Sydney Theatre Company

The Deep Blue Sea 

Ian Dickson
Monday, 10 February 2020

The seismic shift which occurred in the British theatre with the success of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger in 1956 left Terrence Rattigan high and dry. Writing for the ideal audience member he dubbed ‘Aunt Edna’ – a very different creature from her flamboyant Australian namesake – he supposedly fashioned plays that were designed to entertain the middle classes without disturbing them unduly. But a close reading of his more serious plays proves him to be every bit as trenchant a critic of British society as the ‘angry young men’ – Osborne, Wesker, and Arden – who took over the theatre in the 1950s and 1960s.

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The Beauty Queen of Leenane 

Ian Dickson
Monday, 25 November 2019

In a cramped, dismal cottage on the Galway–Mayo border, the theatre’s most poisonous mother–daughter relationship since Electra battled Clytemnestra is being played out on the stage of the Roslyn Packer Theatre.

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Lord of the Flies (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★

Ian Dickson
Monday, 29 July 2019

It must be confessed that the advance publicity for STC’s production of Lord of the Fliesfilled this reviewer with foreboding. A perspective on William Golding’s allegory about the inherent savagery of humanity – a destructiveness that, in his words, ‘produces evil as a bee produces honey’ – which shrinks it to the malady of the moment, toxic masculinity ...

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The Torrents (STC) ★★

Susan Lever
Monday, 22 July 2019

Anyone with an interest in Australia’s drama history is likely to have some curiosity about Oriel Gray’s play The Torrents, joint winner of a Playwright Advisory Board prize in 1955 alongside Ray Lawler’s ground-breaking Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Unlike Lawler’s play, it was not performed at the time...

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Mary Stuart ★★★

Ian Dickson
Monday, 11 February 2019

The contest between Elizabeth Tudor and her cousin Mary Stuart, providing two such meaty roles, has proved irresistible fodder over the years for actresses on both stage and screen. On film, Katherine Hepburn and Florence Eldridge, Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson, and Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie ...

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All My Sons (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★★1/2

Ian Dickson
Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Arthur Miller's reputation as the writer of glum naturalistic problem dramas is undergoing a re-evaluation at present. The fashionable director Ivo van Hove's ecstatically reviewed and Tony Award-winning production of A View from the Brid ...

Gentles, perchance you'll wonder at this show
That comes to us with fanfare from abroad.
Mike Bartlett's many earlier plays, like ...

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Arcadia (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★★

Colin Golvan
Monday, 15 February 2016

Many wonderful things have been written about this sprawling gem of a play since it was first staged in 1993. Two decades later, it still bamboozles, delights, and moves its audience in its uncompromising search for meaning in love and science. This was a production in genuine homage to one ...

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King Lear (STC) ★★★★★

Peter Rose
Monday, 30 November 2015

It opens with a deep black-walled stage devoid of props, but for a spotlit microphone. Instead of the feared cast change or sponsorial fealty, on walks Marilyn Monroe at Madison Square Garden, with her sequined dress and curvaceous glamour. We recognise Robyn Nevin, defying the years. Funny as Blossom Dearie, she sings 'Happy Birthday' to 'Nuncle Majesty' before yan ...

Ian Dickson reviews 'Orlando' (Sydney Theatre Company)

Ian Dickson
Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Virginia Woolf's early impression of the aristocratic, free-loving woman of letters Vita Sackville-West was not exactly complimentary: 'Not much to my severer taste – florid, moustached, parakeet coloured, with all the supple ease of the aristocracy, but not the wit of the artist.' Her opinion soon changed, however, and she found herself falling in love with the p ...

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