Early on in Jonny Hawkins’s Maureen: Harbinger of Death, Maureen invites an audience member to light her cigarette. The man she chooses, like most audience participants, hesitates. She beckons him with a wry smile. As he wanders on stage, she immediately notices his bare face. She presents him with a mask – coordinated perfectly to the colour of her room and attire – and remarks: ‘He has a ... (read more)
Guy Webster is an academic and writer living on unceded Wurundjeri land. His work has been published by ABR, Overland, Metro Magazine, Kill Your Darlings, and The Conversation. He is currently finishing his doctorate at the University of Melbourne.
ABR Arts • 28 March 2022
Not long into Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning a character brings out an acoustic guitar and is asked to play a song. He chooses Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Nothin’’, a melancholy ballad pulled from the annals of American folk music. When it was released in 1971, many assumed it represented Van Zandt’s struggle with drug addiction. In fact, as he explained two years before his death, ... (read more)
ABR Arts • 09 February 2022
Since its première in 1949, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman has managed to cling to cultural relevance with a vice-like grip. In 1975, New York Times critic Walter Goodman saw in its evocation of the American middle class the perfect representation of a nation-wide recession following the Vietnam War. In 1984, the play’s titular salesman, Willy Loman, became the symbol of a dwindling midd ... (read more)
ABR Arts • 05 July 2021
While watching HBO’s newest whodunnit series, Mare of Easttown, I was reminded of another crime-fiction drama, The Sopranos (1999–2007). When Marianne ‘Mare’ Sheehan (Kate Winslet) arrives early for a court-ordered therapy session in the series’ fourth episode, I thought of Tony Soprano sitting down for the first of many similar appointments with his therapist, Dr Melfi. Reclining in a c ... (read more)