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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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Kinky Boots (Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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The Al Hirschfeld Theatre, home of the original New York City production of the Cyndi Lauper-composed Kinky Boots, is about 300 metres away across Eighth Avenue from the Schubert Theatre, the Broadway home of the Tim Minchin-tuned Matilda. The two flashy stage adaptations by novice music theatre composers opened within a week of each other

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Sunshine theatre review (Red Stitch, Melbourne)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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There’s a lot of rain in Sunshine, as it happens. It pours incessantly from the pitched roof of the cosy Red Stitch theatre for multiple minutes, drenching two game cast members to the bone. And it’s not just the set with a case of rising damp. Tom Holloway’s script, a “choral” work for four actors,

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Harry Potter and the script that shows they can be cracking reads

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Books, Fiction, News & Commentary |

All the world’s a play, to misquote history’s greatest playwright, and all the men and women are apparently reading it. The bizarre global buying frenzy for a new piece of theatrical fiction — feverishly documented on blogs and in television news bulletins — was not for Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth or Othello. It was not, sadly, for any of

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