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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: Never Did Me Any Harm (Sydney Festival) | Wharf 1

It seems to be an emerging form, dance theatre, and Force Majeure (superior force) is at the forefront. (Cate) Blanchett and (Andrew) Upton might be old enough to remember Greek drama interpolating plenty of movement in the chorus work, but I’m of more tender years. Seriously though, Sydney Theatre Company’s artistic directors clearly have an [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: I Am Eora (Sydney Festival) | CarriageWorks

Sometimes, we are blessed. Babel one night. I Am Eora the next. And Queenslanders reckon they have it good. The brainchild of renowned indigenous director Wesley Enoch and co-writer Anita Heiss, I Am Eora is an epic pastiche of local Aboriginal history, heritage and culture, bringing together about the most diverse possible collection of talent [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: Babel (Words) (Sydney Festival) | Sydney Theatre

It’s a refreshing problem for a critic to have: a work that’s so extraordinary, one worries if one can even begin to do it justice in acclaiming it. I’ve long been hard on dance. Why? Because all too often it manages to be pretentious while being inscrutable. Try hard. Anxious. At pains to impress, first [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: The Boys (Sydney Festival) | Griffin Theatre

Gordon Graham, the writer, is getting on a bit. It’s been 21 years since The Boys debuted at Griffin, where, under the artistic stewardship of Sam Strong, it’s returned, for an ostensibly sold out season. In that span of time, most things lose their edge. Not The Boys. Inspired, or not, by the horrific murder [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: Buried City (Sydney Festival) | Belvoir St Theatre

We’re talking grunge. Think building site. Scaffolding. That’s the urban aesthetic that pervades Raimondo Cortese’s Buried City; the title alluding to the buried, if not completely dead, emotional states of the people, all lost, who hang out in this no man’s land. A ground zero of psychic devastation. It’s late at night, when the ghosts [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: Food Chain (Sydney Festival) | York Theatre

Well may they be called Animal Farm Collective, for directors Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood have responded to an invitation from Physical Virus Collective (all these collectives takes me back to the flower-powered 60s, which isn’t altogether a bad thing), in Freiburg to devise a new work. In a compact car driving from Portugal to [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: The Giacomo Variations (Sydney Festival) | Concert Hall

A chamber opera play? What the hell is that, when it’s at home? Certainly not something one stages, one wouldn’t think, in the cavernous concert hall of the Sydney Opera House. But, of course, if the opera theatre is already booked and one has to accommodate legions of fans of John Malkovich, what is one [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: The Red Shoes (Sydney Festival) | York Theatre

It’s fitting (even if only by dint of alphabetical priority) that sound designer Simon Baker’s bio comes first in the souvenir programme for Cornish company Kneehigh Theatre’s The Red Shoes, since that particular art is so pivotal to the success of this production. It’s his design that lends much of the depth and perspective which [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

Being John Malkovich, we learn, is a haunting experience

It was as if the messiah was finally playing the first date of his return season. Sydney Town Hall was gorging itself with apparently hardcore Malkovich disciples. I’d no idea there were so many of ‘em. After a stuffup with tickets as monumental as the building itself, we finally made our way to plush seats, [...]

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SYDNEY FESTIVAL |

REVIEW: Power Plant (Sydney Festival) | Chinese Gardens, Darling Harbour

In nature, light arrives well ahead of sound. But when Power Plant was originally commissioned, by Jo Ross, at Oxford Contemporary Music, with Oxford Univeristy Botanic Garden, they both came together, just as they do, for us, for the Sydney Festival, in that urban oasis of peace and harmony, the Chinese Garden of Friendship, anachronistically [...]

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