March 09, 2024

Adelaide Festival – Qui a tue mon pere (Who killed my father)

Adelaide Festival
Theatre : Qui a tue mon pere (Who killed my father)

In his compelling monologue Edouard Louis meticulously describes a childhood ruined by poverty, abuse, and alienation. He blames his father but comes to realise there are also much larger social and structural cruelties in play.

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

In the preface to his harrowing 2018 memoir Qui a tue mon pere, Edouard Louis hypothesises.

“If this were a text for the theatre, here is how it …

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March 06, 2024

Adelaide Festival – I Hide in Bathrooms

I Hide in Bathrooms
Astrid Pill and Collaborators

I Hide in Bathrooms, we are told, by an offstage voice, is “based loosely on a true-ish story” but it is also “made-uppish”. We know from the program notes that this excellent theatre work had its beginnings when devisor and performer Astrid Pill became preoccupied with the notion of the death of a life partner, in response to the experiences of people in her intimate circle.

But it is …

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March 01, 2024

Goodbye Lindita

Described as a visual meditation on mourning, Goodbye Lindita eloquently, and sometimes convulsively, expresses feeling and wonder about the mystery of death – without uttering a single word.

Written by Murray Bramwell

“I feel like mourning has a silent, almost suffocating quality,“ Mario Banushi writes in the program notes, “This is why it is a performance without words.”

Conceived and directed by Banushi, Goodbye Lindita may be wordless but it has plenty to say. Inspired, or perhaps provoked, by the …

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February 07, 2024

Theatre: The Children

In just over 100 minutes, with a splendid, often funny, script and three excellent actors, The Children explores the grim legacies of the past and the uncertainty and dangers of the future, without driving us to despair.

Written by Murray Bramwell

The State Theatre Company has again opened its season with an excellent production of an outstanding and intriguing play. Last year it was Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia ? This time it is, first performed in …

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October 13, 2023

Theatre: The Garden

Written by Murray Bramwell

With thrift and wit and unnerving candour, Theatre Republic’s intriguing new play examines in microcosm the inescapable reality of discrepant worlds and insufficient good intentions.

“This play has never been comfortable,“ Emily Steel writes in her program notes for The Garden. “It was uncomfortable to write and if I’ve done it properly it will be uncomfortable to watch.”

And she has done it properly. In a compact sixty minutes she has produced a crowded hour …

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August 30, 2023

Music Theatre: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

In State Theatre Company’s newest co-production, with Belvoir Street and Melbourne Theatre Company, the brilliant Zahra Newman and her band recapture and celebrate the vibrant life, loves, torments and timeless music of Billie Holiday.

Murray Bramwell

There can be few singers as mercurial as Billie Holiday. Biographer John Szwed says of the more than forty books written about her – “All those who have attempted to write about her have discovered there are many Billie Holidays: one lively and joyful, …

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May 04, 2023

Theatre: Every Brilliant Thing

When his mother attempts suicide, a seven year old boy starts to make a list of everything “brilliant” worth living for. This insightful, funny, increasingly complex play explores the pain and complexity of mental illness.

Written by Murray Bramwell

We are often encouraged to count our blessings, to focus on the glass half full. It is a worthy aim, but it is never that simple. In Every Brilliant Thing, UK playwright, Duncan McMillan (in collaboration with comedian Jonny Donahoe) …

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March 16, 2023

Herd Mentality

Adelaide Festival
The Sheep Song
by Jonas Vermeulen, Stef Aerts, Joe Agemans, Thomas Verstraeten, Marie Vinck, Matteo Simoni with Bart Hollanders, Titus De Voogdt, Yorrith De Bakker.
FC Bergman
Toneelhuis, Antwerp.
Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
March 16. Until March 19.

Titus De Voogdt

In the final weekend of the Adelaide Festival’s theatre program comes the most intriguing- the FC Bergman company’s The Sheep Song. Described in their program notes as “a visual story without words, an epic solely …

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March 10, 2023


Grey Rock
Written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi
Remote Theatre Project.
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre.
March 10. Until March 12.

We last saw the work of the remarkable writer and director Amir Nizar Zuabi at the Adelaide Festival in 2018. Touring then with his Palestinian ShiberHur Theatre Company, he presented two plays Azza and Taha both of which made an enduring impression for those fortunate enough to see them.

So Zuabi’s return with Grey Rock, under the …

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March 06, 2023

Tragic Lifelines

A Little Life
Based on the novel by Hanya Yanagihara.
Adaptation by Koen Tachelet
Internationaal Theater Amsterdam.
Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre
March 4. Duration: 4 hours including interval.
Until March 8.

Ramsey Nasr, Steven Van Watermeulen and Hans Kesting. Photo: Adam Forte

It is always a matter for celebration, at the Adelaide Festival, when Ivo van Hove and his company Internationaal Theater Amsterdam return with a new work. Based on the 2015 novel by Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life is …

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