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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?
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

Western Sydney meets the city in Nakkiah Lui’s Kill the Messenger

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.
A national theatre would help showcase Australian drama past and present, such as A Long Way Home, a collaboration between the Sydney Theatre Company and the Australian Defence Force. AAP Image/Sydney Theater Company/Lisa Tomasetti

A National Theatre of Australia is needed, and it’s time

Sociologist Max Weber once called politics “the slow boring of hard boards”. If he had been in the arts he might have added, “using your head as a drill”. Australia’s cultural agenda often feels like an…
On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco is a marriage between words and music. Pascal Victor/Sydney Festival

Dissonance and relief: Chekhov at the Sydney Festival

At least four metronomes ticked away at various points on the stage as the audience seated itself for last night’s opening performance of Anton Chekhov’s On The Harmful Effects of Tobacco at the Sydney…
Falling Through the Clouds speaks to a future dystopic existence … and then some. Jarrad Seng/Sydney Festival

Review: Falling Through Clouds, a cautionary tale for our times

There is a flock of swallows that swoops low across the clifftop nearby. This kind of joyful flight, that windy rush of ornithological freedom, is at the heart of Perth Theatre Company The Last Great Hunt’s…
I Guess if the Stage Exploded … a chance to delve into the fundamentally mysterious nature of memory-making. Laura Montag/Sydney Festival

Remember this: startling memory games at the Sydney Festival

There’s a singular kind of hush that comes over an audience when the figure on stage takes off her shoes and steps into a bucket of flour. But this hush is even more apparent as the actor, now flour-footed…
The ugly sisters have long been a staple. mangakamaidenphotography

Is panto what it was when you were a child? Oh, no it isn’t!

Now the pantomime season is well and truly underway, many will have heard a familiar complaint. It’s newfangled, it’s not what it was. What happened to the good old days, when panto didn’t involve 3D glasses…
James Cromwell as an older Rupert Murdoch in David Williamson’s show Rupert. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Staging power: David Williamson’s portrait of Citizen Murdoch

The Melbourne Theatre Company’s (MTC) production of David Williamson’s 2013 play Rupert has finally made it to Sydney, via Melbourne and Washington, in late 2014. Along the way, the MTC has acquired the…
Pantomime is highly receptive to insane ideas provided they involve terrible jokes. Lukas Coch/AAP

This panto season: The Tale of Tony Rabbit or The Bad Bunny

There aren’t many things I miss about London. Waiting for the 22 bus on evenings of interplanetary cold: no. Inching down Oxford Street through crowds like rows of rugby prop forwards: not really. The…
A nation that understands tragedy is one that respects limits. José María Pérez Nuñez

Tragedy is dead in Australia, long live laughter and weather reports

Tragedy is a peculiar thing. More than a style, different from genre, it cuts across art forms to carve out its own non-Euclidean aesthetic space. In the 4th century BCE Aristotle, in his Poetics, famously…
Helen Morse and Yomal Rajasinghe as Anne and Majid in Dreamers, a play that feels of another world. Jeff Busby

Can Keene/Taylor’s new play Dreamers keep us from despair?

More than ten years after the last production by the Keene/Taylor Theatre Project (KTTP), playwright Daniel Keene and director Ariette Taylor have reunited to produce the Australian premiere of Dreamers…
Johnny Cash’s pertinent social commentary is likely to be lost in Tex Perkins’ translation Far From Folsom. AAP/Dean Lewins

The Parramatta Folsom Prison Blues: what’s wrong with that?

Last week, Sydney Festival launched its 2015 program – under Belgium born director Lieven Bertels – and it was revealed that Australian rocker Tex Perkins will recreate Johnny Cash’s 1968 Folsom Prison…

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