ABR Arts Theatre

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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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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Strangers in Between (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★

Tim Byrne
Monday, 29 January 2018

Gay theatre, or at least identifiably queer theatre, has never had much of a presence in Australia; most of what we consider canonical has come from overseas. The Elizabethan stage had Marlowe’s Edward II and Shakespeare had two characters named Antonio, in Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice, who are ...

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On Monday night I attended a performance of the Australian Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty where the audience gasped in wonder as the curtains parted on the final act: three massive chandeliers were lit then raised above a cream and gold confection of a set which put Versailles to shame. On Thursday night, I was at Muriel’s ...

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Waiting for Godot (Wits' End / Eleventh Hour Theatre) ★★★

Andrew Fuhrmann
Monday, 27 November 2017

The original French version of Waiting for Godot was written in Paris between October 1948 and January 1949. This was a time of mass migration in Europe, when a flood of displaced humanity washed across the continent. It was a time of refugees, exiles, immigrants, fugitives, and transients. France settled more than 38,000 ...

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Scenes from a Marriage (Queensland Theatre) ★★★★

Bronwyn Lea
Monday, 20 November 2017

Famous couples from literature – from Romeo and Juliette to Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy – have enacted storylines built around rituals of courtship and the obstacles they face on the way to marrying. While the ‘marriage plot’ has never gone out of fashion – kept alive, in good part, by Hollywood’s penchant for the rom-com ...

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Three Sisters (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★

Ian Dickson
Monday, 13 November 2017

After decades of English language Chekhov productions following in the footsteps of Stanislavsky and Komisarjevsky in which historically accurately costumed actors wandered around a stage awash with gloom and torpor declaiming Constance Garnett’s constipated translations, directors finally discovered that the plays were ...

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American Song (Red Stitch Actors' Theatre) ★★★★

Fiona Gruber
Monday, 09 October 2017

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman’s humanistic, wheeling manifesto of the American destiny underpins Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith’s one-man play, American Song, and the collection of poems form the credo and frame the questioning of its central character, Andy. The poems’ exploration of a world of natural ...

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Ghosts (Belvoir St Theatre) ★★★1/2

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 21 September 2017

When this production of Henrik Ibsen’s most controversial play was programmed, no one could have guessed how pertinent it would appear in Australia at this moment. On the surface, this account of a bourgeois woman whose attempt to escape from a loveless marriage ...

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Macbeth, directed by Geordie Brookman, artistic director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, is the second production to showcase the STCSA’s new acting ensemble. The first, A Doll’s House, with an updated text by Elena Carapetis and also directed by Brookman ...

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