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Robyn Nevin was horrible – and horribly funny – as Miss Docker in A Cheery Soul. Robyn Nevin and Gillian Jones in A Cheery Soul, 2000, co-produced by STC and Belvoir St Theatre. Photo: Heidrun Löhr ©

The great Australian plays: A Cheery Soul gave us a supreme theatrical monster

An early review of Patrick White’s A Cheery Soul said it 'upset everybody who saw it'. But this extraordinary play, once a victim of 60s cultural cringe, marked a turning point in Australian theatre.
Sydney Opera House during this year’s Vivid Festival: now, more than ever, we need artists to tell us the truth. Tibor Kovacs/Flickr

Friday essay: the arts and our still-born national identity

There was once a sense of excitement about creating a genuinely Australian culture and making our own way in the world. What's happened to that optimism?
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 is a responsible job – and it requires care

Theatre reviewing should be a public judgement pronounced with discernment. So what are we to make of those who do it badly?

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