ABR Arts

Top Girls (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★

Ian Dickson
Monday, 19 February 2018

As Van Badham points out in her program essay for the new Sydney Theatre Company production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, when the play was first performed in 1982, Maggie Thatcher had been the British prime minister for three years. The first wave of British feminism in the 1970s had identified the patriarchal structure ...

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The Lady and the Unicorn (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

Morag Fraser
Friday, 16 February 2018

One of France’s great treasures, the five-hundred-year-old, six-panel tapestry series called The Lady and the Unicorn, is in Australia for four months, courtesy of some fortuitous inter-museum contacts, and deft work by the Art Gallery of New South. A loan of such significance usually takes years to negotiate. This one was ...

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Ballet at the Quarry, West Australian Ballet’s summer season, is eagerly anticipated by dance aficionados and the wider public alike, and this year’s program has drawn full houses and standing ovations. The Milky Way of the season’s title represents one of the most significant moves that Aurelian Scannella, the company’s ...

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The Update - February 13, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 13 February 2018

In this fortnight's Update: 2018 Stella Prize shortlist, SSO Fellowships, 2018 French Film Festival, and The Sound of Falling Stars.

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The Sydney Symphony Orchestra opened its 2018 season with three interconnected programs, presenting a cross-section of the mature orchestral compositions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s last seven years. All three programs followed the same structure, albeit with different works on each night. Piano concertos received ...

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Translation can be an art or a craft; seldom simple, it is often unappreciated. We tend to forget that the global community of ceaseless interconnectivity could not exist without translation, or bilingualism. Without translation there is Babel, but with its quiet, endless grinding, translation brings down walls and creates porous ...

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Tristan and Isolde (Melbourne Opera) ★★★★1/2

Barney Zwartz
Tuesday, 06 February 2018

Tristan und Isolde, the opera in which Richard Wagner really took art in a new direction, is often described as the most important musical work of the nineteenth century. No lesser authority than Kobbé calls it the most influential opera in all musical history, while the great Wagner conductor Christian Thielemann says it is ...

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Happy End (Transmission Films) ★★★★

Dion Kagan
Tuesday, 06 February 2018

The opening sequence of Happy End, the latest film from French director and provocateur Michael Haneke, is a funny–shocking series of domestic events captured via a livestreaming social media platform like Snapchat or Instagram. It shows the bedtime routine of a depressed, emotionally vacant woman. A pet hamster falls ...

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Hir (Red Stitch Actors' Theatre) ★★★★

Tali Lavi
Tuesday, 06 February 2018

A soldier comes home from war only to find that home is not what it once was. This premise, fertile with dramatic possibilities, has inspired storytellers from Homer and Sophocles to contemporary writers like Ben Fountain. In Taylor Mac’s Hir, the foreign war zone and the rainbow-splattered domestic space act as minefields ...

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Lady Bird (Universal Pictures) ★★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Tuesday, 06 February 2018

Too often the suburbia on show in American movies feels like a suburbia that only exists in the movies; a fantasy land stocked with preposterously large, catalogue-neat houses populated by families that boast perfect complexions and expensive teeth. Not so in Lady Bird, set in Sacramento, California, where the glitz of Los Angeles and the fashionability of ...

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