RAW : IN YOUR FACE FILMMAKING

A slap in the vagina with a piece of veal to vegans and vegetarians, RAW is about a couple of cannibal sisters who certainly like their meat rare.

These self same samplers of human flesh and sinew are veterinarian science students at a well heeled university, where fees cost an arm and a leg.

This is the alma mater of their parents, so they are carrying on an alpha tradition.

Another tradition that runs deep in the family is their dedicated veganism, so when initiation rituals include meat eating and blood splattering, we know we are in for some extreme angst, conflict and life altering experience.                         Continue reading RAW : IN YOUR FACE FILMMAKING

KINKY BOOTS @ CAPITOL THEATRE


‘The most beautiful thing in the world is a shoe’ .

Shoes can be art, lovingly crafted sculpture.
Kinky Boots has bounced into Sydney! Price and Son have taken over the Capitol to screams of delight from shoe people.

This bright bold and colourful musical with a huge heart will have you dancing in the aisles. It is often joyous , sexy and exuberant yet also deals with underlying darker issues. It is a story about self-acceptance,  personal growth, prejudice and the acceptance of outsiders .

Kinky Boots is the show that beat Matilda in the 2013 Tony Awards for best Musical – to some raised eyebrows.       Continue reading KINKY BOOTS @ CAPITOL THEATRE

L’enfant prodigue by Claude Debussy @ Backyard Opera

Debussy’s L’enfant Prodigue is a staged cantata by Claude Debussy with text by Édouard Guinand that runs approximately 45 minutes.

This classic parable still resonates with us today. In an increasingly isolating and individualistic society, we are confronted by our own passive vilification of people who have fallen through the cracks. The drive to succeed and express our identity comes at a cost. Humanisation and community are the remedy,

The cantata is to be directed by Lucy Scott and conducted by Luke Spicer. The work will be played by a chamber orchestra accompanied by soprano Ayşe Göknur Shanal, tenor  Joel Scott and baritone Andrew Williams. The piece runs for forty five minutes.

SEASON

May 5th: 7:30PM
May 6th: 5:30 + 7:30PM
May 7th: 5:30 + 7:30PM

VENUE

Backyard Opera –  a new  multi-use arts space a five minute walk from Tempe Station : http://www.backyardopera.com/contact

For more about L’enfant prodigue by Claude Debussy, visit https://www.trybooking.com/PTCM

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TALK : A NEW PLAY BY JONATHON BIGGINS @ THE DRAMA THEATRE

Jonathon Biggins’ usual way of sharing his take on the world, in particular the world of politics, is through the Sydney Theatre Company’s  annual revue show, the Wharf Revue, a platform which he shares with fellow collaborators,  Drew Forsythe and Phil Scott.

This time, however, he has gone solo with a new play simply titled TALK, and it is his take on the state of the media in today’s world. He himself has been a media player, having been for a time, a  very laid-back, laconic broadcaster  on Sydney’s 2BL.

Biggins main character, radio shock jock John Behan, is anything but laid-back. Gung-ho and well irresponsible would be a much more apt description. On his radio program Behan has read out the criminal record of an alleged sex offender whose case was before the court. The police come knocking on his recording studio door, ready to arrest him for contempt of court. When his  producer advises him of the situation, he locks himself in his studio and continues broadcasting, ranting and revving up the community.             Continue reading TALK : A NEW PLAY BY JONATHON BIGGINS @ THE DRAMA THEATRE

HYSTERIA : FREUD, DALI, A GOOD DOCTOR AND AN INTERLOPER @ ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE

Along similar lines to his most well known play  Insignificance, (also made into a film directed by Nicolas Roeg), British playwright Terry Johnson’s play HYSTERIA features well know characters from history. In Insignificance we had Marilyn Monroe, Joseph McCarthy, Joe DiMaggio and Albert Einstein. In HYSTERIA we have Dr Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali.

In real life these two iconic and very different characters did have one meeting in 1938 at Freud’s home in London where he had only recently moved to after fleeing Nazi Germany. Little is known of what took place at the meeting. Johnson’s HYSTERIA is an imaginative dramatisation of this meeting with a couple of other characters thrown in.                             Continue reading HYSTERIA : FREUD, DALI, A GOOD DOCTOR AND AN INTERLOPER @ ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE

FALLEN : A FASCINATING HISTORICAL DRAMA @ THE SEYMOUR CENTRE

 

Lyrical and powerful this play is a fascinating insight into a little known piece of British/Australian history.

Seanna van Helton’s FALLEN is a stage adaptation of historian Jenny Hartley’s’ novel, THE  HOUSE OF FALLEN WOMEN (2009). Penny Harpham directs this current production which has been co-produced by Sport for Jove and Melbourne’s’ She Said Theatre.

The setting is London in the 1840s. The location is Urania Cottage in London. The cottage was founded by legendary author Charles Dickens with wealthy banking heiress Angela Burdett-Coutts. It was established as a reformatory for fallen women as an alternative to the workhouses and prison.                                 Continue reading FALLEN : A FASCINATING HISTORICAL DRAMA @ THE SEYMOUR CENTRE

LIVE @ LUNCH : FLUTE SPIRITS AND THE SEASONS @ THE CONCOURSE

 

This was a  very exciting, dynamic and unusual concert, part of the Live at Lunch series at the Concourse, devised and presented by internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter.

The performance opened dramatically with a very unconventional version of the traditional balled The Minstrel Boy featuring a new arrangement by Jane Rutter. Rutter, wearing a  heavily brocaded kimono like outfit with a gold outer layer over pink and green floral underlay, was superb on flute with Blak Douglas equally good on didgeridoo.

Rutter then went on to  talk about how she has a great sense of belonging to the land and country and its songlines and how the flute and the didgeridoo are two of the world’s instruments.

Continue reading LIVE @ LUNCH : FLUTE SPIRITS AND THE SEASONS @ THE CONCOURSE

HIDDEN SYDNEY : IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A SINFULLY GOOD TIME

King Cross is a state of mind. No boundaries to its name, no limits to its life. Half a century later, however, has Kings Cross been crossed out?!

The production HIDDEN SYDNEY is back by popular demand for a strictly limited season. The production, featuring an all star cast, is an immersive cabaret celebrating Kings Cross in the 50s, 60s and 70s. The play is set over four floors of The Nevada, a former Sydney brothel which boasted the biggest bed in the world.

Theatregoers get to rub shoulders with a motley cast of characters including Bea  ​Bea Miles, Abe Saffron, Roie The Witch, Standover Jim and the iconic Les Girls.

Last drinks are served at the Chevron Silver Spade.

DETAILS- 

May 25 2017 until June 18th 2017 at the Nevada, the World Bar, Bayswater Road, Kings Cross.

For more about Hidden Sydney returns for Vivid, visit http://www.bloodmoontheatre.com/
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A CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL @ STAR OF THE SEA THEATRE MANLY

Alan Ayckbourn’s A CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL is a play within a play, a dark and intricate comedy, concerned with the Pendon’s Amateur Dramatics Society, situated in a smallish British town.

The actors life off stage is filled with  clever political and business intrigue as well as sexual shenanigans and resultant jealousy.

Continue reading A CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL @ STAR OF THE SEA THEATRE MANLY

COSI : LANE COVE THEATRE COMPANY REPRISES A NOWRA CLASSIC

Production photography by Dawn Pugh.

There are just so many comic and dramatic possibilities that come to mind with this particular Louis Nowra scenario. Nowra makes some good choices and the result is one of his most flamboyant and entertaining plays.

A young director, Lewis, desperately in need of work, takes on the job of putting  on a production at a psych hospital, to be performed by patients. The hospital’s social worker has come up with the idea of the project, believing that it will be good for his ‘charges’. We follow Lewis’ rocky journey from his first meetings with his ‘actors’ all the way through to his reflections after the performance has finally taken place.

Lane Cove Theatre Company recently completed a very satisfying revival, which sadly only had a very short season, directed by the very experienced Debbie Smith.                                        Continue reading COSI : LANE COVE THEATRE COMPANY REPRISES A NOWRA CLASSIC

SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR: GERMAN ROMANTICS @ THE GREAT HALL, SYDNEY UNI

Above: Conductor Sam Allchurch. Featured Image: Members of the Sydney Chamber Choir- Photo Credit Nick Gilbert

The Sydney Chamber Choir has started its impressive 2017 season with a concert swathed in exciting emotional moments and exquisite restraint. Audience members who can attend all events in this season will cherish some special experiences of major works. The choir’s skilfully balanced programmes will also successfully juxtapose smaller works from many different time periods.

For this ‘German Romantics’ concert the choir was led by Sam Allchurch in a joyous cavalcade of German choral music. The selected works ranged in chronology from Schubert’s Gott ist mein Hirt (The Lord is my Shepherd) composed in 1820 to Arnold Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth) written in 1907.                   Continue reading SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR: GERMAN ROMANTICS @ THE GREAT HALL, SYDNEY UNI

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG : A HOOT FROM BEGINNING TO END

Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields of London’s Mischief Theatre, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is a hysterical loving bouquet to the world of amateur theatre and what can go wrong; a succession of missed cues, lost dogs and props, slapstick, the drinking of turps instead of whiskey,pratfalls, ‘drying’, squashed hands, mangled lines, missed cues, revolving doors, fake snow and melodramatic red lighting.

The play’s conceit is based on the attempts of the fictional Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society to perform the 1920s murder mystery The Murder at Haversham Manor.  

Even before the show officially begins there are problems. On stage, the crew is trying to tape the mantelpiece back to the wall, with help from an audience member.
Continue reading THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG : A HOOT FROM BEGINNING TO END

WILLIAM GOLDING’S CLASSIC TALE GETS THE BOURNE TREATMENT

Dark and disturbing this is a gripping, chilling version of William Golding’s classic novel LORD OF THE FLIES directed by Matthew Bourne.

This is the Australian premiere with a short Melbourne season only and represents the first time that this work has been performed out of the UK. Bourne’s production is driven, relentless and, at time, explosively violent.

Continue reading WILLIAM GOLDING’S CLASSIC TALE GETS THE BOURNE TREATMENT

UNTITLED : AN ENTHRALLING NEW EXHIBITION @ TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES

UNTITLED, the current exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries, focuses on guest artists, foreign to the gallery space, featuring a diverse spectrum of themes and mediums.

The aim of this medley of physical and conceptual forms is to promote a culture of diversity and demonstrate that mixed bodies of seemingly disconnected ideas have the ability to strengthen and support each other.

The exhibition is a thrilling visual feast .          Continue reading UNTITLED : AN ENTHRALLING NEW EXHIBITION @ TRAFFIC JAM GALLERIES

COLOSSAL : A QUIRKY NEW FILM STARRING ANNE HATHAWAY

Colossal entertainment of a bent and skewed kind awaits audiences with COLOSSAL, Anne Hathaway’s brave heart take on domestic violence, male manipulation and the canker of unrequited hanker.

COLOSSAL is a film in which a recognisably universal story is manipulated through a monster mash of genres – part rom com, part creature feature – and it works a treat in a meteoric, metaphoric euphoria.

The plot follows Gloria who has lost her high flying job and fiance due to being a tragic hostage in the battle for the bottle. She is the very opposite of her name.

She makes an ignominious return to her home town, rekindles an acquaintance with a bloke from her past and starts working in his bar. A drunk tending bar – now there’s a plan.                       Continue reading COLOSSAL : A QUIRKY NEW FILM STARRING ANNE HATHAWAY

PERSONAL SHOPPER : EXPLORING THE WORLD OF THE BEREAVED

 

In Olivier Assayas’ formidable film, PERSONAL SHOPPER, mourning becomes electric.

Genuinely eerie, PERSONAL SHOPPER is a ghost story but not in the contemporary chintzy, clutzy, gormless gory CGI scaremongering generic of hackneyed haunting.

No cheap thrills here, just a film with the gift of enigmatic clarity. There’s a piercing sadness and melancholy beauty in Olivier Assayas beautifully chilling essay on grief.

Kristen Stewart excels here, exquisitely transcending those vapid vampires that boosted her career.                Continue reading PERSONAL SHOPPER : EXPLORING THE WORLD OF THE BEREAVED

DENIAL : A DRAMATISATION OF THE DAVID IRVING VERSUS PENGUIN BOOKS LTD CASE

One cannot help muse that the defiant, deluded Holocaust denier, David Irving, must have been duped into thinking the case he brought against Penguin Books and their author, Deborah Lipstadt, was going to be heard by Jewry rather than a jury when he agreed that the matter be adjudicated by a judge alone.

Of course, the truth of the matter is brilliantly argued in the astonishingly gripping court room drama, DENIAL.

After historian Deborah Lipstadt’s book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory is published in the UK, she is shocked to learn that British author David Irving, a prolific writer of texts on World War II, is suing her for libel.                        Continue reading DENIAL : A DRAMATISATION OF THE DAVID IRVING VERSUS PENGUIN BOOKS LTD CASE

KATE MULVANY’S ‘THE RASPUTIN AFFAIR’ @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE

Kate Mulvany’s latest play, THE RASPUTIN AFFAIR, at the Ensemble Theatre, is a vibrant and farcical recount of the death of the villainous tyrant and ‘Mad Monk’, Grigori Rasputin.

The story begins in St Petersburg, Russia in the winter of 1917.  A pink cupcake is being prepared, injected with cyanide, by the daft but wicked nobles, Felix, Dimitri and the camera-mad, balmy Vlad.  Assisted by their maid Minya, they lure Rasputin to the Moika Palace to poison him.  They are anything but adept and their victim is much stronger than they imagined.

What follows is a hilarious, larger than life romp.  The nobles would qualify for ‘Upper Class Twits of the Year’ and Minya, also half-starking mad, unwittingly takes orders.  Vlad wears his camera and at dangerously crucial points in the murder attempt, continues to click, as the camera bulb lights up the theatre each time, a brilliant addition to the play.                Continue reading KATE MULVANY’S ‘THE RASPUTIN AFFAIR’ @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE

TEN DOUBLE PASSES TO THE CONTROVERSIAL NEW FRENCH FILM ‘RAW’

This is a funny, sexy and scary new French film which has already won a slew of awards.

RAW tells the story of Justine (Garance Marillier), a brilliant 16-year-old whose admission to a prestigious veterinary school sparks a coming-of-age like no other. With her older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) watching on, Justine partakes in a bizarre hazing ritual where she is forced to eat raw meat for the first time, defying her vegan upbringing and unleashing an insatiable desire for flesh.

Tapping into the violence of youthful rites of passage and the power of sisterly bonds, RAW is emotionally and physically visceral, and totally unforgettable. The film imaginatively and intelligently expands contemporary horror cinema, announcing French writer-director Julia Ducournau as a key figure in an exciting and bold new wave of female genre filmmakers.

A Monster Pictures film, RAW will release nationally on Thursday 20 April.  Here is the link to the trailer- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDiVGDmgsFY.

Sydney Arts Guide has ten double passes to give away. Be one of the first to email editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com. 

Please put RAW competition in the subject line and provide your postal address. Winners will be advised by email and passes will be mailed out.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM’S ‘COMPANY’ @ STUDIO ONE, UNI OF NSW

This performance, like so that of so many by student bodies, is full of verve, gusto and raw excitement.  

Sondheim’s story revolves around Robert or Bobby, as he is affectionately known, played convincingly by Nic Savage.  Bobby is in his thirties, successful yet bored, a focus in the lives of many of his friends, but ultimately alone. Good looking and charismatic, he is strangely detached and isolated. He has it all…or  perhaps he has nothing.

Bobby knows that he does not know much, but it does not occur to him that out there is someone one who just might know what he does not know. As the play progresses we see that behind an assured worldly exterior lies a dark, hopelessly gloomy interior.

Bobby’s friends too echo his conundrum. Behind  their facade of apparently happy partnerships and lives, they too lead  fragile, fragmented existences. With Peter (Tavis Cunningham) and Jenny (Tash Atkins) we have the ultimate dichotomy.  Once married, they are now divorced and have never been happier in each other’s company.
Continue reading STEPHEN SONDHEIM’S ‘COMPANY’ @ STUDIO ONE, UNI OF NSW

COMING SOON: THE BODYGUARD : THE MUSICAL TO SYDNEY LYRIC THEATRE

THE BODYGUARD musical is having its Australian premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 21st April.

The production will star Australian idol pop singer Paulini who will take on the role of Rachel Marron, made famous by the legendary Whitney Houston. The show will also star star Prinnie Stevens who will play Rachel’s sister and Neighbours star Kip Gamblin who will play  the Bodyguard.

The musical is based on the smash-hit Warner Bros 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner and written by the acclaimed, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Big Chill, The Empire Strikes Back). Continue reading COMING SOON: THE BODYGUARD : THE MUSICAL TO SYDNEY LYRIC THEATRE

TRADE

 

After a critically acclaimed season in Adelaide, TRADE is back at the Old 505.

TRADE is a fast paced, irreverent piece of physical theatre that delves into the world of fictional Hedge Fund Delta 1. Hurrah Hurrah have been developing TRADE since an initial residency in late 2014. It has been performed as part of the Old 505 Theatre (Sydney) Freshworks season and in development at Site and Sound Festival (Sydney). Initially inspired by the fall of French rogue Trader Jerome Kevel, Hurrah Hurrah have pulled apart the elements of his enormous descent, and reformed it into an exploration of the complicity of us all in the world we live in.                     Continue reading TRADE

THE CHANCELLOR’S CONCERT @ SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC

This was a thrilling concert in the beautiful , elegant Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The Orchestra under maestro Eduardo Diazmunoz was magnificent. Diazmunoz’s conducting was precise, energetic, refined and mostly restrained, except in the case of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring during which he was jumping around,

After the introduction and welcoming speeches by the Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM ,the opening work was the delightful world premiere of Anne Boyd AM”s Olive Pink’s Garden which requires an absolutely HUGE orchestra,

Boyd’s composition is inspired by the work of anthropologist Olive Muriel Pink, after which a beautiful park in Alice Springs was created,             Continue reading THE CHANCELLOR’S CONCERT @ SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC

NT LIVE PRESENTS AN IBSEN CLASSIC : HEDDA GABBLER

The NT Live screening of Hedda Gabler brings us a bleak, sparse and shattering version of Ibsen’s classic play, written in 1891.

Under Ivo Van Hove’s assured direction, the play is updated to now, with a crisp, supple translation by Patrick Marber that makes it seem new and vivid .

The set is an almost bare, anonymous apartment in the inner city, in the middle of renovation. There are vertical blinds, a fridge and a security camera at the door. Jan Verswyveld‘s lighting is splendid.

The soundscape features a mix of popular songs including Joni Mitchell’s classic ballad Blue all of which go to depicting a person in crisis.

Ruth Wilson is luminous and riveting in the eponymous title role . We first see her slumped over the piano, in negligee and dressing robe, seemingly oblivious of what is happening around her– but is she really?!                               Continue reading NT LIVE PRESENTS AN IBSEN CLASSIC : HEDDA GABBLER

BUDDHIST EXHIBITION 2017 : UNCOVERING THE LIGHT OF BUDDHISM

Buddhist Exhibition is an exhibition that  has been organised by the University of NSW Buddhist Society (UNIBUDS) to showcase Buddhist artefacts and artworks to the public.

In accordance with this year’s theme, “Uncovering the Light of Buddhism”,  the exhibition will explore the original purpose and meaning behind some Buddhist artefacts, by delving into the influence of time and culture in shaping the current perceptions of these artefacts.

How did Buddhism come about? What items did monks use back in the day of the Buddha? Who distilled the Buddha’s teachings from oral communication into written form and how were they recorded? Come and find out as you navigate your way through artefacts and exhibits as art, history and Buddhism intertwine.             Continue reading BUDDHIST EXHIBITION 2017 : UNCOVERING THE LIGHT OF BUDDHISM

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