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ARTS: REVIEWS

Theatre Review: The Golden Age - Wharf 1 Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company (Performances Until February 20th)

Two young men explore the Tasmanian wilderness in their youth. Francis, a young engineer and his friend Peter, a geologist, have bright futures ahead of them. But when they stumble upon a tribe of outcasts deep in the bush, they enjoy a moment of curious joy before despair.

Theatre Review: The Importance of Being Earnest - Bella Vista Farm, Sydney (Performances through Dec 30th)

Algernon and John sit on the couch in deep discussion. Photo: Marnya Rothe.

Sport for Jove’s The Importance of Being Earnest opens with perhaps one of the most perfectly choreographed scenes in theatre. Staged within an elaborate house and performed to "Le amour est un oiseux rebelle" from George Bizet’s opera Carmen, we see Algernon Moncrieff (Aaron Tsindos) after a long night of revelry, emerge and move about his house in a daze. His butler Lane (James Lugton) masterfully pre-empts his every move, catching falling glasses and cleaning up around him, perfectly synchronised to the classic tune. And so begins the Oscar Wilde tale of fantasy and farce in Victorian England.

Theatre Review: Shakespearealism and Love’s Labour’s Lost - Bella Vista Farm (Performances through December 30th)

Having attended The Shakespeare in the Park Festival for several years I confess I was disappointed when we were guided to a modern stage instead of the Macarthur house at Bella Vista Farm. Part of what made this festival so unique was its clever and considered use of the farm house and despite the skillful set design, it was missing a certain authenticity. Perhaps the house couldn’t be used for restoration purposes, perhaps Baulkham Hills Shire Council wanted to get more use out of the eye-sore of a stage erected a mere stone’s throw away from the late 1700s homestead of John and Elizabeth Macarthur which forms an integral part of Australia’s European settler history – who knows.

Arts Review: Jerry's Girls - the Production Company - Arts Centre Melbourne (Performances To December 6)

TPC JERRY'S GIRLS photo Jeff Busby_1542

What a breath of fresh air for Australian musical theatre. In recent years, we’ve tried to create our own original work but it hasn’t always translated. Well, let me tell you; this one translates. Starring 11 of the industry’s most dazzling ladies comes a show dedicated to celebrating the works of American composer and lyricist Jerry Herman.

Arts Review: Ships in the Night #12 - Bar 459, Perth (19.11.15)

For someone who likes words, spent great swathes of his life reading, and works in a bookshop, I don’t get to literary events and evenings as much as I would like.

Arts Review: My Latin Heart - City Recital Hall, Sydney (12.11.15)

Brothers Slava and Leonard Grigoryan are bound by family and the love of music, proving vital to their success as performers on the Australian stage. Experts in classical and contemporary releases, the brothers have put out six records since 2007. Accompanied by renowned Argentinian-born baritone José Carbó, the Melbournian guitar duo rejoice in a fruitful display of Latin music, performing a wealth of repertoire from their acclaimed 2011 ABC release, My Latin Heart.

2015 Sydney Peace Prize Lecture with recipient George Gittoes AM

Artist George Gittoes smiles at the camera surrounded by the people of Jalalabad

The Sydney Peace Foundation is a University of Sydney foundation that promotes peace with justice and awards Australia’s only annual international peace prize. Established in 1998, and in partnership with the City of Sydney and Singapore Airlines, previous recipients have included John Pilger, Irene Khan and Patrick Dodson. For the first time the peace prize recipient is an artist, filmmaker George Gittoes AM, who has confronted violence in war zones, connected to their communities and used art to subdue aggression.

The Castle Hill Players announce the six plays of The Pavilion Theatre's 2016 season

Long shot of the set design which looks like an old attic with wooden beams.

The official launch of a theatre company's next season can be a nerve wracking time. Attempting to navigate through piles of scripts in an effort to perfectly curate a year of performances that will attract and entertain your loyal audience as well as encourage new attendees is a task fraught with doubt. The Castle Hill Players who run The Pavilion Theatre in Castle Hill have just announced the six plays of their 2016 season. Each play is directed by one of the six directors who help to run the theatre and after they appeared on stage to speak about their play, three of the actors performed a scene in an impromptu and quite hilarious style.

Arts Review: Sydney Open - Sydney Living Museums (01.11.15)

The exterior of Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall.

Each year at the beginning of November a select group of buildings across Sydney open their doors to the public. Organised by Sydney Living Museums, Sydney Open allows people access to certain areas that they would otherwise not be privy to and includes exclusive tours and behind-the-scenes access. Planning out your day is essential – with 47 buildings on offer it is literally impossible to see them all – and with tours operating at different times a game plan is crucial.

Arts Review: Jurassic Lounge Halloween – The Australian Museum, Sydney (30.10.15)

In association with The Australian Museum, event specialists The Festivalists have hosted more than sixty Jurassic Lounge events over the last few years, having attracted more than 68,000 visitors through the Museum’s doors. Allowing people afterhours access to the museum collections – without children – and with alcohol and food on offer is a tempting invitation for anyone. I have previously attended Jurassic Lounge but this night promised to be a little bit different with their Halloween special event.

Theatre Review: The Cockatoos - Blue Room Theatre, Perth (Performances through November 7th)

Photo by Jon Green

The Cockatoos is the latest work from writer and director Andrew Hale of Happy Dagger Theatre. Adapted from Nobel Prize winning author Patrick White’s short story The Cockatoos follows the goings on a suburban street in Australia; where under the surface of respectability there are plenty of secrets and dark goings on. Hale and company have delivered a work that is at times poetic, intimate and confronting, but always captivating.

Arts Review: Suzy Menkes in conversation with Collette Dinnigan – Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (22.10.15)


Pictured: Collette Dinnigan - Photo by Holly Blake

Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan’s exhibition Unlaced, which recently opened at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, marked the beginning of the Centre for Fashion. In conjunction with this exhibition was an in conversation between fashion journalist, critic and Vogue International Online Editor, Suzy Menkes and Dinnigan. I’ve often viewed fashion is Sydney as an elite club I don’t belong to and on this particular afternoon it really did feel as if everyone in the room knew one another, each looking around and speculating on the importance of the person sitting next to them. I’m sure the woman next to me was immensely disappointed.

Theatre Review: Benjamin & Me - Blue Room Theatre, Perth (Performances through October 24th)

Benjamin & Me is the latest work from writer, director, performer and purveyor of the ukulele, Mark Storen. It’s also the debut show for his new production company Whiskey + Boots. Benjamin & Me is quite simply a feat of storytelling and imagination. A show that is quirky, a little bit silly, but packed full of heart.

Five things we learnt from Breakfast with Peter Garrett

Yesterday in Perth, I got to have breakfast with musician, activist and former government minister Peter Garrett as part of a tour to launch his newly released autobiography Big Blue Sky. OK so technically there was a room full of other people there as well... but still...

The Australian Fashion Chamber showcase the works of seven Australian designers in Paris

The Australian designers stand as a group for the camera.

The Australian Fashion Chamber has hosted the Australian Designers Abroad Showroom in Paris which showcases the work of seven Australian Designers. Featuring both established and emerging fashion labels including: bassike, CAMILLA AND MARC, Christopher Esber, GINGER & SMART, Michael Lo Sordo, Romance Was Born and STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, designers were selected based on their industry skill, strength of their current seasonal collection and potential success in the international market.