ABR Arts Theatre

It is not entirely hyperbolic to claim that for more than half a century, Dario Fo and his partner in life and performance, Franca Rame, were the theatrical conscience of Italy. In a variety of theatrical forms and with a series of different companies, they toured the country, playing to huge ...

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That Eye, The Sky (State Theatre Company) ★★

Ben Brooker
Friday, 31 August 2018

Although his natural humility would make him dislike my saying so, Tim Winton is these days omnipresent in our national culture. Anywhere you look there is bound to be a new book, a television or film adaptation, or a stage adaptation, as with the State Theatre Company’s revival of That Eye, the Sky ...

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Australian classics have been surging onto our stages of late: Matthew Lutton and Tom Wright’s lauded adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock recently enjoyed success in London as well as Australia; Andrew Bovell’s stage version of The Secret River toured the country to critical acclaim ...

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Almost one hundred and forty years have passed since Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House shook the European bourgeoisie with its proto-feminist depiction of a woman walking out on her husband and children. Now American playwright Lucas Hnath has written a sequel ... ... (read more)

Creditors (State Theatre Company) ★★★

Ben Brooker
Thursday, 26 July 2018

August Strindberg thought Creditors, which premièred in its original Swedish in Copenhagen in 1889, his ‘most mature work’. Sitting alongside the more often performed The Father (1890) and Miss Julie (1889) in the playwright’s middle, ultra-naturalistic period, the play is an attempt to ...

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Julius Caesar (Bell Shakespeare Company) ★★★

Peter Craven
Monday, 23 July 2018

Julius Caesar, first performed in 1599, dates from the period when Shakespeare was leading up to Hamlet, and its central figure Brutus, the conscientious assassin, is a bit of a rough draft for the introspective side of the Prince of Denmark, whereas Richard II, four years earlier ...

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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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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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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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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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