One man in his time
John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to Movie Star
by Jonathan Croall
Methuen Drama, $75 hb, 688 pp, 9781408131060
As the dust settles on twentieth-century acting giants, and reputations are appraised, it is at least argua ...
Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask: Thou smilest and art still,
(Matthew Arnold, ‘Shakespeare’)
When Arnold wrote his famous sonnet, he could have been anticipating John Bell’s book, which repeatedly asks provocative questions about the man and the work that have been his ...
The title of this book might, to an innocent observer, suggest a triumphalist history, an impression that could be reinforced by the preface, which argues that the setting up of a squatters’ camp on the banks of the Yarra in 1835 ‘had a significance far beyond the baptism of a great city’, and concludes with the ...... (read more)
Whereas the miniseries, most often based on revered literary texts, has been a staple of British television for fifty years, I could count on the fingers of a dismembered hand its Australian counterparts. In fact, the miniseries in general, as distinct from serials that run for a longer or shorter ...... (read more)
Lacking a titled aristocracy and the leisured class that went with it, Australian colonial society encouraged an egalitarianism of manners. This, however, did not reflect the absence of social stratification: rather, as it has been argued, it was a means of being reconciled to it in a new setting ...... (read more)
Anyone who remembers Julie Taymor’s 1999 version of Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s first published play, will not be expecting a reverential treatment of what is reputedly his last, but Taymor’s new film does move more or less inexorably to the play’s final wisdom: ‘The rarer action is / In virtue than in vengeance.’ The Tempest is a d ...
An historian’s journey into the past
Not Dark Yet: A Personal History
by David Walker
Giramondo, $32.95 pb, 336 pp, 9781920882655
It is perhaps not surprising that historians, as they edge towards retirement, should consider the poss ...
'The tyranny of text? Different readings at the Melbourne International Arts Festival' by John Rickard
Different readings at the Melbourne International Arts Festival
by John Rickard
In October, Brett Sheehy’s Melbourne International Arts Festival presented, with a certain relish, I suspect, two productions that represent opposite ends of a dramatic spectrum of current concern to those working in theatre. Heiner Goebbels’s S ...