ABR Arts

After the vast proportions of her 2013 play, Chimerica (seen here in 2017) – a multi-scene, huge-cast exploration of American–Chinese relations – Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children – a one-set, three-character play – might seem like something of a chamber piece. But if it is physically small in scale, thematically it is even more ...

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Although this not-to-be-missed offering from the National Gallery of Victoria has been billed as a ‘two-part exhibition’, it is a much more complex entity than that. In the words of the three lead curators – Cathy Leahy, Judith Ryan, and Susan van Wyck – it ‘explores different perspectives on Australia’s shared history in ...

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The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui was the final play written in the extraordinarily prolific period of Bertolt Brecht’s Scandinavian exile (1939–41), a period that, among other works, produced the first version of Galileo, The Good Person of Szechwan, Mother Courage, and Herr Puntila and His Man Matti ...

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Xenos (Adelaide Festival) ★★★★

Lee Christofis
Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Last year, Akram Khan, England’s leading Asian dancer–choreographer, stunned the dance world community when he announced he would stop performing in 2018 and that his last show would be Xenos, meaning ‘foreigner’ or ‘stranger’. It premièred at the Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, on 21 February, and reached ...

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The Update - March 27, 2018

Australian Book Review
Tuesday, 27 March 2018

In this fortnight's Update: Australian Festival of Chamber Music 2018, Behind Closed Doors (CuriousWorks and Screen Australia), The winner of the Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design, Artists take up residence with Black Swan State Theatre Company, Art in Tasmania's Tarkine wilderness, and giveaways from the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Transmission Films.

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The Death of Stalin ★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 26 March 2018

Madnesses pile up in The Death of Stalin, too fast and too numerous to itemise. Victims of tyranny are snatched away in the dead of night, locked in basements, or pushed down staircases at Chaplinesque speed. The terms of engagement change halfway through a conversation: forbidden thoughts are now doctrine ...

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If one were tempted to cast round for a theme or a set of motifs that could be discerned from this year’s Adelaide Festival, it might be Rilke’s ‘Who speaks of victory? To endure/survive is all.’ Not as a default position, but as a celebration of those left behind, of those who tell the stories of those who have struggled and ...

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Don Quichotte (Opera Australia) ★★★★1/2

Michael Halliwell
Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Desdemona’s plangent, soaring phrase at the end of the ‘Willow Song’ in Verdi’s penultimate opera, Otello, has been described as the last despairing cry of the bel canto. After many years of relentless tragedies, Verdi’s final opera, Falstaff, would be a bubbling and effervescent comedy – only his second in his illustrious career ...

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Au revoir là-haut (See You Up There) ★★★★

Gemma Betros
Monday, 19 March 2018

Based on Pierre Lemaitre’s Prix-Goncourt-winning 2013 novel of the same name, 'Au revoir là-haut' (See You Up There) is a French film about World War I that takes aim at a society more interested in commemorating the war’s dead than in looking after its survivors. Albert Maillard (Albert Dupontel, who adapted the novel ...

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Murphy (The Australian Ballet) ★★★

Lee Christofis
Monday, 19 March 2018

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Graeme Murphy’s career as a dancer and choreographer, which began at The Australian Ballet in 1968. He has often returned to create new ballets on the company – during his thirty-one years as artistic director of Sydney Dance Company from 1976 to 2006, and more recently ...

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