Ben Brooker

Thyestes (The Hayloft Project/Adelaide Festival) ★★★★

Ben Brooker
05 March 2018

I think it was Peter Brook who said the longest that a staging of a play could remain vital was five years. The Hayloft Project’s Thyestes, directed by Simon Stone and adapted f More

Ben Brooker reviews 'The Inner Life of Animals: Love, grief and compassion – surprising observations of a hidden world' by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst

Ben Brooker
08 December 2017

In a 1974 paper, American philosopher Thomas Nagel famously wondered what it was like to be a bat. He concluded that we could never know what it was like to be a member of a different spec More

Macbeth (State Theatre Company of South Australia) ★★1/2

Ben Brooker
31 August 2017

Macbeth, directed by Geordie Brookman, artistic director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, is the second production to showcase the STCSA’s new acting ensemb More

Ben Brooker reviews 'Ethics in the Real World: 86 brief essays on things that matter' by Peter Singer

Ben Brooker
28 October 2016

In its original meaning, the word ‘philosopher’ simply meant ‘lover of wisdom’. At a time when theories of knowledge were still in their infancy, it was applied to thinkers – oft More

2016 Arts Highlights of the Year

John Allison et al.
26 October 2016

To highlight Australian Book Review’s arts coverage and to celebrate some of the year’s memorable concerts, operas, films, ballets, plays, and art exhibitions, we invited a gr More

Things I Know To Be True (State Theatre Company of South Australia and Frantic Assembly) ★★★★

Ben Brooker
19 May 2016

At least as far back as 2002, playwright Andrew Bovell was advocating for more diversity on Australia's main stages: 'I see the same actors,' he told Hilary Glow in an interview for her bo More

Letters to the Editor - May 2016

26 April 2016

Letters to the Editor in the May issue of Australian Book Review

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Desdemona (Melbourne Festival)

Ben Brooker
27 October 2015

'What's in a name?' asked Juliet. Desdemona, like the rose, might have been called anything else and retained the same meanings. But for us, as we are reminded at the beginning of Desdemona, the name has become synonymous with misery and doom. The speaker is Desdemona herself. How can this be? If we know anything else about her, it is that Othello murdered ... More

Arts Highlights of the Year

Robyn Archer et al.
26 October 2015

To highlight Australian Book Review's arts coverage and to celebrate some of the year's memorable concerts, operas, films, ballets, plays, and exhibitions, we invited a group of critics and arts professionals to nominate their favourites – and to nominate one production they are looking forward to in 2016. (We indicate which works were reviewed in Arts Up ... More

The Aspirations of Daise Morrow (Brink Productions)

Ben Brooker
16 October 2015

‘Down at the Dump’ is the final story in Patrick White’s 1964 collection, The Burnt Ones. It begins with a colloquial ‘Hi!’, marooned on the story’s first line, and ends with a short, unpunctuated paragraph, intensely poetic, that recalls James Joyce at his least opaque: ‘The warm core of certainty settled stiller as driving faster the wi ... More

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