Oleanna by David Mamet
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Director David Mealor is a dab hand at Mamet – his Glengarry Glen Ross last year was sensational – and knows how to guide a turbulent emotional journey. But a director is only ever as good as the cast, and in Renato Musolino and Georgia Laity, Mealor has struck gold.
Musolino is tremendous as John; his descent from pompous self-absorption to piteous ruin is truly a thing to behold. As Carol, Laity emerges as a force to be reckoned with. Her transformation of the character from timid weakling to confident aggressor is little short of amazing. responsive to the. It’s absolutely gripping.
At its heart, this play is an examination of power, privilege and language, and while much of this work is achieved through the script, Mealor brilliantly signals the ever-fluid balance of power using stage position, costuming and the actors’ body language. Musolino is simply brilliant as the aggrieved professor. This is captivating theatre – unsettling and slippery.
30 years since Oleanna was first produced, it has been attached to many socio-political controversies, greatest of recent time being the #metoo movement. Director David Mealor’s production certainly addresses it, but is not confined to it. The three part structure offered is revelatory. It is electrifyingly and utterly brutal in performance. Renato Musolino as John and Georgia Laity as Carol are greatness onstage.
Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet (in association with Brink Productions)
David Mealor’s take on Glengarry Glen Ross for his Flying Penguin Productions is nothing short of superb. This was to be the 15th anniversary for the much-lauded company. Thanks to the pandemic it’s 15 plus one but still a very happy anniversary indeed for a jewel in the crown of Adelaide’s vibrant theatre scene.
David Mealor has brought together an outstanding Ensemble. The Flying Penguins are souring again with this production. I have said before – Adelaide needs a permanent rep company of this calibre to remind us of the richness of the theatre of the recent past, those plays which have been left in the drawer too long.
This is unquestionably one of the most satisfying productions I have seen in a long, long time. *****
The calibre of this production, the expert direction and the brilliant performances are all the stuff of theatre magic. This kind of excellence is the reason we wish to go to the theatre and why we should continue to do so. Catch it if you possibly can and bravo Flying Penguin Productions.
Sea Wall by Simon Stephens (in association with Adelaide Festival Centre)
Space Theatre, AFC
There are so many cherished memories and moments woven into this story of love and loss it feels like you have lived a lifetime in just over 30 minutes. It represents an extraordinary feat by UK writer Simon Stephens, Flying Penguin Director David Mealor and especially, its solitary actor Renato Musolino. *****
Flying Penguins director David Mealor has remounted his 2018 production of Sea Wall and it is more assured than ever. Every facet is unified into an outstanding theatrical experience. As Alex, Renato Musolino is outstanding. *****
Sea Wall is a stunningly moving piece of modern tragedy.
Sea Wall is written by Award winning author Simon Stephens, directed by Award winning director David Mealor – a tremendous combination that produces a fine production. A moving piece of theatre which displays the talents of all involved. **** 1/2
SOLO – A Double Bill
Sea Wall by Simon Stephens and Bitch Boxer by Charlotte Josephine
David Mealor is one of those directors with a Midas touch, turning pretty much everything he handles to gold. When he’s working with good material and great actors, the results are truly impressive. He has drawn superb performances from the actors in the simplest of settings. This is gold plated storytelling.
Flying Penguin is again air born with this shinning night. Director David Mealor keeps it so simple and so beautiful. BRAVO!
In this splendid double bill, Flying Penguin’s director David Mealor has put together two outstanding theatre works to remind us how potent carefully fashioned monologues can be. The performances are simply terrific.
The Juliet Letters by Elvis Costello & Brodsky Quartet (in association with Zephyr Quartet)
Space Theatre, AFC (Adelaide Cabaret Festival)
A magnificent new arrangement.
You can’t ask for much more … thoughtfully conceived and skilfully executed. ****1/2
The Dark Room by Angela Betzien (in association with State Theatre Company SA & Holden Street Theatres)
Holden Street Theatre
What a piece it is. Edge of your seat stuff, with a shattering climax. Most strongly recommended.
The six member Ensemble, under the direction of David Mealor, is quite superb.
RIP IT UP
A stunning production. Captivating theatre.
Blackbird by David Harrower (in association with Adelaide Festival Centre)
Space Theatre, AFC
A harrowing experience. A difficult and unforgettable ninety minutes of theatre.
Another high bench mark for Flying Penguin productions. The play and performances stay with you long after you have left the theatre.
A challenging, brilliant, unforgettable piece of theatre. This one is not to be missed.
True West by Sam Shepard
ACArts Main Theatre
Riveting … outstanding … anarchic and hilarious … the effect is dynamite.
The Performances are excellent … outstandingly handled … meticulous production.
A breath taking, epic production in every respect … it is a landmark production.
Outstanding … powerful … brilliant and full of contradictions … compelling theatre.
AUSTRALIAN STAGE ONLINE
There is much to love in this production. Take a bow Flying Penguins.
Assassins by Stephen Sondheim & John Weideman (in association with AFC InSPACE)
Space Theatre, AFC
Director David Mealor and his hand picked cast give meticulous portrayals, some poignant, some jubilant, and all exceptional. Race to see this triumphant production.
Don’t miss this absolute champion of a show. Boasting probably the most remarkable cast of truly accomplished performers ever put together in Adelaide, this show glitters with a firmament of stars under David Mealor’s brilliant direction.
The all-star cast and award-winning director have produced an outstanding production of this thought provoking piece. A must see.
The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter
Pinter’s perfection: This is must see theatre. If director David Mealor’s directorial debut with Translations got tongues wagging, this production will have them positively twisted.
It is arguable that that there is no such thing as perfection but, on very rare occasions, something comes along that is so close that even the most conscientious nit picking is a fruitless exercise. This is one of those occasions.
RIP IT UP
Riveting Theatre - This is a production that has all the ingredients that has made Harold Pinter a playwright of genius, and David Mealor a director cut from the same cloth.
ADELAIDE THEATRE GUIDE
With work of this calibre the company deserves a more permanent habitat.
Translations by Brian Friel (presented by Malthouse Theatre)
Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne
Translations by Brian Friel (in association with Holden Street Theatres Director’s Choice Program)
Holden Street Theatre
In his debut as director, David Mealor has created a first rate production and left those of us fortunate enough to have seen it with many meaningful Translations of our own.
THE ADELAIDE REVIEW
David Mealor has made a mighty directorial debut with a complex, challenging work ... Brilliant Theatre.
THE SUNDAY MAIL
This is a fine production of a wonderful play with uniformly excellent performances.
THE SUNDAY AGE