Articles on Australian Theatre

Displaying 1 - 20 of 27 articles

Anthem is a play of ‘a lot of heart, energy, and fire.’ Pia Johnson/MIAF

Anthem review: a portrait of Melbourne’s working class

20 years on from Who's Afraid of the Working Class? In Anthem, the Melbourne public transportation system behaves as a microcosm of larger political tensions and anxieties.
Come what may. Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge was staged on Broadway this year and is headed for Australian stages. Supplied

Hollywood onstage: why are so many musicals adapted from movies?

Stages worldwide seem to have been taken over by musicals made for movie-lovers. While this creative process has a long history, it can limit opportunities for original works.
Zahra Newman in Wake in Fright. A new adaptation of Kenneth Cook’s novel retells the story of a man’s descent into violent masculinity with a female voice, accompanied by visual and aural spectacle. Pia Johnson

A radical new adaptation eviscerates the dominance of male voices in Wake in Fright

In a new adaptation of the classic Australian novel, the story of masculinity and despair in the outback is told through a female voice.
Scott Sheridan and Natasha Herbert in Cloudstreet, a new production of the stage adaptation of Tim Winton’s literary epic. Pia Johnson

In Cloudstreet, nostalgia all too easily redeems Australia’s colonial past

A new production of Cloudstreet - the play adapted from Tim Winton's literary epic - is visually arresting. But despite a diverse cast, Indigenous characters remain spectral and peripheral.
Saoirse Ronan as Mary Stuart in Josie Rourke’s 2018 film Mary Queen of Scots. Liam Daniel/Focus Features

Mary, Queen of Scots is newly relevant in the age of #MeToo

Was Mary Stuart a passionate and jealous failed queen, or a brave and complex woman? Opposing representations in a new film and play reflect modern anxieties about women's agency and leadership.
Happy and Holy: Barry Otto as Tockey, Ruth Cracknell as Cecilia McManus, Graham Rowe as Denny, Ron Hadrick as O'Halloran in a 1982 production by the Sydney Theatre Company. Photographer David Wilson.

When the cultural cringe abated: Australian drama in the 1970s

The 1970s transformed Australian drama. It was a time of imaginative brilliance as the Empire wrote back.
Peter Cummins as Monk O’Neill in the 1972 Australian Performing Group production of A Stretch of the Imagination. Photographer unknown.

The Great Australian Plays: Williamson, Hibberd and the better angels of our country’s nature

David Williamson and Jack Hibberd tower over Australian drama. Williamson's The Department and Hibberd's A Stretch of the Imagination both showcase the strange yet compelling detachment of these playwrights' visions.
The Theatre Royal in Hobart, Australia’s oldest continuously operating theatre. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office/Flickr

What are the great Australian plays? Refining our theatre canon

The idea of a 'canon' changes over time and despite its elitist overtones, identifying one can be both illuminating and fun. In a new series, we nominate the best of Australian drama.

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