January, 2013

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REVIEW: Masi (Sydney Festival) | Everest Theatre

, Jan 31, 2013

"Grounding and connective in a way social media and the inter web at large can and will never be." From across the Tasman, a deeply personal, multi-media story.
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REVIEW: The Secret River (Sydney Festival) | Sydney Theatre

, Jan 17, 2013

The Secret River is as close as it gets to textual healing. Kate Grenville's 2005 novel on Australian race relations is even more alive on the Sydney Theatre stage.
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REVIEW: School Dance (Sydney Festival) | Wharf 1

, Jan 15, 2013

If you've ever been a pimply, gangly teenager, you'll relate to School Dance. And remember the embarrassing soundtrack. Sydney Theatre Company's festival offering is nostalgic fun.
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REVIEW: Eraritjaritjaka (Sydney Festival) | Theatre Royal

, Jan 15, 2013

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You haven't seen anything like Eraritjaritjaka. Brought to Australia as part of the Sydney Festival, Switzerland's Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne delivers a spellbinding multi-media ride.
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REVIEW: Foley (Sydney Festival) | Playhouse

, Jan 31, 2012

I’m not sure it’s theatre. And neither is he. But neither of us really care. We both know it’s theatrical, but it’s probably more like the most engaging, entertaining university-standard history lesson you’re ever going to get. It’s not just the way he tells it. When you peer even a little bit into the history […]
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REVIEW: Tubular Bells For Two (Sydney Festival) | Riverside Theatres

, Jan 31, 2012

It’s not exactly Tubular Bells. Well, not as I remember it. But then, it’s a very long time since I listened to it. Mad multi-instrumentalists Daniel Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts have really come up with a kind of Variations On Tubular Bells, in which they play over 20 instruments, between them, live. The instruments may […]
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REVIEW: A History Of Everything (Sydney Festival) | Wharf 2

, Jan 25, 2012

Compressing the history of the universe into 90-odd minutes of compelling theatre is a reasonably ambitious task to set. Yet this is precisely what Belgian company Ontroerend Goed has done with A History Of Everything. Director Alex Devriendt and performer Joeri Smet have collaborated on the fast-paced text and, thanks to its construction, we know how […]
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REVIEW: ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Sydney Festival) | Sydney Theatre

, Jan 23, 2012

It’s probably not often a going-on-400-year-old play can make you squirm. Oh sure, Shakespeare can do that, as he presents his moral dilemmas. But in terms of sheer, in-your-face, cut-to-the-chase direct confrontation, John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore comes on strong, like a kind of Jacobean Scorsese. And, God only knows, Ford had hard […]
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REVIEW: I’m Your Man (Sydney Festival) | Belvoir St Theatre

, Jan 18, 2012

What’s with this sudden surge of pugilism? And ‘documentary’ theatre? Mere coincidence? Who knows? But both, so far, are proving to be good things. Like many, I suspect, my steadfast, politically correct, philosophical position on boxing is that it’s a brutal abomination; a travesty, betraying our capacity for higher expression; a throwback to our recent […]
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REVIEW: Radio Muezzin (Sydney Festival) | Everest Theatre

, Jan 18, 2012

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It wasn’t because my vague expectations of an uplifting theatrical experience, imbued with vocal musicality were foiled. It wasn’t because Sydney Festival, or Seymour, stuffed-up the ticketing. My disappointment and disillusionment ran much deeper. It wasn’t the only cause of a very restless night, but it was a contributor, methinks. Radio Muezzin, it seems, is the result […]
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REVIEW: Never Did Me Any Harm (Sydney Festival) | Wharf 1

, Jan 17, 2012

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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REVIEW: I Am Eora (Sydney Festival) | CarriageWorks

, Jan 17, 2012

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

, Jan 12, 2012

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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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REVIEW: The Boys (Sydney Festival) | Griffin Theatre

, Jan 12, 2012

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

, Jan 10, 2012

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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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REVIEW: Food Chain (Sydney Festival) | York Theatre

, Feb 01, 2011

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

, Jan 24, 2011

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

, Jan 21, 2011

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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Being John Malkovich, we learn, is a haunting experience

, Jan 19, 2011

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

, Jan 19, 2011

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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 […]