ABR Arts Theatre

Rarely has the opening night of a play been so closely linked to a news cycle. A press story on 23 February reported that the Australian government is being sued for AU$103 million in a Jakarta class action. The plaintiffs, one hundred and fifteen Indonesian men, were teenage boys when they ...

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Away (Sydney Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre) ★★

Ian Dickson
Friday, 24 February 2017

Away reached the dubious status of ‘Australian Classic’ in a remarkably short period of time. It has become so ubiquitous that I would hazard a guess that fully two thirds of the Australian audience for this production who are under thirty will have been involved with the play either as performers ...

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John (Melbourne Theatre Company) ★★★★1/2

Andrew Fuhrmann
Monday, 20 February 2017

What a mysterious and delightful play is American playwright Annie Baker’s John (2015), a meditative comic drama full of exquisite detail and suggested psychological insights. Sarah Goodes directs with sensitivity and imagination for the Melbourne Theatre Company, in the Fairfax ...

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Little Emperors (Malthouse Theatre) ★★

Andrew Fuhrmann
Thursday, 16 February 2017

It is often described as the world’s largest social experiment, whatever that means. In 1979, to curb the baby boom that followed the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government officially adopted a one-child policy. Thirty-six-years later, in late 2015, this severe program, which allowed ...

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Little wonder that fortyfivedownstairs is encoring Marguerite Duras’s brilliantly dialectical play L’amante anglaise, first presented in this production at La Mama Theatre in 2014, directed by Laurence Strangio. Duras wrote it first as a novella fifty years ago; the stage adaptation followed in 1968 ...

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Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Decca)

Andrew Fuhrmann
Tuesday, 24 January 2017

It was a job worthy of William himself: not only the ambitious scale of the project, but the speed with which it was completed. In just seven years, between 1958 and 1964, Argo Records, with the Marlowe Dramatic Society, released the complete works of Shakespeare in forty box-set LPs ...

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The Testament of Mary (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★★1/2

Bernadette Brennan
Monday, 23 January 2017

The opening scene of the The Testament of Mary sets the tone of this excellent production and dramatises brilliantly Colm Tóibín’s radical reassessment of Mary as the Mother of God. Elizabeth Gadsby’s dark marble set, bordered by a red velvet rope, holds one empty chair, one ...

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No Man's Land (Wyndham's Theatre) ★★★1/2

Ben Brooker
Monday, 19 December 2016

It was in early 1974, while Harold Pinter was in America and working on a screen adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon, that the originating image of No Man’s Land occurred to him

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Uncle Vanya (Red Stitch Theatre) ★★★

Andrew Fuhrmann
Monday, 21 November 2016

When is it useful for an Australian production of Chekhov to use Russian accents? What does it do to the music of Chekhov, the rhythm and flow of his brisk conversations and long grandiose speeches? And what is the symbolism of such a decision? ...

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Speed-the-Plow (Sydney Theatre Company) ★★★1/2

Bernadette Brennan
Monday, 14 November 2016

There has been considerable media hype about Rose Byrne’s return to the Sydney stage in the STC’s new production of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow. When she does finally appear, as Karen, the somewhat gormless temporary secretary to the newly promoted movie executive Bobby Gould ...

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