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The Hypochondriac (Darlinghurst Theatre, Sydney)

© Robert Catto_preview
Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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The hangover from seeing a really great piece of theatre, a work of the moment that speaks to the moment, can be particularly cruel. Saint Joan, at the Sydney Theatre Company, captured so powerfully the isolation and subjection of women. The Hypochondriac, which opened at the Darlinghurst Theatre on Wednesday, is a portrait of an

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Gypsy theatre review (Hayes Theatre, Sydney)

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Musicals, Reviews, Stage |
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Why revive a decades-old piece of musical theatre in 2018? It’s a question I, a sucker for a show tune, think about a lot. It’s a question some producers don’t ask enough. I’ve narrowed it down to two good reasons. Three if you count profit, obviously, but let’s put that ugliness aside. Four based on

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The Sugar House theatre review (Belvoir, Sydney)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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The Sugar House is about gentrification. Of suburbs, and particularly of families. Alana Valentine’s cross-generational epic is close to the heart of this theatre. It’s set in harbourside Pyrmont, which could just as well be on the other side of the city in Surry Hills, where Belvoir’s de-industrialised suburban home sits, or any inner-city suburb

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La boheme opera review (Sydney Harbour)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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Andy Morton has been directing traffic harbourside for the last six Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour spectaculars: from Gale Edwards’ infectious Carmen in 2013, to La Fura dels Baus’ contemporary Madame Butterfly in 2014, Edwards’ brash Aida in 2015, Chen Shi-Zheng’s thoughtful Turandot in 2016 and a Carmen remount in 2017. But in each production

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Don Quichotte opera review (Sydney Opera House)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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Don Quichotte, the last surviving operatic treatment of the canonical Spanish work of literature, debuted at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1926, 16 years after its Monte Carlo premiere. It was performed nine times and, near a century later, never since. The reviews were barbarian. One in particular, by Lawrence Gilman in the Herald Tribune,

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La traviata review (Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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The sense of déjà vu as an opera-goer can be overwhelming. The familiar pianissimo strings of the overture (delicately summoned from the Opera Australia Orchestra for this run by Italian maestro Andrea Licata, a traviata expert). The lavish Parisian drawing room as the curtain first opens, an ornate dollhouse set sketched by Michael Yeargan. The

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The Nose opera review (Sydney Opera House).

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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“You won’t see that at Evita,” one garishly costumed performer bellowed above the cacophonous The Nose on opening night. Lyndon Terracini, artistic director of Opera Australia who commissioned both this rarely performed Russian romp and a remount of the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit to come later this season, seemed almost stung by the gag at

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The Last Five Years review (Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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The clock on the wall of Cathy’s Manhattan bedsit ticks backwards. Scene by scene we watch the struggling stage actress’ five-year love affair in reverse: from miserable break-up through to giddy hook-up. But Jamie’s story only moves forward. In The Last Five Years, a celebrated one-act musical two-hander, the aspiring writer is “riding hot as

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