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.'
Sophiline Cheam Shapiro (L) in rehearsal with one of the members of the Sophiline Arts Ensemble. Khmer Arts Theater, Takhmao (Kandal Province), Cambodia. June 26, 2015.
Photo by Chris Philips
New stories can offer insight on alternative ways of living out our lives. As the experience in Cambodia shows, the performing arts can help us face up to enormous challenges and possibilities.
At its best, opera can, indeed, be a powerful form of allegorical theatre.
EPA/Gian Ehrenzeller (Image from Verdi's I due Foscari)
A gang-rape scene in a new London staging of Rossini's Guillaume Tell was greeted with audience booing, and has sparked ongoing controversy. Are opera directors at risk of miscomprehending the medium?
Stage musicals, such as the Rocky Horror Show, don’t necessarily make sense. Nor do recent changes to arts funding.
AAP Image/Paul Miller
In cultural policy every good idea becomes a bad one if the context is confused. The fact there wasn’t initial clarity around the Program for Excellence indicates it will probably do more harm than good.
Savile on stage.
© Helen Maybanks
The cast have made a personal and emotional sacrifice in entering into the nightmare world of Jimmy Savile. And for that, they deserve our respect and praise.
The Waiting Room explores the love, loss and hope of IVF.
Covering love, loss and IVF, Kylie Trounson's latest play explores the life of her own father, pioneering biologist Alan Trounson, and the invention of IVF.
Sport for Jove’s production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is now onstage in Sydney.
Sport for Jove
Sport for Jove's The Merchant of Venice is a production of ourstanding clarity, making it ideal for students or perhaps even those who simply don’t often see Shakespeare in the theatre.
Duncan Graham’s 2010 play Cut does not reveal itself as a traditional play does – but it’s a powerful demonstration of the evolution of theatrical storytelling.
Drama involves an altered representation of reality – and the way we understand both the representations and the reality evolve. Duncan Graham's recent play Cut shows how significantly those understandings change.
A 1964 Soviet stamp depicts William Shakespeare.
"Stamp" via www.shutterstock.com
Centuries before the internet, Shakespeare became a global phenomenon.
Drama is less about what gets said than what gets understood.
Many of the scholarly observations made about plays – who wrote them, when and why, their history, their canonical status, or not – are irrelevant. Audiences do not need to know such things.
Bowie performing in Toronto, 1976.
Bowie and the Bible have long been tied together in the work of director Ivo van Hove.
Soon on stage.
Peter Jordan/PA Archive
Is it too soon for this dark episode to be recreated on stage? Not if it is handled properly.
We know whether a play such as Andrew Bovell’s Secret River works onstage – but can we explain its effect?
AAP Image/Heidrun Löhr
Anyone who has seen a play can tell you whether it "works" or not – but very few people can tell you exactly why. We all need a better grasp of this. Why? So that playwriting can better represent contemporary Australia.
Napoleon’s Return from Elba: dramatic enough.
If you'd taken a trip to the theatre in 1815 Paris, chances are that the stage would be political.
Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser star in Beauty and the Beast, currently playing at the Adelaide Festival.
Bronwen Sharp/Adelaide Festival of Arts
The devised performance text of Beauty and the Beast at the Adelaide Festival promises to highlight concerns related to disability and societal taboos – but falls short of a world-class standard.
Nothing to Lose invites the audience to engage with the richness, nuance, and variety of fat bodies.
Ally Garrett, by Toby Burrows
Nothing to Lose, by dance theatre company Force Majeure, invites the audience to engage with the richness, nuance, and variety of fat bodies and fat experiences.
Olwen Fuoéré performing riverrun, her stage adaptation of James Joyce’s last work, Finnegans Wake.
Colm Hogan, Adelaide Festival of Arts
Olwen Fuoéré's extraordinary adaptation of Finnegans Wake for the stage brings a work with a reputation for obscurity back into the realm of popular culture.
Theatre critics are a vital point of mediation between the stage and the audience – and they must do their job with care and discernment. Tom E. Lewis onstage at the Malthouse in 2014.
AAP Image/Jeff Busby
Theatre reviewing should be a public judgement pronounced with discernment. So what are we to make of those who do it badly?
Nakkiah Lui asks why audiences are so willing to see Indigenous suffering onstage – but so unprepared to confront racism elsewhere in their lives.
Brett Boardman/ Belvoir St
Playwright Nakkiah Lui plays herself in Kill the Messenger, now on at Sydney's Belvoir Theatre. Hers is a strong, passionate and resilient Indigenous voice – and she has a message to deliver.