Ben Brooker

Almost one hundred and forty years have passed since Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House shook the European bourgeoisie with its proto-feminist depiction of a woman walking out on her husband and children. Now American playwright Lucas Hnath has written a sequel ... ... (read more)

Creditors (State Theatre Company) ★★★

Ben Brooker
Thursday, 26 July 2018

August Strindberg thought Creditors, which premièred in its original Swedish in Copenhagen in 1889, his ‘most mature work’. Sitting alongside the more often performed The Father (1890) and Miss Julie (1889) in the playwright’s middle, ultra-naturalistic period, the play is an attempt to ...

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Brothers Wreck (Odeon Theatre) ★★★★

Ben Brooker
Monday, 02 July 2018

One would have hoped that in the four years since Jada Alberts’s fine début play Brothers Wreck premièred at Belvoir Street that its concern with the issue of Indigenous despair would have come to feel less vital, and yet the problem is as acute as ever. This week we learned that every child in detention in the Northern Territory, where Brothers Wreck is set, is Indigenous ...

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Gloria (Melbourne Theatre Company) ★★★★

Ben Brooker
Friday, 22 June 2018

Ninety years ago, the British economist John Maynard Keynes forecast that by now, thanks to technological advances, we would all be working fifteen-hour weeks. Instead, we are drowning in work – much of it unnecessary – to the point of existential despair. According to recent studies in Britain and the Netherlands ...

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Kings of War (Adelaide Festival) ★★★★★

Ben Brooker
Tuesday, 13 March 2018

In a Festival glutted with plays about war and the violence wrought by powerful men, Dutch theatre company Toneelgroep’s Kings of War stands tall. A four-and-a-half-hour conflation of Shakespeare’s Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard III, it is directed by Ivo van Hove whose monumental Roman Tragedies – which conceived ...

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I think it was Peter Brook who said the longest that a staging of a play could remain vital was five years. The Hayloft Project’s Thyestes, directed by Simon Stone and adapted from Seneca’s tragedy by Stone himself, Thomas Henning, Chris Ryan, and Mark Winter, was first seen at the Malthouse Theatre in 2010 ...

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In a 1974 paper, American philosopher Thomas Nagel famously wondered what it was like to be a bat. He concluded that we could never know what it was like to be a member of a different species – that the inner lives of animals are ultimately inaccessible to us ...

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Macbeth, directed by Geordie Brookman, artistic director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, is the second production to showcase the STCSA’s new acting ensemble. The first, A Doll’s House, with an updated text by Elena Carapetis and also directed by Brookman ...

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In its original meaning, the word ‘philosopher’ simply meant ‘lover of wisdom’. At a time when theories of knowledge were still in their infancy, it was applied to thinkers – often, by ...

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2016 Arts Highlights of the Year

John Allison et al.
Wednesday, 26 October 2016

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.

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