ABR Arts Theatre

East

Dina Ross
Wednesday, 05 March 2014

Stephen Berkoff has always been the bad boy of British theatre. At East’s London première in 1975, the critics howled. Berkoff’s first play was filthy, with explicit references to sex and violence. Yes, the 1950s had spawned Kitchen Sink Drama, exposing the lives of the lower classes to a predominantly middle-class British stage. But Berkoff’s c ...

Once in Royal David’s City

Ian Dickson
Thursday, 27 February 2014

At a time when a convicted drug smuggler is rumoured to be about to collect a fortune for her remarkably unremarkable story and when we are heading into a new round of so-called ‘culture wars’, in which an extraordinary amount of heat will be generated with precious little light accompanying it, it is refreshing to be presented with another of Michael Gow’s fo ...

Waiting for Godot

Ian Dickson
Wednesday, 27 November 2013

With aching feet, bursting bladders, and the odd carrot for sustenance, Samuel Beckett’s famous pair of tramps have shuffled on to the stage of the Sydney Theatre for an extended run, though run is hardly the apposite word for this stationary duo. Perhaps one could call it an extended slump.

Waiting for Godot (first pe ...

Boy out of the country

Dina Ross
Tuesday, 26 November 2013

It’s a story biblical in resonance: prodigal son Hunter returns after seven years in the wilderness, to find younger brother Gordon finalising a lucrative real estate deal; the homestead’s boarded up, ageing Mum has been moved to a tiny flat, and the Utopia they knew as boys is set for redevelopment. The brothers come to blows, family secrets are uncovered, and ...

'Hamlet' and 'The Floating World'

James Waites
Thursday, 31 October 2013

Over the past ten years, Melbourne and Sydney have experienced a revolution in the aesthetics of theatre – perhaps only the second major one since 1945. After World War II, the British helped to get us back on our cultural feet, the high point being the establishment of the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust in 1954. Along came a bunch of Poms or Pommie-mi ...

Red, Like Our Room Used to Feel

Sara Savage
Friday, 11 October 2013

‘Nothing is not giving messages,’ reads a postcard wedged between the keys of a typewriter on a cluttered bedside table. As well as a nod to Edwin Morgan, the postcard is just one item in an abundance of ephemera lining a small makeshift bedroom in the basement of the North Melbourne Town Hall. This is the setting for American-born, Edinburgh-based poet Ryan Van Winkle’s one-on-one poetry ...

Rupert

Ben Eltham
Friday, 27 September 2013

When I was a teenager, I attended a theatre workshop organised by Australian Theatre for Young People. Nick Enright, who led the workshop, told a story about seeing the opening-night production of David Williamson’s The Removalists (1971) from backstage. Twenty years on, Enright’s description of the look on the audience’s faces as they contemplated the ...

The Cherry Orchard

Andrew Fuhrmann
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Writing to his brother in 1889, Anton Chekhov advised: ‘Try to be original and as clever as possible in your play, but do not be afraid of appearing stupid. Freethinking is essential, but to be a freethinker one must not be afraid to write nonsense.’

I thought a lot about nonsense during the Melbourne Theatre Company’s ne ...

Savages

Andrew Fuhrmann
Monday, 26 August 2013

‘If men are masters of their fate,’ asks the American feminist Susan Faludi, ‘what do they do about the unspoken sense that they are being mastered, in the marketplace and at home, by forces that seem to be sweeping away the soil beneath their feet?’

Perhaps they go on a cruise. That, at least, is what Runt, Craze, Rabbit, and Geor ...

The Maids

James Waites
Thursday, 27 June 2013

Jean Genet’s Les bonnes (The Maids, 1947) is inspired by a true story. Two maids, sisters, murder their wealthy mistress and are found by authorities soon after, huddled in the same bed. Incest as well? So it is odd to be confronted with a drama that essentially addresses the audience’s intellect, spring-boarding out of a melodramatic re-enac ...

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