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.
The Wharf Revue celebrates 15 years of political silliness this year with a retrospective of sorts. Old sketches meet new ones in a celebration not only of the show, but also the past decade and a half of Australian politics. A time before #auspol was even a thing, and guys like Howard and Latham ruled the lay of the (political) landscape. Creators Jonathan Biggins, Phillip Scott and Drew Forsythe, (who took a year off last year) are back together with the extraordinary Amanda Bishop to recreate some of the highlights while also poking fun at the year that was.
Sydney Dance Company’s Triptych, as its name would suggest, is a series of three distinct dance performances linked together by themes of love, emotion and relationships. Under the careful hand of choreographer Rafael Bonachela these three pieces spring into life through movement, set to an onstage orchestra and (in the case of Les illuminations) to the most haunting voice of soloist Katie Noonan.
It took Ariel Dorfman many years to pen Death And The Maiden, a poignant and confronting look at the end of the Chilean dictatorship and the beginnings of reconciliation under a new democratic regime. Influenced by events in his own life, the play touches on the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission under President Patricio Aylwin in 1990, whose role it was to examine the human rights violations under the previous Pinochet regime – but only those which resulted in death or ‘disappearance’. Perhaps most significantly, the perpetrators would not be named, with all testimony occurring behind closed doors away from public scrutiny. This brought about uneasy feelings among those who had been brutalised and survived – what justice was there for them?
The Sydney Theatre Company’s Storm Boy stays true to the beloved childhood story, bringing recluse fisherman Hideaway Tom, his son “Storm Boy” and their home on the coast of the Coorong to life within the theatre of Wharf 1.
Boys will be Boys... girls will be girls, and never the twain shall meet. Astrid (Danielle Cormack) says she has known this to be fact since she was a young child, though she doesn’t seem to believe it. As a high-level stockbroker, she fights shoulder to shoulder with the big boys – trading money, drinks and four-letter words. This STC production is also a case of girls being boys, since the cast is entirely made up of women, like an Elizabethan sorority-romp in reverse. Arthur, the alpha-male of the biggest swinging firm in the city, is played with quiet menace by Tina Bursill. With her hair slicked back she has a striking resemblance to David Bowie, though that’s more to do with his androgyny than her masculinity.
Following the success of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot in 2013, it made sense for the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) to take on one of the great playwright's better known plays as a follow up - Endgame - with one of Godot's leads, Hugo Weaving, in the production's lead role.
Circus, dance, and theatre is what one will be confronted with when one sits down for a performance of Tabac Rouge at the 2015 Sydney Festival. Supremely talented circus performer James Thierrée brings this production to Sydney, midst expectations that are still so high from the other three, well-received productions he has treated this city to in previous years. Returning with this largest cast yet - a total of 10 performers - Thierrée spins Tabac Rouge into a beautifully crafted dreamscape, taking the audience through the marvel of human movement.
The smartest, the bravest, the boldest - and the biggest nose. No wonder Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac is so often adapted - most recently by Andrew Upton, who also directed STC's current production starring Richard Roxburgh as the titular schnoz. It puts ugly man up against a superficial world, and gives him the truest heart of all.
The Wharf Revue team are at it yet again with their biting satire of Australian politics this year. Titled Open For Business, the show makes no bones about the state of the current political landscape and has a fair go at everyone involved. The regular team of writers Phillip Scott and Jonathan Biggins, along with Amanda Bishop are joined this year by newcomer Douglas Hansell, and the revived team is energetic with some fresh blood.
With her scripts for Mabo and Brides of Christ, Australian writer Sue Smith has never shied away from controversial or important topics. In her new play Kryptonite, which premiered this week in Sydney as a co-production between the Sydney Theatre Company and the State Theatre Company of South Australia, Smith tackles the relationship between Australia and China, seen through the guise of the 25 year relationship between Dylan (Tim Walter) and Lian (Ursula Mills).
The fire is burning and the cauldron is bubbling on the stage of the Sydney Theatre Company as it presents Macbeth, starring Hugo Weaving in the titular role.
Hugo Weaving, as the murderous thane, is at the centre of an ensemble cast including Melita Jurisic, Robert Menzies, John Gaden and Paula Arundell in Shakespeare’s master class in diabolical ambition and guilt for Sydney Theatre Company’s new rendition of Macbeth.
Mojo takes us back to rocking late 50's London. A pair of speed-addled nightclub workers are excited about the impending success of their resident headliner – hot young singer Silver Johnny. While they fantasise hitting the big-leagues they discover their boss has been murdered in a gangland power play for control of Johnny.
Multiculturalism and growing up in a country different to the one in which your parents grew up is a topic that seems to capture the endless fascination of people, especially in a country like Australia where most of us have direct experiences of this. Strangers in a Strange Land presented a panel facilitated by Annette Shun Wah and featuring American authors Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club, and most recently The Valley of Amazement) and Gary Shteyngart (Little Failure) as well as Australian writer Benjamin Law (Sh*t Asian Mothers Say, Gaysia). The four engaged in thoughtful, personal and often extremely funny conversation about the similarities and differences between their life experiences.