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Category Archives: Column: Art / Music / Theatre


In defence of Adoration

Just from watching the film trailer you can intuit that Adoration, the recent Australian/French co-production directed by Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel), would screen to some unsympathetic audiences. Adapted from a novella called The Grandmothers by the recently departed Doris Lessing, Adoration (originally titled Two Mothers and … Read more »

Without joint or seam: the pleasures of unstitching Schottenfreude

I took German lessons, begrudgingly, for three years in high school. I don’t remember much now, aside from elementary pleasantries and a spattering of mostly unhelpful nouns, but I do remember my friends and I making up German sounding words, stitching clunky (made-up) compounds together to create … Read more »

A petri dish of sexual politics: Showtime’s Masters of Sex

Masters of Sex is a new quality US drama about sexologists William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson. In the pantheon of twentieth century researchers who wrenched sexuality from the dark ages of shame and secrecy and shined a rational, humanist light on it (so we are … Read more »

YouTube killed the video star: the Spectacle of music video

In high school, music videos were more valuable to me than the mix tape. Finding and sharing a music video was an event, more prestigious and meaningful than even the most thoughtful mix tape (or more commonly by that stage, the MP3 CD-R). Though we were in … Read more »

Overture for a rookie: an evening at Hamer Hall

  On a recent Friday night, I found myself in the orange-velvet upholstered Hamer Hall, a concert venue of bunker-like construction, built into the south bank of the Yarra River in Melbourne. Architectural firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall completed a redevelopment of Hamer Hall in 2012, and I … Read more »

Sound of the siren: AFL and 19th century pop

Come Saturday afternoon, the most played song in Australia could be a patriotic Broadway tune from 1904. Or it might be a song originally based on Igor Stravinsky’s arrangement of a traditional Russian folk melody. One of these two songs will be recalled from the depths of … Read more »

Front row at the theatre wars: Simon Stone’s The Cherry Orchard

  By the time I belatedly sat down in the Sumner theatre to see Simon Stone’s adaptation of The Cherry Orchard I had other dramas on my mind. Shadowing the reception of MTC’s production was a minor shitstorm around the supposed battle between ‘new writing’ and ‘adaptation’. … Read more »

#anxietydream: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at Malthouse Theatre

Right before his performance of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the Brisbane Powerhouse in February, ABC broadcaster Richard Fidler tweeted: Waiting backstage to perform the play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. I will be given the script when I walk onstage, alone. #anxietydream The peculiar challenge facing Fidler … Read more »

Spectacle, shock, and awe: King Kong the musical

  King Kong—the new musical currently showing at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne—feels like the kind of musical Carl Denham might make. Denham, the fictional film director from the Kong story, is an old-school showman in the P.T. Barnum mould. He loves spectacle, shock, and awe–be it … Read more »

Angels in America at Belvoir Street Theatre

In The Western Canon, infamous American literary critic Harold Bloom lists Tony Kushner’s Angels in America among the works of 26 authors he insists are central to literature itself. Belvoir Street Theatre is currently offering a rare opportunity to see Kushner’s beloved, Pulitzer Prize-winning play (although by … Read more »