January 21, 2013

The Best of 2012

Filed under: 2012,2013,Archive

Live performance is, by nature, ephemeral and, too quickly, excellent productions and outstanding performances drift into imperfect recollection and hearsay.

I want to thank all the companies and creatives who have invited me to performances in 2012 and to acknowledge your commitment and achievement.

It is always hard to create good work and these are especially difficult times in which to operate.

So much entertainment is now corporatized and commodified and the capacity and inclination of many audiences to engage with art works which are original, challenging, local and independent seems to be diminishing.

It seems unfathomable that companies and governments can allocate (and write down) budgets in the billions and no-one can find funds for this country’s cultural activity. Less and less is being done to support new works by Australian artists, performers, and makers of all kinds – many in mid-career and with proven reputations. That so many continue in their vocations – in uncertain circumstances and for often modest rewards – is both admirable and inspirational.

These are a selection of my highlights for the year – not in any rank order, and by no means all that deserve mention.


Best Adelaide Productions of 2012

School Dance (directed by Rosemary Myers/ Windmill Theatre)

The Glass Menagerie (directed by Adam Cook/StateTheatre Company)

Top Girls (directed by Catherine Fitzgerald /State Theatre Company)

Pornography (directed by Daniel Clarke/ State Theatre Company)

The Call (directed by David Mealor/Junglebean)


Best Five Touring Productions

The Caretaker (directed by Christopher Monahan/Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse)

Ibsen’s Peer Gynt (directed by Jung-Ung Yang/ Yohangza Theatre Company)

A Streetcar – Based on Tennessee Williams (directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski/ Odeon-Theatre de l’ Europe)

Songs for Nobodies (directed by Simon Phillips/ Melbourne Theatre Company)

Fleeto (directed by Andy Clark/ Tumult in the Clouds –Scotland)


Best Five Cabaret/Fringe Productions

XXXO (Natalie Marie Verbeke and Charlotte De Bruyne- Belgium)

Cantina (Chelsea McGuffin et al/ Australia)

Misfit (Kim Smith /New York /Australia)

Love-Song-Circus (Circa and Katie Noonan/Australia)

Sons and Mothers (directed by Alirio Zavarce/No Strings Attached/Australia)


Five Most Intriguing Productions

Malmo (directed by Ross Ganf/ Torque Show/ Adelaide)

Land & Sea (directed by Chris Drummond/Brink Productions/Adelaide)

War Mother (directed by Catherine Fitzgerald/State Theatre Company)

Gardenia (Les Ballets C de la B/Belgium)

Take Up Thy Bed and Walk (directed by Gaelle Mellis/Vitalstatistix/Adelaide)


Best Five Lead Performances (Female)

Amber McMahon (In the Next Room/ School Dance)

Deidre Rubenstein (The Glass Menagerie)

Kate Cheel (The Glass Menagerie)

Lizzy Falkland (In The Next Room/ The City; nowyesnow)

Ulli Birve (Top Girls)


Best Five Support Performances (Female)

Carmel Johnson (Pornography/State Theatre Company)

Jacqy Phillips (Land & Sea/ Brink)

Danielle Catanzariti (Land & Sea/Brink)

Eileen Darley (Top Girls)

Antje Guenther (Top Girls)


Best Five Lead Performances (Male)

Nathan O’Keefe (Pinocchio/Windmill)

Nick Pelomis (Pornography)

Matthew Whittet (School Dance)

Tim Overton (The Call)

Anthony Gooley (The Glass Menagerie)


Best Five Supporting Performances (Male)

Guy O’Grady (The Call)

Matt Crook (Pornography)

Geoff Revell (Pinocchio)

Nic English (The Glass Menagerie/The Call)

Cameron Goodall (in the Next Room)


Best Five Designs

Mary Moore (Top Girls)

Geoff Cobham (Malmo)

Wendy Todd (Land & Sea/ Blasted)

Jonathan Oxlade (School Dance/ Pinocchio)

Ailsa Paterson (War Mother)


Best Five Lighting

David Gadsden (War Mother/ In the Next Room)

Mark Pennington (Top Girls/ Blasted)

Geoff Cobham (Pinocchio/Land & Sea)

Ben Flett (The City/The Call)

Richard Vabre (School Dance)


Best Five Music and Sound Design

Luke Smiles (School Dance)

Stuart Day (Blasted)

Jason Sweeney (Pornography)

Hilary Kleinig (Land & Sea)

Jethro Woodward (Pinocchio)


Best Five Music Performances in Adelaide

Bonny “Prince” Billy (Adelaide Fringe)

Zoe Keating (Cabaret Festival)

Punch Brothers (Adelaide Guitar Festival)

Steven Osborne (RBS Morgans International Piano Series)

Sigur Ros (Thebarton Theatre)

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