ABR Arts Theatre

‘I invented a character called Barry Humphries,’ the program promised. Beyond his characters, he said, the real man had always lurked behind a mask in various interviews. ‘Tonight you’ll see me.’ And there he was, in mauve jacket and polka dot tie, his features sharp, the voice crisper than ever ...

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Wild (Melbourne Theatre Company) ★★1/2

Andrew Fuhrmann
Monday, 14 May 2018

How curious that British playwright Mike Bartlett’s dark comedy inspired by American whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s escape to Russia after leaking thousands of top-secret NSA documents should open with a joke brazenly filched from The Importance of Being Earnest. The larceny, of course, is unconcealed; one assumes that Bartlett is just letting us know ...

Black Swan State Theatre Company’s terrific new production of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll joins other recent revivals such as those by Belvoir Street Theatre (2011) and State Theatre Company of South Australia (2015) in showing that Ray Lawler’s 1955 classic has lost none of its power to entertain and provoke ...

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Bliss (Malthouse Theatre) ★★★

Fiona Gruber
Friday, 11 May 2018

The opening of Peter Carey’s satirical novel Bliss, where the body of Harry Joy lies dead on the lawn while his spirit hovers above, is one of the most memorable in modern Australian literature. Harry’s laconic out-of-body narration hovers like a spare and airy jazz riff until a defibrillator jolts him back into the land of the ...

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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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