Alison Croggon

Alison Croggon is a Melbourne poet, novelist, librettist and critic. Her New and Selected Poems 1991–2017 is out this month.

@alisoncroggon

Articles by this author

Image of Daniel Monks as Joseph Merrick
Malthouse Theatre’s ‘The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man’ runs the risk of erasing its protagonist
Looking for Joseph Merrick
The story of Joseph Merrick, popularly known as the Elephant Man, has a huge absence in its centre: Merrick himself. Ever since his death, aged 27, in 1890, imagination has rushed...
 
Image of The Rabble’s ‘Special’
La Mama, one of Australia’s most influential theatre companies, turns 50
A crucible of memory
You walk into La Mama’s familiar, intimate space, with the creaky staircase going up to the tiny office-come-changing room and the walls famously covered with an inch-thick layer...
 
Malthouse Theatre’s ‘Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.’ is an exciting but nihilistic condemnation of how contemporary feminism has been derailed
In revolt
It’s 2017, and we’re smack bang in the middle of the third wave – or is it the fourth wave? – of feminism. And all these decades of activism have led … where? Alice...
 
‘Macbeth’ at Melbourne Theatre Company attempts to draw on the tension between high and low art
The highs and lows of Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s plays are meant to be vulgar. So Simon Phillips’ astoundingly vulgar production of Macbeth at the Melbourne Theatre Company (until 15 July), at least on the face of...
 
Fraught Outfit’s ‘Book of Exodus: Part I’ explores the written word in a realm beyond language
A play on words
One of the reasons I enjoy writing about live performance is its unique challenges. I am a profoundly word-centred person: written language has been, for as long as I can remember...
 
‘The Gulf’ explores the family dynamics of abuse and its effects on children
Young adults
Anna Spargo-Ryan’s 2016 novel, The Paper House, a first-person narrative about a woman who loses her child in late pregnancy, was a remarkably assured debut. Her lively...
 
‘Wild Bore’ at the Malthouse Theatre is an irreverent criticism of criticism itself
Deconstructive criticism
It’s a premise that has every chance of backfiring spectacularly: take some of your own worst reviews, mix with other notorious smackdowns, and riff on them as the basis for a...
 
Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company’s co-production of ‘Away’ explores the shadows of Gow’s sunny and much-loved text
Shadowplay
Away, still the best of Michael Gow’s plays, holds a unique position in the canon of Australian drama. Many people first encounter it at school, which perhaps accounts for some of...
 
‘Joan’, created by Kate Davis and Emma Valente, is sensory, shapeshifting theatre at its very best
Theatre for grown-ups
There was a moment about ten minutes into Joan, The Rabble’s remarkable theatrical dissection of Joan of Arc, when I flashed back 24 hours. The previous evening I was ensconced in...
 
Image of Pichet Klunchun’s Dancing with Death
The Asia TOPA festival is unique for its focus on contemporary Asian culture
A necessary shift
I once quipped, not entirely unfairly, that arts festivals are what Australia has instead of a culture. We love them. In the first months of every year, most of our high-profile...
 
Image of Force Majeure’s Never Did Me Any Harm
The arts funding cuts are just a symptom of a broader malaise in Australia
Culture crisis
It is difficult to grasp the cultural devastation that is occurring across Australia. Even a partial glimpse is unnerving; surveying the whole is depressing beyond words. Despite...
 
The latest round of Australia Council funding is the culmination of years of cuts and mismanagement of arts funding
Black Friday
The Australian arts community could be forgiven for being triskaidekaphobic. Last Friday, 13 May, around 65 arts organisations, including many thought to be essential to our...
 
'Persona', Fraught Outfit, 2012. © Pia Johnson
The Best of Australian Theatre 2012
Like every dynamic cultural form, Australian theatre is cyclic. The mid to late 2000s experienced a massive surge of energy as productions by young independent theatre companies...
 
Tom Wright & Benedict Andrews - ‘The War of the Roses’, 2009
Theatre masterpiece
'Masterpiece’ is a chilly word: it takes a work out of the flux of creation and pins it in the gallery of cultural regard. When speaking of performance, it seems especially fishy...
 
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