Australian politics, society & culture


Image of The Rabble’s ‘Special’
La Mama, one of Australia’s most influential theatre companies, turns 50
Image of Pichet Klunchun’s Dancing with Death
The Asia TOPA festival is unique for its focus on contemporary Asian culture
Jasmin Sheppard as Patyegarang. Photo by Greg Barrett, courtesy of Bangarra Dance Theatre
The secret history of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s ‘Patyegarang’
John Bell rehearsing 'King Lear'. Sydney Opera House, 2010. © Greg Wood/AFP
John Bell’s ‘On Shakespeare’
Meeting Neil Armfield
We are approximately an hour into Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure – first performed in 1604 – when a phone rings on stage. The appliance is lying on the bedside table of a starkly lit Novotel-like hotel room, glass-walled bathroom and toilet...
Eugene O’Neill’s 'Long Day’s Journey into Night'
Eugene O’Neill thought of his Long Day’s Journey into Night as a posthumous work. Completing it in 1941, he decided that it should only be published 25 years after his death; he also stipulated that it should never be performed, effectively killing...
Meeting Barrie Kosky
Expressionism has never been an Australian style. How could it be, since Australians are discouraged from expressing themselves? Mouths are clamped shut to keep out blowies, with a slit at the corner prised open in case speech – preferably laconic...
Eddie Perfect’s ‘Shane Warne: The Musical’
Consider these three vignettes from the storied life of Shane Warne, involving something that happened, then something that didn’t, then something that is. On 10 June 2000, London’s Daily Mirror publishes front-page allegations that...
Opera in Australia
It’s an odd business, a night at the opera. You know, if you like the diversion, that you are basking in the glow of an artistic institution that we're lucky to have and yet sometimes the effect can be bemusing and the ho-hums can assail you, as if...
Casey Bennetto’s ‘Keating!’
So, what is this? Casey Bennetto, the author of Keating! and one of the lead actors in it, says that it was first written as a "performance piece". The production at the Belvoir St Theatre is longer, with new songs and characters, and is a "show"....
Barrie Kosky’s ‘The Lost Echo’
Barrie Kosky is going to be pissed off. No booing, no heckling, no rotten fruit, no veal cutlets (yes, an Italian audience once threw these after a futurist performance): just whoops and wild applause greeting the performers at the end of the...
The making of ‘Honour Bound’
In the first week of August, two shows opened in Sydney: an arena-scale production of the hit musical The Boy from Oz, and Honour Bound, a new work from director Nigel Jamieson, in partnership with choreographer Garry Stewart and physical-theatre...
Edward Albee’s ‘The Goat, or, Who is Sylvia?’
Australian theatre can be predictable: middle-class melodramas with the inevitable living-room setting, neurotic characters vaguely redolent of relatives from childhood Christmas dinners, and talk about an ever-diminishing number of topics (faith,...