ABR Arts

Prize Fighter (La Boite Theatre Company) ★★★★1/2

Fiona Spitzkowsky
Monday, 15 October 2018

It’s rare to see a new Australian play remounted after its début season, but Prize Fighter, currently playing at Melbourne Festival after seasons at La Boite, Belvoir, and a regional tour, is a welcome exception. It is a transformative experience that exemplifies the social significance of live theatre ...

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An Enemy of the People (Belvoir St Theatre) ★★★1/2

Ian Dickson
Friday, 12 October 2018

Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People is both one of his most approachable and most challenging plays. The plot is universal: an individual attempts to force his community to face an uncomfortable truth and is pilloried by his neighbours. The play can be and indeed has been set in whichever country it is ...

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The Update - October 9, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 09 October 2018

In this fortnight's Update: The 2019 British Film Festival tours Australia, Monash University brings The Dressmaker to the stage in a new musical, Calibre Essay Prize winners revisit their works in new ways, The 2019 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, Applications closing for Bell Shakespeare's John Bell Scholarship, Degenerate Art comes to the Old Fitz Theatre, Giveaways from the British Film Festival, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Melbourne Opera, and Monash University ...

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While the bulk of Samuel Beckett’s monumental reputation rests on the plays – especially the mid-career, mid-century works that include Waiting for Godot (1953), Endgame (1955–57), and Happy Days (1961) – it is the novels that afford the most prolonged, immersive access to his enduring concerns and ...

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Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot ★★★1/2

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 01 October 2018

As a resident of Portland, Oregon in the 1980s and 1990s, director Gus Van Sant became used to the sight of the iconic and iconoclastic cartoonist John Callahan buzzing around the city in his wheelchair. ‘He was a visible person on the street,’ Van Sant said recently on Marc Maron’s podcast ...

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Metamorphosis (Opera Australia) ★★★★

Michael Halliwell
Thursday, 27 September 2018

'When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.’ It issurely one of the most celebrated, and arresting, opening lines in all literature – very ‘Kafkaesque’, in fact! It was just a matter of time before The Metamorphosis ...

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The Update - September 25, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

In this fortnight's Update: The Calibre Essay Prize is still open for entries; the $100,000 Ian Potter Moving Image Commission; the Alexander Theatre reopens at Monash University; David Williamson on his new play Nearer the Gods; the KYD New Critic Award 2019; the Australian Short Story Festival returns to Perth; and some giveaways ...

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Peter Grimes (Brisbane Festival) ★★★★1/2

Gillian Wills
Monday, 24 September 2018

Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes – first performed in 1945 (Sadler’s Wells, London) – is an opera about an oddball misanthropic fisherman. On opening night, the audience were primed to engage with Britten’s anti-hero, never suspecting that a real-life hero would soon be needed ...

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Spartacus (The Australian Ballet) ★★★

Lee Christofis
Thursday, 20 September 2018

An impassioned ovation greeted the exceptional, all-giving dancers of The Australian Ballet and musicians of Orchestra Victoria at the packed première of the company’s new production of Spartacus. The familiarity of the story of oppressed slaves and gladiators fighting the Roman Republic for ...

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Evita (Opera Australia) ★★★

Peter Tregear
Wednesday, 19 September 2018

I confess that I do not share the knee-jerk negative view of Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals that many of my colleagues profess. His best works, especially those conceived with librettist Tim Rice, stake a legitimate claim on our attention, if only for their consummate skill in identifying ...

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