ABR Arts

Black Swan State Theatre Company’s terrific new production of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll joins other recent revivals such as those by Belvoir Street Theatre (2011) and State Theatre Company of South Australia (2015) in showing that Ray Lawler’s 1955 classic has lost none of its power to entertain and provoke ...

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Bliss (Malthouse Theatre) ★★★

Fiona Gruber
Friday, 11 May 2018

The opening of Peter Carey’s satirical novel Bliss, where the body of Harry Joy lies dead on the lawn while his spirit hovers above, is one of the most memorable in modern Australian literature. Harry’s laconic out-of-body narration hovers like a spare and airy jazz riff until a defibrillator jolts him back into the land of the ...

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The short-lived but bold experiment that has been the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s actors’ ensemble comes to an end with its fourth production, Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. More on the play later, but what of the experiment? Acting ensembles have a chequered history in ...

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The Update - May 8, 2018

ABR Arts
Tuesday, 08 May 2018

In this fortnight's Update: Greta Bradman and the MCO; NGV's Spring/Summer program; 'Bliss' at the Malthouse; ABIA Awards; Melbourne Prize for Literature; Next Wave Festival; Sydney Symphony Orchestra; film, music, and theatre giveaways; and more...

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These two significant exhibitions mark critical stages in the development of Australian art over the past fifty years. The Field Revisited is a painstaking reconstruction of the inaugural – and, at the time, ground-breaking and controversial – exhibition held in 1968 in the newly-opened Roy Grounds building: the National Gallery ...

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The Calling (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★★1/2

Des Cowley
Monday, 07 May 2018

The Calling is the fourth in a series of five large-scale concerts, each featuring a different ensemble, being performed at fortyfivedownstairs by multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Simmons throughout 2017–18. The overarching title of the series, ‘The Usefulness of Art’, is inspired by a quote from sculptor Auguste Rodin ...

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Wonderland (ACMI)

Andrew Nette
Monday, 07 May 2018

I had never pondered the influence of Lewis Carroll’s stories, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). This left me completely unprepared for Wonderland, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image’s latest Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition ...

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On Body and Soul ★★★★1/2

Dilan Gunawardana
Monday, 07 May 2018

On Body and Soul opens to a stag and doe wandering in a snowy forest to the slow, meditative sound of wind chimes and cowbells. The stag sniffs the doe cautiously and then tenderly rests his head on her back for a few seconds before cantering away, leaving the doe looking forlorn. Edited in a way that anthropomorphises ...

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The concept of combining the excellence of Australian musicians working around the globe and getting them together for an annual series of concerts, directed by some of the most renowned conductors, is a brilliant one. Brother and sister team Alexander Briger and Gabrielle Thompson, the ...

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ABR Arts’s long day’s journey into operatic night continued with three familiar productions, one of them new to the Metropolitan Opera. Jules Massenet’s fifteenth opera (April 24) is largely unknown to modern audiences, but its neglect is a mystery, for this version of Charles Perrault’s 1697 fairy tale (based on a libretto ...

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