ABR Arts Performing Arts

Savages

Andrew Fuhrmann
26 August 2013

‘If men are masters of their fate,’ asks the American feminist Susan Faludi, ‘what do they do about the unspoken sense that they are being mastered, in the marketplace and at home, by forces that seem to be sweeping away the soil beneath their feet?’

Perhaps they go on a cruise. That, at least, is what Runt, Craze, Rabbit, and Geor ... More

The Maids

James Waites
27 June 2013

Jean Genet’s Les bonnes (The Maids, 1947) is inspired by a true story. Two maids, sisters, murder their wealthy mistress and are found by authorities soon after, huddled in the same bed. Incest as well? So it is odd to be confronted with a drama that essentially addresses the audience’s intellect, spring-boarding out of a melodramatic re-enac ... More

A masked Verdi

Peter Rose
26 May 2013

Opera Australia’s spring season in Melbourne opened with two masterpieces by Verdi in his bicentennial year. It was a decidedly rocky pairing.

La Fura dels Baus’s production of Un Ballo in Maschera was first seen in Sydney in January. La Fura is open about its intentions. Assistant director Valenti ... More

Nixon in China

Peter Rose
16 May 2013

There was a real buzz in the foyer of Her Majesty’s last night before the Victorian Opera’s latest offering. At last Melbourne was seeing John Adams’s masterly opera Nixon in China, first performed in Houston twenty-six years ago and later seen in Adelaide, during the 1992 Festival.

Alice Goodman wrote the libretto: an inspired distillation of R ... More

A Clockwork Orange

Andrew Fuhrmann
26 April 2013

You’ve got to admire the bolshie great yarbles of young British company Action to the Word. It must have taken much courage and not a little jejune presumption to dream of touring Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) to such capital city main-stage venues as Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, QPAC in Brisbane, and Canberra’s Theatre Cen ... More

Hate

Andrew Fuhrmann
26 March 2013

Stephen Sewell’s sixth play, Hate, first performed in 1988 and written with a bicentennial commission, is a monster of ambition. It is a play that seems to swallow whole the Australian story since 1788 and represent a family tragedy, one steeped in the ritual violence of an Ancient Greek myth or a perverted Easter drama.

It is Mau ... More

Wild Surmise

Andrew Fuhrmann
20 November 2012

Was there ever an Australian poet who drank so deep of that turbid spring, enthousiasmos, Aristotelian enthusiasm, as Dorothy Porter? From the grungy vitality of her early collections, to the exuberant embrace of popular genre fiction in her five verse novels, to the high, passionate tone of her lyrics, libretti, and later collections, she was never less than ... More

On the Misconception of Oedipus

Andrew Fuhrmann
25 September 2012

How is it that the sordid ‘familial romance’ of Laius, Jocasta, and Oedipus, or ‘daddy, mommy, and me’, came so completely to define the concept of desire in the modern West? For Deleuze and Guattari, authors of The Anti-Oedipus, that is the true sphinxian riddle at the heart of the Oedipus materials, the myth, and its subsequent interpretations from ... More

The Histrionic

Andrew Fuhrmann
23 April 2012

‘An admired talent for the theatre / Even when I was small / A man born of the stage you see / Histrionic / Setting snares even when very little.’ Such is the epigraph to Thomas Bernhard’s The Histrionic (Der Theatermacher), drawn from the play’s principal character, the megalomaniacal Bruscon. The image of the snare, or trap, is a common o ... More

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