ABR Arts Theatre

The short-lived but bold experiment that has been the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s actors’ ensemble comes to an end with its fourth production, Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. More on the play later, but what of the experiment? Acting ensembles have a chequered history in ...

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In the introduction to her seminal memoir of life as a transgender person, Conundrum (1974), the author Jan Morris makes it clear that she is not concerned with merely narrating the facts of her condition. ‘What was important’ to relate ‘was the liberty of us all to live as we wished to live, to love however we wanted to love ...

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It’s easy to forget how young Edward Albee was when he wrote his first plays, The Zoo Story, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Delicate Balance. Perhaps it was his choice of subjects and types that obscured the New Yorker’s precocity. In a way, Albee was always middle-aged – like his great characters (George, Tobias, ...

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Thirty years old is a difficult age for a play in this country. Australian cultural memory is not exactly short, but it certainly tapers in the middle where such plays lie, flanked on one side by The Canon and, on the other, by The Next Big Thing. Andrew Bovell’s After Dinner – initially a melancholic one-acter for three women ...

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After the vast proportions of her 2013 play, Chimerica (seen here in 2017) – a multi-scene, huge-cast exploration of American–Chinese relations – Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children – a one-set, three-character play – might seem like something of a chamber piece. But if it is physically small in scale, thematically it is even more ...

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The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui was the final play written in the extraordinarily prolific period of Bertolt Brecht’s Scandinavian exile (1939–41), a period that, among other works, produced the first version of Galileo, The Good Person of Szechwan, Mother Courage, and Herr Puntila and His Man Matti ...

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If one were tempted to cast round for a theme or a set of motifs that could be discerned from this year’s Adelaide Festival, it might be Rilke’s ‘Who speaks of victory? To endure/survive is all.’ Not as a default position, but as a celebration of those left behind, of those who tell the stories of those who have struggled and ...

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Antony and Cleopatra (Bell Shakespeare) ★★★

Susan Lever
Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Antony and Cleopatra (first performed circa 1607) is one of Shakespeare’s most poetic plays, full of imagery of exotic Egypt with its crocodiles and serpents, its River Nile and, of course, Enobarbus’s extravagant speech describing Antony’s first sighting of its queen: ‘The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne/ Burned on ...

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Kings of War (Adelaide Festival) ★★★★★

Ben Brooker
Tuesday, 13 March 2018

In a Festival glutted with plays about war and the violence wrought by powerful men, Dutch theatre company Toneelgroep’s Kings of War stands tall. A four-and-a-half-hour conflation of Shakespeare’s Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard III, it is directed by Ivo van Hove whose monumental Roman Tragedies – which conceived ...

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I think it was Peter Brook who said the longest that a staging of a play could remain vital was five years. The Hayloft Project’s Thyestes, directed by Simon Stone and adapted from Seneca’s tragedy by Stone himself, Thomas Henning, Chris Ryan, and Mark Winter, was first seen at the Malthouse Theatre in 2010 ...

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