Articles on Theatre

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Worst musical name ever? Yui Mok/PA

Lloyd Webber flop Stephen Ward bewildered the audience

No one has ever claimed that the gods of theatre are fair. Musicals have flopped in London for any number of reasons: some were ahead of their times (the first production of Sweeney Todd), some were overpriced…
‘A Journey Round my Skull’. Jonathan Blackford, Kindle Theatre

What theatre and science can learn from one another

C.P. Snow’s pessimistic view of “two cultures” – the arts and the sciences at war with each other, glowering across no man’s land, entrenched in their embattled fortress of true expression (as each saw…
Off the screen and in the flesh. EPA/Etienne Laurent

Seeing stars in the flesh and recalling who we wanted to be

When I was an adolescent I used to spend a lot of hours in useless discussions with friends as to who was a star and who wasn’t. John Travolta was, Christopher Reeve wasn’t but Superman was. Esther Williams…
Back to Back Theatre’s award-winning Ganesh versus the Third Reich opens at Carriageworks this week. Jeff Busby/Carriageworks

How Back to Back challenges the way we see actors with disabilities

This week, Back to Back Theatre’s 2012 production Ganesh versus the Third Reich will open at Sydney’s Carriageworks. The show has toured the world, winning awards and laudatory reviews in Montreal, Paris…
Shona Reppe plays a professional scrapologist digging into the mystery of Josephine Bean in this warm show for kids. Douglas McBride/Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival review: The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean

Meet Dr Patricia Baker; not a medical doctor but a doctor of scrapology, founder of SCRAPS, the Society (for the) Care, Repair (and) Analytical Probing (of) Scrapbooks. She has an alluring range of CSI-like…
An Iliad, currently playing at the Adelaide Festival is an intelligent adaptation of Homer’s classic – and a work of consumate compression. Joan Marcus/Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival review: An Iliad

At the heart of the Homer’s Coat production of An Iliad, currently playing at the Adelaide Festival, is that most of Homeric of things, a list. In a narrative compression as consummate as any in the epic…
From Roman Forum to airport lounge, Roman Tragedies connects three Shakespearean tragedies in the one performance. Tony Lewis/Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival 2014 review: Roman Tragedies

Over six hours, three Shakespearean tragedies – Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra – are connected in an immensely ambitious production, Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s Roman Tragedies. Under Ivo…
Meryl Streep - Oscar worthy? Dominic Lipinski/PA

August: Osage County is less than the sum of its parts

This article contains spoilers. John Wells’ film August: Osage County tells the story of a family which has gathered for the funeral of its father. Ostensibly, they are also there to help its ill and drug-addicted…
Should sexuality play a central role in constructing our own identity? MTC, photo Jeff Busby

Review: Cock

British playwright Mike Bartlett’s contemporary comedy of manners Cock opened on the Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) main stage last week. Highly anticipated after winning an Olivier Award with its London…
Meet Davos – your big new friend with questionable intentions. mike fischer

With culture on the free trade agenda, we must protect our own

You meet someone. Someone different. Someone attractive, open, free. Let’s call him Davos. You start seeing a lot of each other, hanging out as a couple. As always when you’re in a relationship, a degree…
The immigrant mask can take many forms. IDS.photos/Flickr

On masks and migration: learning to stand upright in New Zealand

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
Supposed self-censorship by the Queensland Theatre Company over a joke about Campbell Newman has raised few laughs. Dave Hunt/AAP

Arts companies should be able to tell governments to bugger off

The joke was in, then out, then in again. Over the last week a story reminding us of the delicate politics of arts funded by the government and the need for good governance leaked out of the Queensland…
The Tampa showdown in 2001 prompted playwrights to tackle the topic of asylum seekers. AAP Image/Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Refuge and refusal: why theatre about asylum seekers matters

When, some eight or nine years ago, I began researching the responses of Australian and refugee theatre makers, filmmakers and writers to asylum seeker debates it was very easy to share the hopes for political…
Black Diggers tells the stories of young Indigenous soldiers who fought in the first world war. How did their stories get forgotten? Jamie Williams/Sydney Festival

Indigenous soldiers remembered: the research behind Black Diggers

In August 2012, I was invited by the Sydney Festival to work with Wesley Enoch, Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company, to assist in developing Black Diggers, currently playing as part of the…
Cadavre Exquis takes its cues from the game loved by the Surrealists – also known as the kids’ game “consequences”. Mette van der Sijs/Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival review: Cadavre Exquis

The rules of Cadavre Exquis are basic. Four directors, each responsible for 15 minutes of material. Each brings one actor. This is the basis of Cadavre Exquis, a performance staged at Sydney’s Carriageworks…
Chi Udaka isn’t a “fusion” show, it’s a performance in which intercultural exchange flourishes. Filigree Films

Sydney Festival review: Chi Udaka

There is speculation that the taiko drum was first used by soldiers in battle. At its best, Chi Udaka, currently playing at the Seymour Centre as part of the Sydney Festival, recalls the ritualised diffusing…

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