Theatre

Desley Deacon reviews Seven Big Australians: Adventures with comic actors by Anne Pender

Desley Deacon
23 May 2019

Nowadays every second young person seems to want to be a stand-up comic, an occupation that perfectly represents the ‘gig’ economy in its precariousness and occasional nature. Anne Pen More

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Desley Deacon
01 July 2009

Nowadays every second young person seems to want to be a stand-up comic, an occupation that perfectly represents the ‘gig’ economy in its precariousness and occasional nature. Anne Pen More

Gillian Appleton reviews The Ripples Before the New Wave: Drama at the University Of Sydney 1957–1963 by Robyn Dalton and Laura Ginters

Gillian Appleton
21 April 2019

People who were university students at a particular time often like to regard those years as exceptional, a perspective which, embellished by nostalgia, memoirs, and media hype, can take o More

Ben Brooker reviews Remembered Presences: Responses to theatre by Alison Croggon

Ben Brooker
21 April 2019

When Alison Croggon’s theatre review blog Theatre Notes closed in late 2012 after eight years in existence, its demise was met with a response akin to grief. The first blog of its kind i More

Ian Dickson reviews Dramatic Exchanges: The lives and letters of the National Theatre edited by Daniel Rosenthal

Ian Dickson
25 March 2019

What exactly is a National Theatre for? What is its purpose? What form should it take? National theatres come in many configurations. There is the four-hundred-year-old Comédie-Française More

Tim Byrne reviews 'The World Only Spins Forward: The ascent of angels in America' edited by Isaac Butler and Dan Kois

Tim Byrne
26 December 2018
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 e More

Brian McFarlane reviews 'Balancing Acts: Behind the scenes at the National Theatre' by Nicholas Hytner

Brian McFarlane
27 October 2017

One of the most appropriate titles since Pride and Prejudice, Balancing Acts adroitly captures the drama and appeal of Nicholas Hytner’s account of his twelve years as More

Tim Byrne reviews 'Joy Ride' by John Lahr

Tim Byrne
25 February 2016

James Ley states in the introduction to his book The Critic in the Modern World (2014) that the significance of a critic 'depends on their ability to position themselves in opposition to certain prevailing tendencies'. Given the widespread shrinkage of space allot ... More

Reading Australia: 'Dimboola' by Jack Hibberd

Judith Rodriguez
24 December 2015

Dimboola's title is a great start to the play that was first performed in 1969. It belongs nowhere but in Australia. At the same time, not many people can claim to have lived there or to know someone from Dimboola. Indigenous? Maybe. And where is Dimboola? You drive through it on your way to somewhere else. It's in Victoria, out where all the roads are sign ... More

John Rickard reviews 'Why Acting Matters' by David Thomson and 'Great Shakespeare Actors' by Stanley Wells

John Rickard
30 July 2015

Why Acting Matters has on its cover the face of an ape; well, actually it’s Andy Serkis playing Caesar, ‘the top ape’ in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). The point of this rather unexpected image from a movie not discussed in the book is, the blurb tells us, that ‘acting is baked into our primate DNA’. These two books, however, by elder ... More

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