Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya explores the boredom of a few wasted lives playing out on a Russian country estate. It is variously described as a comedy or a tragedy, which heavily depends on the production you are seeing. Having seen some bold adaptations of Chekhov’s plays in recent years – Simon Stone’s The Cherry Orchard at… Read more.
The last time I saw Women in Voice (WIV) was the early nineties when they played at the Sitting Duck Café in West End. From the depths of my time-addle-memory I recall a second-story venue on Boundary Street thronging with young, fabulous feminists; the who’s-who of Brisbane’s spunky, punky chicks sporting Doc Martins, overalls-with-attitudes and… Read more.
Ginny (Bessie Holland) is growing up in Chitole, a small town where the locals – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – don’t accept her as Aboriginal because of her light skin. She dreams of going to Brisvegas to follow in the footsteps of her mother and become a Blaque Showgirl. Nakkiah Lui is at the point… Read more.
There’s something exquisite about entering the Trades Hall to see LadyCake. It’s the slight vertigo that derives from crossing the threshold of time: walking up that darkly lit stairwell with flaking paint stuck yellowish to the wall and stairs buffeted smooth by thousands of trampling feet. Then you enter The New Ballroom and you’re transported… Read more.
After the week we’ve had and the blow it’s been for women and minority groups everywhere, the idea of escaping to the theatre – that great equalising arena, frequent champion of love and acceptance – is appealing. So it’s a huge disappointment when there’s no relief to be found. Sydney Theatre Company’s Speed-the-Plow just picks up… Read more.
The Production Company’s DUSTY at the Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne, is a disappointingly narrow tribute to one of the most complex and influential female musical artists that Britain has ever produced. The decaying grey of a derelict television sound stage. A young girl, Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien (Baylie Carson), dances in daydreams of Doris Day,… Read more.
“Is she pregnant? No just fat.” Boom-boom. It’s such a good week to remind us that women are best kept pretty or pregnant. The Odd Couple is the MTC’s end-of-year already-close-enough-to-sold-out cash-cow show with Shaun Micallef as Felix, the neat-freak cow, and Francis Greenslade, as Oscar the messy bull. The Neil Simon play opened on… Read more.
Shakespeare’s beloved Dane is savagely exploded in Mark Wilson’s Anti-Hamlet, appearing at Theatre Works. The familiar warble of “Advance Australia Fair”, as well as abundant references to familiar tropes of contemporary Australian living, not-so-subtly situate this bygone Denmark significantly closer to home. It’s 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare and Denmark/Australia stands on… Read more.
The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade is a mouthful of a play title and the onstage experience is similarly overwhelming. New Theatre’s production of what they – and we – will call Marat/ Sade is an explosive, political work about class… Read more.
Writer Christine Croyden weaves a rich ornithological allegory in The World without Birds, the latest offering from Melbourne Writers’ Theatre, at the La Mama Courthouse. In this semi-autobiographical fable, The Queen of Birds (Margot Knight) recounts the course of her life and her career, unpacking and exploring a lifetime of memories that she has collected… Read more.