Virag Dombay

Virag Dombay


NEARER THE GODS: A Voyage Into Newton's MindNEARER THE GODS: A Voyage Into Newton's Mind
Posted: Oct. 14, 2018

MAN WITH THE IRON NECK - A New Work With a Promising VoiceMAN WITH THE IRON NECK - A New Work With a Promising Voice
Posted: Sep. 28, 2018

Posted: Sep. 29, 2018

PRISCILLA Is  Still Colouring Our WorldPRISCILLA Is Still Colouring Our World
Posted: Oct. 7, 2018


HAMNET, An Unforgettable ExperienceHAMNET, An Unforgettable Experience
Posted: Sep. 11, 2018

BWW Review: ALADDIN in Brisbane is Genie-UsBWW Review: ALADDIN in Brisbane is Genie-Us
Posted: Mar. 28, 2018

Totally F*CK*N* AmazingTotally F*CK*N* Amazing
Posted: Aug. 25, 2018

Seasons of RentSeasons of Rent
Posted: May. 5, 2018

BWW Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Brisbane Arts TheatreBWW Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Brisbane Arts Theatre
Posted: Apr. 14, 2018

MAMMA MIA! Dances Its Way Into BrisbaneMAMMA MIA! Dances Its Way Into Brisbane
Posted: Jan. 3, 2018

BWW Interview: NATALIE WEIR on 4SeasonsBWW Interview: NATALIE WEIR on 4Seasons
Posted: May. 23, 2018

NEARER THE GODS: A Voyage Into Newton's MindNEARER THE GODS: A Voyage Into Newton's Mind
October 14, 2018

Written by David Williamson, Nearer the Gods not merely about the greatest leap forward in human knowledge; Newton's discovery of the laws that govern the motion of the universe, and how Edmund Halley, an enthusiastic young astronomer, wrangled his discovery out of him, but about human behaviour and the politics of our mind. It is a story that explores the themes of rivalry, rationality, decency, love, kindness and most importantly the politics surrounding the power of knowledge, all in just two hours and ten minutes.

PRISCILLA Is  Still Colouring Our WorldPRISCILLA Is Still Colouring Our World
October 7, 2018

September 29, 2018

Sometimes we forget or dismiss the questions that children ask us, especially if they're questions about growing up; if they're questions about us adults. Or go to response is I'll tell you when you're older or that's a silly question. But the inquisitive nature of child doesn't just disappear because you don't respond, but in fact, it fuels them to ask even more questions, like why you didn't reply to the last question they asked you, or the one before that? Are you having a bad day? Do you not want your child to become the next Einstein? But director Daniel Evans hasn't ignored their questions. In fact, him and his masterful creative team have formed a work in which not only is it okay for kids to ask a lot of questions, but they have a voice. And adults all over the world, including one in Russia, have heard their voice answered and they for sixty delightful minutes, they share their newfound knowledge with the audience.

MAN WITH THE IRON NECK - A New Work With a Promising VoiceMAN WITH THE IRON NECK - A New Work With a Promising Voice
September 28, 2018

Legs on the Wall's Man with the Iron Neck is one of the most significant new works of theatre in this past decade. It is a piece which centres around the taboo of youth suicide in the Aboriginal community, with playwright and actor Ursula Yovich (Mamma Rose) claiming in the post-show Q&Q that 'almost every aboriginal you'll come across will have experienced this certain issue'. Cast member Caleena Salsbury (Evelyn) continued on by saying that 'the statistics of aboriginal people committing suicide is ridiculous...Australia doesn't know about that [the number of suicides] and no one talks about it.' She said that putting this work on stage means that Indigenous Australians are able to have that conversation and I couldn't agree more.

September 15, 2018

Written by Katherine Lyall-Watson and directed by Caroline Dunphy Rovers is a contemporary, post-dramatic work which uses the lens of comedy to explore the heart lines of fearless performers Barbara Lowing and Roxanne McDonald's lives and the uproarious misadventures of their female relatives who have inspired them to be who they are today. These stories included the one of Barbara Toy, who crossed desserts and warzones in her Land Rover as well as stories that warn us about the mysterious Bogeyman.

 Ode to Man is no Ode to Joy Ode to Man is no Ode to Joy
September 14, 2018

An ode is a lyric poem devoted to the praise of a person, animal or thing, often written in an elevated style and expressing deep feeling. It's no wonder that Emma Mary Hall called her work 'Ode to Man', as she spends 55 minutes on stage conversing about the history, persona and psyche of the modern man and romantic ambition in which women supposedly dare dream to have it all. Whether she hates or adores men is unclear, but her dedication and hours of research spent on this project indicates that it's a topic close to her chest. Over the course of 55 minutes, Hall takes us through fifteen chapters all focusing on a different aspect of men often linked with one of her previous experiences with men. In partnership with director Prue Clark, Hall has created a very innovative work, with each chapter having its own unique style; some chapters are presented as slam poems, stand-up comedy works, as an interior monologue and often, as your traditional university lecture. But no matter what style, Hall commands the stage with her calming, narrator-esque tone and somehow makes you feel like you are having a one on one conversation with her. Video and projection artist Lindsay Cox heightens Hall's imagery through transforming it into stunning virtual 3D imagery which plays on the screens behind Hall, as well as a picture frame she holds close to her chest. My favourite image was the projection of a horse above her heart in the final chapter and watching it fly away at the closing of the piece. It was both a beautiful and haunting image which left me wondering as to whether the entire performance was about justifying a personal heartbreak. But alongside investigating the very definitions of men through an array of psychologies, chief theorists and published works, the piece additionally explores the very definition of performance and what the notion of performance has evolved to in our contemporary, post-dramatic world. This piece is brutally honest and Hall truly bares her soul on stage each night. Whether you love men or hate men, whether you're a male or a female, this is a piece that will you make think. It will make you think not only about the relationship between men and women, but reflect on our post-dramatic world that we live in. Ode to Man Presented by Brisbane Festival and QUT Performed Theatre Republic - The Loft

HAMNET, An Unforgettable ExperienceHAMNET, An Unforgettable Experience
September 11, 2018

Even though his father may have forgotten him, we certainly haven't. Hamnet died on the 11 August 1596 and was forgotten. Until now. Presented by Dead Centre, Hamnet is a contemporary work which explores the notion of grief, the selfish nature of an artist, the significance of the relationship between father and child, the idea of greatness, the need to do something with our lives and the very definition of love, with childhood at its heart. The innocence of children, their playful nature, their trust in others, their need for heroes and, most importantly, their need for affection.

Memorial: Redefining Storytelling with Only One VoiceMemorial: Redefining Storytelling with Only One Voice
September 9, 2018

Homer's Illiad is referred to as the 'goriest' of the ancient poems, in which Greek and Trojan warriors meet their fates in violent, bloody and graphic ways. Alice Oswald's Memorial is a visceral and faithful adaptation of the poem which has the oral history of the dead (or 'oral cemetery' in her words) at the moral centre of the work. Presented by Alice Oswald and Brink Productions, Memorial is one of the most stunning pieces of live theatre I have ever seen.

September 3, 2018

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Review Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is an existential, absurdist tragicomedy written by Tom Stoppard, which takes place 'in the wings' of Shakespeare's Hamlet, expanding upon the exploits of courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The central characters are trapped in waiting game of death and watch events unfold in Hamlet's life and psyche which they hadn't seen before, and they are full of Questions.

Sam Strong on QUEENSLAND THEATRE'S 2019 SeasonSam Strong on QUEENSLAND THEATRE'S 2019 Season
September 1, 2018

It's been nearly two weeks since Queensland Theatre released this 2019 season, and it's taken me nearly two weeks to comprehend exactly how colourful and formidable next year is going to be. A few days before the season launch, I had the pleasure of having doing a phone interview with Strong, who had just come from the closing celebrations for the company's successful run of Jasper Jones.

shake & stir's marvellous creationshake & stir's marvellous creation
September 1, 2018

"I'm going shopping in the village,' George's mother said to George on Saturday morning. 'So be a good boy and don't get up to mischief. This was a silly thing to say to a small boy at any time. It immediately made him wonder what sort of mischief he might get up to". Throughout his years, Dahl had held a profound respect for doctors and especially those who pioneered new treatments and hence, dedicated his book to 'doctors everywhere'. Some may argue that this book is a precursor for our modern times, with numerous new advancements in scientific remedies being referred to as a magic, just like George's potion. Shake & stir theatre company have created a kid's paradise on stage, with just five actors and a spectacular creative team. The piece is a modern adaptation of Roald Dahl's book of the same name and follows the misadventures of eight-year-old George Kranky in attempting to make a medicine that transforms his Grandma into a nice person. In this potion, George adds everything he can get his hands including shoe polish, engine oil and toothpaste, boils it and gives it to his Grandma, who grows the size of the set. In a recent interview, director Ross Balbuziente claimed that 'the book was one of [his] favourites growing up as a kid and his passion is reflected in the quality of the work on stage and in his direction of his actors. Nick Skubij played such a believable mischievous eight-year-old boy, that it's hard for me to believe that he could be capable of playing such a powerhouse villain like Dracula, who I've been delighted to have seen him play both times the production came to Brisbane. From the gestures, to the facial expressions, to his changes in could tell that Skubij had committed hours of research to the role, to bring such truth to his portrayal. Leon Cain's depiction of Grandma was perhaps not as dark as Dahl intended, but on old grouch nonetheless who to me, read as a satire on adult-kind's often unrealistic expectations from children. Nelle Lee and Tim Dashwood played George's parents and added much humour for both the children and especially the adults. They were both buzzing on stage with energy and it was a joy to watch them interact with each other. However, the star of the show, was Johnny Balbuziente as Nugget, whose physicality was seamless. Consequently, it was very sad to see George's mother (Nelle Lee) swallow him up whole when the marvellous medicine had transformed him into a chicken nugget. Moreover, John McInTosh's set design is very clever and probably the most versatile set design I have ever seen. It's construed of a plethora of jumbled shelves representing George's farmhouse, crammed with an assortment of items associated with domestic life. Attached to the shelves was a series of moving panels, large enough for the actors in weave in and out of as they seamlessly transitioned from room to room, and quite often climbed on top of it as well. It was like an enormous jungle gym and all the kids (and adults) in the audience were yearning to play on it. Jason Glenwright's lighting design features a kaleidoscope of colours, with the walls of the set being decorated with an array of lights which flicker on and off throughout the performance, especially throughout the hilarious banter on stage. It further aids to create the magical atmosphere of Dahl's picturesque world on stage. 55 minutes in this Dahlian world is enough to fill up with enough colour and imagination to last a lifetime. Rating: 5 stars George's Marvellous Medicine Directed by Ross Balbuziente Performed by shake & stir theatre company Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) Running until 5th September 2018 Tickets:

Totally F*CK*N* AmazingTotally F*CK*N* Amazing
August 25, 2018

I am speechless. Awe-struck. At a loss of words. What an astounding production. I don't know how I'll fit all of my thoughts in one review. But I'll give it my best shot.

JASPER JONES at Queensland TheatreJASPER JONES at Queensland Theatre
August 15, 2018

Jasper Jones is one of my favourite works of Australian literature. When I first read it, I couldn't put it down. I was waiting with Charlie for Jasper Jones to appear and struggling to keep it together like Eliza when she tells Charlie the story of what lead her sister to her death. Directed by Artistic Director Sam Strong, Queensland Theatre's production of Jasper Jones left me wanting more.

Astoundingly BEAUTIFULAstoundingly BEAUTIFUL
August 11, 2018

The Arrival - An Elegant Lesson in StorytellingThe Arrival - An Elegant Lesson in Storytelling
July 10, 2018

The narrative is a fantastical depiction of an immigration tale; following a man who ventures solo to a foreign country in search of a better life for himself and his family. In the strange new land he's confronted with a myriad of obstacles and spectacles, goes on a few adventures and along the way meets other characters each with their own stories and histories to tell. In keeping with the graphic novel - which doesn't include text, dialogue in The Arrival is sparse - and what little there is appears to be in an incomprehensible language (which I later discover is based on English words with certain letters swapped around to change the sound). The story is told through movement, mime, and puppetry - performed by a cohesive and remarkably versatile ensemble (comprising of a mix of Brisbane dance artists and Red Leap company members) equally capable at slapstick mime, puppetry, and intense acrobatic scenes. The Arrival is a sensory treat from start to finish, owing a to a production team that's not only individually capable but collaborate to a level such that the results far transcends the sum of its parts. John Verryt's set design is not only strikingly beautiful with a surreal, Tim Burton-esque aesthetic, but ingeniously clever and unconventional. Jeremy Fern's lighting design completes the visual aesthetic with an expansive palette that includes mottled blue and violet for night-time scenes to warm amber for the daytime, with bolder iterations of both towards the climactic end. Lighting and set design coordinate to produce something emergent when facilitating the various kinds of puppetry - particularly the kinds relying on light and shadow. Andrew McMillan's composition and sound design adds to the film-like quality of The Arrival, with a soundscape that ranges from whimsical percussion and poignant instrumental, to terror and despair distilled into aural form. The journey on stage in The Arrival extends beyond the narrative; it is also a journey into the transportive qualities of live theatre at its best, of the expressive capabilities of movement and mime, and the seemingly limitless range of the kinds of magic that can happen on stage. Behind the fantasy-like story on the surface lies weighty, pertinent themes that adults can appreciate; showing that theatre can be relevant yet still fun. The Arrival is a one-of-the-kind theatre experience that will leave an indelible impression on audience members young and old, and a fantastic introduction to the world of theatre.

The Maddest Tea Party in BrisbaneThe Maddest Tea Party in Brisbane
July 10, 2018

Everyone knows the tale of Alice in Wonderland; of a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy, nonsensical world filled with mad creatures, so to speak. Each year features new adaptations by a plethora of theatre companies, both independent and commercial and each adaptation transforms the story to accentuate a different part of the narrative, that you wouldn't have thought of before. Unfortunately, Penny Farrow's Alice in Wonderland Live didn't teach us anything new but maybe that wasn't the playwright's intention as the production gave birth to Carroll's world spectacularly and in exuberant colours.

BRISBANE FESTIVAL 2018 Celebrates LaunchBRISBANE FESTIVAL 2018 Celebrates Launch
July 5, 2018

On Tuesday, The Brisbane Festival launched its fabulous new line-up for this year's program, including even more world premieres, big-name acts and a brand new light and laser show off of the river, which will illuminate Brisbane for the entirety of the festival celebrations. Running from the 8-29 September, the festival will feature close to 600 performances, with 100 of them being free to the public, of 70 shows across seventeen venues in Brisbane, involving more than 1000 artists and hundreds of volunteers. Not only that, but the festival will premiere eight brand new works from leading Australian company's including Legs On The Wall, Circa and Dancenorth, as well as two major music events at the Riverstage, with Ball Park Music performing on the opening night and Violent Soho on the closing night. This year, the mammoth program is divided into three distinctive acts which frame the scope of the performances with Act One revolving around the idea of gender, memory and home. Amongst these performances is Memorial, a grand theatrical experience which 'gives life to the exquisite life to each of the 215 dead soldiers named in Homer's Iliad', starring the incredible Helen Morse and a community chorus of 215 choreographed by Circa's Yaron Lifschitz, featuring a soundtrack by Golden Globe nominee Jocelyn Pook. Performances featured in the first act include Home, a piece from the United States in which a house is magically built onstage from nothing and ends in a lively house party, Queens on King, an inner-city garden soiree in which eight real-life same sex couples tie the knot in a public ceremony and LIFE the show, a world premiere by Strut & Fret which showcases the extraordinary abilities of the human body. Other headlines include tv personality Hugh Sheridan's return in the 2016 smash hit the California Crooners Club; Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project, the return of Symphony For Me, Michael Leunig and The Camerata in Gratitude & Grief and Katie Noonan's Elixir. Act Two is made up of performances which cast the individual against the forces of society, fate and nature, including Circa's En Masse, Dancenorth's Dust and Rhonda Burchmore and Rob Mills' BANG! BANG! And, the festival's closing week includes a variety of acts such as the scary movie homage HORROR; the world premiere of The Man with The Iron Neck from Legs On the Wall and the vibrant children's opera The Owl & The Pussycat. According to Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold, "Each act has its own explosion of story, and each opens a window to the world that will entertain and enlighten. We hope this festival is altogether alluring and will bring us all together, breathing as one, as we witness artists from here and around the world working at the very limits of their imaginations to blow our minds." For the full program here:

June 16, 2018

The Mathematics of Longing, presented by La Boite in collaboration with playwright Suzie Miller's production company The Uncertainty Principle and dance-theatre company The Farm, is a new work by Miller, who's Dad was 'fluent in mathematical formulas and equation', which lead her to study science at university for a decade before she became a playwright.

June 15, 2018

One of my firm beliefs is that dance is one of the most elegant and poignant forms of storytelling, and the creatives behind 4Seasons have re-affirmed that tenfold. If you'd like a night of an exquisite blend of physical theatre and dance, this is a must see.

June 9, 2018

Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed you if you would have told me that on a Thursday night I would be sitting in a theatre watching twenty-one years' worth of rugby league games on stage and that I'd be enjoying it. And I loved every bit of it. The show rendered me speechless; my eyes were glued to the action on stage. Eighty-five minutes went by in a minute and I was left wanting more. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me reflect on the world around me, on humanity, on my family, on my dreams. Did I mention that it was only eighty-five minutes?