The Merchant of Venice review (Bell Shakespeare, Sydney Opera House)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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The Merchant of Venice is a difficult play, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it defies easy categorisation and flips quickly between the tragic and the comedic. But more importantly, its central narrative of the rich, vengeful Jew, who mercilessly demands a pound of flesh from his enemy, is rather clearly antisemitic. Antonio (Jo Turner) is

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Sisters review: is Channel Ten’s family drama the new Offspring?

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Reviews, Screen, TV |

Channel Ten hasn’t premiered a big, beloved and long-running drama series since Offspring first appeared in 2010. There have been some modest successes along the way, with show such as Puberty Blues, The Wrong Girl and Wonderland lasting for more than one season, but there’s been no new flagship drama in many years. Sisters premiered last night with a much-hyped double-length episode, just

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Sydney Festival reveals full 2018 program, tapping into politics and the city’s heart

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Adelaide Festival yesterday announced its 2018 program, made up of more than ten high-profile Adelaide exclusives. But Sydney Festival’s Artistic Director Wesley Enoch today releases his 2018 program, saying that Australia’s major festival directors need to: “release ourselves from the needs to have exclusives and premieres and go ‘what’s right for the cultural life of the city?

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No matter how polite, Q&A’s same-sex marriage debate was profoundly insulting to LGBTQI people

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News & Commentary, Screen, TV |

ABC’s flagship panel discussion show Q&A can be infuriating, reductive and predictably shallow at the best of times. But last night’s same-sex marriage debate hit a new low. In the name of “fairness and balance”, the program invited on four panelists to debate whether or not Australia should remove the discriminatory provision in the Marriage Act that

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Adelaide Festival reveals 2018 line-up, including Grace Jones & Ivo van Hove

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Adelaide Festival’s joint Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy today announced a 2018 program with several high-profile exclusives, and extended their contract until 2021. The pair were initially contracted for 2017 through 2019, but the Festival Board has opted to keep them onboard for another two festivals, including the 60th anniversary in 2020. This extension of their

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The Letdown review (ABC TV): finding the funny in motherhood

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Reviews, Screen, TV |

The ABC’s Comedy Showroom season of new Australian pilots has proven to be a worthwhile exercise, with two of the six programs picked up by the public broadcaster and turned into full series. The first was the ABC-Comedy Central co-production of Ronny Chieng: International Student, and now Sarah Scheller and Alison Bell’s motherhood comedy The Letdown is set to

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REVIEW: Rosehaven and Micallef’s Ex-PM return to ABC TV

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Reviews, Screen, TV |

With Get Krack!n and The Edge of the Bush wrapping up last week, ABC TV is refreshing its comedy line-up by premiering The Letdown and bringing back two popular shows from recent years with second seasons: Rosehaven and The Ex-PM. Both shows were created by and star beloved comedic talents, with Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor behind Rosehaven and Shaun Micallef behind The Ex-PM. Stylistically, the two comedies are chalk and

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Liveworks: the elusive and intriguing experimental performance art festival returns to Sydney

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News & Commentary, Stage, Visual Arts |

Performance Space’s annual festival of experimental performance art has returned to Carriageworks for 2017, with a program of new work from across Australia and the Asia-Pacific. It’s always a little bit of a mystery as to what you might experience at the Liveworks festival, unless you happen to be super clued into the contemporary arts

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Sunshine: SBS’s basketball-flavoured crime thriller shines

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Reviews, Screen, TV |

There’s a short review published in The Australian today of SBS’s new crime thriller miniseries Sunshine, which implores viewers not to overlook the show “on account of its cast of unknown South Sudanese actors or the suspicion it is some SBS do-gooder enterprise.” It’s pretty disappointing that an Australian show could be dismissed as a “do-gooder enterprise”

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