Comment: ABC’s Q&A kicks off its worst year yet

QANDAweb
News & Commentary, Screen, TV |

ABC’s high-rating politics panel show Q&A has now been back for three weeks, generating headline after headline, and scandal after scandal. But the thoughtful and informed discussion which the show was originally meant to generate has gone missing in action. The forthright debate for which it was once respected seems to have been lost in favour of the abusive combat

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The Trouble with Harry review (Seymour Centre, Sydney)

TROUBLEWITHHARRYweb
Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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The story of Harry Crawford, a transgender man who was found guilty of murdering his wife Annie Birkett, is one of Sydney’s more extraordinary and mysterious tales. Much is known about the murder trial, given the intense media scrutiny applied to the case involving the “man-woman”, as he was called. But little is known for certain

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The Judas Kiss review (Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney)

Hayden-Maher-&-Josh-Quong-Tart-in-THE-JUDAS-KISS-(c)-John-Marmaras
Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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English playwright David Hare picked a losing battle when he decided to dramatise a period of great scandal and shame in Oscar Wilde’s life. Hare’s 1998 play The Judas Kiss premiered to generally negative reviews in London with Liam Neeson playing Wilde, and returned in 2013 with a much better-received production directed by Australian Neil Armfield and starring Rupert

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Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special is the strangest thing on Netflix

MICHAELBOLTONweb
Reviews, Screen, TV |

Legendary comedic actor Bill Murray’s Netflix Christmas special made immediate sense. Netflix created a holiday special, throwing back to TV of the ’50s and ’60s, when beloved personalities would host variety specials, bringing in famous friends and special guests to keep viewers at home entertained. Using Murray — a comedic talent who merges the hilarious and melancholic better than

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Should reviews not be political? New York theatre’s latest scandal

BIGRIVERweb
News & Commentary, Stage, Theatre |

I first skimmed Laura Collins-Hughes’s New York Times review of a new production of the 1985 musical Big River five days ago, not thinking for a second that it would generate any degree of controversy. The review is largely positive, with plenty of praise for the performances, but Collins-Hughes asks some very gentle questions about the timing of the show,

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Perth Festival asks a big political question: where do we belong?

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News & Commentary |

Australian audiences love a major public art event focused on large-scale projections. Every time Sydney has Vivid, or Melbourne has White Night, Instagram feeds and Facebook pages are saturated with photos of landmarks lit up in a whimsical fashion. Perth International Arts Festival opened this weekend with Boorna Waanginy (pictured above), a stunning but somber celebration of the land on

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The Gabriels: Election year in the life of one family (Perth Festival)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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Usually marathon theatre events like The Gabriels — experienced over the course of eight hours, with two long breaks — have more than a touch of the epic about them. But Richard Nelson’s three-play cycle, set around the kitchen table of a rather ordinary American family in Rhinebeck, New York, is unusually intimate. The world’s most closely-dissected and controversial

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Jasper Jones movie review: a modern Australian classic

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Film, Reviews, Screen |
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Craig Silvey’s 2009 novel Jasper Jones is a bit of a modern classic, telling a dark, moving and often quite funny story of prejudice in Corrigan, a small West Australian town in the 1960s. The book has picked up several awards and plenty of adult and teenage fans since its release, and has been called, perhaps a

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