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June 09, 2021

Theatre: The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race

State Theatre’s exuberant and entertaining new production is set in a small rural town where nothing changes, but change is overdue. Five women from Appleton chew through some timely questions about fairness, opportunity and gender equity.

Written by Murray Bramwell

“The potato race is a real thing,” writer Melanie Tait tells us in her program note for The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race, “It happens every year in my hometown…” Her town is not called Appleton though, it is Robertson …

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June 04, 2021

Theatre review : Watchlist.

Overflowing with wit and mercurial polemic, Watchlist at The Bakehouse is an ambitious comedy with a sharp message.

Murray Bramwell

We often think only of fossil fuels as the prime cause of climate change. In Watchlist, the unlikely hero discovers the true impact of the global livestock industry and leaves us all with food for thought.

Basil Pepper is in his early twenties and lives in a world of his own. His closest associate is his bearded dragon lizard, …

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May 10, 2021

Private Lives

Euphoria
by Emily Steel
A State Theatre South Australia
and Country Arts SA Production.
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre.
May 7. Until May 15.

“The town in Euphoria is not based on any one town,” playwright Emily Steel writes in the program notes for State Theatre’s terrific new production, “but has aspects of many.” When travelling all over regional South Australia researching the play and interviewing locals, Steel asked people what was the best thing about life in their town. …

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April 21, 2021

Theatre review : The Gospel According to Paul

In ninety engaging minutes, writer and performer, Jonathan Biggins’ Gospel brings us, not just a fascinating study of Paul Keating but an account of a transformative time in Australian political history.

Murray Bramwell

You might say, that for satirist Jonathan Biggins, Paul Keating has been his bread and butter for a long time. As part of the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue, along with Phillip Scott, Drew Forsythe and a select group of associates, Biggins has made an art form …

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April 11, 2021

Theatre review : My Three Angels

Independent Theatre returns with an energetic revival of a comic farce with a heart of kindness – as three wily convicts become Christmas angels for a family facing financial ruin.

Murray Bramwell

Adapted in 1953 by Sam and Bella Spewack, from Albert Husson’s play Les Cuisine des Anges, My Three Angels is set in the French Guiana prison colony in 1910. It is a rambunctious tale of three convicts on work release who offer to repair the roof of …

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March 07, 2021

Agonising trajectory of live-streamed drama

Adelaide Festival

Medea
After Euripides
Written and directed by Simon Stone
Internationaal Theater Amsterdam.
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide.
Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mount Gambier.
March 4. Duration : 1 hr 20 mins.

Eugene Onegin
Selected chapters from the novel in verse
by Alexander Pushkin.
Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia.
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide
March 5. Duration 3 hrs 20 mins, including interval.

Since inception the Adelaide Festival has been celebrated for its international program. But like so much else, …

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February 26, 2021

Festival review : The Boy Who Talked to Dogs

Adelaide Festival 2021

Slingsby takes Martin McKenna’s memoir The Boy Who Talked to Dogs back to County Limerick where it began. Featuring an Irish pub band, shadow dog puppets and Bryan Burroughs, brilliant as the talking boy.

“Sometimes you have to learn to be the hero of your own story,” writer Amy Conroy observed – and this is what the celebrated dog whisperer, Martin McKenna achieved. Or mostly so. His book about his wretched childhood on the Garryowen estate in …

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February 23, 2021

The Barefoot Review

WOMADelaide 2021: Re-inventing for the Pandemic

Murray Bramwell talks with Artistic Director, Ian Scobie about the challenges of planning a music festival during COVID.

The last time I interviewed Ian Scobie about WOMADelaide it was late January last year and Kangaroo Island was burning down. The bushfires -which engulfed huge sections of the country, sending serious smoke haze into the cities – were on everyone’s mind. Scobie’s company APA was running a national tour for the Italian composer, Ludovico Einaudi, …

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Adelaide Festival 2021 – Robyn Nevin is outstanding

A German Life
by Christopher Hampton
Co-produced by Adelaide Festival
and The Gordon Frost Organisation.
Dunstan Playhouse. Adelaide Festival Centre.

February 23. Tickets $ 30 – $109.
Bookings: adelaidefestival.com.au.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes. No interval.
Until March 14.

“I have forgotten such a lot,” concedes Brunhilde Pomsel, aged 102, “And then …things surge up into my mind. Things I can remember in the minutest detail.”

This happens when you get old, but in the case of Pomsel, the sweeping …

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February 18, 2021

Fringe review: The Twins

Adelaide Fringe
Murray Bramwell

Two friends are cast in a school production of The Comedy of Errors. At Geelong Grammar, no less. One is Greg Fleet, the other Ian Darling. One took the high road, the other the low. Forty years later they ponder where life has taken them – and which road was which.

**** Four Stars

The Twins, we are told, is Truer than Fiction. Terry Serio the director describes it as Theatre Verite. Whatever it is, …

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