We have been entertaining people of all ages over the past two decades. Here is a list of reviews made by both various members of our audience and the media.

Snow White
City Messenger 2002 Light Year Awards for the Performing Arts 2002
Best Pantomime: Snow White

The best pantomimes cater to the child in all of us, offering colour and adventure for the kids and a jolly good laugh for the adults. Upstage Theatre finds the right balance of these two extremes in their current pantomime, Snow White.

Their original script and song parodies, with Vi Rowe’s elaborate costumes, have created a musical-comedy for everyone to enjoy.

Kirsty-Lee Jones made a pretty Snow White, and although a bit too precocious in the beginning for my liking, soon softened into the sweet heroine we’ve come to expect.

Deirdre Quinn proved a favourite of many kids, playing the evil Queen Sybil with more relish than a corn beef sandwich. While Georgia Dodd took on various roles, her part of the Magic Mirror left me in tears of laughter. What an expressive face!

Sue Oldknow shows she’s got the right stuff, singing up a storm as multiple characters including the delightful servant Fetch, a gorgeous white rabbit and Smiley the Dwarf.

John Martin’s King Basil could be slightly more henpecked for greater comedy, but as Hugo the Huntsman and Charlie the Dwarf, he’s a riot.

The hero of the show is of course, the handsome Prince. Chris Mayes, despite a lack of projection, is nicely nerdy as Prince Percy.

The cast all work well with the kids, fearless when it comes to encouraging them to join in. There are some clever ideas in this show including how they represent the dwarfs, whose presence on stage earns a laugh in itself.

John Penberthy’s musical direction is excellent, as usual. The lyrics to his song parodies are funny, his selection of tunes is spot-on, and his rhyming dialogue is clever. Penberthy accompanies the play on a keyboard, once again displaying his expertise.

Snow White is great fun. I haven’t enjoyed myself so much at a show in a long time, and going by the reactions of the kids, parents and grandparents in the audience, I suspect they all came away feeling the same. Snow White usually performs for once-off engagements at various venues. Don’t miss it!
King Arthur and the Magic Sword
Each june/july school holidays I would take my boys to Glenelg Football club to watch these guys perform a pantomime for the kids. My boys LOVED it, and once my youngest even won one of the dressup competitions and they gave him a copy of this play on dvd. You guys do a great job, and the kids love you..... July 2012 - Comment by cmurphy091075


ENCORE MAGAZINE (by Laraine ball) - AUGUST 2006

Medieval madness abounds in this romp of a pantomime by writer/director Luke Baldock.

(The cast was) "impressive" "energetic" "humourous" and "sparkled with enthusiasm".

Songs by David D'Angelo were delightful and bright.

(Sue Oldknow's) choreography...was intricate and lively, adding to the fun.

(Violet Rowe's) costumes were a standout, medieval looking and well suited to the characters.

A potted history lesson brought to life in an amusing and magical way.
Kaos Kabaret
GLAM Adelaide - Reviewed Saturday, February 20th 2010 (continues until February 27th)
www.adelaidefringe.com.au

Venue: Irish Club, 13-15 Carrington Street, Adelaide
Season: February20, 26 & 27 at 8pm
Tickets: $15-$20 (plus booking fees) available through FringeTix
Bookings: FringeTix 1300-FRINGE (374 643) or www.adelaidefringe.com.au

It is difficult not to sing along to the ultimate retro party playlist that makes up the Kaos Kabaret. Local troupe, Upstage Theatre, have pieced together two 60-minute acts that feel more like a celebration than a performance.

The chronological placement of songs is a musical excursion through countless sing-a-long sensations from Puttin’ On The Ritz to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

The show is based on an earlier review arranged by Susan Oldknow under the title Let Us Entertain You, which earned two popular seasons at the Noarlunga Theatre Company. With a smaller cast, better costumes, and a bit of tweaking, Kaos Kabaret is now a tighter and funnier fare.

Violet Rowe’s outstanding costumes and wigs almost steal the show, ranging from a Wizard of Oz tribute to medieval kings and free loving hippies. The changes are so fast and so frequent that the revue is like a costume parade in itself. Oldknow’s direction ensures the show flows smoothly and without pauses however.

Oldknow and Rowe both appear on stage with John Martin, Deirdre Quinn, Mark Hallam, Julie Oldknow, Shelley Pontiac, and audience favourite Luke Baldock, whose comic timing is exquisite. Their range is extraordinary and sure to suit all tastes. Numbers include Fever, Minnie the Moocher, Greased Lightnin’ , Shake a Tail Feather, Time Warp, Viva Los Vegas, Downtown, Dancing Queen and Born to be Wild, to name but a few.

An occasional short skit pays homage to Get Smart, The Blues Brothers, Pink Panther and Batman, each segueing nicely into a song. There’s even a dancing Dalek in an amusing Doctor Who tribute. Paul Hallam’s simple lighting design is well suited to the small venue, and Alisha Thompson on sound ensures the performers are easily heard over Mark Hallam’s full bodied music sequences.

Kaos Kabaret is one of those rare shows that you can’t help but smile at when you aren’t laughing out loud. However with interval, the lampoonery runs two and a half hours, which is slightly on the long side, particularly for a Fringe show. But with such a great line up of upbeat tunes and comedy, its biggest fault is that you can’t get up and dance while you sing along.


Messenger Newspapers
IT MAY have been Kaos Kabaret by name but it was anything but chaotic in delivery. Upstage Theatre's tribute to the music, film and television classics of yesteryear at its opening show of this year's Fringe proved a fabulous night of fun and non-stop laughter.

Skits from Wizard Of Oz where Dorothy gets her come uppance, Get Smart where agent Maxwell Smart missed identifying his sidekick Ninety Nine 'by this much'' and Dr Who where the good doctor spent most of his time bagging the BBC for a lack of resources was pure gold and set the tone for a night of fun and non-stop laughter.

Main performers John Martin, Deirdre Quiinn, Susan Oldknow, Julie Oldknow, Luke Baldock, Shelley Pontiac, Mark Hallam and Violet Rowe were stunning in their various portrayals of everything from the Elvises (and in one case a short Elvis) to the Beatles where Ringo couldn't make it so his mother, without drum kit and albeit short as well, filled in. The Monty Python skits were hilarious with Luke Baldock as the unappreciated King, while John Martin looked great as the dimwit Dennis.

The Batman and Robin (or was it Robyn?) skit was hilarious with Batman turning down the curvaceous and hot Cat Woman to hang out with his little mate. The hits of yesteryear from Puttin on the Ritz to the Blues Brothers to Copacabana, right down to the Michael Jackson's Thriller and Time Warp from Rocky Horror lost little in comparions with the originals. Behind the curtains the audience wouldn't have known the helter skelter of the costume changes but it all flowed to perfection on centre stage.

This show was one hell of a night of entertainment, singing, acting, ad-libbing, Violet's fantastic costumes. It's a pity the season doesn't run long enough for more locals to appreciate a brilliant night. Gordon Armstrong * * * * 1/2 stars (four and a half stars).


Rip It Up - Irish Club, Sat Feb 27

A wonderful frolic through a variety of songs from the past, from swing to disco and back again. The lively cast were a joy to watch as they sang, danced and joked their way through songs that included It Don’t Mean A Thing, Leader Of The Pack and Shake A Tail Feather. Audience participation was a given as the (mostly) older crowd rocked along with the action onstage. Songs were interspersed with a collection of corny jokes and skits that ranged from good to very bad, yet always managed to raise a laugh. A fun night out for the more mature Fringe-goer.

Final Word: Kool.
Rosie van Heerde
Kaos Kabaret 2
lF YOU have a quirky sense of humor, are into all types of music from the '50s to the 90s, and love seeing Elvis, Abba and Tom Jones, among others, given a new lease on life on stage, then this a must see before the Fringe ends.Kaos Kabaret 2, presented by Upstage Theatre and based mainly in the southern suburbs, gave the opening crowd at the Irish Club a terrific, entertaining night of memories and singalongs from many of the big acts/songs from yesteryear from Paint it Black to Achy Breaky Heart to Video Killed the Radio Star.

The quirky skits, which always led into the next song, were very clever and definitely on the same wavelength as this writer. Discussions among the townsfolk as to whether the person ''arrested'' should be burned at the stake as a witch led into an old fave - Disco Inferno. It was impossible not to sing along and when Tom Jones' Sex Bomb came on I was out of my seat and heading for the stage, before facing a reality check.

This was a slick 100-minute procession of memories, good times and strong visuals amid the 70 costumes coordinated by cast member Violet Rowe, the quick changes more admirable considering the searing heat.

Other members, John Martin, Deirdre Quinn, Luke Baldock, Julie Oldknow, Susan Oldknow (director, performer), Shelley Pontiac, Cherylene O'Brien, Mark Hallam (musical sequences) and Paul Hallam on lights, were outstanding.

Two more shows will be held this Fringe season. Be there.
* * * * 1/2 (four and a half stars).
Dracula A Bloody Good Musical
South Australia Folk Centre
SAT FEB 19, 2011.


Take Bram Stoker’s Dracula, add a fantastic and creative original musical score, throw in some dry and at times raunchy humour, a dash of drama and a splash of blood and you have all the ingredients for a show that’ll be sure to get your feet tapping and your hands clapping! With minimal use of stage props, the always colourful and animated cast use their abilities to bring their characters vividly to life (or death, as it were!) through song and it was evident that the audience was not disappointed with their performance.

If you’re a fan of a revamped classic, this is one you can really sink your teeth into! Here’s hoping their next show will draw more of an audience as it was definitely A Bloody Good Musical.

Final Word: Inventive!
Stacey Toomer …Rip It up Magazine

Dracula A Bloody Good Musical performs at South Australian Folk Centre until Saturday Feb 26.
GLAM Magazine
Luke Baldock’s original interpretation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula inhabits the space of a gothic romance. This early preview of their Fringe offering should allow this fun musical to evolve for the Fringe performances.

Upstage co-founder John Martin directs and also takes on the role of insane Renfield where he does what he does best – make people laugh. As a director, he keeps the pace flowing. Baldock’s script fluctuates between drama and comedy, while David D’Angelo’s original songs predominantly seem to focus on the adventure and romance. The cast on the other hand present a mishmash of dramatic and comedic styles of acting. Given Upstage’s reputation for the outlandish, there’s every chance the unevenness could be a deliberate ploy, as the comedy element is a treat, with many a surprise injected into the storyline when least expected. Baldock features as the lovelorn Count Dracula, a suave creature of the night with tongue firmly in cheek. Alongside him Deirdre Quinn is disturbingly exotic as his vampiric cousin, the Countess Elizabeth Bathory. The painfully nerdish Johnathon Harker is played by Rhys Elliot, who makes Harker immensely likeable despite the character flaws. His fiancée Mina Murray is magnificently portrayed by Alisha Thompson with all the beauty and sophistication of a classic heroine.Sue Oldknow as Mina’s lusty nursemaid often steals the moment with her dry delivery of great one-liners, while Nick Buckland and Carina Gun also feature as Van-Helsing and Dr Murray respectively. The ever-delightful Violet Rowe rounds out the cast in a cameo appearance as the Transylvanian inn keeper’s wife.

The three piece band features Musical Director and songwriter David D’Angelo on keyboard with Paul Trueack on drums and Daniel Micklethwaite on violin. It’s a surprisingly effective combination that doesn’t drown out the action, even when the cast aren’t near a microphone. The underscoring music adds greatly to the scene changes and general action while the songs generally help to move the story along.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis for Glam Magazine Adelaide S.A .February 2011.
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