Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

The Update - February 26, 2019

ABR Arts 26 February 2019

The Update - February 26, 2019

ABR Arts 26 February 2019


Recent ABR Arts reviews:

Ned Kelly (Lost & Found Opera) ★★★
Stan & Ollie ★★★
Heavenly (Queensland Symphony Orchestra) ★★★★★
Death of a Salesman (Queensland Theatre) ★★★★1/2
Karl V (Bayerische Staatsoper) ★★★★


• Ten double passes to the Alliance Française French Film Festival, valid Australia-wide in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Avoca Beach, Parramatta, and Byron Bay. 

See below for details about how to win the free tickets.

Coming up in ABR Arts?

Feb 26 One Third Template

There’s plenty of quality reviews ahead in ABR Arts.
• Steve Dow reviews The Miser by Bell Shakespeare
• Fiona Gruber reviews Arbus and West by Melbourne Theatre Company
• Lee Christofis review Two Feet as performed at the Adelaide Festival

Alliance Française French Film Festival


As noted in the previous Update, The Alliance Française French Film Festival – now in its thirtieth year – opens in Sydney on March 5 and closes in Adelaide on April 18. There are fifty-four feature films and documentaries in all. There are screenings in multiple venues in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Avoca Beach, Parramatta, and Byron Bay. The Festival opens with Pierre Salvadoris’ The Trouble With You (En Liberté) and there are screenings if Alain Resnais’s classic 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad (L’Année Dernière à Marienbad). An addendum to our note about the prolific Isabelle Huppert’s absence from the program: rest assured, she is currently making five feature films!

Giveaway: Our generous friends at the Festival have given us ten double passes for new or renewing subscribers. Read the giveaway section below on how to enter. 

Peter Porter Poetry Prize Ceremony

Illustration of Peter Porter by W.H. ChongIllustration of Peter Porter by W.H. Chong

Australian Book Review is delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2019 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. First presented in 2005, the Porter Prize is one of the world’s leading prizes for a new poem. It is worth a total of $8,500. This year, our indefatigable judges – Judith Bishop, John Hawke (chair of the panel, and Poetry Editor of ABR), and Paul Kane – assessed almost 900 poems before choosing the five shortlisted poems, all of which appear in our March issue.

Please join us as we announce the winner of the 2019 ABR Peter Porter Poetry Prize. After readings from the poetry of Peter Porter, the shortlisted poets will introduce and read their poems. A special guest will announce the 2019 winner, who will receive $5,000 and an Arthur Boyd etching from the series ‘The Lady and the Unicorn’.

When: Monday, 18 March 2019, 6 for 6.15 pm to 7.30 pm
Where: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 
Bookings: This is a free public event and everyone is most welcome, but bookings are essential: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Nina Stemme and Wagner at TSO

Nina Stemme (photograph via Nina Stemme website)

Nina Stemme is one of the world’s finest Wagner and Strauss sopranos. Since her professional début in 1989, she has appeared in many of the world’s great opera houses, though not Sydney, alas. At fifty-five, she is at the height of her powers. Three years ago ABR reviewed her magnificent Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera, opposite Stuart Skelton’s Tristan. This was followed in November 2016 by an unforgettable concert version of scenes from Tristan und Isolde with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

This year, in November, Stemme returns to Hobart for an all-Wagner gala concert. Stemme will be joined by fellow Swede John Lundgren (baritone). Marko Letonja will again conduct the TSO. ABR will of course review this highlight of the musical year.

There is one concert, on Saturday, November 2. Visit the TSO website for more information.  

Newcastle Writers Festival

The 2019 Newcastle Writers Festival runs from 5–7 April, and the full program is now available. Guests include Heather Morris, author of the bestselling The Tattooist of Auschwitz; acclaimed journalist and author Clementine Ford, who will discuss her recent work Boys Will Be Boys; and the award-winning Australian artist Ben Quilty. The festival will also feature a series of writing workshops and masterclasses, book launches, literary trivia, and much more.

For more information on the Newcastle Writers Festival, visit their website.

I’m Not Running at Cinema Nova

I'm Not RunningSiân Brooke as Pauline Gibson in I'm Not Running

David Hare’s new play I’m Not Running will be broadcast live from the National Theatre in the UK at Cinema Nova on March 2, 3, 5 and 6. The play – which Susan Lever reviewed for ABR in October 2018 – follows the doctor Pauline Gibson (played by Siân Brooke) who has entered politics as an independent as a result of her frustration at the closure of hospitals. She soon meets Jack Gould (Alex Hassell), her old friend and lover, who is now a lawyer rapidly rising through the ranks of the British Labour Party.

For more information, visit the Cinema Nova website.

Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Open for Submissions

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are open for submissions. Prize money is awarded over each category – spanning fiction, poetry, non-fiction, Australian history, young adult, and children’s literature – with winners receiving up to $80,000, and those shortlisted receiving $5,000 (all tax-free). Last year’s winners included saw Gerald Murnane (Fiction: Border Districts), Richard McGregor (Non-Fiction: Asia’s Reckoning), and Glenda Millard (Children’s Literature: Pea Pod Lullaby).

Submissions close 15 March 2019. To be eligible, entries must have been published or released between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018. Entry forms and guidelines are available at:


The Alliance Française French Film Festival

This week, ten new or renewing ABR subscribers will win a double pass to the Alliance Française French Film Festival, valid Australia-wide in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Avoca Beach, Parramatta, and Byron Bay. 

How to enter: To be in the running please email Grace Chang at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your full name and contact details. Preference is given to subscribers who have not received a giveaway in recent months. To be eligible for these giveaways, you must be a current or new paid subscriber to the print edition of ABR or to ABR Online.

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.