ABR Arts

John (Melbourne Theatre Company)

Andrew Fuhrmann

What a mysterious and delightful play is American playwright Annie Baker’s John (2015), a meditative comic drama full of exquisite detail and suggested psychological insights. Sarah Goodes directs with sensitivity and imagination for the Melbourne Theatre Company, in the Fairfax Studio, and the fine cast, led by Helen Morse and Melita Jurisic, perform it ... More

Letter from Paris

Lee Christofis

The idea of visiting Paris in January to see six exhibitions and two repeats in five days may seem excessive to some people, but Paris’s museum offerings this northern winter were so imp More

Little Emperors (Malthouse Theatre)

Andrew Fuhrmann

It is often described as the world’s largest social experiment, whatever that means. In 1979, to curb the baby boom that followed the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government officially adopted a one-child policy. Thirty-six-years later, in late 2015, this severe program, which allowed very few exceptions, transitioned into a more flexible two-child policy. The ... More

The Update - February 14

ABR Arts

Australian screenwriter, novelist, and poet Luke Davies has won a BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Lion (Transmission Films), starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicol More

'Tis Pity (Victorian Opera)

Contemporary opera doesn’t come much more innovative, vibrant or entertaining than Victorian Opera’s ‘Tis Pity: An operatic fantasia on selling the skin and the teeth, which played at the Melbourne Recital Centre from 4–8 February. Indefatigable VO Artistic Director Richard Mills has composed and arranged the music as well as writing the reliably wi ... More

L'amante anglaise by Margaret Duras (La Mama Theatre and Fortyfivedownstairs)

Little wonder that fortyfivedownstairs is encoring Marguerite Duras’s brilliantly dialectical play L’amante anglaise, first presented in this production at La Mama Theatre in 2014, directed by Laurence Strangio. Duras wrote it first as a novella fifty years ago; the stage adaptation followed in 1968. Jillian Murray and Robert Meldrum each play two ... More


Tim Byrne

Unlike Martin Scorsese’s previous forays into the subject of spiritual faith, The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Kundun (1997) – both of which used intense, almost delirious musical compositions to evoke a sense of religious fervour – his new film has no score at all. An adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel Silence, it o ... More

Jasper Jones

Andrew Nette

There is something deeply satisfying about watching a classic cinematic trope done well. The film version of Jasper Jones, the best-selling Australian novel of the same name by Cr More

Philippe Parreno: Thenabouts (ACMI)

Sophie Knezic

Some may be puzzled by an exhibition titling itself ‘Thenabouts’. As a portmanteau, the word seems confusingly to displace time onto space. The term was in fact neologised by James Joyce in Finnegans Wake (1939), where a character asks, ‘Where are we at all? and whenabouts in the name of space?’ Joyce coined such seemingly nonsensical terms as ‘th ... More

The Long String Instrument (The Substation)

Dilan Gunawardana

It seems fitting that the co-opted electrical substation in Newport, Melbourne should be the site of an enterprising arts space. Formerly it was used to generate electricity for Victorian Railways (it fell into disrepair in the 1960s). Perhaps some residual energy still pulses through the concrete lattice of its red-bricked walls or runs along the arched tops of its ... More

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