By chance, two of the most famous 1950s plays are in the news again. John Osborne’s historic rant, Look Back in Anger (1956), has been successfully revived on Broadway, while Terence Rattigan’s emotionally taut piece, The Deep Blue Sea (1952), has been filmed by another Terence – Davies, that is. In their day, Osborne railed against the ‘po ...
The unnamed, eleven-year-old narrator protagonist of The Cartographer has an epileptic fit after witnessing a horrific rape-murder. The year is 1959. His father has just left the family days after his identical twin brother was killed by faulty playground equipment. The child’s closest friend is his wheeler-dealer grandfather, but it is in his own head that he thrives. To act out his ...
Trio of sorts
RACE AND THE MODERN EXOTIC: THREE ‘AUSTRALIAN’ WOMEN ON GLOBAL DISPLAY
by Angela Woollacott
Monash University Publishing (Footprint), $24.95 pb, 154 pp, 9781921867125
Annette Kellerman, described by Angela Woolla ...
I first saw Summer of the Seventeenth Doll in 1957 in London, of all places. I remember feeling some pride in seeing the symbolic kewpie doll presiding over the New Theatre in the heart of the West End. June Jago’s performance as Olive has stayed with me over the years; Philip Hope-Wallace, the Guardian reviewer, described her as ‘all chin and ...
The Narrative of John Smith
by Arthur Conan Doyle (read by Robert Lindsay)
British Library Board (Inbooks), $39.95 5 CDs, 270 minutes, 9780712351157
A century later, the Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes industry shows n ...
‘This harsh, cawing, strongly felt play’
by John Rickard
I first saw Summer of the Seventeenth Doll in 1957 in London, of all places. I remember feeling some pride in seeing the symbolic kewpie doll presiding over the New Theatre in the heart of the West End. June Jago’s performance as Olive has stayed ...
Out of the dark
I Found It at the Movies: Reflections of a Cinephile
by Philip French
Carcanet Press (Australian Book Group), $35.95 pb, 292 pp, 9781847771292
Whenever I have found myself in disagreement with Philip French’s film ...
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)