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Andrew Fuhrmann

Andrew Fuhrmann

Andrew Fuhrmann reviews books and theatre. He is currently dance critic for the Age newspaper.

Wild (Melbourne Theatre Company)

ABR Arts 14 May 2018
How curious that British playwright Mike Bartlett’s dark comedy inspired by American whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s escape to Russia after leaking thousands of top-secret NSA documents should open with a joke brazenly filched from The Importance of Being Earnest. The larceny, of course, is unconcealed; one assumes that Bartlett is just letting us know the sort of show we’re in for. Yes, Wi ... (read more)

Waiting for Godot (Wits' End / Eleventh Hour Theatre)

ABR Arts 27 November 2017
Estragon: And if we dropped him? [Pause.] If we dropped him?Vladimir: He’d punish us. [Silence. He looks at the tree.] Everything’s dead but the tree. The original French version of Waiting for Godot was written in Paris between October 1948 and January 1949. This was a time of mass migration in Europe, when a flood of displaced humanity washed across the continent. It was a time of refugees, ... (read more)

Andrew Fuhrmann reviews 'A Long Saturday: Conversations' by George Steiner and Laure Adler

December 2017, no. 397 24 November 2017
In the late 1950s, when he was a fellow at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Learning, George Steiner overheard the legendary J. Robert Oppenheimer, at that time head of the Institute, dressing down a young physicist outside his door: ‘You are so young,’ boomed the father of the atomic bomb, ‘and you have already done so little!’  The story appears most recently in A Long Saturday, a ... (read more)

The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man (Malthouse Theatre)

ABR Arts 11 August 2017
It’s a provocative idea: disability as superpower. Can we imagine Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, as some sort mutant hero whose disfigurement is a gift? This is what the latest Malthouse production seems to be suggesting in its variation on the true story of a man with severe deformities who became a minor celebrity in Victorian England. And what does this superpower consist of? Why, simply t ... (read more)

Macbeth (Melbourne Theatre Company)

ABR Arts 13 June 2017
This is Macbeth reimagined as a supernatural-themed action movie for the stage, a high-speed entertainment with explosions and gunplay and plenty of special effects. Macbeth and his fellow Scots scamper about in fatigues, flak jackets, and modern full-dress uniforms, accompanied by relentless blaring music. Battles are waged in the foyers of derelict office towers. Prisoners are tortured according ... (read more)

Andrew Fuhrmann reviews 'The Legacies of Bernard Smith: Essays on Australian Art, history and cultural politics' edited by Jaynie Anderson, Christopher R. Marshall, and Andrew Yip

May 2017, no. 391 30 April 2017
A persistent fascination attaches to those who help break the new wood, and so it is with Bernard Smith (1916–2011). His contribution is foundational to the study of the arts in Australia. Smith was for more than sixty years the country’s leading art historian, but he was also an educator, curator, newspaper critic, collector, memoirist, and biographer. Even as an artist his work has acquired ... (read more)

Three Little Words (Melbourne Theatre Company)

ABR Arts 24 April 2017
There is something more than a little ersatz about Three Little Words, the latest play by Joanna Murray-Smith. It has all the usual parts, but it doesn’t feel like a real play. It opens – you’ll never guess – in a suburban living room. Tess and Curtis (Catherine McClements and Peter Houghton), a convivial middle-aged couple, are celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary. To celebrat ... (read more)

Andrew Fuhrmann reviews 'No Way but This: In Search of Paul Robeson' by Jeff Sparrow

April 2017, no. 390 30 March 2017
Is it surprising that Jeff Sparrow should write a book on Paul Robeson, the great American singer who was also a civil rights activist, a man of the left, and the most celebrated Othello of the twentieth century? Sparrow is a broadcaster and columnist, but he is also the immediate past editor of Overland, a literary journal dedicated to a mixed diet of – as Billy Bragg might say – pop and prog ... (read more)

John (Melbourne Theatre Company)

ABR Arts 20 February 2017
What a mysterious and delightful play is American playwright Annie Baker’s John (2015), a meditative comic drama full of exquisite detail and suggested psychological insights. Sarah Goodes directs with sensitivity and imagination for the Melbourne Theatre Company, in the Fairfax Studio, and the fine cast, led by Helen Morse and Melita Jurišić, perform it with much grace and expert comic timing ... (read more)

Little Emperors (Malthouse Theatre)

ABR Arts 16 February 2017
It is often described as the world’s largest social experiment, whatever that means. In 1979, to curb the baby boom that followed the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government officially adopted a one-child policy. Thirty-six-years later, in late 2015, this severe program, which allowed very few exceptions, transitioned into a more flexible two-child policy. The Chinese government is even offe ... (read more)
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