full review now.

Tom at the Farm – Kings Cross Theatre (NSW)

Danny Ball makes his directorial debut at the Kings Cross Theatre in the Australian premiere of Tom at the Farm. Originally written in French by Michel Marc Bouchard, and adapted into a Canadian film in 2013, it follows big city advertising editor Tom as he visits the family farm of his recently deceased partner Guillame. Tom pretends he is “just” one of Guillame’s co-workers, telling stories of fake girlfriend Natalie and waiting to reveal his secret, until he comes up against Guillame’s violently homophobic brother Francis. What follows is a disturbing exploration of grief, homophobia and the lies that queer people must construct to protect themselves. Read the full review now.

Deadhouse Season 3 – Tales of Sydney Morgue – St James’ Church (NSW)

It’s a rather bitter Spring night in Sydney’s CBD. A small gathering of nervously excited patrons are gathered outside the ghostly silhouette of St James’ Church. Situated around wooden doors, dimly lit lanterns adorning either side, there are whispers of how the journey of Deadhouse will begin. Sydney has always had its fair share of gruesome tales, brought to light most famously in the hit TV anthology series Underbelly. On this night, we were taken on a journey through The Razor Gang Wars: The Rise of Tilly Devine and Kate Leigh. Read the full review now!

Jane Eyre – Riverside Theatre, Parramatta (NSW)

To paraphrase Jane Eyre herself: Reader, I LOVED it!  This multi-level, multi-faceted and multi-tasking performance by three highly talented actors was breathtaking.  There’s been something of a Victorian/gothic flavour this year in Sydney theatres with two productions of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and a theatrical adaptation of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and now this rendition of Jane Eyre, which is truly outstanding. Read the full review now!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Sydney Opera House Concert Hall (NSW)

Belvoir and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra came together to bless the newly renovated Sydney Opera House Concert Hall with fairies, lovers, and clowns galore in the beloved classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Eamon Flack’s adaptation strips away much of Shakespeare’s original dialogue, giving Mendelssohn’s 1842 incidental music a rare chance to take centre stage and shoulder the weight of creating Shakespeare’s best-known waking dream. Read the full review now!

Whitefella Yella Tree – SBW Stables Theatre (NSW)

Whitefella Yella Tree is one of those great Australian works that expertly toes the line between heartfelt, hilarious, and harrowing. Ty (Callan Purcell) and Neddy (Guy Simon) are teenagers at the dawn of colonisation, tasked with meeting every blue moon under a lemon tree and sharing information between the River Mob and Mountain Mob. They weave stories together, and a romance blossoms. Read the full review now.