Sweeney Todd review (Darling Harbour Theatre, Sydney)

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Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd, the chorus sings. And that’s no small feat. Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece is an Everest musical for any company. It calls for a big orchestra. Big voices. Big emotions, from playful vaudeville to macabre tragedy. Complex staging. Subtle shifts in mood and musicality. There are variations, of course. Bryn Terfel

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Things I Know To Be True theatre review (Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney)

Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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I hated this play. Watching its premiere at the State Theatre Company in Adelaide a couple of years back, Andrew Bovell’s overripe melodrama had a pungent smell of the worst type of contemporary middle-class storytelling It presented as theatre by committee — which it is; a rehearsal room collaboration between writer, directors and the original

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Gloria theatre review (Seymour Centre, Sydney)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |

The fluorescent lights are unflattering. The desks are too close together. The coffee is substandard. And now the photocopier needs paper. It’s grimly familiar, the magazine publishing office tableau of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ much-awarded Gloria. And peculiarly nostalgic at the same time — the scene and, in turn, the play. Magazines have had their day, right?

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American Psycho theatre review (Hayes Theatre, Sydney)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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What a vile piece of art is Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. What a toxically sexist, nefariously homophobic, grossly classist, shameless celebration of undue privilege and abject narcissism. So why is this musical treatment of his novel, making its Australian debut at the Hayes Theatre, so much fun? Oh, it’s transgressive, we’re told, a satire

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Cloudstreet review (Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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For an unadaptable novel, Tim Winton’s cherished Cloudstreet sure has been adapted a lot. Just a couple of years ago there was the admirable opera version (State Opera of South Australia). The inevitable prestige television mini-series (Foxtel) landed in 2010. There was even a radio play (ABC Radio National) back in the ‘90s. The most

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in the Mississippi Delta anymore. There’s not a cotton plant in sight. It’s all glass, marble, flat screens and sleek Scandinavian furniture in Sydney Theatre Company boss Kip Williams’ revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Big Momma’s European shopping spree has produced a strange modernist aesthetic (set

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Mosquitoes review (Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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How did a precociously young British woman become one of the most performed contemporary playwrights in the English language theatre? Almost exclusively through merit, it must be said, so you can’t blame the Sydney Theatre Company for serving up a third Lucy Kirkwood play in as many years, following Chimerica in 2017 and The Children

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The Last Five Years theatre review (Ensemble Theatre, Sydney)

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Reviews, Theatre |
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Ninety minutes. Forteen numbers. Two actors. One love story. Sounds easy enough, right? The Last Five Years, like successful relationships, is harder than it looks. Jason Robert Brown’s 2001 song cycle of love won and lost is a precocious early-career project fiendishly difficult to perform (and revered by musical theatre heads as a result). The

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