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June 08, 2024

Adelaide Cabaret Festival – The 2024 Variety Gala

Presided over by exuberant Artistic Director, Virginia Gay, this year’s Variety Gala – featuring an array of amazing women (and also some excellent blokes) – is one of the briskest and best we have seen for a while.

Written by Murray Bramwell

It’s that time again. A week into June, just when winter starts to bite, and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival convenes for the 24th year. And, as old as the festival itself, is the Variety Gala. They are …

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April 19, 2024

Music: James Taylor

Filed under: Archive,Current,Music

For more than two hours, with a brilliant band and a portfolio of songs that have conquered time, James Taylor reminds us that we have still got a friend.

Written by Murray Bramwell

“I’ve got my RM’s on,” muses James Taylor, staring at his boots. And from that very first moment he endears himself to the audience in the Entertainment Centre. They, or I should say, we are very predominately of a certain age. We are here to listen again …

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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 08, 2024

Adelaide Festival – The Threepenny Opera

Adelaide Festival
Music Theatre: The Threepenny Opera

Barrie Kosky’s version of The Threepenny Opera has had a haircut and a makeover but the satire is still in there, along with the comedy, and Kurt Weill’s splendid music.

Written by Murray Bramwell

The Threepenny Opera is just four years short of its hundredth birthday and it has had a long history of popular successes and mixed receptions. In Berlin, in 1928, it did poorly when it opened and then became popular …

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March 06, 2024

Adelaide Festival – I Hide in Bathrooms

I Hide in Bathrooms
Astrid Pill and Collaborators
Vitalstatistix
Waterside.

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 23, 2024

Another Stroll in the Park

As WOMADelaide 2024 draws closer, Murray Bramwell talks to Director, Ian Scobie, about bringing in the new and keeping the familiar .

“Things are going pretty well. Touch wood” As always Ian Scobie is taking early soundings in late January. He has been involved with WOMADelaide for all of its 32 years. Right back to 1992 when APA was formed and Festival director, Rob Brookman negotiated with WOMAD UK’s Thomas Brooman to bring World Music artists to a weekend festival …

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February 15, 2024

Adelaide Fringe Theatre: The Portable Dorothy Parker

Filed under: Archive,Current,Fringe

Written by Murray Bramwell

With her acid wit and memorably wicked aphorisms, Dorothy Parker is a rich subject for the stage, and playwright Annie Lux has seized the chance. The Portable Dorothy Parker draws its title from the writer’s first collection, garnered from works published in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and literary magazines.

It is 1943, and an emissary from Viking Press is visiting Parker to hasten the selection process. The setting is her apartment – a chair …

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Adelaide Fringe Theatre: England & Son

Filed under: Archive,Current,Fringe

Written by Murray Bramwell

When a play begins with a man screaming in a dumpster we know this is a story of the lower depths. England & Son is a corrosive account of the degradation and insecurity of working people in the UK, escalated by the Thatcher years and even more pervasive today.

We don’t know the man’s first name but his surname is England and so was his father’s. At one point in his childhood, England the younger is …

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Adelaide Fringe: Grav

Filed under: Archive,Current,Fringe

Written by Murray Bramwell

You don’t have to know about rugby to enjoy Grav. But if you do, this one-hander, performed memorably by Gareth J Bale, really kicks it out of the park.

Ray Gravell played more than 400 games for his Welsh club Llanelli, earned 23 caps for Wales and played for the British Lions in 1980.

He described himself as “just a minor cog, quite an ordinary player to be honest.” Fellow players, opponents and his loyal …

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