ABR Arts Theatre

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 ...

A Clockwork Orange

Andrew Fuhrmann
Friday, 26 April 2013

You’ve got to admire the bolshie great yarbles of young British company Action to the Word. It must have taken much courage and not a little jejune presumption to dream of touring Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) to such capital city main-stage venues as Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, QPAC in Brisbane, and Canberra’s Theatre Cen ...

Hate

Andrew Fuhrmann
Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Stephen Sewell’s sixth play, Hate, first performed in 1988 and written with a bicentennial commission, is a monster of ambition. It is a play that seems to swallow whole the Australian story since 1788 and represent a family tragedy, one steeped in the ritual violence of an Ancient Greek myth or a perverted Easter drama.

It is Mau ...

The Rape of Lucrece

Peter Rose
Tuesday, 05 February 2013

There is at least one bravura performance in Melbourne right now, and it warranted a much larger house than we saw last week (February 1), when Southbank Theatre was only half full. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of William Shakespeare’s long poem The Rape of Lucrece was first seen in Australia during the recent Sydney Festival, but it was pre ...

Wild Surmise

Andrew Fuhrmann
Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Was there ever an Australian poet who drank so deep of that turbid spring, enthousiasmos, Aristotelian enthusiasm, as Dorothy Porter? From the grungy vitality of her early collections, to the exuberant embrace of popular genre fiction in her five verse novels, to the high, passionate tone of her lyrics, libretti, and later collections, she was never less than ...

On the Misconception of Oedipus

Andrew Fuhrmann
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How is it that the sordid ‘familial romance’ of Laius, Jocasta, and Oedipus, or ‘daddy, mommy, and me’, came so completely to define the concept of desire in the modern West? For Deleuze and Guattari, authors of The Anti-Oedipus, that is the true sphinxian riddle at the heart of the Oedipus materials, the myth, and its subsequent interpretations from ...

The Histrionic

Andrew Fuhrmann
Monday, 23 April 2012

‘An admired talent for the theatre / Even when I was small / A man born of the stage you see / Histrionic / Setting snares even when very little.’ Such is the epigraph to Thomas Bernhard’s The Histrionic (Der Theatermacher), drawn from the play’s principal character, the megalomaniacal Bruscon. The image of the snare, or trap, is a common o ...

Harold Pinter in Adelaide

Peter Rose
Wednesday, 14 March 2012

To Her Majesty’s for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse production of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker. Pinter’s sixth play, it opened in April 1960 and ran forever (444 performances), his first commercial success, though by no means his first critical one (Harold Hobson had famously extolled the short-lived Birthday Party two years earlier.)< ...

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