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October 08, 2022

Theatre: The Normal Heart

InDaily InReview

State Theatre Company’s excellent revival of Larry Kramer’s incendiary account of the early years of the AIDS crisis in New York is a compelling reminder of another epidemic where some are timely and heroic in their response, while others choose to look away.

Reviewed by Murray Bramwell

The writer and social critic, Susan Sontag called him one of America’s most valuable troublemakers. Larry Kramer was the founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the first organisation formed to …

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August 10, 2022

Theatre Review: Chalkface

InDaily Review
Theatre: Chalkface
Written by Murray Bramwell.

Angela Betzien’s Chalkface, premiered by State Theatre, is a zany portrait of an Australian public primary school. It holds up a cracked and grimly funny mirror to the end-result of years of state neglect and disrespect for teachers and their profession.

Many essential institutions have been exposed and found wanting during the Pandemic – the health system is one, another is education. Not the lavishly funded private system, but the increasingly …

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May 12, 2022

Theatre Review: Cathedral

Set on the Limestone Coast, Caleb Lewis’ fine new play (featuring the outstanding Nathan O’Keefe) is not only a deep dive into the depths of grief and loss, it is also about returning to the replenishing light of day.

Murray Bramwell

“Picanninie Ponds is a system of sinkholes on South Australia’s limestone coast, just south of Mt Gambier,“ explains Caleb Lewis, in the program notes of State Theatre’s latest production. It is where his father, a dive instructor, took him …

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March 27, 2022

Music Theatre: Girl From the North Country

This extraordinary mix of Conor McPherson’s masterly storytelling and his astute use of Bob Dylan songs has given the stage musical new heft and new meaning.

Written by Murray Bramwell

On that day in 2013, when plans were set in motion to create a theatre work using the songs of Bob Dylan, the planets were definitely in auspicious alignment. Because Girl From the North Country, which first opened in London in 2017, exceeds all expectations and seems to have created …

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March 15, 2022

Adelaide Festival – Theatre : The Picture of Dorian Gray

With dazzling stagecraft and an extraordinary solo performance by Eryn Jean Norvill, this screenshot of Dorian is a Wilde ride.

“The first duty of life is to assume a pose,” Oscar Wilde declared, “what the second duty is no one yet has found out.” As his biographer Richard Ellmann noted – “Wilde had been much concerned with images . He had painted self-portrait after self portrait.” He was referring to Oscar’s variety of beards, his curled hair and foppish costumes …

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March 08, 2022

Adelaide Festival – Photographic Memory

The Photo Box
Created and performed by Emma Beech
Vitalstatistix and Brink Productions
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
March 3. Until March 7.

When left with nothing after bushfires and (as right now) extreme flooding, the first thing Australian families report is their relief that they saved their pets. And the very next thing is that they rescued their photo albums. Family photos are the Dead Sea Scrolls of our domestic history. They reinforce legend, prompt (and sometimes falsify) memory, …

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March 04, 2022

Adelaide Festival – Twists in tales of surprise, suspense

Blindness
Adapted by Simon Stephens
Based on the novel by Jose Saramago
Donmar Warehouse.
Queen’s Theatre, Adelaide.
Tickets: $20-$79. Bookings: adelaidefestival.com
February 24. Duration : 70 mins.
Until March 20.
Also: Merrigong Theatre Company, Illawarra Town Hall, Wollongong.
May 11- 15.

Girls & Boys
By Dennis Kelly
State Theatre Company South Australia
Odeon Theatre, Norwood.
Tickets : $44- $80. Bookings: statetheatrecompany.com.au
March 1. Duration: 105 minutes.
Until March 12.

A motorist, in traffic as the lights change, comes to a …

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February 21, 2022

Back to the Park: WOMADelaide 2022 Returns to Full Strength

Director Ian Scobie and Associate Director, Annette Tripodi talk to Murray Bramwell about reclaiming and re-setting Adelaide’s favourite music event – despite the challenges of COVID-19.

WOMADelaide is turning thirty and what a year to have a milestone birthday. From its inception in 1992, when it formed part of Rob Brookman’s Adelaide Festival, this vibrant, richly diverse music event has captured this city and brought visitors and rusted-on fans from all over the country.

Based in the CBD in Botanic …

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February 18, 2022

Fringe review: One Hour Photo

Four and a Half Stars
Murray Bramwell

One Hour Photo is a snapshot of one man’s life – captured from thirty hours of interview and a lifetime of turbulent after-images.

Adding to the usual array of theatre spaces at the popular Holden Street Theatre hub is Ruby’s at No.32. In past Fringes we have seen micro theatre performances in this charming but compact venue but this time it is decked out as a little cinema. Ten comfortable chairs with side …

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February 17, 2022

Fringe review: Meet Me at Dawn

Fringe Festival
Murray Bramwell

Two women are cast on to a desolate beach. As they begin to get their bearings the world will never be the same. Nor, perhaps, will yours either.

Five Stars.

The play opens with a thunderous ocean swell, courtesy of sound designer Sascha Budimski, and a darkened stage, courtesy of Mark Oakley’s lighting. Gradually the visibility lifts and we see a young woman drenched to the skin, hair bedraggled, trying to gather herself after being hurled …

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