murraybramwell.com

July 01, 1997

Blood Simple

Wolf Lullaby
by Hilary Bell

Griffin Theatre Company
Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

A large white kitchen chair dominates the minimal set for Hilary Bell’s powerful new play, Wolf Lullaby. Denoting a child’s perspective of the adult world it dwarves the two normal sized chairs set next to it. And when Lizzie, aged nine, climbs into it clutching her dolly, it also amplifies the enormity of the emotions and anxieties this play manages to conjure.

Lizzie lives with her mother, …

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February 01, 1997

Travelling Light

Corrugation Road
Jimmy Chi, Kuckles and Pigram Brothers

Black Swan Company
Playhouse

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

For Black Swan it is another Bran Nue Dae. After the boisterous success of Jimmy Chi’s discursive account of growing up in Broome, the company is now freewheeling down Corrugation Road. As the title suggests, it is a rougher ride this time as Chi -with a lot of help from musical friends, Kuckles and the Pigram Brothers- recounts his painful encounter with schizophrenia, agoraphobia, …

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October 01, 1996

Past Lives

Good Works
Nick Enright
Playbox
in association with Adelaide Festival Centre Trust
Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

It has been too long since Nick Enright’s writing has featured on the Adelaide stage. Can it be On the Wallaby -back in 1981 ? So far, recent works such as A Property of the Clan and Blackrock have not been seen here, although we will soon be seeing double with State Theatre’s revival of his adaptation of The Venetian Twins coming up …

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Highlight

Filed under: Archive,Interstate,Theatre

Skylight
David Hare
Melbourne Theatre Company
in association with Adelaide Festival Centre Trust
Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

It has been a good time for The Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and a good time for the Space. The so-called World Theatre program brought in Nick Enright’s Good Works and now David Hare’s Skylight. They are both good plays and in the modest confines of the Space they have also given us absorbing performances.

David Hare’s writing suggests many things. The …

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Guys and Dolls

Summer of the Seventeeth Doll
Ray Lawler

Melbourne Theatre Company
in association with State Theatre
Playhouse

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

I have to say that I greeted the revival of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll with some trepidation. Its reputation, shall we say its legend, is a kind of tyranny – not least probably, to Ray Lawler himself. The Doll is an acknowledged turning point, a setting for historical watches, a kind of cultural synecdoche. It is also a convenient …

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September 01, 1996

Writing and Re-righting

Dead White Males
by David Williamson

Sydney Theatre Company
in association with the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust
Her Majesty’s

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

There is nothing that David Williamson won’t grab by the tail and swing into the theatrical arena. Whether it is the protocols of the New Rich, the ethical obligations of lawyers and journalists, the complexities of sexual harassment procedures, the truth of anthropological research or-as in Dead White Males- the arcana of cultural and literary theory. It …

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Boots and All

Tap Dogs
Her Majesty’s

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

From the moment it premiered at the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf in January last year Tap Dogs has been a thumping success -as Adelaide testified when we saw them in the Space only a month later. National and international tours followed, including headline performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Currently there are two companies performing, one in the UK the other on extended tour from Perth to Lismore and all watering holes …

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December 01, 1995

Drang und Storm

Filed under: Archive,Interstate,Theatre

Hamlet
The Tempest
by William Shakespeare

Company B
Belvoir
The Space

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

It is more than thirty years since the Polish writer Jan Kott declared Shakespeare not only our contemporary but the playwright for all of Europe. The idea liberated Peter Brook’s King Lear and gave acrobatic freedom to his version of the Dream but then it lapsed again. Shakespearean performance from the UK has, with notable exceptions -Cheek by Jowl, some of Michael Bogdanivich’s work with …

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Tomorrow the World

Murray Bramwell

After the announcement of State Theatre’s Australian Playhouse season for 1996 comes detail of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust’s World Theatre program. The world, it seems, is a somewhat closer place than we might have thought given the level of Australian content in the line-up. Perhaps now that State has committed itself to a five year plan we will have a better sense in future that the left hand knows whether the right hand has already signed the …

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October 01, 1995

Binary Vision

Filed under: Archive,Interstate,Theatre

1995

Arcadia
by Tom Stoppard
State Theatre in association with
The Sydney Theatre Company
Playhouse, September, 1995.

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

Arcadia, like its setting, Sidley Park, is a major property. Probably Stoppard’s best work since the plays from the Seventies such as Jumpers and Travesties, it marks an impressive return to form. It is maddeningly over-written and plagued with tropes he should be able to resist by now. But it is also propelled by ideas and energies which, in …

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