TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

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Sydney Arts Guide is inviting regular readers of the site to submit their own reviews. The review has to be of a show or arts event that is currently  taking place in Sydney.

A new page has been created just for you, that is simple to use and we only ask for the information that we need to publish.

Tell us what you think about the shows/arts events that you are seeing around Sydney.

Continue reading TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

2 Double Passes To See Back In Time @ Factory Theatre Marrickville

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SYDNEY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL TO PLAY  THE FACTORY THEATRE MARRICKVILLE IN SEPTEMBER

Sydney’s leading Festival for cult and underground films, the Sydney Underground Film Festival (SUFF) has announced its line up for the 2015 Festival, taking place between the  17th and the 20th September at the Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville.

Over four big days, the Festival will screen over 100 films sourced from the very best in subversive, experimental, and controversial films internationally, including featuring Australian premieres, retrospectives and Q&A screenings alongside masterclasses and special musical performances. Continue reading 2 Double Passes To See Back In Time @ Factory Theatre Marrickville

The Emma Press Anthology of Dance

Rachel Piercy and Emma Wright, writer and editor of The Emma Press
A very talented team- Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright, writer and editor of The Emma Press

“Dance is present at every stage of human life,” declares editor Emma Wright in the introduction to her wonderful anthology.  “From lessons to courtships to celebrations and moments when music just demands a response, dance is an essential part of our textured existence.”

This is a small, delightful book full of contemporary poems about dance in short, staccato bursts. There are forty two poems included from both established poets and emerging voices. What is interesting as well is that four of the contributors (Katherine Gallagher, Hilary Gilmore, Melinda Kallasmae and Lana Faith Young) have links to Australia.

A very diverse assortment of dance styles are included ranging from ballet, Flamenco, street, historical, Irish, ballroom to even in private dancing. Continue reading The Emma Press Anthology of Dance

THE BOOK OF SPECULATION BY ERIKA SWYLER

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Featured pic- novelist Erika Swyler

It may not be the season yet to take a book to the beach and on reflection, maybe taking THE BOOK OF SPECULATION to the seaside is as silly as sitting on the sand and reading Jaws.

Maybe its just as well to cosy up in a chair or bed to read THE BOOK OF SPECULATION, and let Erika Swyler’s enchanting story swirl around you.

THE BOOK OF SPECULATION commences, quite literally, as a cliff hanger, “Perched on the bluff’s edge, the house is in danger.” The house is the ancestral home of local librarian, Simon Watson, who lives alone in the dilapidated dwelling since his sister, Enola, ran away with the circus. Continue reading THE BOOK OF SPECULATION BY ERIKA SWYLER

Two Double Passes To The Encore Screening Of Andre Rieu’s 2015 Maastricht’s Concert @ State Theatre this Father’s Day

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Andre Rieu performing at his 2015 Maastricht Concert

Following record-breaking worldwide cinema screenings in July of a magnificent concert by the most popular classical music artist – André Rieu’s 2015 Maastricht Concert in Cinemas will take a bow with a special Encore Screening at Sydney’s iconic State Theatre – on Father’s Day (Sun Sept 6th) at 1 pm.

Back by overwhelming popular demand, the concert will screen at the majestic State Theatre, the perfect showcase to appreciate ‘The King of Waltz’ & his famous 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra as they transform the medieval square in Rieu’s hometown into a romantic open-air concert venue with dazzling light shows, spectacular fireworks & sublime music.  Guest artists include two Aussies – soprano Mirusia and tenor Gary Bennett. Continue reading Two Double Passes To The Encore Screening Of Andre Rieu’s 2015 Maastricht’s Concert @ State Theatre this Father’s Day

RIKKI AND THE FLASH

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It’s hard to believe that the last time Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline teamed up was 1982 for SOPHIE’s CHOICE.

A far less harrowing film, RIKKI & THE FLASH is a reunion that is somewhat a role reversal where Meryl plays the flakier character to Kevin’s more grounded and conservative.

Streep plays Rikki, headliner of a pub band, The Flash. During the day she is a check-out chick earning a pay cheque that hardly covers her rent. Continue reading RIKKI AND THE FLASH

HOLDING THE MAN

Craig Stott, Anthony LaPaglia and Ryan Corr in HOLDING THE MAN
Craig Stott, Anthony LaPaglia and Ryan Corr in HOLDING THE MAN

First a best selling and award winning book, then a box office smash hit and award winning play, HOLDING THE MAN makes it a trifecta with Neil Armfield’s beautifully rendered film.

With a screenplay by Tommy Murphy who adapted Timothy Conigrave’s book initially for the stage, HOLDING THE MAN shows a maturation of development, unfortunately lacking in many films, but lately abundantly evident in the recent spate of stage to screen adaptations that include Last Cab to Darwin and Ruben Guthrie, and the upcoming The Daughter.

Continue reading HOLDING THE MAN

JACKIE AND RYAN COMES TO DVD

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Defiant Screen Entertainment are releasing the movie Jackie & Ryan on DVD and Blu-ray on 2nd September

In this heart-warming love story, starring Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes, a modern day drifter puts his dreams of becoming a successful musician on hold when he falls for a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter.

Well worth checking out.

The Wharf Revue To Return To Parramatta Riverside Theatre

The Wharf Revue 2015

Celebrating 15 years of hilarious political satire, everyone’s favourite lampoonists return to Riverside Theatres from 9th to 12th September for a special edition of Sydney Theatre Company’s The Wharf Revue.

Written, created and performed by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott, this year’s line-up also includes Amanda Bishop (At Home With Julia) who has performed in The Wharf Revue seven times. The 2015 cast is sure to deliver their signature style of side-splitting silliness and musical mayhem. Continue reading The Wharf Revue To Return To Parramatta Riverside Theatre

BRIAN FRIEL’S AFTERPLAY TO COME TO THE OLD 505 THEATRE

Afterplay

Director and Founder of Room To Play productions and the Brisbane Youth Theatre company, Heidi Manchė, presents award-winning Irish dramatist’s Brian Friel’s poetic one act play AFTERPLAY at this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival 8-12 September at Old 505 Theatre.

Friel is widely celebrated for his portrayal of social and political life in Ireland, his theatrical masterpiece Dancing at Lughnasa and his translations of famed Russian playwright and author Anton Chekhov. Continue reading BRIAN FRIEL’S AFTERPLAY TO COME TO THE OLD 505 THEATRE

THE GIFT

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Gifted Australian actor, Joel Edgerton, adds director to his already considerable CV, with THE GIFT, a superior suspenser that just keeps giving.

Simon and Robyn have relocated to Los Angeles from Chicago, Simon to embark on a new job and the couple to endeavour to start a family.

Whilst out shopping to feather their new nest they bump into Gordo, a bloke who went to school with Simon years ago. He’s keen to reacquaint and makes quite an emphatic run at reunion by leaving a gift at their front door. Continue reading THE GIFT

ORRY KELLY: DRESSING HOLLYWOOD @ AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR THE MOVING IMAGE

Orry-Kelly-and-Ava-Gardner-behind-the-scenes-in-One-Touch-of-Venus-1948.-Image-credit-United-Artists-Photofest
Orry-Kelly-and-Ava-Gardner-behind-the-scenes-in-One-Touch-of-Venus-1948. (C)-United-Artists-Photofest

There are a select few Australians who have made it in Hollywood. Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe…But what about those who work behind the scenes? We rarely hear about those who have successful careers behind the camera. There’s film editor Richard Francis-Bruce, (The Shawshank Redemption, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Perfect Storm, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone). Cinematographer John Seale, (Witness, Rain Man, Dead Poet Society, The English Patient.) Animator Adam Elliot, (Harvie Krumpet). But mention the name, Orry- Kelly, and many people will plead ignorance.

This is a shame as many of us will have unknowingly seen his work as a costume designer in some of the best known films ever made: The Oklahoma Kid, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, An American in Paris and the perennial favourite, Some Like It Hot.            

Continue reading ORRY KELLY: DRESSING HOLLYWOOD @ AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR THE MOVING IMAGE

Hugh Jackman Announces Broadway To Oz Arena Tour This November and December

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Images of one of our greatest exports Hugh Jackman. Featured pic courtesy of AFP

A large Sydney Media Scrum, print, electronic and online are  summoned to the Grand Ballroom, Four Seasons Hotel, George Street, Sydney  12.30 setup for a 12.45 start. Hugh’s wife, Debra Lee-Furness and their daughter, Eva, arrive at the same time as the choir and music director file onstage. The choir sing an ascending, non descript cadence, but we can’t be fooled.

Right on cue, cameras swivel and lights flash as the unmistakable voice enters through the audience: ”I’ve been to cities that never close down …”, and we’re off into a rousing rendition of Peter Allen’s “I Still Call Australia Home”.

The consummate showman, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award winner, then announces that he is returning home to Australia in November and December for a five-city arena concert tour – BROADWAY TO OZ – which is based on his smash hit and sold out Broadway show, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway.      Continue reading Hugh Jackman Announces Broadway To Oz Arena Tour This November and December

Kill Tony Abbott to play Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival in September

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Dominica Duckworth is presenting her new stand-up comedy show  KILL TONY ABBOTT (a stand up show, not a suggestion!) as part of this year’s Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival.

In a colourful and varied career so far Dominica has performed with the Australian Theatre For Young People, participated in the Caravan Slam, is a former Raw Comedy heats finalist and currently holds a day job as a high school English teacher.

Dominica describes her show as an hour of lefty stand-up and which she claims is guaranteed to make us laugh about how guilty and alienated we have become! Continue reading Kill Tony Abbott to play Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival in September

SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY

Imogen Poots and Owen Wilson in the romantic comedy SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY.
Imogen Poots and Owen Wilson in the romantic comedy SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY.

The original title of SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY was Squirrels to the Nuts, because the co writer and director of the film, Peter Bogdanovich had a hard-on for the Ernst Lubitsch film, Cluny Brown, renowned for its Charles Boyer parley to the titular plumber.

Squirrels to the Nuts becomes a franca lingua lief motif, an intrinsic and thematic catch-cry in SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY, a strange seductive utterance from Owen Wilson’s character, theatre director, Arnold Albertson, who, though happily married to theatre star, Delta, a delicious take on the domesticated Diva by Kathryn Hahn, likes to romance call girls.

Continue reading SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY

Australian Chamber Orchestra presents Brahms 3 @ City Recital Hall

The Australian Chamber Orchestra's flamboyant conductor and violinist Richard Tognetti
The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s flamboyant conductor and violinist Richard Tognetti

The latest magnificent concert by the Australian Chamber Orchestra was stirring and tempestuous at times and threatened to lift the roof off the City Recital Hall with its rendition of Brahms colossal Third Symphony after interval.

Tognetti was vibrant and emphatic in his conducting, jumping between the conductor’s podium and solo violin, using both the long violin bow and his long, delicate, powerful hands.

The first half consisted of two Mozart works, opening with a lush, splendid performance of the Overture to The Magic Flute, which featured a delightful, golden tone. Continue reading Australian Chamber Orchestra presents Brahms 3 @ City Recital Hall

MATILDA @ LYRIC THEATRE, THE STAR

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Production photography by James Morgan

One of Sydney’s major musicals for the year, MATILDA has impressively taken over the stage at the Lyric Theatre at the Star.

This is a bold and colourful, in parts cartoon like and then at other times quite dark and poignant production.

The large ensemble perform with enormous relish and gusto. It is a re-mounting of the multi-award winning Royal Shakespeare Company production currently playing in London and is based on the much loved Roald Dahl book with music by Tim Minchin.

The school is presented as Dotheboys Hall like, with old fashioned desks and huge towering Victorian front gates that the cast climb and rattle. The set also has piles of books and alphabet blocks. There is also a wonderful, exuberant swing sequence for the schoolchildren opening Act 2 When I Grow Up – some of the cast seem to fly out over the audience. Continue reading MATILDA @ LYRIC THEATRE, THE STAR

Ladies in Lavender @ Q Theatre Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre

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Inset pic-Benjamin Hoetjes, Daniel Mitchell, Gael Ballantyne, Penny Cook and Sharon Flanagan. Featured pic- Sharon Flanagan and Benjamin Hoetjes. Production pics by Clare Hawley

LADIES IN LAVENDER featuring the very popular Penny Cook is a sweet, charming and humorous play that has a subtly dark undercurrent of racism, snobbery, delusion and sibling rivalry which adds a layer of complexity and richness to the performance without being overwhelming.

Two old ladies are listening to Thomas Beecham conducting a Rimsky-Korsakov concert on the radio while they wind a skein of wool into balls. They have a confused conversation about Hussars and Cossacks. Continue reading Ladies in Lavender @ Q Theatre Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre

Vacation

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Buckle up your seatbelts; it’s time for another Griswold family adventure. 32 years after the original National Lampoon’s Vacation film was released, comes the reboot to the series. It’s been 18 years since we last saw the Griswolds, in Vegas Vacation, which ended the original series.

This time it’s the son Rusty, now a husband and father played by Ed Helms, who is an unsuccessful pilot. His wife Debbie (Christina Applegate), and their two sons, the hopeless romantic and sensitive James (Skyler Gisondo) and the younger brat of a brother Kevin (Steele Stebbins) all long for a holiday. Wanting to reconnect better with his family, and reminiscing about his own childhood holidays, dad Rusty decides to relive that journey from the original film and go to Walley World. As expected, no one else in the family shares his enthusiasm. Continue reading Vacation

SWEET BOY DEAR WIFE- JANE DIEULAFOY IN PERSIA 1881-1886

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Inset pic- Book Cover. Featured pic- Photo of Jane Dieulafoy Image via Cohen and Joukowsky

Heather Rossiter’s fascinating  book chronicles the extraordinary life of Jane Dieulafoy and is based on her extensive diaries. Rossiter deftly interweaves and blends themes of  passion, Persian history, politics, power, history and architectural and art history.

This is a medium sized book, elegantly illustrated, with many black and white engravings of Jane’s photographs, as well as various photos of some of the famous sites visited as they were then and are now today.

The publication has a well presented bibliography and index as well as a list of the photos included, a handy brief chronology of Ancient Persia and a glossary as well as a list of the main people mentioned, including various shahs, sheiks, and French officials. Continue reading SWEET BOY DEAR WIFE- JANE DIEULAFOY IN PERSIA 1881-1886

New York Storytelling Group The Moth Coming to Sydney

The Moth is coming “down under”! The acclaimed New York-based storytelling organization is launching its programs in Australia with a series of shows in Sydney.

Attend the open-mic style StorySLAM to listen to true stories told live and without notes or to put your name in the hat for the chance to tell a story on the theme FIRSTS.

This performance takes place on Tuesday 1st September at Oxford Arts Factory, 38-46 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. Doors open at 7pm, stories begin at 7.30pm. Continue reading New York Storytelling Group The Moth Coming to Sydney

Faberge : A Life Of Its Own

An Imperial Presentation Box: A minature portrait of Tsar Nicholas 11 set with large diamonds and green enamel surrounds.
An Imperial Presentation Box: A minature portrait of Tsar Nicholas 11 set with large diamonds and green enamel surrounds.

This is a fascinating, at times heartbreaking documentary about The House of Faberge, one of the most prestigious names in ultimate luxury. The film covers one hundred and fifty years of romance, tumultuous history, artistic development and international commercial expansion and development.

Founder Carl Peter Fabergé attended to the demands of the tastes of the Russian Imperial family. FABERGE: A LIFE OF ITS OWN charts the journey of this inimitable Russian jeweller, celebrating his extraordinary talent and craftsmanship. His name and contributions remain a source of admiration and reverence in an opulent, now lost world. Continue reading Faberge : A Life Of Its Own

Woody Allen’s new movie: IRRATIONAL MAN

The remarkable Woody Allen recently photographed at Cannes promoting his latest film.
The remarkable Woody Allen recently photographed at Cannes promoting his latest film.

To quote General Corman from Apocalypse Now… “Because there’s a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and irrational, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph. Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.”

Just as there is a fine line between love and hate, pleasure and pain, the rational man is a mere stitch away from the irrational, and that’s the thread that is taken up and tailored into another seriously funny, funnily serious entertainment from Woody Allen, IRRATIONAL MAN.

Joaquin Phoenix plays Abe Lucas, a brilliant but tormented philosophy professor in existential crisis. Continue reading Woody Allen’s new movie: IRRATIONAL MAN

THE MARAIS PROJECT PRESENTS MARAIS AND THE OPERATIC MUSE @ SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC

Inset pic- Soprano Belinda Montgomery sang works by Monteclair and Marais. Featured pic- Composer Marin Marais 1656-1728
Inset pic- Soprano Belinda Montgomery sang works by Monteclair and Marais. Featured pic- Composer Marin Marais 1656-1728

The Marais Project, Sydney-based collective of musicians and musicologists, has had an aim for the past sixteen years to perform in concert the entire oeuvre of Marin Marais.

Currently over eighty percent successful in the achievement of this goal, the group presented operatic music by Marais for the first time in its concert MARAIS AND THE OPERATIC MUSE.

Just as many composers’ creative talents and tools of their trade are expanded through opera, so too the dramatic focus and immense charm of Marais’ music was heightened on exposure to his opera Sémélé (1709). The nature of Marais’ musical language achieved greater clarity. Continue reading THE MARAIS PROJECT PRESENTS MARAIS AND THE OPERATIC MUSE @ SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC

THE WOMEN by Clare Booth Luce @ New Theatre

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A witty, quite acerbic commentary on the pampered lives and power struggles of various wealthy Manhattan socialites, Clare Boothe Luce’s comedy of manners, THE WOMEN, has just opened at the New Theatre.

This piece was written in 1936 and presents an extremely conservative view of women’s lives and loves. It remains, however, very funny in parts, and still has relevance for today.

This production has a large cast of eighteen. It is a biting tour de force of stinging zippy one-liners and delicious scandal and gossip. The play features a few deliciously outspoken and bold characters that are wonderful to play. For its time it was exceptional for its large, all-female cast and privileged insiders glimpse into a rather hidden world. Continue reading THE WOMEN by Clare Booth Luce @ New Theatre

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