Category: Reviews

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Whist (Carriageworks, Sydney)

This review was first published on Daily Review on 15 January 2018 Enter the Whist performance space at Carriageworks and guides invite you to move around and inspect the sculptures placed around the room. You walk around touching black and cream, marble-like material shaped into cubes and strangely curved objects. Some appear partially submerged under the floor. The show is created by the UK-based experimental dance … Read More Whist (Carriageworks, Sydney)

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Circus Oz Model Citizens (Prince Alfred Square Parramatta)

This review was first published on Daily Review on 14 January 2018 The opening scenes of Circus Oz’s Model Citizens poke fun at suburban conformity. The cast dresses in a uniform hospital blue colour, three members return as ballet-dancing sheep, and it wraps up with a satirical song by Freyja Edney about buying into organic food and tolerating diversity but not wanting it in ‘my backyard’. Entering … Read More Circus Oz Model Citizens (Prince Alfred Square Parramatta)

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Daniels trump the world’s Donalds

First published by the Sydney Morning Herald, 9 November 2016 Their first names start with D, they’re both ginger-haired, and they both have interests in real estate empires, but otherwise Rosehaven’s Daniel McCallum and Republican Donald Trump couldn’t be more different. A large part of the pleasure of watching Luke McGregor (Daniel) in the new ABC drama is, surely, that our hero plays the anti-Donald. When … Read More Daniels trump the world’s Donalds

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Generation X are having their Don’t Dream It’s Over moment

First published by the Sydney Morning Herald, 26 September 2016 Crowded House’s farewell concert on the Sydney Opera House forecourt in 1996 has taken on a kind of Woodstock folklore: everyone in the country under 35 at the time was apparently there. The pictures and the reports of the concert, and the reminiscing in the years since by those who were there, have so effectively infiltrated the memories … Read More Generation X are having their Don’t Dream It’s Over moment

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Greek family drama takes us on a voyage of tragedy and comedy

I have an 11-year-old boy, and it’s next to impossible to imagine him running away from home to sell counterfeit whiskey on the streets of Cairo. But that’s what George Catsi’s father did*, and the fantastical tale is one of many in Catsi’s one-man show, Am I Who I Say I Am? Eleven-year-old Emmanuel would ply customers with a small sampler, and once they agreed to buy … Read More Greek family drama takes us on a voyage of tragedy and comedy

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Maggie’s Plan: screwball comedy meets witty academic satire

First published by The Conversation, 5 July 2016 In Maggie’s Plan (2015), Rebecca Miller’s (The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009)) new film, Ethan Hawke plays John, an adjunct teacher at a New York college and “the bad boy of fictocriticism”. For my money, he’s the middle-aged version of Troy, the philosophising musician Hawke played in Reality Bites (1994). He’s still a man-boy, but the angry … Read More Maggie’s Plan: screwball comedy meets witty academic satire

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Sydney Festival 2016 Reviews

  La Verità First published by Daily Review, 10 January 2016 Acrobats climb and fly in physics-defying movements through double helix ladders suspended from the sky. Dancers on crutches vault and sail over the stage without their bodies touching the floor. A rhinoceros plays piano while his twin tries to capture floating tissue sheets of music. Inspired by the surrealist worlds of Salvador Dali, the Sydney … Read More Sydney Festival 2016 Reviews

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Suffragette: review

First published by Daily Review, 11 December 2015 Social movement movies — films about pivotal moments in the race, class, gender and sexuality wars — all have a tricky problem to overcome. They need to create a central, believable character the audience can invest in, without over egging the character’s place in a story that is always a collective one. Suffragette (notice the singular) does a half successful … Read More Suffragette: review

House Husbands: less mad men, more dad men

First published by Daily Review, 24 September 2015 Another Monday night, another hour thrashing out the issues de jour: gay marriage, IVF, the privatisation of public assets*, all delivered with cleverly scripted lines. No, I’m not referring to Q&A: I’ve tried watching that program lately, but I usually end up passing out on the couch, thankful I’m not poor flu-afflicted Simon Sheikh, slamming my head down … Read More House Husbands: less mad men, more dad men

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Ricki and The Flash covers a mother of a problem

First published by Women’s Agenda and Daily Review, 27 August 2015 Our belief in the mother-child bond is so elemental, so taken-for-granted, it’s hard to imagine a more monstrous female figure, culturally speaking, than the mother who walks away from her children. So how does Hollywood make a film about a mother who has not only abandoned her brood, but is a woman well into … Read More Ricki and The Flash covers a mother of a problem

Is Cinderella a good role model for your daughter? Probably not. Are you?

First published by Women’s Agenda, 10 April 2015 Is Cinderella like a harmless dose of royalty – a mix of completely politically incorrect, a little bit charming, but also utterly bonkers? Should feminist mothers keep their daughters away these school holidays? Kath Kenny took her daughter, Miss almost-5, and her daughter’s friend, Master 6, and reported back. Early on in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella our heroine is … Read More Is Cinderella a good role model for your daughter? Probably not. Are you?

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In praise of the divergents of the world

Science fiction movies are fascinating for what they say about the present, as much as for what they say about the future, and the just-released Insurgent, the second movie adaptation of Veronica Roth’s young adult trilogy, is no different. It’s an intriguing dramatisation of our modern world, where the school exams we take as late teenagers threaten to determine our future forever, and where we … Read More In praise of the divergents of the world

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