Articles on Melbourne Festival

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Robert Lepage explores his past, and the notion of memory, in his autobiographical show 887. Supplied

In 887, Robert Lepage has built a memory palace out of theatre

We all store parts of our memory outside of our head: in our phones, our computers and our friends. In 887, Robert Lepage brings his memory to life in a gloriously intricate one-man production.
Paul Kelly, Camille O’Sullivan and Feargal Murray marry poetry and music in a compelling performance as part of the Melbourne Festival. Sarah Walker

Death, beauty and poetry come together in Ancient Rain

In a new collaboration, Paul Kelly has joined singer Camille O'Sullivan and pianist Feargal Murray to set 100 years of Irish poetry to music. As the emerald isle is sung into being, the words of Yeats and Joyce still stand out.
Festivals can no longer focus solely on their recurring, physical events. AAP Image/Bella Ann Townes

Crowded house: how to keep festivals relevant in an oversaturated market

Festivals are a vibrant part of Australian culture but, as arts funding dries up, festival organisers will have to get creative if they want to survive. The recurring, physical event isn't enough.
The Experiment is a musical monodrama that examines the nature of experimentation itself against two key themes: memory and trauma. Shane Reid.

The Experiment is a musical monodrama to love, hate, or both

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 ...
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

Toni Morrison’s Desdemona invites us to listen not just hear

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?
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

Goodbye to all that: Orwell’s 1984 is a boot stamping on a human face no more

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.
Known as “the Pedro Almodovar of dance theatre”, Peeping Tom eschew traditional storytelling in favour of blurred realities in 32 rue Vandenbranden. Herman Sorgeloos

Melbourne Festival: the Flemish Wave still ebbs and flows in 32 rue Vandenbranden

The founders of Belgian dance company Peeping Tom draw their performance language from the influential Flemish Wave movement of the late 1980s and 90s. Their 32 rue Vandenbranden is part of Melbourne Festival.
Goebbels has a deft hand at creating moments that surprise, turning the surreal and the macabre into exquisite moments of beauty. Photo: Wonge Bergmann, Melbourne Festival

Striking, original theatre: Heiner Goebbels at the Melbourne Festival

When the mountain changed its clothing, the Heiner Goebbels-directed show currently on at the Melbourne Festival, is an evasive piece of theatre, but it is through its elusive and mysterious qualities…
The Chicago photographer Vivian Maier is the subject of a documentary and an exhibition at this year’s Melbourne Festival. Melbourne Festival

Desiring the author: Finding Vivian Maier at the Melbourne Festival

The Melbourne Festival is running two events dedicated to the recently-discovered American street photographer Vivian Maier. One is the exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Crossing Paths…
Since I Suppose, currently playing at the Melbourne Festival, is participatory theatre at its best. Credit: Paul Moir. Melbourne Festival

Power, prayer and pleasure: Since I Suppose at the Melbourne Festival

As the contemporary debate about surveillance and data-retention rages, it seems there’s little room left for mystery. Since I Suppose, an interactive and immersive artwork at the Melbourne Festival, by…
In Opus, circus and chamber music collide in an astounding fashion. Melbourne Festival

Orchestrating wonder: Opus at the Melbourne Festival

Rambunctious, athletic circus with elegant, controlled chamber music. Do opposites collide? Not in Opus, an intriguing collaboration between the chamber music Debussy String Quartet from Lyon, France and…
Despite the horrific content of this history – Big hART’s triumph is that this is not a story about victims. Melbourne Festival

Big hART’s Hipbone Sticking Out: truthful and ambitious theatre

Hipbone Sticking Out, the Big hART production now playing at the Melbourne Festival, begins in September 1983. We meet 16-year-old John Pat slowly dying, lying alone in a police cell in Roebourne. We find…
The Ninja Circus from Mutitjulu shows the benefits social circus can deliver. Ninja Circus

Circus training instead of school sports? Now there’s an idea

What if social policy-makers knew how beneficial circuses were to the community? This was the provocation pitched to circus producers, trainers, performers and academics who met in the Melba Spiegeltent…
Brokentalkers Have I No Mouth directly tells a story of family grief and loss. Photo: Jeremy Abrahams. Melbourne International Arts Festival

Authentic theatre: Have I No Mouth at the Melbourne Festival

Have I No Mouth, an Irish play showing at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, opens with a short video: a pint of Guinness on a tour of Dublin, Ireland. It isn’t a glossy, tourist itinerary we see…
Marzo: a tale of renewal and love. Photo: Wolfgang Silveri. Melbourne International Arts Festival

Fantastical sparks: Marzo at the Melbourne Festival

The audience is given few clues before entering the world of Marzo, a dance work currently playing at this year’s Melbourne Festival. We know nothing about the time, the place, or the characters. The stage…
Dancers find their ‘their sultry siren selves’ in Spanish Dance, choreographed by Trisha Brown in 1973. Melbourne Festival

A radical legacy: Trisha Brown’s postmodern dance

A retrospective of the work of American choreographer Trisha Brown (1936-) will be presented at the Melbourne Festival this month. In the performance Early Works, we will have a chance to revisit this…
Chunky Move brings order to the mess of human experience. Photo: Sarah Walker. Melbourne International Arts Festival

The Complexity of Belonging at the Melbourne Festival – reviewed

I’ve often lamented that choosing to study the most complex organisms on Earth was the dumbest idea I’ve ever had; so I am always amazed at how artists represent the mess that is the human experience…

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