December 10, 1986

Adelaide Christmas – One Turkey, One Scrooge

The Unley Town Hall, Troupe’s HQ, has been dark for much of this year. After Gavan Strawhan’s The Last Drive-In On Earth, the company’s crowd-pleaser from the Adelaide Festival, they offered a stylish production of Caryl Churchill ‘s Top Girls before going into recess. Then The Floating Palais, also by Strawhan, a success from last year, was resuscitated for a tour around the traps to bring Troupe’s vigorous brand of left-thinking, participation theatre to a wider audience. The …

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December 01, 1986

Sharp and Shiny

Filed under: Archive,Music

Joe Jackson
Thebarton Theatre

When Look Sharp, Joe Jackson’s first album appeared in 1977 all manner of sobriquets were bandied about his distinctive sound – “powerpop” and “spiv rock” among them. Like Graham Parker and Elvis Costello, he offered a churlish wit and a tight rock sound – urgent, knowing and non-sectarian.

Of the three only Jackson has conquered America. Parker sounded too much like a New Yorker to begin with and nobody ever got over Elvis Costello’s ironic …

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November 01, 1986

State Secrets and Good Works

With so many of Adelaide’s theatre companies resting between engagements my bulletin this time is focused less on what is past or passing and more on what is to come – in particular, for the State Theatre Company in 1987.

When I interviewed John Gaden for last month’s CentreStage Australia, the 1987 season was still under embargo and thus the State secrets enthusiastically outlined by Gaden had to stay under the hat.

By the time this goes to press, …

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Urbane Renewal

By Michael Frayn
State Theatre Company, Playhouse.

Michael Frayns play, Benefactors appeared on the State Theatre Company performance list after Nick Enright and Alan John’s show Strange Harvest fell to the scythe of economics a few months back. The new Australian content in State’s programme dropped somewhat when John Romeril’s Jonah Jones went overboard and then Strange Harvest got the rotary heave ho as well, but indications are that State will redress the balance in 1987.

Benefactors, then, …

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October 01, 1986

Reviews – October 1986

While Pravda was still offering unsoothing sooth in the Festival Centre Playhouse, The State Theatre Company launched its next venture, Hannie Rayson’s Room to Move, into the Space. It’s been donkey’s years since State have used this more informal, intimate acting area, and there was maybe a touch of
truancy as the players escaped the stern proscenium of the main venue.

Rayson’s play certainly gives room to move. It is an interesting piece with bags to commend it, but …

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Street from the Heart

Street from the Heart
A Streetcar Named Desire
Harvest Theatre Co.,
The Arts Theatre

The Harvest Theatre Company wended its way to Adelaide recently for a season at the Arts Theatre of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. In keeping with Harvest’s charter, this production has toured regional centres in Western Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, playing more than forty performances and linking with local theatre groups along the way.

It must be quite a punishing schedule but there …

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The State of Play

John Gaden, Artistic Director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, reflects in midseason.

I first met John Gaden in October last year when the State Theatre Company was announcing his appointment as its new AD. 1985 had been a troubled year for State with a number of productions in succession hitting the wall as the local press grew more toxic and audiences more disheartened .

So Gaden’s appointment was greeted warmly from all sides. As a popular actor …

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September 10, 1986

Irish Eyes Have It

Filed under: Archive,Books

The New From Ireland and Other Stories
William Trevor
Bodley Head

Amidst the profusion of new fiction and the apparently endless experimentation with narrative and structure the fiction of William Trevor can be, and for too many readers still is, overlooked as commonplace and, certainly, unfashionable.

That is not to say that Trevor has gone unregarded – King Penguin published his Collected Stories several years ago and numbers of his stories have_become memorable television plays- The General’s Day with the …

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September 01, 1986

Sorry Truth

State Theatre Company
The Playhouse

As players of Trivial Pursuit well know, Pravda means truth, and in Howard Brenton and David Hare’s play the State Theatre Company reminds us that the Western press is as unlikely as any other to give us the whole Pravda and nothing but the pravda on the things that matter most.

Both Brenton and Hare have enjoyed success as playwrights over the past fifteen years or so and have collaborated previously on a play …

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August 01, 1986

Iron Failings

Essington Lewis: I am Work
by John O’Donoghue
State Theatre Company
The Playhouse

John O’Donoghue’s acclaimed Essington Lewis: I Am Work has been included in the State Theatre Company’s current season after the late scratching of Jonah Jones from the 1986 card.

Essington Lewis was first performed by the Hunter Valley Players in 1981, and enjoyed a highly successful season in Sydney last year. But the present production has not just been parachuted in from the East. West Australian actor …

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