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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About -

A Rab­bit for Kim Jong-il The premise of this play — that North Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong-il once briefly be­came so in­ter­ested in gi­ant rab­bits bred by an ob­scure farmer in ru­ral Ger­many that he tried to im­port some — is so crazy that it is not sur­pris­ing to dis­cover it is based on some­thing that ac­tu­ally hap­pened. And that ex­pec­ta­tion — that North Korea seems to be so ridicu­lous that noth­ing it does is a sur­prise — is at the heart of Lee Lewis’s pro­duc­tion. It starts out ab­surd and then creeps up on you and hits you over the head. Kit Brook­man’s script de­vel­ops with a se­ries of com­fort­able stereo­types in­volv­ing spies and se­cret deals and sud­den flights in the night. For a long time it is all quite silly but in the end this all turns out to be a the­atri­cal am­bush. Just as we are set­tling into what ap­pears to be a cosily comic po­lit­i­cal para­ble, it twists and we are sud­denly trapped into ask­ing our­selves why we have been laugh­ing. Star­ring Kaeng Chan and Steve Rodgers (pic­tured).

John McCal­lum SBW Sta­bles Theatre, 10 Nim­rod Street, Kings Cross. To­day, 2pm and 7pm. Tick­ets: $35-$55. Book­ings: (02) 9361 3817 or on­line. Un­til Novem­ber 21. Cats The re­vival of An­drew Lloyd Web­ber’s 1981 mu­si­cal Cats opens in Syd­ney, re­worked for its most re­cent sea­son in Lon­don’s West End by the orig­i­nal cre­ative team. Based on TS Eliot’s Old Pos­sum’s Book of Prac­ti­cal Cats, the show is set among a junk­yard play­ground alive with fe­line char­ac­ters, with a score that in­cludes the hit song Mem­ory, recorded over the years by more than 150 artists in­clud­ing Bar­bra Streisand and Barry Manilow. Capi­tol Theatre, 13 Camp­bell Street, Hay­mar­ket. Opens Fri­day. Tick­ets: $90-$143. Book­ings: 1300 558 878 or on­line. Un­til Novem­ber 21. Dead Cen­tre/Sea Wall Tom Hol­loway’s Dead Cen­tre and Si­mon Stephens’s Sea Wall are com­bined in this dou­ble bill from Mel­bourne’s Red Stitch Ac­tors Theatre. The two com­pan­ion mono­logues fol­low a man and a woman, torn apart by a tragic loss and thou­sands of kilo­me­tres; he lives in Bri­tain, she lives in Aus­tralia. Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowl­ing Street, Wool­loomooloo. Tonight, 7.30pm. Tick­ets: $25-$35. Book­ings: 0409 020 119 or on­line. Un­til Novem­ber 14.

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