ABR Arts

Burrbgaja Yalirra (Marrugeku) ★★★★

Amelia Zhou
Monday, 03 June 2019

‘When I see a flower, it reminds me of who I am,’ says poet and performer Edwin Lee Mulligan, staring at the audience. ‘Others can stop my dignity but can’t stop my bloom.’ So begins Ngarlimbah, the first performance in a triple bill of solo works by Marrugeku, an Indigenous dance company based in Sydney and Broome ...

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‘Terrible rage.’ It starts as a question; rhetorical, perhaps. ‘Terrible rage.’ It grows into a statement of fact, an undeniable proof. ‘Terrible rage. Terrible rage. Terrible rage.’ Eventually – in a slow but frightening crescendo, followed by an equally slow but heart-wrenchingly pathetic decrescendo ...

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Rocketman ★★

Patrick Boyle
Tuesday, 28 May 2019

With the release of Rocketman, Dexter Fletcher’s free-wheeling, surrealist musical saluting Sir Elton Hercules John, it’s clear the rock-and-roll biopic Hollywood’s new idée fixe. The film follows the release of Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), the award-winning celebration of Freddie Mercury ...

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Il Viaggio a Reims (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Elizabeth Kertesz
Monday, 27 May 2019

On 24 May 2019, an excited Melbourne audience witnessed a night of spectacular entertainment and magnificent music in the Australian première of Rossini’s 1825 opera Il Viaggio a Reims, exuberantly reimagined by Damiano Michieletto. Il Viaggio is an opera with multiple backstories. It was Rossini’s first commission ...

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Tessa Ensler is a criminal lawyer in her thirties. Alone on a minimalist stage, in a black suit and a crisp white shirt, she begins by narrating in the present tense a court drama about an unspecified crime. Narcissistically, she considers herself the star rather than the defendant whom she represents ...

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Moby-Dick ★★★★ and Billy Budd ★★★★

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 23 May 2019

Given his towering position in the pantheon of American authors, it is surprising that the bicentenary year of the birth of Herman Melville, born on 1 August 1819 in New York, is passing with such little fanfare. However, this reviewer recently managed to catch performances of opera versions of his two most famous creations ...

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The Stonnington Jazz Festival

Des Cowley
Tuesday, 21 May 2019

It was a bold move by Stonnington Jazz to program an all-female/non-binary performance for the Festival’s opening concert: War Cry. Jazz, like much else, has come in for its fair share of criticism in the #MeToo era, its historical icons – bar a few exceptions – made up mostly of male musicians ...

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The Update - May 21, 2019

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 21 May 2019

In this fortnight's Update: Monash launches new Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts; the year of Anchuli Felicia King; Tim Munro and Ten Thousand Birds; The Wheeler Centre and the $150,000 Next Chapter writers project; and a giveaway!

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All About Eve (National Theatre Live) ★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 20 May 2019

Belgian theatre director Ivo Van Hove has an appetite for bringing cinema to the stage. As artistic director of the Toneelgroep Amsterdam since 2001, he has directed stage adaptations of three Ingmar Bergman films, made work inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michelangelo Antonioni, and staged a version of John Cassavetes’ 1977 drama ...

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White Pearl (Royal Court Theatre) ★★★★1/2

Alexander Douglas Thom
Monday, 20 May 2019

An explicitly racist advertisement for a skin-whitening treatment, the eponymous White Pearl cream, has gone viral. The pastel offices of ClearDay – the Singaporean cosmetics company behind the ad – become the backdrop for a disastrous attempt at damage control. Presided over by manager Priya Singh ...

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