You can read my review of Broken: Children, parents and family courts, Camilla Nelson and Catharine Lumby’s important study of the way the family courts have failed the most vulnerable people caught in the acrimony and arguments of the court room, at Australian Book Review here.
This essay for the Spring issue of Meanjin is about television’s lost and found children, childless and desperate mothers, and callous and caring states. It draws on (far too many) hours of lockdown viewing, from the Creamerie and Mare of Easttown to The Handmaid’s Tale, via Top of Lake and Call the Midwife, with a cameo from The World According to Garp. Read it … Read More Apocalypse Baby
As the 1970s began, homosexuality was illegal, and women couldn’t drink in many public bars, secure home loans or easily divorce. There were no refuges. In her new book, Michelle Arrow makes the powerful argument that it was only when ordinary, private voices were heard publicly that the social ground shifted. You can read my review of Arrow’s fascinating book The Seventies: The personal, … Read More Making the private public: ‘The Seventies’ by Michelle Arrow
This review was first published on Daily Review on 19 May 2018 Performer Ash Flanders kicks off Blackie Blackie Brown in a hilariously high camp mode with his portrayal of a pink jacketed, chino short-wearing theatre luvvie home from a show, waxing sentimentally on the phone to his friend about Indigenous theatre that is “powerful, so powerful” (all those “orange lights”!). As the lights in his own … Read More Blackie, Blackie Brown (Wharf 2, Sydney)
This review was first published on Daily Review on 18 January 2018 My mother used to tell me a story about women who would come into the emergency departments where she worked as a nurse. Complaining of agonising stomach pains, staff would have to break the news they were in labour and would soon be giving birth. The story always made me think about the … Read More Top Girls (theatre review)
This review was first published on Daily Review on 7 April 2018 Poor Sami. He’s lying in bed at the UNNHCR (sic) refugee camp, craving sausages and dreaming of learning the tuba. He wants to perform concerts and earn enough money to escape to Germany with his wife and mother-in-law. Miraculously the hapless Sami (Yalin Ozucelik) finds a tuba: the saucy madam in the … Read More Sami in Paradise (Belvoir, Sydney)