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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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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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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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 04, 2022

Adelaide Festival – Twists in tales of surprise, suspense

Adapted by Simon Stephens
Based on the novel by Jose Saramago
Donmar Warehouse.
Queen’s Theatre, Adelaide.
Tickets: $20-$79. Bookings:
February 24. Duration : 70 mins.
Until March 20.
Also: Merrigong Theatre Company, Illawarra Town Hall, Wollongong.
May 11- 15.

Girls & Boys
By Dennis Kelly
State Theatre Company South Australia
Odeon Theatre, Norwood.
Tickets : $44- $80. Bookings:
March 1. Duration: 105 minutes.
Until March 12.

A motorist, in traffic as the lights change, comes to a …

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