ABR Arts Theatre

Gender Euphoria 

Sarah Walker
Wednesday, 16 October 2019

In 2018, formidable queer, feminist theorist Amelia Jones gave a lecture at ACCA about gender identity in art. She spoke about transness as containing an inherent denial of resolution; as a state of essential complexity. To be transgender was to revel in the space between definitions, the space where identity refused to coalesce into something comprehensible and static. A state of ceaseless becoming.

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The Nico Project 

Dilan Gunawardana
Tuesday, 15 October 2019

After spending more than a decade in New York as a muse and mannequin for a slew of photographers, filmmakers, and musicians, the German model and singer Nico, whose name is paired ubiquitously with The Velvet Underground, decided to stake her own claim as an artist. The soundtrack of the 1960s was becoming progressively angry as the disaster of the Vietnam War unfolded, but Nico was looking inward; she had some things to get off her chest. Her first attempt at songwriting was inspired by nights in Californian deserts with Jim Morrison fucking (violently), eating peyote, and reading English Romantic poetry.

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Anthem 

Fiona Gruber
Monday, 07 October 2019

Conversations on a train, scene one: we’re on Eurostar and a white woman and a black man, both young, begin to talk. We know immediately that they are middle-class and have prospects; the clothes and reading matter proclaim it. He identifies himself as an Australian resident in France; she’s an English student.

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Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland! 

Sarah Walker
Monday, 23 September 2019

Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland! – almost certainly the best title in this year’s Fringe Festival – is a ridiculous yet rigorous work that demonstrates the wonderful agility of fringe theatre in Melbourne. After nearly twenty years in its North Melbourne hub, the Fringe has moved homes to the newly renovated Trades Hall ...

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Titus Andronicus 

Susan Lever
Monday, 02 September 2019

What can you do with Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, a play full of murder, mutilation, and rape, culminating in a mother eating a pie filled with her sons’ ground-up body parts? For centuries it was dismissed as the early aberration of a genius, a sop to the bloodthirst of Elizabethan audiences ...

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Australian Realness 

Sarah Walker
Friday, 23 August 2019

Australians love a bogan in pop culture. Kath & Kim broke ratings records; The Castle regularly tops lists of favourite local films. This sense of affection for the working class becomes more complex off-screen, when Aussie battlers become ‘cashed-up bogans’ and turn Queensland into a Liberal state; when they start threatening middle-class values ...

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Golden Shield 

Tim Byrne
Monday, 19 August 2019

The great Spanish novelist Javier Marías includes a scene in A Heart So White (1992) where a translator deliberately mistranslates a conversation between two characters who obviously stand in for Margaret Thatcher and Felipe González. He does this to send a coded message to the other translator in the room, his future wife ...

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In the beginning there is the sound of deep breathing and heartbeat. Woman, the electric Jennifer Vuletic, lies writhing on a rock, splayed as if for sacrifice. Is she in a state of anguish or ecstasy? My Dearworthy Darling ushers us into a space fraught with uncertainty, the kind where questions beget more questions ...

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Life of Galileo (Belvoir St Theatre) 

Ian Dickson
Friday, 09 August 2019

You plan to present a new radical production of Hamlet. But it’s a long play and you only have a small cast. It will need a fair bit of pruning and you’ll have to lose some characters or at least reduce their importance. You will leave in the soliloquies of course, but Rosencrantz and Guildenstern can go, as can the players ...

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Lord of the Flies (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★

Ian Dickson
Monday, 29 July 2019

It must be confessed that the advance publicity for STC’s production of Lord of the Fliesfilled this reviewer with foreboding. A perspective on William Golding’s allegory about the inherent savagery of humanity – a destructiveness that, in his words, ‘produces evil as a bee produces honey’ – which shrinks it to the malady of the moment, toxic masculinity ...

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