tip off

January, 2011


REVIEW: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (Sydney Festival) | Everest Theatre

Mike Birbiglia looks the part. Unassuming. Casual. He wears the uniform of the gen-X comic: well-worn jeans; button-down shirt over tee; sneakers. His manner, when he first walks on stage, matches his appearance. He’s surprisingly quietly spoken, which proves a deft technique for quietening the audience. This unexpected quietness is slightly unsettling, but strangely compelling. [...]

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REVIEW: The Wau Wau Sisters’ Last Supper | The Studio, Sydney

Acrobatics, aerialism and comedy, fused with yet other modalities, seem to be enjoying a moment in the sun this summer, particularly as part of Sydney’s annual festival. Last week alone, I caught two homegrown shows, both excellent, both at the Sydney Opera House and, last night, direct from NYC and with the requisite hype, The [...]

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REVIEW: Don Parties On | Playhouse, Melbourne

Barry Humphries skipped out quickly after curtains, perhaps avoiding an awkward conversation with the playwright after. In fact, ushers misdirected the usual crowd of Melbourne B-listers and the post-show party fizzled. The stench still wafted from the theatre. This was grim viewing, possums. Our most celebrated stage scribe got to his feet post-show to be applauded, [...]

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REVIEW: Snow On Mars (Sydney Festival) | York Theatre

Some of the best, most enchanting and memorable theatre I’ve seen has been for kids. That might say something about me. The theatre I’ve seen. Or both. The Festival of Sydney has jumped on the junior bandwagon with Snow On Mars, at Seymour. The possibility of vibrant life on other planets must seem particularly appealing [...]

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REVIEW: For A Better World | Stables Theatre, Sydney

Many moons ago, I was set upon by a ‘friend’, who requested I interview (for my then radio programme) an acquaintance of his who’d just arrived in the Top End, having motorcycled all the way around the world. “Wow!” I thought, “now that guy ought to be interesting.” But Arno proved the most tedious, aggravating [...]

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Strip down, soap up and Tap a merry dance, Sydney

What the bloody hell has Tap Dogs got to do with a drag show (Briefs), or an almost epic piece of ‘visual’ theatre (Soap)? Well, ok, not that much, necessarily, but having seen these three back-to-back, I was struck by coincidences; aesthetic and athletic. The Doggies are back to bask in the glory reflected by [...]

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REVIEW: Madama Butterfly | Opera Theatre, Sydney

Pedophilia isn’t nearly as fashionable, in right thinking circles as, at first glance, it might appear to have been in the mind of Giacomo Puccini, when he conceived his intensely, fatally romantic, oriental drama, Madama Butterfly, so much loved by the very same crowd, quite possibly, who might’ve tsk-tsked at Bill Henson’s liberal affrontery. It’s [...]

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From the Wharf, through the Woods, to Melbourne

Here in the echo chamber, we preview a piece of vaudeville that’s about us (well, Crikey is mentioned at least). A play that mocks plays, including the very next production from the Melbourne Theatre Company. It’s all very meta. There’s not many left in the chamber, of course; just Don Watson and a few other marginalised bleeding [...]

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2010 on stage: the best (and worst) from Melbourne

Take a snapshot of the 2010 year in Melbourne theatre. It’s unlikely to look very much the same again. Melbourne Theatre Company’s muse has quit, Marion Potts has already programmed her first season at the Malthouse Theatre, and Opera Australia’s artistic director Lyndon Terracini (he joined in July) is starting to gnaw his teeth into the library. New [...]

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