Reviews

Review: International Crime fiction takes center stage at the 2024 Brisbane Writers Festival

This past week, Brisbane hosted its annual Brisbane Writers Festival, drawing thousands of eager bookworms to Southbank for four days of literary celebration. With 150 events packed over four days, there was certainly plenty on offer. Featuring author panels, speeches, and performances showcasing both international and domestic talents from blockbuster bestsellers to literary luminaries, BWF…

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SILENCE at the Sydney Opera House empowers people to speak up against the White noise

Part of UnWrapped, a series dedicated to uncovering the best independent creators, SILENCE, at the Sydney Opera House, is a visually stunning and deeply moving performance. Created by Karul Projects and produced by BlakDance, this contemporary dance work successfully examines and disrupts the deliberate and ongoing silence surrounding more than 250 years’ worth of struggle….

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A close up shot of women's faces in a crowded auditorium. They appear to be listening intently.

Review: All About Women at the Sydney Opera House continues to give a voice to women’s stories

With All About Women at the Sydney Opera House running for over ten years now, you’d think there would be nothing left to say. How I wish that was the case. Held each year to mark International Women’s Day (March 8), the festival brings together some of the change-makers, the activists and the courageous women…

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Malevo at the Sydney Opera House showcases Argentinian culture and sets the stage on fire

Argentinian dance troupe Malevo bring their unique contemporary interpretation of the traditional folk dance Malambo to the Sydney Opera House. Meaning renegade or outlaw, Malevo combines facets of other dance styles like flamenco with Malambo, all set to the intoxicating rhythm of drums, guitar, violin and bandoneon (concertina). The Malambo is traditionally performed by Gauchos…

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Live review: Little Simz brings big charisma to Hordern Pavilion (21.07.2023)

Michael Jackson’s iconic 1993 Superbowl halftime performance is one of the greatest displays of performative presence. Famously, he stood still for close to two whole minutes, during which the screams of his fans only increased in intensity. There was a reason that MJ could do that, and not many others could. His charisma and presence…

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Review: The Other Art Fair brings colour and creativity to Barangaroo in Sydney

Forget everything you think you know about art. The Other Art Fair is a global gathering which brings together some of the most creative thinkers emerging from the Sydney art scene. Priding itself on reframing the way in which people consider art, The Other Art Fair actively attempts to remove the elitist stigma so prevalent…

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Adelaide Fringe Review: Starwheels – Full Dome Immersive Experience at Adelaide Planetarium

The Adelaide Planetarium is a thirty seat dome in the Mawson Lakes campus of the Adelaide University. Normally used for demonstrating the movements of our celestial system, tonight the idea is to be fully immersed in a sound and light experience. The team behind the show, Sacred Resonance have been presenting sound and light experiences…

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Close up of three women holding All About Women tote bags. The bags are black with bright graphics.

Review: All About Women at the Sydney Opera House will make you believe that change is possible so don’t stop fighting

All About Women at the Sydney Opera House has been running for 11 years. In recognition of International Women’s Day (March 8), it showcases some of the most inspiring voices in this ongoing fight for equality and opens up dialogue in the hope for change. 11 years. Some things have changed for women over that…

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Live Review: The Purple Rabbit – Perth Fringe World (25.01.23)

  The Perth Fringe World started last weekend and often as a casual punter it can be hard to know what to go and see, but The Purple Rabbit (showing January 25 to February 5) stands out early as a must for keen audiences. The AU Review was lucky enough to be invited along for…

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Hamlet

Fringe World review: Bogan Shakespeare Presents: Hamlet is a clever, light-hearted take on the classic play

It’s always a risk to adapt a Shakespeare classic, as there are so many other versions to compete with—how can you find something new to say? Well, it’s never been said in bogan… Bogan Shakespeare Presents: Hamlet takes the most formal, complex material and transforms it into over-the-top Aussie slang, complete with local references and…

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Sydney Festival Review: Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon brings flowers, colour and fruit to Oz, oh my!

If you’re going to The Cutaway at Barangaroo make sure to wear some flowers in your hair. As part of Sydney Festival, this will host A wonderful and immersive exhibition about Mexican artist and icon, Frida Kahlo. The result is a dazzling array of kaleidoscopic colours as we walk through a powerful homage to this…

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Two women have a heated exchange around a kitchen table.

ArtsLab: Here we are again! at 107 Projects showcases the next generation of talent

ArtsLab is Shopfront Arts Co-op’s emerging artist residency program which offers free space, masterclasses, networking opportunities and professional mentorships over a six-month period. At the end of the residency the participants present their work to the public. More than just about creating work, ArtsLab teaches young artists how to create a sustainable career in the…

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Dance Review: The United Ukrainian Ballet bring Tchaikovsky’s exquisite Swan Lake to Australia

Prepare to witness one of the world’s most beloved ballets, Swan Lake, as performed by the immensely talented United Ukrainian Ballet, which only formed less than six months ago. From the brilliant mind of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, reimagined by Elena Glurjidze and assisted by Sara Knight, this captivating production tells a classical tale of good…

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Review: Tutankhamun gets his own projection-based immersive exhibition with Nat Geo’s Beyond King Tut

By now, I’m sure you have had the chance to hear about, or see for yourself, the “immersive” art exhibitions that have seemingly popped up in every corner of the globe. Popularised, in part, by their ability to be adjusted for social distancing guidelines in recent years – even becoming a drive through experience –…

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Crowds walk out of the main theatre at the Sydney Opera House.

Review: Antidote at the Sydney Opera House raises more questions than it answers but it will make you hungry for change

Antidote at the Sydney Opera House is marketed as a ‘festival of ideas, art and change’ and the 2022 line-up presented a diverse and intriguing list of topics from climate change to the war in Ukraine. Over the last few years, it feels as if the stability we have so long expected and taken for…

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Sleeplessness

Kaz Therese’s Sleeplessness is raw, engaging and unmissable

On Monday 16 November 2009, the Australian Parliament formally acknowledged and apologised for the harsh treatment and ongoing trauma of Forgotten Australians and former child migrants. There are an estimated 500,000 children who experienced care in institutions in Australia throughout the 20th century – Kaz Therese’s grandmother and mother were two of them. Incorporating video,…

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Theatre Review: Robyn Archer: An Australian Songbook brings a new repertoire to Queensland Theatre

After a delayed start, Robyn Archer: An Australian Songbook has finally made its way to the Bille Brown Theatre stage and, happily, it was more than worth the wait. Setting aside the assumed Aussie repertoire, An Australian Songbook explores the history of our country through a rather unexpected collection of Australian music, anchored by the…

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Close up image of two women carrying All About Women tote bags.

Review: All About Women at the Sydney Opera House will make you uncomfortable – and that’s a good thing

There has been a lot of discussion around International Women’s Day this year, with many expressing strong concerns the day has become tokenistic. Big corporations, largely still run by middle aged white men, throw a morning tea (often organised by the women in the office) and lament lyrically about the organisation’s commitment to inclusivity and…

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Adelaide Fringe Review: Electric Dreams’ Anthropocene in C Major is an inspired, if sobering, climate change symphony

The Electric Dreams collective are presenting several immersive arts programs for the 2022 Adelaide Fringe. These include the alternate realities of Bedtime Stories, Volo: Dreams of Flight interactive VR swings, First Nations centerpiece performance Sky Song, and more. This reviewer found themselves in the confines of the Pacific Islander room at the Adelaide Museum, where…

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Theatre Review: Green Park is a deep exploration of place and meaning through Sydney’s queer history.

Two men meet in a park; a seemingly innocuous Grindr hookup. Except, there’s a wide age gap, and an immediate tension between the two men. The younger Edden (Joseph Althouse) finds the original suggestion to meet pre-hookup amusing and wants to head to a nearby sauna, while Warren (Steve LeMarquand) awkwardly attempts to discreetly take…

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Review: The Other Art Fair Sydney makes art affordable and relevant

Described as an art fair for a new generation of art buyers, The Other Art Fair in Sydney presents a selection of over 100 independent artists with works ranging in price from under $100 to over $1000. Presented by Saatchi Art and held at The Cutaway at Barangaroo, The Other Art Fair also delivers performance…

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Review: All About Women at the Sydney Opera House addresses inclusivity and your right to be angry

It’s an interesting time to be a woman right now. The news coming out of Canberra of harassment, assault and rape is shining a light on the fact that the “boys club” in this country is still alive and well – and women are, rightfully, angry. Angry that it is 2021 and we are still…

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Review: All About Women at the Sydney Opera House is the feminist fight song for a new generation, so listen up

All About Women at the Sydney Opera House celebrated feminism with a line-up of powerful and inspiring innovators and thinkers. Coinciding with International Women’s Day (March 8), the festival was originally conceived to push back against the fact that, at the majority of conferences, most of the speakers tend to be male. What has evolved…

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Theatre Review: ‘Wake in Fright’ is an acid trip into our country’s shame

Billed as a one-woman retelling of the famed 1961 novel (and 1971 film), Malthouse theatre’s production of Wake in Fright is an ambitious undertaking – if not initially perplexing. Producing one of Australia’s most classic outback thrillers as a one-cast show is odd enough, but not least of all when you are greeted by a…

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Bronze Lands

Sydney Festival Review: Robert Curgenven’s Bronze Lands (Tailte Cré-Umha) is building and body as instrument

Pipe organs are interesting, yet largely under-utilised beasts. Built into the grand expanse of the building, the organ at Sydney Town Hall is not an instrument in itself but rather turns the entire building into one. Ireland-based Australian composer and artist Robert Curgenven utilised this to its full extent in his immersive production: Bronze Lands (Tailte…

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Sydney Festival Review: Anthem is a poignant yet entertaining look at Australia’s despair

An all-star collaboration of sorts, Anthem sees acclaimed writers Christos Tsolkas, Patricia Corneleus, Andrew Bovell and Melissa Reeves reunite with composer Irene Vela following their 90s-era play Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? A series of stories interweave through the backdrop of Melbourne’s train network, with a range of characters thrust together on public transport…

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Live Review: Chamber ensemble The Boxties bring folk like you’ve never heard it before to the Cremorne (Brisbane, performances to June 29th)

Brisbane creative collective The Boxties (that’s “box-tees” not “box-ties”) have returned to the QPAC stage, with A Net of Souls: Songs of Dislocation and Common Ground. The ten piece chamber ensemble have pulled together a collection of songs of change, upheaval, and a longing for community. Industry, love, and war all come forward as disruptions,…

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The Greatest Show in Las Vegas: What to Expect from “Absinthe”

It’s always worth paying close attention when a Las Vegas production signs on for a substantial extension, even years after it has already been playing in the same spot. It means the show has become its own sizable piece in the endless jigsaw of culture, class and crass that is a typical night on the…

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SXSW Film Review: For Sama (Syria, 2019) is an emotionally gripping diary in film form

For Sama is an emotionally gripping diary filmed by journalist Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts. Kateab recorded her life during the Battle of Aleppo (2012-16) in Syria. She had a mission: to bring light on the injustices on Syrians under President Assad’s regime and the fight for freedom. Not only did she cover what was…

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Live Review: New Worlds is like a fun Bill Murray variety hour at the Sydney Opera House

Bill Murray and Jan Vogler could be the odd couple except that that name was already taken. Okay, “odd” is probably too strong a word. An unlikely pairing seems more appropriate because Murray is a Hollywood actor, comedian and occasional bartender, and Vogler a world-renown cellist. New Worlds saw both men making their Sydney Opera…

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