December 01, 1988

Harsh but Reasonable

Filed under: Archive,Books

Mars Peter Porter
Illustrated by Arthur Boyd
Andre Deutch

Mars, hoodlum son of Hera and Zeus, liked more than a malenky bit of ultra-violence, so the sources say, and Thracian deity that he was – the more gratuitous the better.

In Mars, Peter Porter, in his fourth collaborative volume with artist Arthur Boyd, has written his most pungent verses since Annotations of Auschwitz. Mars is a splenetic jeremiad against twentieth century warfare alongside which Boyd’s stumpy, perfunctorily daubed …

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Book Reviewers’ Choice

Filed under: Archive,Books

Book Reviewers’ Choice

Best reading for 1988 would have to include Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping (King Penguin). It was turned into a sublime film by Bill Forsythe, but the novel, first published in 1981, is even sublimer. Beautifully written, eerie and strangely consoling, it is a rare work.

Julia Voznesenkaya’s The Women’s Decameron (Methuen) is a cycle of stories told by ten women quarantined in a present-day maternity hospital in Leningrad. The hundred stories tell, among other things, of First Love, …

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Strindberg’s Flickering Tale

By the time this goes to print, August Strindberg’s A Dream Play, the State Theatre Company’s final production of the 1988 season will have opened in the Playhouse. The project began when John Gaden took a shine to the Australian Opera production of The Magic Flute and invited Swedish director Goran Jarvefelt and his collaborator Carl Friedrich Oberle to direct a theatre work for State. Part of the national “World to Australia” program, the production has received Bicentennial dollars, …

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November 01, 1988

Crowning Achievement

The Wars of The Roses
History Plays by William Shakespeare
English Shakespeare Company
Directed by Michael Bogdanov
Festival Theatre

“And if you crown him, let me prophesy/ The blood of English shall manure the ground/ And future ages groan for this foul act.” The words of the Bishop of Carlisle went unheeded and the rest is history – Shakespeare’s history of a decimating brawl which began in 1398, when the hollow crown of the last Plantagenet Richard II was snatched …

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October 01, 1988

Fragile Eggshell Mind

Filed under: Archive,Comedy

Paul Livingstone
Club Foote

A heavily padded overcoat walks into the spotlight. Gradually a small pale pate appears above the collar, two piercing eyes sweep the room. A pair of binoculars extends from the lower reaches of the coat and continues the surveillance. Then, although not convinced it is safe to, the inhabitant bursts free of the coat and there, in a black leotard with a Union flag loincloth tied to an animal pelt that looks like it has …

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The New Dreaming

The New Dreaming
Come Out 89

Murray Bramwell talks with Michael Fitzgerald.

Since it began as a row of tents in the Adelaide Parklands in 1974, Come Out has become a major youth arts festival virtually unrivalled in the world. Its reputation for quality, diversity and the sheer scale of its mobilisation is a credit to the energy and commitment of a succession of directors and administrators and an army of teachers and arts workers. Come Out has continued to …

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August 13, 1988

A Mid-Winter Night’s Comedy

Murray Bramwell talks with director Geoffrey Rush and actors Paul Blackwell and Tony Taylor about The Popular Mechanicals, which opens for funny business in the Playhouse tonight.

They have become known as the Rude Mechanicals. They are the artisans led by the redoubtable Peter Quince who perform The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe for the royal court in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their play is theatrically preposterous, hilarious, endearing and contains some …

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August 01, 1988


King Lear
by William Shakespeare
State Theatre Company

This year the State Theatre Company’s sad tale for winter is King Lear but, unlike the John Gaden/Gale Edwards/Mary Moore production of The Winter’s Tale last year, in Lear the considerable talents of the team seem more at odds than in unison.

Mary Moore’s sooty cavernous set, with inky wash backdrop and a huge obsidian dish which splits open amidst Les Gilbert’s terra-crunching soundtrack, portends a dark purpose for a production …

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July 01, 1988

Bronx Cheer

Filed under: Archive,Books

The Bonfire Of The vanities
By Tom Wolfe
Jonathan Cape

The Difference between the old journalism and the New (as Tom Wolfe himself called it) is that the New Journalism is writ large – in the Upper Case Apt Phrase – and writ often, with hyperactive syntax, repetitions of the key word and triple pause dots stringing together gauds of aphoristic wit.

So when it is announced that Tom Wolfe, an author of ten books which make the word best-seller …

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June 01, 1988

Relative Success

Filed under: Archive,Music

Festival Theatre

As their name suggests, Clannad is a family affair. Paul, Ciaran and Maire, the Brennan siblings, combined with their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan in 1970 to form one of Ireland’s foremost folk outfits.

A lot has happened to Clannad since they first started winning the battle of the bodhrans back in Gweedore, Donegal. Maire’s husky vibrato lead vocals, harmonised with the choral voices of her near and dear, have made the Clannad sound distinctively, sepulchrally …

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