Author: Emily Saint-Smith

Interview: Michael Falzon spills the goss on Evita and why he just wants to work with his mates

October 7, 2018

Michael Falzon is one of Australian musical theatre’s favourite leading men. Currently, he is showcasing his considerable talents in Evita, where he shares the stage with the divine Tina Arena. He is also the creator of Swing on This, a collaboration with Ben Mingay, Luke Kennedy, Matt Lee and Rob Mills, with whom he is currently […]

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Theatre Review: Powerful performances make YEN a genuinely moving experience (Kings Cross Theatre until 13th October)

October 5, 2018

Raw, real and deeply emotional, New Ghosts Theatre Company’s YEN gives us life as we’d rather not know it. Featuring some exceptionally talented new actors, who are expertly directed by Lucy Clements, this is heartfelt theatre at its most authentic. Fourteen year-old Bobby and his older brother Hench spend their days in their mother’s council […]

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Theatre Review: Family-friendly Potted Potter is not quite potty enough (Seymour Centre until 23rd September)

September 20, 2018

First, there was the Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Abridged, and now we have Potted Potter – The Unauthorised Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff (a title that, like the eponymous show, tries desperately to cram as much as possible into a very short space). Covering all seven Harry Potter books […]

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Theatre Review: Tina Arena wows as Evita (at Sydney Opera House until 2nd November)

September 19, 2018

Take a much-loved child star known for her angelic voice, throw in some musical theatre heavy-weights and a modern opera/musical whose composer is celebrating a milestone year, and you have a revival that could very well be the hit of Opera Australia’s 2018 season. The 40th anniversary restaging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, […]

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Pop-up Globe to Launch Previews in Sydney Next Week: Here’s What to Expect

August 24, 2018

Forsooth! In just a few days, the residents of Sydney will get to experience Shakespeare the way Londoners have been enjoying the Bard for centuries – at the Globe theatre! If you’ve not had the pleasure of attending a play at the Globe, fear not dear friend. Here’s your guide to impressing your friends and […]

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West Side comes to the East Side of the Opera House

July 19, 2018

If you love jogging through the Botanical Gardens near Mrs Macquarie’s Chair on a bright Autumn night, be prepared to hear the name Maria echoing through the trees as Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour brings the iconic West Side Story to the outdoor stage. In an effort to top the romance of this season’s La […]

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Opera Review: Ambitious Aida almost derailed by teensy technical hitch (at Sydney Opera House until 31st August)

July 19, 2018

It is as magnificent, jaw-dropping, gasp-enticing and lavish a staging as you can imagine, but Opera Australia’s decision to rely on digital technology for its latest production of Aida nearly came unstuck on opening night, due to a tiny, blinking square of blue light. Using soaring, rotating LED panels as the primary set, onto which […]

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Bennelong the Big Winner at 2018 Helpmann Awards

July 17, 2018

“With an audience full of performers, you’d think they’d know how to take their seats on time!” This observation from my patient (?) plus-one came as the clock ticked past 8.05pm and Sydney’s Capitol Theatre was still only half full. It also perfectly summed up our experience of the 2018 Helpmann Awards. You see, while […]

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Review: Verdi’s Rigoletto is back, again (Sydney Opera House until 24th August)

July 8, 2018

Tackling Verdi’s Rigoletto in the #metoo era could have been a real opportunity for Opera Australia. A story featuring a leader who believes women merely objects for his desire and a disadvantaged subject who cheers on this behaviour until it is directed towards his own daughter – just think of the possible political parallels to […]

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What happens at TEDxSydney (and why you should book your ticket for next year)

June 17, 2018

If you were in the vicinity of Sydney’s ICC on Friday 15th June you may have noticed an abundance of white canvas tote bags marked with red Xs and Os. No, it wasn’t a giant game of noughts and crosses (although that would have been super fun) – the people toting said totes were taking […]

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Theatre Review: Assassins claims a victim (and wins hearts) on opening night (Sydney Opera House to 1st July)

June 15, 2018

It takes extraordinary strength of character (both in personality and portrayal) to deliver a flawless performance while one of your leads is being rushed to hospital with a serious injury, but that is what the cast of Assassins did on opening night at the Sydney Opera House this week. A sharply designed, brilliantly performed production, […]

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5 Unmissable Minds on show at TEDxSydney 2018

June 4, 2018

Ever wondered what it’s like to be the most talked about person in Australia? How to go about becoming a social media sensation? Or what women who work in scientific professions really feel about gender balance? These are just some of the things pondered by some of Australia’s leading minds, all of whom are appearing […]

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Theatre Review: Troilus & Cressida lacking a spark (at the Depot Theatre until 19th May)

May 16, 2018

Despite being penned by arguably the world’s greatest playwright, the convoluted storyline of Troilus & Cressida can prove a significant challenge for even the best theatre practitioners. Secret House have tackled this problem play with their usual gusto, gaining many ticks from this reviewer, but unfortunately the source material proves a difficult sell and, as […]

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Diverse Group of Aussies to Answer the Question: What Does it Mean to be Human and Kind?

May 7, 2018

A comedian, robobiologist, YouTube celebrity and Anglican priest walk into a convention centre… Okay, it’s not the best opening line for a joke but it is a great start to the line-up for this year’s TEDxSydney, hitting the ICC Sydney stage on Friday 15th June. The theme for this year’s event is HumanKind, which according […]

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Why Ray Martin Jumped at the Chance to Host Landmark Photography Conference

April 26, 2018

This weekend, some of Australia’s finest photographers will be showcased at the inaugural photography conference Aperture Australia 2018. The two-day conference is the first of its kind in Sydney, featuring eight industry heavyweights including pioneering Australian landscape photographer Ken Duncan, fine art photographer Alexia Sinclair, and celebrity portrait photographer Gary Heery who has shot celebrities […]

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Review: La Bohème brings the romance of Paris to Sydney Harbour (until April 22nd)

March 26, 2018

If you’ve dreamed of walking the wintery streets of Paris, then get yourself a ticket to this year’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. Their current production of La Bohème is a spectacular tribute to the most romantic city in the world and will have you dancing in the snow despite the unseasonably warm Sydney Autumn […]

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Theatre Review: The Book of Mormon will make you laugh til it hurts even if you feel you shouldn’t (Sydney Lyric Theatre)

March 10, 2018

What do you get when you combine a much-maligned American religion, Disney-movie songs and the writers of a politically incorrect adult cartoon? A ridiculously so-wrong-it’s-right musical called The Book of Mormon. As close to Broadway as you’re likely to see on the Australian stage, this show is an all-singing, all-dancing, joke-filled tribute to American musical theatre. […]

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Theatre Review: Mamma Mia! – here we go again (at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre)

February 19, 2018

In Muriel’s Wedding, Muriel wishes that her life was as good as an ABBA song. Presumably, that life looks a lot like Mamma Mia – a glittering Greek Island paradise where beautiful young men and women burst into song and dance at the drop of a hat, fall in love, have a wedding and live […]

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Interview: Mamma Mia!‘s Alicia Gardiner is a Two-Time Dancing Queen

February 13, 2018

There are some familiar faces in the new touring cast of Mamma Mia!, which opens in Sydney this week. Not only does Alicia Gardiner light up our screens as Kim Akerholt on Offspring, audiences returning to Mamma Mia! may also recognise her. Nearly 20 years ago, Alicia was part of the musical’s Australian premiere cast. […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Wild Bore is more than a reviewer’s worst nightmare

January 29, 2018

Wild Bore is everything that’s wrong with the business of theatre. Or, to be less ambiguous, it is a piece of theatre about everything that is wrong with the business of theatre, wrapped up creatively into an hour of bodily humour. It’s timely, pointed and it’s a lot of fun. Part of the 2018 Sydney […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Whist is an intriguing but not wholly satisfactory experience

January 8, 2018

A dance-theatre piece presented using virtual reality technology in which the audience subconsciously chooses their own performance is a fantastic concept, but with Whist the end-result is confusing and even a little disturbing. For those interested in psychology and, in particular, the work of Sigmund Freud, this is an immersive treat. But if you’re looking […]

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Opera Australia’s The Merry Widow is a sumptuous feast for the senses (until 3rd February)

January 6, 2018

Graeme Murphy’s divine production of The Merry Widow finally makes its way to the Sydney Opera House and it’s a cracking way for Opera Australia to kick off 2018. The combination of stunning Art Deco design, a witty new English translation and two extremely charismatic leads make this an extremely accessible introduction to opera for […]

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Theatre Review: Secret House’s The Seagull is beautiful, edgy and raw (at The Depot Theatre until 16 December)

December 11, 2017

The Depot Theatre and Secret House have once again worked their magic on a classic, this time bringing Anton Chekov’s The Seagull into the modern era. Stripped back to its heart, this is a compelling tale of the frailty of the mind. Cleverly adapted, beautifully designed and expertly cast, there is nothing to fear from […]

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Interview: You&Mei is Putting a Face to Fashion and Transforming Lives

December 8, 2017

A chance encounter in the poverty stricken streets of Myanmar just under two years ago led former High-5 star, Tanika Anderson, to question the Western world’s approach to ‘fast fashion’. Now, Tanika is set to launch the second collection from clothing label, You&Mei, a social enterprise that helps to raise up young women from poverty. […]

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Theatre Review: There are more than a few laughs to be had with Violent Extremism and Other Adult Party Games (until 25 November)

November 20, 2017

With a title like Violent Extremism and Other Adult Party Games you can’t help but expect a few controversial laughs. But this new play by Sydney-based writer Richie Black is a cut above and a genuinely funny piece of work. Supported by a very good cast and strong production values, this is yet another triumph […]

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Theatre Review: Silent Night brings an early dose of Christmas cheer (until 10th December)

November 17, 2017

What is Christmas like with your family? I can guarantee it’s not nearly as dysfunctional as the one depicted in Mary Rachel Brown’s new play, Silent Night. Chock-full of jokes and characters that have to be seen to be believed, this is a play that makes the final rush to the supermarket on Christmas Eve […]

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Claire Foxton talks blending fine art and graffiti ahead of Wollongong Wonderwalls Festival

November 14, 2017

No longer confined to the back streets of grungy inner-city suburbs, street art has really started to make it’s mark on Australia’s urban landscape. Among the artists who create these modern monoliths is Kiama-local Claire Foxton. Her realistic portraits, rendered in tremendous detail, pay homage to local heroes from across the country. Claire is one of […]

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We sit down with the cast of Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Silent Night

October 30, 2017

Christmas is coming early to the Eternity Playhouse with Darlinghurst Theatre Company set to host the world premiere of Silent Night. In the directorial hands of Glynn Nicholas and featuring some of Australia’s best comedic actors, we figured the rehearsal process has been an absolute riot. We asked cast members Amanda Bishop, Aaron Glenane, Michael […]

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Theatre Review: Bell Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice gets a little lost at sea (at the SOH Playhouse until 26th November)

October 27, 2017

Bell Shakespeare Company’s latest production of The Merchant of Venice has a few high points. But overall Director Anne-Louise Sarks has played it pretty safe and as a result there’s nothing about this show that really stands out. Listed among Shakespeare’s comedies, The Merchant of Venice contains some of Shakespeare’s most well-known characters. First, there’s […]

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Theatre Review: The Big Meal is a satisfying event (playing until 4th November)

October 23, 2017

In an average restaurant, somewhere in America, a guy and girl meet. What follows is a familiar story, told in a not so average way; a lifetime condensed into just over an hour. The Depot Theatre’s latest production, The Big Meal, is an epic tale shrunk to fit a tiny stage. It is big on […]

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