Geoffrey Rush as King Lear … the last guy you want at the festive barbie.
King Lear manifests the neurosis of age and abuse. While his behaviour is dramatically exaggerated, we can read universal lessons on toxic family dynamics in Shakespear's tragedy.
Lear’s mordant images and sonorous cadences throb with dire warning and a sense of imminent catastrophe.
Lear's mordant images and sonorous cadences throb with dire warning and a sense of imminent catastrophe. So what's the play's key message, for current times, with Geoffrey Rush in the title role?
We cannot help but remember Hamlet: it is iconic.
Robin Goldsworthy, Ivan Donato, Philip Dodd, Josh McConville. Photo: Daniel Boud
Hamlet is a play that haunts itself. Its saturation into cultural consciousness means that watching a performance is inevitably a process of past ghosts and past echoes framing the current performance.
Dance is about creating work in a collaborative way.
Liberal arts institutions teach students critical thinking skills. But rarely do they learn how to collaborate.
Jurassica is a cross-generational exploration of migration, displacement, alienation and the search for home.
Jodie Hutchinson/Red Stitch
Jurassica, the latest play from Red Stitch, is a cross-generational reflection on the migrant experience. It's part of a long tradition of plays exploring the challenges faced by Italian-Australians.
Vumani Oedipus being staged at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.
Is there value in reviving Western classics in post-colonial (South) Africa? Is this not perpetuating Western cultural imperialism?
The Experiment is a musical monodrama that examines the nature of experimentation itself against two key themes: memory and trauma.
The Experiment – showing at the Melbourne Festival – is just that: an experiment. It aims to create a meditation in which disquieting questions can menacingly float. Does it succeed? Well ...
Jules Wright was political, provocative and passionate.
As a theatre director and supporter of the arts, Jules Wright was political, provocative and passionate. She was also overlooked in Australia's obituaries when she died earlier this year. Why?
1984’s politics, while tuned for the threat of a different villain at a different time, ring eerily true today.
Manuel Harlan/Melbourne Festival
Orwell's 1984 is a heavily laden text, which turned the author's name into a byword for authoritarian nightmare. So what can we take from the 2015 stage version at the Melbourne Festival?
Rokia Traoré’s poetic lyrics expand the themes of love, jealously and pride in Desdemona.
Mark Allan/Melbourne Festival
The Melbourne Festival production of Desdemona, written by Toni Morrison and with music by Malian songstress Rokia Traore, puts the women of Shakespeare's Othello centre stage.
Desdemona is one of several productions at this year’s Melbourne Festival that invites its audiences to listen to tragedy and its reverberations.
Mark Allan/Melbourne Festival
Tony Morrison's Desdemona, which opens today in Melbourne, asks many questions of its audience. Perhaps most pressingly: what does it really mean to listen, rather than hear?
From Afar on a Hill seeks to dispel misconceptions around the numbers, circumstances, motivations and the actual mechanisms for acceptance of asylum seekers in Australia.
From Afar on a Hill is an immersive theatre work that provides insight into the lived experience of asylum seekers and lays bare the arbitrariness of Australia’s immigration policies.
Every year thousands of students read George Orwell’s 1984 and are doubtless convinced that its perspective on language and power is “definitive”. Except that it’s not; and hasn’t been since at least the 1970s.
Manuel Harlan/Melbourne Festival
Many still regard George Orwell’s 1984 and its message about the nature of language and power "definitive". But globalisation has revolutionised how we communicate; 1984 tells us nothing about our future.
Actors with visible and audible disabilities challenge us to rethink conventional notions of ‘acting’.
This year's Melbourne Fringe Festival program features an array of performances by artists with disabilities. Their work tells its audience what the mainstream looks like from the margins.
What does telling the story of the long-running conflict in the Congo through the lens of Verdi’s Macbeth teach us? Owen Metsileng and Nobulumko Mngxek in Macbeth.
by Nicky Newman
Brett Bailey's Macbeth at Brisbane Festival is a powerful production that relocates Verdi's opera (based on Shakespeare’s play) to the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Interactive children’s theatre engages childrens’ innate creative impulses and encourages them to be curious and playful. Image by Kristian Laemmie-Ruff.
An expanded program of interactive performances for children at this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival harnesses their audience's innate creative abilities and invites them to both watch and join in.
Alison Bell as Emma, making the long, counter-intuitive journey from despair to hope, is perfect in every way.
This production of a very great play by the State Theatre Company of South Australia is beautiful, clarified, and haunting. You will be relieved to know it is "excellent". More to the point it is right.
Greek tragedy remains the most modern form of drama, unafraid to question everything we value.
Sarah Walker. Photo: Jane Montgomery Griffiths as The Leader and Aaron Orzech as Haemon.
Regardless of reasoning and the plethora of scholarship that exists, Greek tragedy remains the most modern form of drama. It is unafraid to question everything we value.
Anna Volska, Maggie Dence, John Gaden, Peter Carroll and Barry Otto in Seventeen.
Brett Boardman/Belvoir St
Seventeen is the story of teenagers on the brink of adulthood; its canny trick is a cast of actors in their 70s. Despite this, it's a conservative play that adheres to a predictably happy ending.
‘What makes directing worthwhile are the people who you do it with.’
Jane Dempster/AAP. Bell Shakespeare's production of Tartuffe, 2014.
'Theatre directors come in two kinds: "star" and "of use". I'm in the latter category, which means that, for any given play, there are at least three or four other directors who could do it equally well.'