Theatre

The Maids

James Waites
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 ... More

Test of The Great Gatsby

Brian McFarlane
17 September 2014

One should approach a new film with an open mind, but it’s very hard to do so when it has been preceded by the sort of hype that has accompanied The Great Gatsby. And it’s not just the hype but the other threats to the open mind which include the famous source novel (one that people know about even if they haven’t read it), the previous film versions, ... More

Test of The Great Gatsby 2

Brian McFarlane
23 September 2014

One should approach a new film with an open mind, but it’s very hard to do so when it has been preceded by the sort of hype that has accompanied The Great Gatsby. And it’s not just the hype but the other threats to the open mind which include the famous source novel (one that people know about even if they haven’t read it), the previous film versions, ... More

The Rape of Lucrece

Peter Rose
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 ... More

Wild Surmise

Andrew Fuhrmann
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 ... More

On the Misconception of Oedipus

Andrew Fuhrmann
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 ... More

Alice Kessler-Harris: A Difficult Woman

Desley Deacon
10 July 2012

Desley Deacon

 

A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman
by Alice Kessler-Harris
Bloomsbury, $39.99 hb, 439 pp, 9781596913639

 

Why, Alice Kessler-Harris’s friends kept asking her, are you writing a biography of Lillian Hellman – a ... More

Patrick White in Adelaide

David Marr
24 April 2012

By the time I found him twenty-five years ago in the Adelaide Hills, Glen McBride was old, tiny, spry, and ready to boast about his career. I doubt many readers have heard of this little man or know of his pivotal role in the literature of this country. That’s what had me knocking at his door. And though he disowned none of it in the hours we spent ranging over hi ... More

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll

John Rickard
27 February 2012

I first saw Summer of the Seventeenth Doll in 1957 in London, of all places. I remember feeling some pride in seeing the symbolic kewpie doll presiding over the New Theatre in the heart of the West End. June Jago’s performance as Olive has stayed with me over the years; Philip Hope-Wallace, the Guardian reviewer, described her as ‘all chin and ... More

The fifty-seventh summer of Ray Lawler’s great play

John Rickard
01 February 2012

‘This harsh, cawing, strongly felt play’

by John Rickard

 

 

I first saw Summer of the Seventeenth Doll in 1957 in London, of all places. I remember feeling some pride in seeing the symbolic kewpie doll presiding over the New Theatre in the heart of the West End. June Jago’s performance as Olive has stayed ... More

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