November 8, 2014


Cirque du Soleil’s awe inspiring production of TOTEM has now opened in Sydney at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, where they have put up their trademark blue and yellow big top on the show ring.

Featuring a cast of 46 acrobats, actors, musicians and singers from around the globe, TOTEM is an uplifting array of athleticism, comedy, heartfelt emotions and surprising visual effects.

DSC04288Incredible acrobatic feats are a highlight of this production, along with the sensational costumes that are a signature of Cirque du Soleil. One of the best performances in the production are the troup of females riding atop very high unicycles who never miss a beat as they catch items in bowls attached to their heads. Quite breathtaking.

Adding to the excitement is “The Crystal Man” who drops down from the tent’s highest point and the two native American hoop dancers. Another mesmerising act was the visually beautiful trapeze duo who perform without a safety net.

Written and directed by multidisciplinary artist Robert Lepage, TOTEM traces the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond



November 8, 2014


Amadeus, directed by Peter Shaffer, is currently playing at Sydney’s Genesian Theatre. This very cosy, small theatre, where every seat has a good view of the stage, is housed in a former historic church at 420 Kent Street.

First performed at the Royal National Theatre in London in 1979, then made into a film which won eight Oscars, Amadeus tells the story of Antonio Salieri, court composer to the Emperor Joseph II and his jealousy of child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who composed his first concerto at four and his first symphony at five.

Directed by Stephen Lloyd-Coombs, Amadeus has you spellbound from beginning to end, marveling at the acting skills of Nick Hunter as Salieri, who seems to be on stage for virtually the entire play. Jasper Garner Gore is delightful as Mozart, as is Nicole Wineberg playing his wife, Constanze.

DSC04464Salieri’s jealousy first emerges when Mozart appears at the Hapsubrg Court and he realizes that his skills are no match for those of Mozart. Salieri then makes it his mission to destroy Mozart’s reputation and bring him down, while at the same time, making his own star rise.

The story is told in flashback and begins with Salieri confessing to the rumour, thirty years after Mozart’s death, that he poisoned Mozart.

Amadeus is playing on Friday & Saturday at 8 pm, with a Sunday matinee at 4.30 pm until 29 November.

The next production is The Winslow Boy, commencing 17 January 2015.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos: John Pond


November 8, 2014


“The Island of Doctor Moron”, an original rock musical, is now playing in Paddington at The New Olympia Theatre, formerly the Academy Twin Cinema. This 250 seat theatre has been completely refurbished, including all new comfortable seating, for the new high energy production.

DSC04487The brainchild of former Kempsey High School English Master, Chris Dockrill, the idea debuted as an end of year spectacular for the school’s drama students.

The show has a cast of 30 singers, dancers and musicians, including James Berkley as Doctor Moron who has flown in especially from the USA. Music is the driving force of this fantasy musical, that has a soundtrack written by Chris and Lyn Dockrill and is led by Musical Director and acclaimed Australian musician, Paul Robert Burton.

Audiences will be able to join Edwyna and Douggie on their journey through a mysterious South Sea Island after they are stranded at sea. Captured by a tribe of crazy Rastafarian natives led by Voodoo Valma, they are drugged with jungle fever juice and are to be cooked in a sacrificial cauldron. Saved by Rubber Gloves, a whip cracking, leather squelching slave market junkie, the pair are purchased by Doctor Moron as his new experimental subjects. Will Edwyna and Douggie escape a cannibal cooking pot and what interesting characters will they encounter in their quest to escape the island?

“The Island of Doctor Moron” will run until 6 December 2014, with shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings plus matinee performances on Thursdays and Sundays.

Sandra Tiltman         Photos: John Pond