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 …

Continue Reading Back to top

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, …

Continue Reading Back to top

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, …

Continue Reading Back to top

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 …

Continue Reading Back to top

Medium Cool

Filed under: Archive,Music

Mick Jagger

Thebarton Oval

With the Stones on the brink of their silver jubilee it would be hardly surprising if some of the faithful at the Mick Jagger concert at Thebarton Ovalwere grandparents. It was rock of ages for all ages as Jagger and the showband served up a concert -of vintage, even antique, Stones, and late Mick from his recent-ish Primitive Cool album.

Heralded by a thunderous bassdrum roll, ‘the band came on stage looking like bikies, bandits, Las …

Continue Reading Back to top

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 …

Continue Reading Back to top

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 …

Continue Reading Back to top


Anton Chekhov
Directed by Aubrey Mellor
State Theatre Company

The question of whether Chekhov’s drama is comic or tragic has become a hoary one. But it is nevertheless important. In not quite a hundred years critical opinion has run from one side of the boat to the other. In his influential Moscow Art Theatre productions, Stanislavsky- systematically curbed Chekhov’s absurdist, comic exuberance creating a definitive somewhat po-faced, house style.

More recently, commentators have argued that Chekhov is actually …

Continue Reading Back to top

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 …

Continue Reading Back to top

August 01, 1988

Reviewer Booked

Filed under: Archive,Books

On June 22 this year, Som Prakash was invigilating examinations at the University of South Pacific when the Fijian military authorities turned up and hauled him off to Queen Elizabeth barracks. Under the terms of the Internal Security Decree, the security forces can hold people in detention for periods of up to two years without explanation or trial.

The minister responsible for the Decree is Brigadier (he used to be Colonel before he promoted himself) Sitiveni Rabuka. The reasons given …

Continue Reading Back to top
Older Posts »