Best of the best from Melbourne

Anne-Marie Peard fills in for Troy Dodds.

By Anne-Marie Peard, filling in for Troy Dodds

Reviewers: you either love us a little bit too much or we’re ignorant, bitchy wannabes who wouldn’t know art if it bit us on the bum and left a nice pattern. (Which may be true.)

This year I’ve been told I’m too nice, I’m too nasty, I write too much and I don’t write enough. So a perfect review is not too much, not too little, not too sweet and not too bitter? Sounds kind of bland, Goldilocks.

Opinion is merely that, an opinion. One of the thinks I like about AussieTheatre is that it welcomes the most diverse and opposing opinions. We all don’t agree with each other, but I don’t know anyone who writes about theatre who doesn’t love it to their very core. I’ve yet to meet anyone who has the exact same taste as me, but I love reading what other people think – even if I sometimes roll my eyes or yell at the screen as I’m reading.

So, please don’t trust what mere reviewers say – get out there and make up your own mind. Just keep seeing live art. See the stuff you’ve read about, the stuff you’ve never heard about, the shows people rave about and the ones they hate. You’re not going to like it all, and you’ll disagree with what other people think, but every once in a while you’ll be left breathless or in tears or laugh so much it hurts – and you’ll wonder how these glorious artists knew exactly how you felt and put it on a stage.

Thank you to Jo, David, Laura, Barb, Karla, John and Xavier (the wonderful team of Melbourne reviewers) for their words, knowledge, passion and opinions, and to Troy and Erin for keeping the wheels running in Sydney.

Thank you to everyone who reads what we have to say.

And thank you to every artists and creator who welcomes us to their shows.

Aussie Theatre Melbourne: Outstanding Artists 2009

Jackie Smith for The Flood and Lally Katz for The Apocalypse Bear Trilogy and Sarah Collins and Justin Kennedy for Donna and Damo

Everyhing they do rocks – Finucane & Smith
Jackie Smith for The Flood, Salon de Dance, The Feast Of Argentina Gina Catalina and Burlesque Hour Legends

Shirley Cattunar, Caroline Lee and Maude Davey in The Flood and Ash Flanders in I Love You Bro

Outstanding Productions 2009

Dead Men Tell a Thousand Tales – Mikelangelo and The Black Sea Gentlemen and The Last Tuesday Society

Avenue Q

Commercial Program
When the Rain Stops Falling – MTC and Brink Productions

The Oracle

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday – Justin Hamilton

The best of the best
The Boy with Tape on his Face and Exit – Ghostboy with Golden Virtues and Le Salon – Peeping Tom

My favourite of 2009

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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