Ian Dickson

The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui was the final play written in the extraordinarily prolific period of Bertolt Brecht’s Scandinavian exile (1939–41), a period that, among other works, produced the first version of Galileo, The Good Person of Szechwan, Mother Courage, and Herr Puntila and His Man Matti ...

... (read more)

Richard Davis is admirably determined that major Australian musical artists whose careers were attenuated by illness should not fade into oblivion ...

... (read more)

As Van Badham points out in her program essay for the new Sydney Theatre Company production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, when the play was first performed in 1982, Maggie Thatcher had been the British prime minister for three years. The first wave of British feminism in the 1970s had identified the patriarchal structure ...

... (read more)

After decades of English language Chekhov productions following in the footsteps of Stanislavsky and Komisarjevsky in which historically accurately costumed actors wandered around a stage awash with gloom and torpor declaiming Constance Garnett’s constipated translations, directors finally discovered that the plays were ...

... (read more)

Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma elicits the ultimate rose-tinted nostalgia in ageing opera aficionados. Operagoers of my generation wax lyrical about Joan Sutherland and Montserrat Caballé in their prime, while making disparaging remarks about present singers. We in turn were bored by ancients who admitted that La Callas ...

... (read more)

For no one were Dryden’s partitions thinner than for Robert Lowell, as Kay Redfield Jamison’s exploration of the links between his work and the manic depressive illness which dogged him for most of his life makes clear. Previous biographers have, with varying degrees of compassion and opprobrium, chronicled the chaos and hurt caused by his manic outbursts.

... (read more)

Kenneth MacMillan’s Anastasia is one of several full-length dramas he created on his return to the Royal Ballet in 1971, after directing the Deutsche Oper Ballet in Berlin. It is a hybrid work, incorporating as its third act a famous one-act Anastasia that MacMillan created in Berlin in 1967. A shy ...

... (read more)

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 group of critics and arts professionals to nominate some favourites.

... (read more)

In Washington, DC, Peter Rose and regular ABR theatre critic Ian Dickson discuss the career and legacy of Edward Albee, the great American playwright who died on Friday 16 September, aged 88.