February 17, 2023

Guffaws and vengeance in a tale of family woe

The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?
by Edward Albee.
State Theatre Company South Australia
and Sydney Theatre Company.
Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre.
February 14. Bookings:
Tickets: $49-95. Until February 25.
Duration : 100 minutes. No interval.

Sydney Theatre Company season
at the Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney,
March 2 -25. Tickets : $65- $125.

Murray Bramwell

It’s in the title of the play so it doesn’t need a spoiler alert. We know who Sylvia is. She is a goat. …

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February 16, 2023

Fringe Review: Jesus, Jane, Mother & Me

Five Stars

In an empty house a young man is waiting to celebrate Mother’s Day but the more he describes her –and their religious devotions and special bonds, the more uncertain his rapture becomes.

Written by Murray Bramwell

After the chintzy palladium orchestra fanfare, it is his cheery manner which captures us first. This young extravagant man, eyes wide, all gestures and beaming smile. Hello, I’m Daniel Valentine.

He is in his mother’s house dressed in a summer dressing gown …

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February 01, 2023

Comedy Theatre: Mono

Three goes very amiably into one in Mono, a suite of gently comic monologues divided up and performed by some of Australia’s favourite funny people, past and present.

In what he calls a ‘Brand New Classic Comedy ‘ and ‘A three-person one-man show ‘ Mono writer and director Angus FitzSimons has a fairly clear demographic in mind and it is not the Wil Anderson/Hannah Gadsby/ Kirsty Webeck crowd. Like his other show (with a published book tie-in) the semiotically …

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October 21, 2022

Theatre Review: The Demon

The Demon explores the dark past in Australia’s colonial history, its effects on First Nations people and later on migrant minorities both Asian and Middle Eastern. This bold production is a grim journey – often compelling, but sometimes hampered by its own theatrical ambition.

Written by Murray Bramwell

The Demon is the kind of project we look forward to with the OzAsia program. Like Light, Thomas Henning’s discursive account of Adelaide’s Colonel William Light and his tribulations with the …

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October 08, 2022

Theatre: The Normal Heart

InDaily InReview

State Theatre Company’s excellent revival of Larry Kramer’s incendiary account of the early years of the AIDS crisis in New York is a compelling reminder of another epidemic where some are timely and heroic in their response, while others choose to look away.

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

The writer and social critic, Susan Sontag called him one of America’s most valuable troublemakers. Larry Kramer was the founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the first organisation formed to …

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August 10, 2022

Theatre Review: Chalkface

InDaily Review
Theatre: Chalkface
Written by Murray Bramwell.

Angela Betzien’s Chalkface, premiered by State Theatre, is a zany portrait of an Australian public primary school. It holds up a cracked and grimly funny mirror to the end-result of years of state neglect and disrespect for teachers and their profession.

Many essential institutions have been exposed and found wanting during the Pandemic – the health system is one, another is education. Not the lavishly funded private system, but the increasingly …

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May 12, 2022

Theatre Review: Cathedral

Set on the Limestone Coast, Caleb Lewis’ fine new play (featuring the outstanding Nathan O’Keefe) is not only a deep dive into the depths of grief and loss, it is also about returning to the replenishing light of day.

Murray Bramwell

“Picanninie Ponds is a system of sinkholes on South Australia’s limestone coast, just south of Mt Gambier,“ explains Caleb Lewis, in the program notes of State Theatre’s latest production. It is where his father, a dive instructor, took him …

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March 27, 2022

Music Theatre: Girl From the North Country

This extraordinary mix of Conor McPherson’s masterly storytelling and his astute use of Bob Dylan songs has given the stage musical new heft and new meaning.

Written by Murray Bramwell

On that day in 2013, when plans were set in motion to create a theatre work using the songs of Bob Dylan, the planets were definitely in auspicious alignment. Because Girl From the North Country, which first opened in London in 2017, exceeds all expectations and seems to have created …

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March 15, 2022

Adelaide Festival – Theatre : The Picture of Dorian Gray

With dazzling stagecraft and an extraordinary solo performance by Eryn Jean Norvill, this screenshot of Dorian is a Wilde ride.

“The first duty of life is to assume a pose,” Oscar Wilde declared, “what the second duty is no one yet has found out.” As his biographer Richard Ellmann noted – “Wilde had been much concerned with images . He had painted self-portrait after self portrait.” He was referring to Oscar’s variety of beards, his curled hair and foppish costumes …

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March 08, 2022

Adelaide Festival – Photographic Memory

The Photo Box
Created and performed by Emma Beech
Vitalstatistix and Brink Productions
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
March 3. Until March 7.

When left with nothing after bushfires and (as right now) extreme flooding, the first thing Australian families report is their relief that they saved their pets. And the very next thing is that they rescued their photo albums. Family photos are the Dead Sea Scrolls of our domestic history. They reinforce legend, prompt (and sometimes falsify) memory, …

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