Articles on Theatre

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Actors read a new Indigenous play at the Yellamundie Festival. © Jamie Williams courtesy of Sydney Festival

Joyous, comic and grim: the best new Indigenous playwrights

A development festival for Indigenous Australian playwrights showcased a range of stories: from the sharply comic tale of a woman hunting for her wayward husband to a powerful exploration of prison violence.
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.
Monroe never performed in a formal theatre production, despite many key people in her life encouraging her to do so. Siddhesh Mangela/Flickr

Would Marilyn Monroe’s career (and life) have been different if she had acted on stage?

Marilyn Monroe was a magnetic film star, but she had the potential to be a truly great stage actress. Clues in her life point to a missed chance: to escape the pressure of Hollywood and blossom as a serious thespian.
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.
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?
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.

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