Reviews & Articles

Cautionary Tales: North Shore Mums

21 April 2016

"Original music by Mark Jones brings Belloc’s tales to life – I recognised many of these poems from my own childhood, but the mix of cabaret style songs and storytelling added a new dimension"

Read More

Cautionary Tales: North Shore Mums

Cautionary Tales: Ellas List

21 April 2016

"The always-entertaining Virginia Gay had the young audience enraptured from the moment she took the stage, and the adults all LOLing along with her throughout."

Read more

 

Cautionary Tales: Ellas List

Sunny Ray: Aussie Theatre

Friday 8 April, 2016

"Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon is pure joy for the under-10s."

Read More 

Sunny Ray: Aussie Theatre

Sunny Ray: Stage Whispers

Friday 8 April, 2016

"This show is great entertainment for four to eight year olds and their parents and anyone who can be a big kid at heart"

Read More

Sunny Ray: Stage Whispers

Sunny Ray: Theatre Press

Wednesday April 6, 2016

"If there’s only one show you take your kids big and small to this festival, make it this one- it’ll brighten your day."

Read More

 

Sunny Ray: Theatre Press

Sunny Ray: Melbourne Leader

Tuesday March 29, 2016

“I think kids love the silliness of it (Sunny Ray) and the colour and the movement and adults really get where we’re going with some of those pop culture references.”

Read more.

Sunny Ray: Melbourne Leader

Sunny Ray: Time Out

January 2016

★★★★

Very entertaining.

Read more

Sunny Ray: Time Out

Sunny Ray: Sydney Morning Herald

January 13 2016

★★★★

Star-spangled theatre rock party. This affectionate, well thought out production is a terrific small-scale jewel.

Read More

 

Sunny Ray: Sydney Morning Herald

The Sleepover: Herald Sun

August 21 2015

"FALLING asleep at Arts Centre Melbourne is generally frowned upon: you’re there to see a show and it’s considered rude to nod off midperformance.But for one night, sleeping is compulsory."

Read More

The Sleepover: Herald Sun

The Sleepover: The Conversation

September 15 2015

"Interactive children’s theatre engages childrens' innate creative impulses and encourages them to be curious and playful."

Read More

The Sleepover: The Conversation

Cautionary Tales for Children: MelbourneArtsFashion

February 15 2015

"Gay is an amazing singer and performer and all of her skills were highlighted beautifully in this show. Children are the toughest audiences but Gay was up to the challenge!"

Read more

Cautionary Tales for Children: MelbourneArtsFashion

Cautionary Tales for Children: Stage Whispers

20 April 2015

"Cautionary Tales for Children is a wonderfully dark and ironic, lively vibrant work.  This staged performance, based on the verse of Hilaire Belloc, is beautifully rendered by Arena Theatre and performed with entertaining aplomb by Virginia Gay, with Mark Jones on the Piano." 

Read more.

Cautionary Tales for Children: Stage Whispers

Cautionary Tales for Children: Herald Sun

February 10 2015

“Kids are exposed to so many different types of entertainment now that they know what sophisticated, well-made theatre is like. We (Arena) have a lot of respect for our audience and spend a lot of time with young people." - Christian Leavesley

Read more

Cautionary Tales for Children: Herald Sun

Cautionary Tales for Children: Theatre Alive

February 9 2015

"I know (Cautionary Taled for Children) will blow little ‘uns mind. And maybe the parents’ too…" - Virginia Gay

Read more

Cautionary Tales for Children: Theatre Alive

Marlin: The Age

September 28 2014

"Marlin makes me wish I'd seen theatre as magical and uncondescending as this when I was growing up."

Read more

 

Marlin: The Age

Marlin: The Australian

September 29 2014

"Marlin, Leavesley's first major work as Arena artistic director, is an enjoyable and refined piece..."

Read more

Marlin: The Australian

Marlin: ArtsHub

September 27 2014

"It is an excellent piece of vibrant theatre which held the attention of its young audience from start to finish."

Read more.

Marlin: ArtsHub

Marlin: Stage Whispers

September 30 2014

"Humour abounds - the kind of humour that kids like...In this intense and riveting hour of entertainment there is also suspense and danger and heaps and heaps of foam."

Read more

 

Marlin: Stage Whispers

Marlin: The Daily Review

2/10/14

"The production sings as the foam machine turns the entire set into a wild sea..."

Read more.

Marlin: The Daily Review

Marlin: Mee Too - Melbourne With Kids

September 27 2014

"There is much that delights about this production – both characters are fabulously portrayed by the actors, and the puppet work of the marlin and gull are fantastic. You will not be disappointed by the amazing set which brings the sea to life in the most extraordinary way"

Read more

 

Marlin: Mee Too - Melbourne With Kids

Review by Ava (age 10), Big Kids Blog

1st April 2013

… After HOUSE OF DREAMING I went home to my mum and said it was the best show I had ever been to. I was telling her everything about it for an hour and a half… 

Read More

Review by Ava (age 10), Big Kids Blog

Weekend Notes

February 2013

I'm a local mother and mature‐age student living in Perth, Western Australia. I have a love for nature-based activities, the arts and creative, fun activities for children.

Read More

Weekend Notes

Young Ambassadors

29th February 2013

Shhhhhh the House is sleeping. Use your inside voices so it doesn’t wake...

Read More

 

Young Ambassadors

Review, The West Australian

27th February 2013

Elio and Eva went into The House of Dreaming with their eyes wide open and came out 30 minutes later with wide-open eyes.

Read More

Review, The West Australian

Child's play in the dream house

21st February 2013

It's not often a theatre company gets to spend a term at primary school, knee- deep in crayons, textas and the wild imaginings of the students.

Read More

Child's play in the dream house

Theatre Notes Review

26 October 2012

I was amused to see the adult audience members for that session lining up with the children for their costumes: everyone looked ridiculously pleased.

Read more

Theatre Notes Review

Sometimes Melbourne Review

26 October 2012

This giant doll house is as close to walking 
into a storybook as possible with dressing up,
stories, magic and wow! in every room.

Read more

Sometimes Melbourne Review

Review By Stephanie Glickman, Herald Sun

26 October 2012

INTERACTIVE theatre challenges audiences to leave comfortable chairs and physically enter performances.

Read more

Review By Stephanie Glickman, Herald Sun

Review by Cameron Woodhead

26 October 2012

Arena Theatre's The House of DreamingIt's a
high-tech interactive maze, based on the idea 
of an abandoned house that falls asleep and 
starts to dream.

Read more

Review by Cameron Woodhead

Review by Anne-Marie Peard

26 October 2012

I didn’t want to leave The House of Dreaming. Neither did my artistic advisor, five-year old Scout.

Read more

Review by Anne-Marie Peard

Melbourne International Arts Festival: The House of Dreaming at MTC

24 October 2012

Izzy and I went along to the opening of The House of Dreaming last night, which is on at the MTC until Saturday as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Read more

Melbourne International Arts Festival: The House of Dreaming at MTC

Danielle Brustman - Set Designer

17 October 2012

Over the past ten years Danielle has designed stage sets for numerous theatre and film companies including: Arena Theatre, The Malthouse, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, The Business, Stuck Pigs Squealing.

Read more 

Danielle Brustman - Set Designer

The House of Dreaming

16 October 2012

Captivating children for years, thatʼs exactly what Arena Theatre Company conjures this Melbourne Festival, when The House of Dreaming awakens in the MTCʼs Lawler Studio.

Read more

The House of Dreaming

Behind The Critical Curtain

15 October 2012

Polyglot's How High the Sky goes out on a limb to create theatre for babies.

Read More 

Behind The Critical Curtain

Chris Kohn Theatre Director

9 October 2012

It is a time of change for theatre director Chris Kohn, as his time as Artistic Director of the Arena Theatre Company draws to a close. 

Read more

Chris Kohn Theatre Director

Melbourne Festival a dream for kids

8 October 2012

THE young audience becomes the players in the world premiere of The House of Dreaming, a new dramatic concept created for Melbourne Festival.

Read more

Melbourne Festival a dream for kids

Acting up is child's play

6 October 2012

POLYGLOT Theatre's latest production, How High
the Skyis a show for Melbourne's youngest
art critics: babies.

Read more

Acting up is child's play

Time Out Magazine Chris Kohn Interview

29 August 2012

It's been a giant research and development project for everyone involved, a 'dream' opportunity for them to try things they've always wanted to but never had the time.

Read more

Time Out Magazine Chris Kohn Interview

Border Mail: Mental health special

Tuesday 8 August 2012

Bullying and depression are at the core of Moth. For a significant number of seconary school studnets who took part in an Albury Youth Council study last year, these are key concerns...

Read more

Border Mail: Mental health special

ABC Radio Goulburn interview

7 August 2012

Listen to the local ABC Radio Goulburn interview with Thomas and Emily about Moth, teenagers, and bullying.

ABC Radio Goulburn interview

Play time, The Weekly Review

30 July 2012

Teenagers are passionate theatre patrons. If they don't like it, they will tear you to pieces," says Melbourne playwright Declan Greene.

Greene, 27, had never thought to write for teenagers, but since completing Moth for Arena Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre, he has continued to target an audience of older teens...

Read more

Play time, The Weekly Review

Moth soon to flutter around regional Victoria

26 July 2012

“It was someone else’s idea, but it was very tightly collaborative. If you want to make a career as a writer, that’s something you have to be open to - that, and you are going to be employed to fulfil someone else’s vision. And that’s something you can’t be precious about,” playwright Declan Greene said in an interview with Megan Hanson.

Read more

Moth soon to flutter around regional Victoria

Alison Croggon: Theatre Notes Blog

11th June 2012

Starchaser’s mixture of absurd fairytale and emotional truthfulness hits the mark with beautiful accuracy...

Read More 

Alison Croggon: Theatre Notes Blog

Review: By Imogen

23rd June 2012

In starchaser there are so many exciting and dramatic events to keep you interested the whole way throughout the play.
Read More 

Review: By Imogen

Review: Tayger

17th June 2012

I really enjoyed the story line, the acting and the props were great as well! It was also quite a sad story as well as funny and quirky. I would recommend this to ages 7+.
Read More

Review: Tayger

Review: By kaceyq

11th June 2012

On the 2nd of June 2012. Dad and I went to Star Chaser. I had no idea what it was going to be like. Dad and I caught the train into the city.
Read More 

Review: By kaceyq

City Weekly

31st May 2012

Playwright Lally Katz lifts the lid on her life in the city...
Read More

City Weekly

Review: Orla

6th June 2012

5/5 stars. Starchaser is an adventure act full of creativity, belief and imagination. It is based on a star called Atlia, a dying star that holds the key to the thing that the main character, Catta, wants most – her parents to be brought back to life.
Read More 

Review: Orla

Herald Sun

1st June 2012

Now the playwright and the lion have done it, figuratively speaking, in her new family production Starchaser, a fantasy adventure premiering at Arts Centre Melbourne this week.
Read More 

Herald Sun

Aussietheatre.com.au

1st June 2012

Starchaser is a wonderful piece of theatre. A magical world filled with selfdiscovery. Although this play is aimed towards 8–12 year olds, any adult would find something to cherish in Starchaser with its richly woven plot and wonderfully imagined visuals.
Read More 

Aussietheatre.com.au

Stagewhispers.com.au

31st May 2012

If your space-crazy child is going to see Starchaser, you’d better be quick. There are only two public shows this weekend in the intimate setting of the Fairfax Studio, after eight shows for school groups this week.
Read More 

Stagewhispers.com.au

Sydney Morning Herald

21st May 2012

Playwright Lally Katz, 33, won the Victorian Premier's literary award for drama in 2009 and was a Churchill fellow in 2010. Her play Starchaser is being staged by Arena Theatre Company at the Arts Centre on June 2, with schools-­‐only performances from May 30 to June 1.
Read More

Sydney Morning Herald

Review: Tallulah

A few weeks ago I went to the new show ‘Starchaser’ at the Victorian Arts Centre. It’s about a girl called Catta whose parents have recently died, but on her birthday she wishes there was some way that she could save them.
Read More

Review: Tallulah

Time Out Melbourne

2 June 2012

Award-winning playwright Lally Katz has been wowing us with adult productions like Return to Earth of late, but her latest offering is for children – a wildly imaginative dash around the universe on a magical bed.
Read More

Time Out Melbourne

The Age

29th May 2012

JOIN THE FUN Playwright Lally Katz could be about to meet her toughest audience yet. Her latest production with Arena Theatre Company...
Read More 

The Age

Review: Drew Lane

6th February 2012

I arrived early and sat in the foyer of the Fairfax Studio watching as streams of children and their parents came in; this was opening night and the 6.30pm timeslot was perfect for families to see theatre.
Read More 

Review: Drew Lane

Arts Alive

6th February 2012

Arena Theatre Company is staging a new children’s cabaret,Child Eaten by Lion, based on the century old satirical verses of Hilaire Belloc called Cautionary Tales for Children.
Read More

Arts Alive

Herald Sun

31st January 2012

Musical theatre hunk Sam Ludeman will be back on the boards this week when three new shows are given their first run at Arts Centre
Melbourne.
Read More

Herald Sun

Theatrepeople.com.au

31st January 2012

The world of musical theatre is an ever-expanding one. Each year we see new shows opening, revivals being staged, original musicals being workshopped and successful shows touring around the world.
Read More 

Theatrepeople.com.au

Review: John Bailey

30th January 2012

The title of Claudia O'Doherty's last show may have sent shivers through most youngsters (or anyone with memories of high school geography), but What is Soil Erosion? managed to milk laughs from the driest of subjects.
Read More 

Review: John Bailey

Review: Nicole Haddow

30th January 2012

It might be a tough one to sell to the kids at first: a cabaret show filled with absurd cautionary tales about what happens to naughty children. But Mark Jones, composer and performer in Arena Theatre Company’s Cautionary Tales for Children, insists it’s a good time for the whole family.
Read More 

Review: Nicole Haddow

Cautionary Tales for Children

The studio, usually sleek and ready for action, had a whimsical, homely flavour, created by the addition of mismatched retro lampshades hanging over the audience. A night of story-telling was in order.
Read More 

Cautionary Tales for Children

Beat Magazine

Cautionary Tales for Children is a steampunk cabaret, taking children’s musical theatre to a whole new level. The folks at Arena Theatre Company have put together an ensemble to get toes tapping, adults chuckling and kids screaming at the top of their lungs.
Read More

Beat Magazine

Review: Lenny Ann Low

18th October 2011

While the fictional TV show was branded "boring, formless and unwatchable" by TV commissioners, its stage counterpart has pulled impressive numbers at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Imperial Panda Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Read More 

Review: Lenny Ann Low

Stage Whispers

Arts Centre Melbourne doesn’t just workshop new musicals. It puts them on. This year the venue is producing a three-week season of the most successful new work tried out at the venue last year.
Read More 

Stage Whispers

Artshub

5th August 2011

What the hell did Whitman remember of his days as a teenager? A young, arguably gay man in an era of severe repression, a poet, an outcast – what were these happiest, halcyon days? 
Read More

Artshub

The Courier Mail

2nd August 2011

"Teens on the edge of society will be put under the microscope in the latest production to come to the Brisbane Powerhouse."
Read More

The Courier Mail

Rave Magazine

12th July 2011

"Few of us are spared the memory (and perhaps nightmares) of being 16 and the school freak - or at least feeling like it."
Read More

Rave Magazine

Theatrenotes

24th June 2011

"This is exquisite theatre: in my view one of the most accomplished new plays of the past few years, here given a superbly restrained and devastatingly powerful production by Chris Kohn."
Read More

Theatrenotes

Herald Sun

21st June 2011

"This is theatre at its finest, a potent blend of Greene's cunningly wrought script, hallucinogenic imagery and consummate acting that will have you close to tears towards the end."
Read More

Herald Sun

Melbourne Leader

13th June 2011

"When your show sells out before opening night on word of mouth alone, that's got to put some puff in a young writer's chest." 
Read More

Melbourne Leader

The Australian

17th May 2010

“May is turning out to be a red-hot month for theatre in Melbourne…” Reviewed by Alison Croggon
Read More

The Australian

RealTime

June/July 2010

"At the centre of Moth, the latest production between Arena Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre is a moment of ..." Reviewed by John Bailey
Read More

RealTime

Farrago Online

16th May 2010

“It’s an oft dished-out dictum: 'your teenage years are the best of your life'…” Reviewed by Chris Summers
Read More

Farrago Online

Theatrenotes Blog

25th May 2010

“If another person writes another op-ed complaining that Australian theatre is dying, beset by aesthetic crises and apathetic audiences…” Reviewed by Alison Croggon
Read More

Theatrenotes Blog

Sunday Age

23rd May 2010

“This is why theatre still matters: because moments of terror and wonder fluttering around the periphery…” Reviewed by John Bailey
Read More

Sunday Age

Herald Sun

18th May 2010

“The best theatre for young people – the stuff teen audiences find valuable…” Reviewed by Chris Boyd
Read More

Herald Sun