ABR Arts

Strange and terrible events unfold around us. Conflicts erupt; catastrophes occur; a billionaire reality television performer reminiscent of a snake oil merchant is elected president of the United States. Following these destabilising forces, a chorus comprised of dissonant tones of reproach and plea often emerges ...

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Seldom is one able to see Wagner’s first successful repertoire opera and his final masterpiece within the space of twenty-four hours. After a few anxious moments with a delayed flight from Warsaw to Munich, a high-speed taxi ride to the National Theatre in the centre of the city, this reviewer, heart pounding and blood racing, settled into the first act of Parsifal ...
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The Update - July 3, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 03 July 2018

In this fortnight's Update: Anne Sophie-Mutter, a major new Indigenous art exhibition, the World Cup of chamber music, the Louise Crossley Conducting Workshop, glitter at MWF, ACMI and Film Victoria's Series Mania, the Archibald Prize in Geelong, the $30,000 Ursula Hoff Fellowshop, the Art Music Awards announcement, Brook Andrew, and giveaways from MSO, the Queensland Theatre, and Transmission Films ...

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Mary Shelley ★★1/2

Barnaby Smith
Monday, 02 July 2018

The two hundredth anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) has given rise to a predictable slew of new reflections and reappraisals offering a twenty-first-century context to this seminal work. None was written with more erudition or acuity than ...

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Brothers Wreck (Odeon Theatre) ★★★★

Ben Brooker
Monday, 02 July 2018

One would have hoped that in the four years since Jada Alberts’s fine début play Brothers Wreck premièred at Belvoir Street that its concern with the issue of Indigenous despair would have come to feel less vital, and yet the problem is as acute as ever. This week we learned that every child in detention in the Northern Territory, where Brothers Wreck is set, is Indigenous ...

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The Second ★★

Lauren Carroll Harris
Monday, 02 July 2018

For its first Original film, Stan could have opted for a cleanly prescribed, commercial genre piece, as per its Wolf Creek series – clearly pitched at millennials. But the trailer that emerged in late 2017 for The Second promised something unusual: a psychological thriller defined by a love triangle between a novelist, her publisher, and an enigm ...

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. First performed in 1991, Stephen Sondheim’s musical Assassins has sadly lost none of its topicality regarding gun culture or the ‘disenfranchised’ lunatics who wield such weapons. As Roger Hodgman, who directs this brilliant new production for the Black Swan State Theatre Company ...

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Athalia (Pinchgut Opera) ★★★1/2

Ian Dickson
Monday, 25 June 2018

Following the end of the 1733 London opera season, George Frideric Handel headed to Oxford with his first two oratorios, Esther and Deborah and the newly composed Athalia. While the first two were well enough received, Athalia was a triumph, with newspaper claims that 3,700 people attended the performances ...

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Gloria (Melbourne Theatre Company) ★★★★

Ben Brooker
Friday, 22 June 2018

Ninety years ago, the British economist John Maynard Keynes forecast that by now, thanks to technological advances, we would all be working fifteen-hour weeks. Instead, we are drowning in work – much of it unnecessary – to the point of existential despair. According to recent studies in Britain and the Netherlands ...

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Foxtrot ★★★★★

Tali Lavi
Thursday, 21 June 2018

A doorbell rings. Along with the Feldman family, we are catapulted into Samuel Maoz’s mesmerising drama, one worthy of its Greek tragedian and European absurdist antecedents. Deeply shocked, a woman faints and fits; a man is frozen. Their son Yonatan, a soldier, has been killed ...

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