Tim Byrne

Elizabeth Taylor played Maggie to Paul Newman’s Brick in Richard Brooks’s 1958 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; a more perfect sexual promise left unfulfilled was never committed to celluloid. But if you want truly pyrotechnical sexual chemistry, it’s hard to look past Taylor’s onscreen work with her real-life husband Richard Burton ...

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How many variations does it take, how many iterations and transfigurations, before a work of mediocrity becomes a work of genius? And what about a life – at what point do the quotidian accretions of living come to represent a person’s entire existence? What does it actually mean to live an extraordinary life ...

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Most of the time, plays are just entertainments; they can be witty and insightful, even powerful and contemporary, and still function as merely satisfying divertissements. Rarely, so rarely entire decades can pass without one, a play functions in an entirely different capacity ... ... (read more)

Twelfth Night 

Melbourne Theatre Company
by
19 November 2018

Twelfth Night was probably composed in 1601, and certainly no later than 1602. Hamlet has a more doubtful provenance, possibly written before 1601 but also certainly no later than 1602. It is not inconceivable that Shakespeare worked on them simultaneously, or back to back ...

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While the bulk of Samuel Beckett’s monumental reputation rests on the plays – especially the mid-career, mid-century works that include Waiting for Godot (1953), Endgame (1955–57), and Happy Days (1961) – it is the novels that afford the most prolonged, immersive access to his enduring concerns and ...

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The notion of the sad clown probably has its origins in prehistory; the mockery of pain and sorrow is such an embedded human trait that indigenous cultures around the world embraced it long before it became a trope of commedia dell’arte. Pierrot, with his iconic painted white face ...

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Gay theatre, or at least identifiably queer theatre, has never had much of a presence in Australia; most of what we consider canonical has come from overseas. The Elizabethan stage had Marlowe’s Edward II and Shakespeare had two characters named Antonio, in Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice, who are ...

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The idea of joining Robyn Archer – arguably the greatest cabaret artist in the country – for a night of French chanson that harks back to her seminal 1991 show Le Chat Noir was inspired. While Archer is most closely associated with German Kabarett of the Weimar, she is no slouch when it comes to interpretations of the Gallic ...

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There is a kind of dread in the heart of any reader who approaches a philosopher in the act of pronouncing on a great work of art. Many a filmmaker’s oeuvre and ...

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Stephen Sondheim's Follies opened on Broadway in 1971, during his most fertile period as a composer and lyricist; it premièred one year after Company and two years before A Little Night Music. It echoed the plotless structure of the former and the ambivalent nostalgia of the latter ...

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