Theatre

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - David Strat­ton SR DS Rose­mary Neill

(MA15+) The Dan­ish film Land of Mine is an in­tense drama set in May 1945, as the Ger­man oc­cu­pa­tion of Den­mark comes to a bit­ter end. Sergeant Carl Ras­mussen (Roland Moller) is as­signed to su­per­vise a small unit of Ger­mans who have been given the task of clear­ing 45,000 mines from a re­mote beach. Ras­mussen is a re­luc­tant over­seer of th­ese pris­on­ers. But, in­evitably, he changes his mind about his “boys” as he slowly gets closer to them and wit­nesses their courage and suf­fer­ing. As ev­ery­one knows, we fear — and some­times hate — the “other”, the for­eigner, the stranger, un­til we re­alise that, deep down, they’re just like us. And that’s the sim­ple story at the heart of Land of Mine, a hand­somely made, pow­er­fully acted but not par­tic­u­larly prob­ing drama. The Boss Baby (G) Seven-year-old Tim Tem­ple­ton’s world is turned up­side down when mum and dad ar­rive home with a baby brother. But this baby (voiced by Alec Bald­win, chan­nelling his boss role from tele­vi­sion’s Rock, and per­haps a bit of Don­ald Trump) comes wear­ing a busi­ness suit and car­ry­ing a brief­case. Di­rec­tor Tom McGrath di­rects this amus­ing but over­long an­i­ma­tion for DreamWorks. The Boss Baby has its mo­ments but at 97 min­utes is too long and a bit cliched to­wards the end.

A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove) (M) One of the most suc­cess­ful Swedish films made, this com­edy-drama ex­plores the life of an el­derly bigot and busy­body who lords it over the small sub­ur­ban en­clave in which he lives, dis­ap­prov­ing of bu­reau­crats, for­eign­ers and cats. But flash­backs re­veal he has had a rich, and some­times painful, life. A ter­rific per­for­mance from Rolf Lass­gard over­comes some of the film’s cliches.

The Dog/The Cat This dou­ble bill re­turns to the Belvoir af­ter a hit run on the com­pany’s Down­stairs stage. The Dog, by Bren­dan Cow­ell, presents a not-so-flat­ter­ing por­trait of the tricky line be­tween mate­ship and ro­mance, and of the in­sa­tiable ap­petite of Jack Rus­sell ter­ri­ers for the most dis­gust­ing things they can find. In The Cat, Lally Katz ex­plores the per­ils of coown­ing a fe­line with your ex, and the things a cat would say if he were able and al­lowed to speak his mind. Katz, Cow­ell and di­rec­tor Ralph My­ers rein­vent this ro­man­tic com­edy for the stage in a way that is be­guil­ing and funny. Stars Bene­dict Hardie and An­drea Deme­tri­ades (pic­tured). Up­stairs Theatre, 18 & 25 Belvoir Street Surry Hills. Tick­ets: $37$72. Book­ings: (02) 9699 3444 or on­line. Opens April 13. Drac­ula From the com­pany be­hind the multi award-win­ning na­tional tour­ing pro­duc­tions of and An­i­mal Farm comes a new adap­ta­tion of Bram Stoker’s Drac­ula. This gothic hor­ror tale will be swoop­ing into the River­side Theatre with the crit­i­cally ac­claimed pro­duc­tion cre­ated by Shake & Stir. The pro­duc­tion be­gins when young lawyer Jonathan Harker (Tim Dash­wood) vis­its Cas­tle Drac­ula to as­sist Count Drac­ula (Nick Sku­bij) with pur­chas­ing a plot of land in Lon­don. Un­be­known to Jonathan is the Count’s sin­is­ter plans and blood­lust. Di­rected by Michael Futcher. Kinky Boots Cyndi Lau­per’s Kinky Boots is a big-hearted story about prej­u­dice, self-ac­cep­tance and ac­cep­tance of out­siders. Kinky Boots, in which a drag queen saves a strug­gling shoe fac­tory with a line of footwear that re­sem­bles “2½ feet of tubu­lar, ir­re­sistible sex”, opened on Broad­way in 2013 and was Lau­per’s first stab at a mu­si­cal score. Adapted from the 2005 Bri­tish film star­ring Aus­tralian ac­tor Joel Edger­ton and Chi­we­tel Ejio­for, Kinky Boots is largely set in a pro­vin­cial English fac­tory but is pow­ered by a posse of glam­orous cross­dressers who sing about giv­ing “good epiphany” and how the “sex is in the heel”. Capi­tol Theatre, 13 Campbell Street, Hay­mar­ket, Syd­ney. Tick­ets: $50-$150. Book­ings: (02) 9320 5000 or on­line. Opens April 12. The Bleed­ing Tree

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