Ghost Sonata review (Opera Australia scenery workshop, Sydney)

Opera, Reviews, Stage |
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We’re not in the Opera House anymore, Toto. It’s cold. The seats are uncomfortably plastic. And the opera is unlike any you’ve probably experienced before. In fact, the drafty, dusty setting – a warehouse in post-industrial Surry Hills, Opera Australia’s scenery workshop by day – befits the creepy nature of the work at hand. But

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Australia Council’s demotion of plays and playwrights

TheatreWEB
News & Commentary, Stage, Theatre |

What is it about our funding bodies and media that they ignore the role of theatre and playwrights? Every other culturally expressive country in the world recognises the power of writing for live performance. From the amphitheatre at Epidaurus to upstairs at the Royal Court in London. Playwrights are at the coal face. We take big ideas, social commentary,

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Caroline, or Change theatre review (Hayes Theatre, Sydney)

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Musicals, Reviews, Stage |
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As the lonely, sex-starved, pill-popping housewife Harper Pitt said to the mannequin in the Mormon Center diorama: “How do people change?” “Well,” the mannequin responds, “it has something to do with God so it’s not very nice. God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy

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Chicago review (Capitol Theatre, Sydney)

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Musicals, Reviews, Stage |
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There’s a great scene in the often great Fosse/Verdon, the recent TV bio-series, if we’re to believe it, showing a tense rehearsal of Chicago’s final number before its Broadway debut in 1975. Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb have delivered a closing song for the character of Roxy, the cheeky Nowadays. It’s the perfect

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The Bacchae theatre review (La Mama, Melbourne)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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Rob Reid’s production of The Bacchae (a co-production of Melbourne’s La Mama, and Monash University Student Theatre) at the La Mama Courthouse last month was epic, writes Toby Manderson-Galvin… It was a production,”the likes of which has not appeared in Melbourne, at the very least, in the past couple of decades – but truly, I dare

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L’Appartement theatre review (QPAC, Brisbane)

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Reviews, Stage, Theatre |

Australian theatre lovers would understandably get excited if a play’s title has the bonus of “written and directed by Joanna Murray-Smith” attached to it, so you go into this production with hopes high. Commissioned by Queensland Theatre, the world premiere production at QPAC’s cosy Cremorne Theatre hits most of the right notes and definitely doesn’t

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Lord of the Flies review (Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney)

Lord of the Flies group
Reviews, Stage |
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Lord Of The Flies seems to have been with us forever, from its ancient religious context to the idiom that transcends William Golding’s Nobel Prize-winning 1954 novel. And yet its stage incarnation, as adapted by British author and playwright Nigel Williams, is not much more than two decades old. Williams’ script is faithful and free-flowing,

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Come From Away musical review (Comedy Theatre, Melbourne)

Come From Away 2
Musicals, Reviews, Stage |
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It’s undoubtedly a remarkable story. In the immediate wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the entire United States airspace was shut down. Almost 7,000 passengers on 38 planes were diverted to the remote town of Gander in Newfoundland, Canada. Locals spent the following week hosting the “come from aways” and something of an impromptu

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The Torrents theatre review (Sydney Opera House)

torrents
Reviews, Stage, Theatre |
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The Torrents is not, in fact, a play about the battle faced by content creators against illegal downloaders. Stand down, tech-heads. It is, though, a play that speaks forcibly to the current moment. Unabashedly, somewhat gracelessly, so, if through a prism of a particular slice of 19th century pioneer Australiana. Its star is obvious from

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