OLD 505 SEASON 2018 


5 February – 17 March 2018FRESHWORKS 

FRESHWORKS is a short, sharp season of experimental and new works returning for the fifth year. FreshWorks provides experienced artists an opportunity to test out new ideas and young artists an opportunity to work with 505. This year 505  will present six one week seasons plus the new FreshWorksFEMME a season of feminist work, talks and readings by young theatre makers.
6–11 February 2018: JACK DATA

Written and directed by RUTH BELL

A one act comedy set in the not to distance future. On Alice's 31st birthday her worried parents present her with Jack Data. Jack is the 'perfect man' robot, with reproductive options.
13–17 February 2018: LOVE ME


Love, Me is the story of a group of friends in their early 20’s who are attempting to have their first Christmas away from their families. Disillusioned and finally out of the comforting confines of tertiary education, they’re ready to take on the world, just like their parents did when they were young. But it’s a different world now, one that they’re not ready for, and that’s not ready for them. Over the course of a blazingly hot Australian Christmas, the group attempt to start their adult lives and create traditions of their own, but the walls of secrecy surrounding them are starting to tumble down into a sea of bargain bin shiraz and cold turkey gravy.
20–24 February 2018: BEAST.BELLY.BEAST

"Two Men. Two Friends. Two Soldiers. Two Lost Souls – In, and Out – of the Belly of the Beast."

Inside the minds of two men suffering from PTSD, the play itself distorts Time, Place, Events, Structure, Perception.

"What is it to live with trauma?

What is it to with anxiety, but try and keep it together?

What is it to not quite be able to move on...?

What is it to 'live' in confusion?

What do relationships mean anymore? - What holds meaning? - Who/What am I...?"

All this in a fast paced, dramatic, darkly humorous, fractured barrage of entertaining scenes that are (broken) windows in which to glimpse the heart, mind, soul, fears, destruction, pain, wants, desire, hope, forgiveness, innocence, guilt, greed, shame – and, a game of darts...
27 February – 3 March 2018:  CAGE

By Jordan Shea and Directed by Shae Riches

Cuong, Bryce and Ryan turn up in Thailand for three very different reasons. They meet in a sordid little place in the city, where they disrespect the country beyond recognition. As the three negotiate their way through a firestorm beyond their wildest imaginations, a rite of passage joy ride turns into a nightmare.
6–10 March 2018: SATELLITE

By Laura Turner and Cloe Fournier
13–17 March 2018:  RUDY & CUTHBERT

Directed by Ellen Cressey

After meeting on Skype in the ‘Steve Martin Teaches Comedy’ Masterclass, Rudy & Cuthbert decided to throw away their $120 Lifetime Access subscription and combine forces to form the dynamic duo… Rudy & Cuthbert. Having modelled themselves on the greats, they have crafted a partnership to interrogate modern life.

Hot off a string of sold out runs on the West End, Broadway, and Anzac Parade Rudy & Cuthbert are eager to bring their unique style of comedy to The Old 505.

Made redundant by the Sydney lock out laws, witness two brothers - not of blood - but of art, try to make a life for themselves in the Sydney housing market. Watch as they negotiate Ikea furniture, mentos packets, and their own crippling shyness.

Rudy & Cuthbert are a new pair of clowns whose portrayal of a mundane move into the adult world is a rallying cry for warmth and forgiveness in a time racked with mistrust and the internet.

21 March – 7 April 2018:  HOME INVASION

By Christopher Bryant and Directed by Alexander Berlage

An obsessive Paula Abdul fan, June, auditions for American Idol in an attempt to impress her hero. A young girl named Sam enters a relationship with her mechanic, Anthony, and cultivates a dangerous obsession with brutally confronting his wife, Carol. Carol, meanwhile, has reoccurring dreams in which a ghostly Jon Benét Ramsey visits her, prophesying about the future.

Equally disturbing and humorous, Home Invasion explores celebrity infatuation and our culture’s obsession with the relentless mediatisation of violent acts, weaving together three incidents from real life.

9–22 April 2018: RAPID READS

Dino Dimitriadis and Apocalypse Theatre Company

Following the success of 2017’s season, Rapid Reads is back at the Old 505. The festival will showcase the newest work from Australia’s most contemporary emerging playwrights, who will be paired with and mentored by some of our best established writers.

This year, Rapid Reads will include a series of panels, discussions and networking nights for a two-week joyride of new work.


Presented by House of Sand. By Alice Birch and directed by Charles Sanders.

“Each scene …begins with deconstruction and proceeds into detonation.” – Ben Brantly, of the Soho Rep production

REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN.Alice Birch tears apart the language, structures and ideas that keep feminism and women trapped inside a patriarchal system, and presents a rallying cry for a new feminism; to work outside the system and re-redefine the way we think about womanhood.

Packed with intelligence, humour and wrenching social commentary, Revolt will be a punch in the face wrapped in a satin glove.

“The siblings’ ability to move us, to cease our attention and connect with our emotions, without the use of anything remotely formulaic or conventional, is evidence that a purity of intention and an instinctive acuity are at play here…Eliza and Charles Sanders are important artists who give us an alternate view of the world.” – Suzy Goes See, of Pedal & Castles @ Sydney Fringe Festival 2016


22–26 May 2018: THE BRIDE OF WAR

Presented by Sekrit Projekt

Co-created & performed by Hannah Cox, Caitlin West, Pierce Wilcox

THE BRIDE OF WAR is a feminist response to Shakespeare’s Henry V, turning that epic of war and nationalism into an intimate study of patriarchal power, told through music, dance, visual art and Shakespeare’s greatest writing.

29 May – 9 June 2018:  TWILIGHT and  MUT

Presented by Motimaru Dance Company (Berlin)


Around 100.000 years ago, when Homo sapiens emerged on this planet, the initial embryonic human art emerged in the dark cave, where eyes cannot see. What they were seeing with their inner eyes was the depth of our unconscious. This must be the universal principle of human art.

Social systems and technological advances have changed society over years, but our human nature has never changed. This is why primitive arts could give important influences on great artistic experiments of the 20th century, such as Cubism or Surrealism.

We are living in a society where our innermost nature is deeply buried. Modern science relies on the intellectual rationale based on mathematics and language, and overemphasizes the information perceived by the eyes. Yet it misses direct physical experience and divides the world into separated pieces.

Human is human, animal is animal, I am I,you are you…Even in the dance scene, where body is the main media, productions can be reduced to merely intellectual concepts or movement patterns, which can loose the profound experience of the body itself. In the modern era we are missing deeper experience of body and mind, the power to explore and reveal the unconscious. In its depth, the world is not separated but connected freely. Human is animal, life is death, I am you.

Twilight questions the fundamental purpose of human art, and searches for a new dance method to walk down the stairs towards the depth of our being through the subtlest movement within.


How often do we read news without having an idea of the depth of that reality? We are used to hear such news, throw away the newspaper and continue the daily life as always. But if the newspaper could take life what would we see?

About nowaday’s domination, manipulation, cultural and religious conflicts, woman and human rights, shifting from personal to public news, this piece is a collective solo that includes stories from many women of different countries and cultures that come to be taken as icons and represent the contradicted faces of our society. MUT means mother/courage/mutilated/mutual/multiracial.

The piece encourages new actions toward transformation and dignity.

13–30 June 2018: AIR

By Joanna Erskine

The dead don’t talk back. Until now.

Annabel sits in a dark radio studio, hosting the graveyard shift. Single and introverted, she spends her nights reading the death notices to a silent audience. One morning while on air, the station phone rings. When Annabel answers, she unwittingly unleashes the grief and secrets of an entire community, desperate to connect with the past.

From writer Joanna Erskine (K.I.J.E., Boot) and director Anthony Skuse, comes this black and bittersweet comedy about death, grief, holding on and letting go.

3–21 July 2018 : ROOMBA NATION

Presented by Hurrah Hurrah. Concept & director Alison Bennett

Pippie is a curious character. She makes friend’s with cockroaches, cuts her own hair and generally makes up her own rules.

Until Pippie discovers that she is the carrier of a medical anomaly. Alone in her ward, Pippie comes to realise that things are serious. Isolated from her world of crooked comforts, Pippie befriends what ever she can…including a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner.

Roomba Nation takes us on a journey of realisation and the acceptance of a fate that befalls us all. Its dreamlike world asks us to consider the delicate balance of improved quality of life and solitude that our modern conveniences can bring.

After the critical acclaim of Trade in 2017, Hurrah Hurrah bring you this beautiful new work that will make you laugh and then break your heart.

1–11 August 2018: HELL’S CANYON

By Emily Sheehan.  Directed by Katie Cawthorne

“Sometimes there are things you can’t forget about, even when you try. They just pop into your brain outta nowhere. Walking home, or in line at the canteen, or when we were making out before. It smacks you right in the face. Right outta nowhere. I don’t know what’s so wrong about remembering.” – Hell’s Canyon

Caitlin and Oscar are hiding out in a motel in the middle of the Australian outback. No one knows they’re there, and seventeen-year-old Caitlin won’t tell fifteen-year-old Oscar why she’s running. They’re out of money and the only thing they have on them is a rare and valuable graphic novel, Hell’s Canyon. But Oscar doesn’t want to sell it. Not for this. Not for anything.

HELL’S CANYON is a play that celebrates everything magical about being a young person, the tenacity of teenage friendship, and our ability to transcend tragedy by reaching for the sublime.

HELL’S CANYON was developed with the support of Playwriting Australia at the National Play Festival, and in the National Script Workshop.

14–18 August 2018: THE NOSE

Presented by The Bloomshed (Melbourne)

Created and performed by Elizabeth Brennan, James Jackson, Tom Molyneux

A CEO is crying in front of a mirror. A severed nose is lying on the floor. There are inspirational quotes plastered everywhere – WE CAN ALL BE HEROES – just make sure you don’t stop producing.

Disparate narratives collide around the missing appendage; a psychotic, hallucinatory journey as people start falling to pieces. The Nose is an attempt to locate the systems that exploit our bodies.

The Bloomshed creates new things by cannibalizing the old – The Nose is the company’s latest attempt to consume a classic, written by an author who starved himself to death. This is agit-prop political theatre raised from the dead and zombified. Like everything else, The Nose is a rotting corpse, animated, moaning and stumbling around for your pleasure.

“James Jackson is Kafkaesque without any of the boringness of Kafka” – Sometimes Melbourne

21 August – 8 September 2018 : THE GRAND ILLUSION

Directed by Kate Gaul

“On the 6th of July, 1988, I lost my mother. I don’t mean she died. She vanished. Which was suspicious, as my father was a magician. A club magician who never quite escaped the Legions and Rotary circuit. But maybe he outdid himself just this once.”

The Grand Illusion transports the audience into a world of hocus-pocus and the desire to believe. Our guides are a detective, a celebrated author, and a mystic on the threshold between the living and the dead. Oh, and the greatest showman on earth, the incomparable Harry Houdini.

10–30 September 2018: SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL

The Sydney Fringe Festival is the largest Independent arts festival in NSW. presenting over 350 productions in over 50 venues across Sydney every September.

Featuring over 2000 artists across over 900 sessions the Sydney Fringe Festival shines a light on the best local Independent artists Sydney has to offer, uncovering hidden cultural gems, highlighting secret venues and encouraging audiences to explore the city.

The Old 505 Theatre will again present a cutting-edge program of Australian works across four jam-packed weeks. Stay tuned for program details in mid 2018.


2–14 October 2018: I AM A LION

By Liz Hobart

A haunting and beautiful thriller.

Cinematic and fast paced story telling featuring physical theatre and beat poetry. A mother’s son is arrested, accused of being a serial killer. Can a person be forgiven for the sins they did not commit, but created?

16 October – 10 November 2018: FRESHWORKS FEMME

Presented by Old 505 Theatre

Bringing together some of Sydney’s fiercest young female theatre makers exploring new works, new ideas and how they view the world today. This inaugural edition of FreshWorksFEMME presents three week-long productions and a week of play readings, talks and forums.
16–20 October 2018 : BEFORE LYSISTRATA

Story by Ellana Costa & Michaela Savina

Aristophane’s Lysistrata paints a picture of women at the end of their tether. With Athens and Sparta in a seemingly endless war, the women of both states take from their husbands the one thing neither of them want to live without. Sex.

Before Lysistrata explores the role of women in politics and the place of feminism in the world. It offers two types of women, both devoted to their causes, and each stronger than the armies of Sparta and Athens combined. Each fights to cement their place in global politics while staying true to their values. Exploring gender in politics, the role and nature of democracy and the heart, beauty and tragedy of both the Right and the Left, Before Lysistrata examines the humanity and failings of each side in the hope we can come together for the greater good.
23–27 October 2018: (W)REST

Presented by The Adelphi Experiment

The Adelphi Experiment is an all-female contemporary performance collective celebrating sisterhood throughout all ages and stages of life. Exploring the rich cultural heritage of our diverse communities, we use performance to amplify the voices and stories of girls' and women’s lives.

“Being busy all the time has become a badge of honour – albeit a heavy, awkward, uncomfortable badge that doesn't go with any of your outfits.” – Alison Hill, The Huffington Post
30 October – 3 November 2018: WHOSE UTERUS IS IT ANYWAY?

By Georgina Adamson and directed by Eve Beck

“What happens when an IUD, HRT and STI walk into a bar?”

Have you ever wanted to take a peek at the privatest privates of complete strangers? Have a squiz at their naughty bits? A geez at their ganders? Well now you can! Four people have made appointments here at the reproductive health clinic and will now compete to receive their treatments. Our contestants are Mary the nun, Michelle the wine-mum, Lila the millennial and our dark horse Tom. What prizes will they receive? Maybe an IUD? An STI? An abortion? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

WHOSE UTERUS IS IT ANYWAY? is the waiting room gameshow where contestants must compete to receive their treatment. It’s a game of reproductive health and the ‘contestants’ will be fighting it out to receive an IUD, Hormone Replacement Therapy, an STI test and an abortion- all in front of a live studio audience! Our Host will guide the contestants through a series of trials and tribulations, making sure to keep things interesting. In between challenges, the personal lives of the contestants will be put on display- but don’t worry, it’s all information they gave the doctor.

13–24 November 2018: BLAME TRAFFIC

Directed & written by  Michael Andrew Collins

Alice is cut off every day after work by the same Mercedes. One night, she decides to follow the Mercedes home. She follows the car again the next day, and the next. She becomes obsessed with the car, and its driver, Khalid. She follows him until, one day, he disappears. Alice slowly forgets about him; months later, she sees the Mercedes again.

Blame Traffic is a story about chance, forgiveness, and blame, told through 5 characters, and 4 stories.

28 November – 22 December 2018: ALL MY SLEEP AND WAKING

Written by Mary Rachael Brown and directed by Dino Dimitriadis

‘I am not saying I don’t wish him peace but he should run through those pearly gates of heaven. If he walks, he’ll get caught for something.’

As a father’s death approaches, three siblings struggle to reconcile with their differing experience of the same man. Conflicting memories, rusted on family habits and arguments about who will do what at the funeral all create distraction from the painful truth. Parental love isn’t always fair. And keeping score on family history is a dangerous game.

In a special and rare move, Mary Rachel Brown revisits and rewrites her first play; an ode to the complexity of forgiveness and a searing and unflinching look at family, love and duty.

SEDUCTIVE DECEMBER CONCERTS: Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra

 Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra presents its final concerts for 2017 with SUITE SEDUCTION , a program of Debussy, Westlake and Mozart treats – each one irresistibly seductive!

Opening the program is a delightful work by Debussy, bubbling with Parisian sparkle and brilliance. The Petite Suite is perfectly charming, flirtatious and elegant: the delicious entree to this delectable selection!

For this concert, the WPO welcomes star guitarist Matt Withers (of Guitar Trek fame) to perform Nigel Westlake’s chilling ANTARCTICA SUITE . Composed originally for the film of the same name, this stunningly beautiful work fuses the romanticism of the guitar with the precision of a classical orchestra to capture the diverse and enigmatic landscapes of the southern continent’s dramatic, frozen landscape.

Matt Withers

Matt is an ambassador for Australian music, a well-established teacher, performer and mentor for musicians globally. He has performed with esteemed artists including William Barton, the Carl Pini Quartet and various national orchestras whilst maintaining strong commitments in the leading Australian chamber music groups Guitar Trek (alongside Timothy Kain, AM) and the Brew Guitar Duo. Matt is also proud to have performed, recorded and commissioned Australian works and his commercial albums appear on on ABC Classics (Australia) and Soundset Recordings (USA).

The final work is Mozart’s passionate and stormy Symphony number 40 in G minor. Its driving rhythms, dark harmonies and intricately weaving textures create a soundscape of intrigue and mystery, while simultaneously an elegant and refined work of art, perfect in form and structure.

The WPO is delighted to also welcome to the podium for the first time, the masterful talents of conductor John Buckley. John has enjoyed a long, successful career spanning thirty five years as a conductor, multi-instrumentalist, adjudicator, clinician and music educator. John has been the Music Director of the Corrective Services, NSW Band Music Director of both the Sydney Wind Symphony and the Wind Symphony at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, an active clinician and adjudicator for the Sydney Eisteddfod, Engadine Band Festival, and the NSW School Band Festival.

Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra – SUITE SEDUCTION, Works by Debussy, Westlake and Mozart will play:

Saturday 2 December 5:30pm St Columba Church – Corner Forth & Ocean Streets, Woollahra

Sunday 3 December 2:30pm St Francis of Assisi Uniting Church – 436 Oxford Street, Paddington

Artists: Matt Withers, guitar | John Buckley, conductor

Book online www.Ticketbooth.com.au or call 0411 150 567

More information visit  http://www.wpo.org.


PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive, was set up by the National Library in 1996 to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications/websites.

Australia’s national library  is committed to preserving selected websites of lasting cultural value for long-term access by the Australian community. In 1996 the Library set up Pandora, Australia’s Web Archive.

Only a relatively small number of websites are assessed as being significant enough for PANDORA and Sydney Arts Guide is proud  to advise that it is now to be included in the Archive. Continue reading SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE SOON TO BE ON PANDORA, AUSTRALIA’S WEB ARCHIVE


Above : Catalin Ungureanu – violinist for the Arensky Piano Trio No 1 in D minor and  the Ravel String Quartet in F major

‘Ravel Impressions’ at City Recital Hall was the final concert from Omega Ensemble in its 2017 Virtuoso Series and for all concert series in the year. Whilst celebrating the trio and quartet genres from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, Omega Ensemble presented an entertainment which was consistently stylish and elevated. Once more their programme allowed a demonstration of the talented virtuosi at Omega’s disposal. The chamber music skill on display soared with constant class into the artistic stratosphere.

The first half of the concert juxtaposed a Russian piano trio from the late Romantic period with a more well-known clarinet trio written by Mozart in 1786. The concert’s second half consisted of a joyous reunion of a piano trio by Gabriel Fauré and the famous string quartet by his pupil Maurice Ravel. This concert also paid homage to teacher-composers, as both Arensky and Fauré were prolific music educators of their time at the St Petersburg and Paris Conservatories respectively. Continue reading OMEGA ENSEMBLE : RAVEL IMPRESSIONS @ CITY RECITAL HALL


For its final main season production of the year, UTS Backstage revisited an old classic, American Jewish playwright Lillian Hellman’s THE CHILDREN’S HOUR.

Hellman’s play premiered in the 1930s and was radical for its time in its depiction of a lesbian relationship.

The setting is a country town boarding school. Two female school teachers, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, have formed a close relationship, building the school’s reputation and importance in the local community. Their feelings turn/transform into more than friendship.

Their relationship is exposed by Mary Tilford, an enormously bratty schoolgirl who ‘dobs’ them into her grandmother, Amelia Tilford, who then ‘rings the alarm’ in the community. The 1930s weren’t exactly a great time in regards to enlightened thinking around the whole issue of same sex relationships! Continue reading UTS BACKSTAGE : LILLIAN HELLMAN’S ‘THE CHILDREN’S HOUR’


Photos by Chris Lundie

AUSTRALIA DAY playing at the New Theatre is a lot of fun.  That could be it.  That could be all I need to write.  “Go and see it. It’s a good comedy!”

Ah but …. I love an “Ah but” moment in the theatre.  Jonathan Biggins doesn’t write in one dimension, he’s not a single noun kind of scribbler.  Few national treasures are and AUSTRALIA DAY is a whole mess of naming words.  All of which add up theatrical storytelling of the finest, most entertaining, kind.

We meet the Australia Day Committee of the small fictional town of Coriole, including a mayor with aspirations to be on the ticket for the House of Reps.  Cushy job in Canberra would be nice and Bryan Harrigan is a man with an eye for the main chance.  As is Helen.  She’s a member of The Green Party and pretty green.  Robert is the chair and often umpire. Alice is the CWA rep and Wally is a leftover from the days when men ruled empires and could say and do as they liked.  At their first meeting for next year’s events, there are concerns in committee about how the changing population of Coriole is affecting the traditional way of celebrating a national day.  Enter Chester.

Chester is the school rep by default  on the committee.  He’s a teacher and from an Asian background.  That means Chinese to Alice and Wally, it’s a tough room!  Lap Nguyen gives us such a fun character here.  Self-deprecating, amused beyond belief at the rest of this committee, not above baiting their prejudices and guilelessly positive.  Chester is beautifully written of course.

As is the most difficult character to pull off.  That’s Wally; a definite wally who is a bigoted, racist antagonistic.  He is the Archie Bunker or Alf Garnett character who throws a light on the past, its injustices and prejudices.   Les Asmussen is truly terrific here, in a cast of wonderful performances, he manages to be offensively accurate in an anachronistic mirrored way that reflects what actually went on. Endangered species can be dangerous when riled.

Wally’s behaviour and speech runs an audience through a gambit from horrified gasps, sad head shakes and on to laugh out loud disbelief.  What mitigates the offensiveness and makes the comedy is that he is never unchallenged.  Sometimes by the silence of the others on stage but often by the compass corrections of Helen.

Amelia Robertson-Cunninghame has a sturdiness about Helen.  She is vulnerable,  standing up for herself and others doesn’t come easy.  There’s a drive in her to help, to do, to change things despite a reserve and inner sadness.  She sees politics as the way to be a better person and stand up for … everything really.  Her performance is balanced and she avoids stridency even in extremis.  Ambition can be a two-edged sword though and it tucks her into a metaphorical bed with other ambitious politicians.

Like Byran (Peter Eyers).  It’s a really commanding performance from Eyers. We know this guy.  His bearing and his insecurities masked by hail fellow well met effusiveness.  Big fish small pond.  Power, economic realities, over-responsivity  to threats or possibilities for climbing advancement.   And, of course, mateship.

This rears its ugly head when economic realities impact and he casually calls in a lifetime of mutual back scratching from Robert.  The conversations around small town businesses and family owned, long term enterprises failing or threatened are so well elucidated in this production.  It just rings so true.  In a skilfully moderated performance from Martin Portus, Robert is the peace maker.  He’s engagingly dry and wry.  But there is a big heart there.

The final member of the cast is Alice Livingstone as Maree.  She is the volunteer’s volunteer. This is such an understated performance from her.  Assisted by this terrific script, she avoids all the clichés of CWA types yet personifies that undeniable bedrock of women who do most of the work and still manage to bring the scones.  Her sensible shoe attitude gives an empathy and trustworthiness that is vital to the improvement in character of Wally and Helen.

The production is well conceived by director Louise Fischer.  The first act set is pure dib dib dob dob down to the exquisite detail of a red silk ribbon around the frame of the queen’s picture and the dirty walls.  Second act is a lovely set morph and worth staying in your seat over interval to watch.  The lighting works well and the costuming sets the scene nicely.  No jingoistic ditty is unplayed on the soundtrack and the urge to bop along is infectious.

It’s not all big picture design either. Subtleties abound if you have time between the nimble scripting to think about it.  There’s whiteboard planning for those who remember; there is ball rub residue on Bryan’s cricket creams, there are crows not kookas in the audio,

The jokes in AUSTRALIA DAY are frequent; lots and lots of laughs here.  There is an hilarious sequence with telecommunication devices that got spontaneous applause. But as with all great storytelling the witticisms take a back seat to story.  It is the storytelling, the clever plotting, that sustains the production through 2 hours, the tensions are developed, situations require resolution and points of view are challenged.

I’m out of nouns and, if honest, adjectives to describe a thoroughly enjoyable production.  AUSTRALIA DAY is playing at the New Theatre Newtown until 16th December.

For more information about AUSTRALIA DAY and New Theatre visit https://newtheatre.org.au/


Jes Vandrempt, Mark Inwood, Georgia Cooper All photographs by Prudence Upton

Type in ‘inspirational’.  Right click.  Pull down synonyms.  Stimulating Stirring Rousing Moving.  Well … that’s bullshit.  These artists exhibit no desire for that kind of spurious platitudinous response.  These are performers whose work has an urgency to be respected for their message, the artistry of their thematic expression and the craft with which it is created.

I have been to see CHRYSALIS.

It’s Midnight Feast Theatre Company and the cast combines the talents of professional actors with high support need individuals. And it’s a bloody revelation.

It is blood, after all, that humanity has in common.  It pulses through all of us indiscriminately, be that puncture or transfusion.  The overarching symbolic cohesion of this production is in the use of red wool to bind us all together. Written by Stephen Sewell, Emily Dash and Warwick Allsopp (Emily and Warwick also perform) and with sterling direction from Kylie Harris, CHRYSALIS combines vignettes, songs and storytelling in a medical setting with a beating heart of verite  theatre.

 “A protest inspired by true events in the lives of ensemble members with significant disabilities who feel they have been mistreated and ignored by doctors and institutions.”  

Glenn (Glenn Turnbull) is not just the central figure whose wheelchair is upstage for the whole production.  Glenn is one of us.  He watches … not just his cast mates and their performance though.  His acuity as an observer is tuned further out than that. He watches us watching.   The program notes indicate that in the devising of CHRYSALIS, he was keen to explore how he is often ignored.  That is not the case here.   Glenn is an arresting presence and his words, spoken as voice over to close the show, make one want to know more of this young man.  An argument over a beer about his choice of footy team might be a good start.

Glenn’s impact is also due to the excellent performances of the cast around him.  Paul Mulgrew does a terrific job as the doctor.  Paul has power and expression in his voice as he has the doctor’s clinical indifference just right.  Yet he mitigates the dispassion with explaining about the doctor’s 14-hour shift.  Jude Bowler as the Paramedic has a much tougher gig, though, because she has the most obnoxious and repellent of the dialogue.  It’s teeth grinding stuff, made worse because it is based on the lived experience of some of this ensemble.  She’s really good at being shitty.    Warwick Allsopp and Mark Defy in support are equally institutionally negligent and dismissive.

One of the true delights of this production is Sarah Armstrong.  She, like most of the cast play several roles but her Nurse Isabella in these early scenes is such a lovely creation.  Her vivid expressions and complete engagement in the role are stellar.  And the way Sarah shows Isabella’s outrage at the other nurses’ behaviour is clear and present acting of the best kind.  She lights up the stage every time she appears.

As does Georgia Cooper.  Georgia arrives on stage after a beautifully elucidated meditative music piece (Kylie Harris, Jes Vandrempt, Nick Lewis) performed with Tibetan bowls, stark white lighting and costumes, supported by a soundscape gently under to add to the aural beauty.    Georgia shimmers and not just because of her sparkly costume.  It is the spark and fire of her storytelling that really gets you.  Comic lines delivered with a sense of infectious fun hypnotise us into travelling to a new destination with her.  A place of perspective.

That is a rich place for a singer of style and passion.  Nina Salece is a star from her “Where is Love?” song to the way she directly engages with the audience during the big numbers.  She is absolutely charming and has a killer smile.  There is  some recorded music in the show but there are also live music makers Frankie Bouchier and Rob Gist, (Composer Robin Gist) to keep the work flowing.

Nic Gell, Heath Ramsey,Glenn Turnbull Photo: Prudence Upton

Speaking of killers, T Man (that’s Tarantula to the uninitiated) is played by Heath Ramsay and he is just cracker as he eyes off the crowd looking for his next meal.  It is the gruesome and the gothic interpreted with glee.  Heath’s work is the first part of a really interesting sequence where insects struggle for torturous supremacy over Glenn who has been left … just left.  Each of the ensemble here work so well together.

With Robert Mockler as a commanding Lord of the Flies, the tension is palpable.  Frankie Bouchier as Cockroach, Nick Gell as Fang, Mark Inwood as Rotten, Paul Mulgrew as Clifton, Odile Le Clezio as Bop, Nick Lewis as Gus, Jes Vandrempt as Stinker are a formidable group.  With their unified, characterful movement and techie headgear, the group create a great fear in the audience about what they will do to Glenn. “Eat humans”, is the chilling cry and an eerie green light predominates as fly buzz on the soundtrack makes it all pretty yucky.  Again, I would point out that this is lived experience for these performers.  No wonder their work is so passionate.

Jude Bowler, Glenn Turnbull Photo: Prudence Upton

Passion is all around in the next sequence when sex and disability are referenced.  Here the audience is inspired into clapping along to ‘Devil Gate Drive’ leading into some wizarding fun with straws and a cleaner with a broom to get Glenn’s discarded clothes off the floor.  Nick Lewis is a dab hand with a broom, we saw him before the show where he was intent on his work and completely in character.  Now we see him kick it into high gear with ‘You’re the Voice’.  Pump it up man!!!  He has some serious moves; his dancing is awesome and he is soon joined by the rest of the cast for a thrilling and emotional section.  A real high point but there is more to come.

The last few scenes of the production belong to Emily Dash as Amara, Erica Halvorsen as Glenn’s Guardian Angel and Emily Marks as Caterpillar/Butterfly.  Drawings are displayed, there is an interpretive dance expressing the sheer love of movement to music and a monologue delivered with an unparalleled emotional intensity as the themes and the red wool are drawn together.  The world needs “… the beauty you create.”

Type ‘beauty’.  Type ‘theatre of relevance and power’.  Type ‘performances of skill and belief’.   Right click.  Pull down synonyms. There is only one … Midnight Feast Theatre Company’s production of CHRYSALIS.

For more information about CHRYSALIS or Midnight Feast Theatre Company visit



After much anticipation, MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL is finally arriving! A joint co-production by the Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures, the show is opening tonight at the Roslyn Packer Theatre.

A stage musical adaptation, brought to the present day by writer PJ Hogan, the show is being directed by Simon Phillips and features original music by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall, along with the original beloved Abba numbers. The show is exclusively playing Sydney.          Continue reading MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL : OPENING TONIGHT!






HEATHERS THE MUSICAL provides multiple insights into the bullying, assaults, intimidation, violence and gun ownership of American senior high school students at Westerberg High. Beautiful misfit loner Veronica Sawyer, is wonderfully played with great gusto by Julia Hyde, when she finally succeeds in joining the school’s elite and cliquey trio of beautiful young women, THE HEATHERS.

Veronica falls deeply in lust for Jason Dean (J.D.), played by Stuart Prime, the very dark, mysterious and dangerously sexy new bad boy at the school. Julia Sophie Liela is undeniably menacing as the elegant Queen Bitch, Heather Chandler.

Unremittingly entertaining musical with biting lyrics plus murder and mayhem galore, and is based on the cult 1988 Hollywood movie HEATHERS starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.

Directors Kyle Stephens and Liviu Monsted have wisely cast three very brightly voiced women as the Three Heathers. Thought-provoking teenage revenge musical contains frequent confronting adult themes and easily blends its enthralling young-adult drama with caustic sharp humour.

We finally meet the mean girls, these three bitches, Heather Duke, Heather McNamara and led by Heather Chandler. They are HEATHER I and II and III fully displayed in all their glory, hunting down all the nerds who are their easy prey, in the school jungle.

Mood enhancing lighting choices, and the intimate staging and brilliant set design were all exceptional. The realistic-looking dynamite bomb with timer, plus the explosion pyrotechnics helped make the evening extremely memorable. The young ensemble cast perfectly delivered Laurence O’Keefe’s and Kevin Murphy’s lyrics, with never-ending enthusiasm and intensity, making for an awe-inspiring great night out.

This is a bargain night out, as tickets are only $30 each, concession $25, plus booking fees.

Beautifully staged in an intimate theatre space, and with a superb young cast, this enthusiastic HEATHERS was magnificent and a very entertaining night out.



Stuart Prime – JD
Julia Sophie Liela – HEATHER CHANDLER
Emma Kay Whiteley – HEATHER MCNAMARA
Nathaniel Hole – RAM SWEENEY / Rams Dad
Siri Molin – MS. FLEMING/ Veronica’s mum
Christopher Daw – Principal Gowen/Veronica’s Dad/JDs Dad
Sasha Cole – Bitter Geek
Mike Williams – Hipster Dork / COACH RIPPER
Stephanie Segafredo – Stoner Chick
Stephanie Hillman – Young Republicanette / Ensemble
Sarah Fittock – Goth Girl
Amy Rose-Eileen Jones – MARTHA DUNNSTOCK understudy
– Understudy/ VERONICA’S MOM.

Directed by Kyle Stephens dan Liviu Monsted

Music Direction by Elliott Falzon

Choreography by Rhiannon Paige and Scott Reynolds

The Band
Keys 1 Elliott Falzon
Keys 2 George Mav
Guitar David Lewis
Bass Samual Wilson
Bass Depp Amanda Jenkins (opening night)
Drums Peter Kotevski

Book, Music, Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy

All firearms within the production, are used under direction and supervision of a licensed theatrical armourer.

Duration under 150 minutes, including one interval.

STRICTLY LIMITED SEASON – HEATHERS is at the Fuse Box inside the Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville.

Performances at 7:00pm from the 15th November until 25th November 2017.




VIDEO: https://youtu.be/QDP0zDaSUfE
VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDP0zDaSUfE

TICKETS: http://bit.ly/FAC-Heathers
TICKETS: https://sa2.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/TicketRequest?eventId=100918119&presenter=AUCENTURY&venue=&event=171116FU&tck=true






Fascinating savage slice of political and social commentary via comedy, with generous surreal dialogue, provides violence bordering on farce. Exhilarating murder-thriller romp, satirical comedy equally filled with both wit and wisdom, and delivers unexpected twist after twist, and absolutely packed with riveting humour. Fascinating and intriguing theatrical experience, often profound and beautifully fluent acting, the story unfolds with great wit and superlative comic timing.

Two reality television stars, the husband and the wife,  together they are the perfect married team when on television.   However they are both actors reading their lines and faking it. Their televised married life is not real, every word spoken is written for them.

Robert Kelly (Thomas Pidd) and his wife Tamara Kelly (Eleanor Stankiewicz), attend an informal morning meeting with a twitter-famous neo-nazi teenager. These two reality television stars will do and say almost anything to protect their good name and their television jobs, including manufacturing a terrorist siege, to hide each deliberately accidental murder. Outstanding performances from a strong cast, however NIDA graduate Eleanor Stankiewicz yet again delivered a very memorable role on her journey to be Australia’s next Cate Blanchett.

Suddenly they have to be impulsive, make real-world decisions, and inventively decide when to murder each victim. They cleverly blur the lines of their reality, by altering the crime scene to frame other persons with their compelling forensic evidence. 21st century hypocrisy, and the continuing war on terror, continues to be fuelled by unjustified fear and hatred. This show deliberately provides clever political conversation starters. You and your friends will be talking about this show for many hours.

Continue reading VIOLENT EXTREMISM and OTHER ADULT PARTY GAMES @ The Depot Theatre


Photos by Helen Maybanks

This updated production (it is set now, or perhaps in a possible near future) as directed by Andrew Jackson emphasizes the politics and bloody battles. It is beautifully spoken and a play of contrasts: this is a production where patricians wear dinner jackets, the plebeians wear hoodies and the tribunes are as sleek as TV presenters. Political speeches are contrasted with whirling violent battle scenes .
Jackson’s version of CORIOLANUS opens with a forklift truck shifting bags of corn away from the ordinary denizens of Rome. It is staged with some thrilling lighting effects and some bloody battles and some blistering , tense wordy political scenes in the Forum.

Stark grey metallic grille shutters rise and fall throughout the whole play as scene dividers. They are coolly neutral and suggest a life completely different to that of Coriolanus’. To indicate Rome and the forum there is a statue of a rearing horse, Volumnia’s palace is graced by a refined statue of Venus. The public marketplace is indicated by steel seating and podiums that rise from the floor. Interior scenes have curtains to soften the lines.

To summarize the complicated plot : Caius Martius forces open the gates of the city and joins the leader of the Roman army, Cominius, to defeat Tullus Aufidius, commander of the Volscian army. In recognition of his great deeds, Caius Martius is renamed “Coriolanus” . Yet the common people turn against him for his arrogant attitude, and he ends up seeking refuge in exile with his old foe Tullus Aufidius, who was previously defeated, but not killed.Together they plan to attack Rome, but at the last minute Volumnia makes Coriolanus repent his treachery, and a peace treaty is speedily worked out between Rome and the Volscians. Tullus Aufidius kills Coriolanus for his duplicity.

Sope Dirisu as Coriolanus is distinctly ‘other’ from the outset.He is portrayed as a valiant ,worthy warrior General of the army leading to many victories , but proud and arrogant , unsympathetic as well as being a real Mummy’s Boy .He regards himself as above the common people , who he despises and is awkward when running for office ( uncomfortably wearing the cloak of humility and white cap) as consul or indeed with any dealings with ordinary men and women.

Volumnia , Coriolanus’ mother is played very strongly by Haydn Gwynne . Tough and manipulative , fiercely intelligent she is elegant , proud and aristocratic, and advises her son carefully as she cannot rule in her own right .The famous pleading for Rome scene is intense and gripping, tightly performed.

Coriolanus’ wife Virgilia , tall cool and patrician , overly dominated and intimidated by Volumnia , was elegantly played by Hannah Morrish.

Menenius, genial, complacent and urbanely avuncular, is terrifically played by Paul Jesson , seemingly unaware that there is festering revolt beneath the surface mask of everyday life in Rome but revealing himself to be very brave in a crisis and a sharp negotiator.
Aufudius leader of the Volscians is brilliantly portrayed by James Corrigan . His scheming Aufidius, shows that it is possible to combine the art of a master swordsman and gracious formal diplomacy. When Coriolanus appears at his house in Antium he is stunned and disbelieving then thrilled . Is he in fact double crossing Coriolanus ?There Is also much hinting at a possible ‘bromance’ developing between Aufidius and Coriolanus and the murder of Coriolanus is quite shocking .

Cominius , who we first meet as commander of the Roman army is excellently portrayed by Charles Aitken.The two tribunes Brutus and Sicinius here portrayed by women Jackie Morrison and Martina Laird are strongly presented. The first half in particular seethes with tension and rage in the forum scenes.

A cold ,sharp brutal and violent production excitingly staged with a terrific cast .

Running time – allow 3 & ½ hours including interval. Includes short behind the scenes ‘making of ‘ documentaries and interviews during interval.

Screenings of the Royal Shakespeare’s Coriolanus are at selected cinemas 18-19 November 2017 and at Riverside Parramatta 25-26 November 2017



ANGELS, the original studio cast recording released from Broadway Records, celebrates the Australian album launch with an exclusive event at Northern Beaches Christian School in their performance space known as “Manhattan City,” on Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

The event will be opened by Hon. Anthony Roberts MP, Minister of Planning & Housing and Special Minister of State, and will feature live performances from “ANGELS” by album creators with top Australian musicians and worship leaders from C3 Church Global.

The inspirational songs from this original musical are brought to life by a star-studded cast of Tony nominated and award-winning Broadway performers including two-time Tony Award-nominee Laura Osnes, Tony Award-nominee Robert Cuccioli, Tony Award-nominee Josh Young and Alan H. Green.

Featuring music by Ken Lai, and book and lyrics by Ken Lai and Marcus Cheong, the album was recorded at Downtown Music Studios & Smash Studios in New York; The Grove Studios in Somersby, Australia; and Ramrod Studios & 301 Studios in Sydney, Australia. This recording features new musical arrangements from David Holmes and album producer Rich Fowler.

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 at 7:30 PM and entry is complimentary with registrations at contact@seraangels.com

For more about “Angels” Australian Launch Party, visit http://www.seraangels.com
Find us on: YouTube | Facebook


Photos: Brig Bee

THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS is playing at the Seymour Centre.  The show is a genre bender for sure… part circus, part love story, part interpretive dance, part musical etc.  And that’s always interesting.  However, what sets this show above many others is the detail of its theatricality.  Written by Graham Coupland with Terence O’Connell as Artistic Director, it is stunningly conceived and faithful in every bodily expression, every costume, every choice of each performer.  Every face and body in character and faithful to the ethos.   I simply loved the cohesion of the world they create and really enjoyed giving myself over to it.

There are some formidable talents in the cast: Aurora Kurth, Anthony Craig, Simon P Storey, Mimi Le Noire, Richard Vegas, Circus Trick Tease, This Side Up, and Hannah Trott.  Yet the lack of showiness was perhaps my favourite aspect.  The tropes of circus were missing … no fail first to show how hard it is, no extreme posing to elicit applause and none of the padding that drove me away from a certain French-Canadian troupe.  Instead we have acts well integrated, with a narrative arc that is not skewed to fit the artist’s’ signature skills.

It’s all there and it’s all quality.  There is strongman, chairs, magic, balances, silks, contortion, high art tumbling, aerial hoop and so forth but there is so much more.  For example, the enchanting singing of well written and orchestrated, story rich songs (music by Platonic) which serve as respite from the pulsing, dynamic, propelling score and improvisational live electric guitar.  As a side note, it wasn’t too loud either … well moderated by an operator who still has his or her hearing!

There’s a sexy fan dance in Yvette Lee’s choreography sure to raise your temperature and a surly prestidigitator who is out to keep the lovers apart in true Gothic style.

The show is meticulously of a period.  It is Victorian Gothic with enough Grand Guignol to transport you to Pigalle.  The costumes are to die for.  Clockwork Butterfly has injected a steampunk influence to make corsets and long skirts and braces and cut-sleeve shirts easy to move in.  But no jarringly modern noisy Velcro or other anachronistic elements.  Feathers and lace and brocade in rich colours matched by the simple but effectively used lighting rig.

There is a huge range of colours available to lighting designers in modern fixtures but designer Jason Bovaird has keep a pure palette of moss green, Reckitts crown blue,  open white and bloodletting red. And they don’t need a whole heap of smoke either.  Very subtle use.

I really enjoyed THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS.  And I can highly recommend it.   I just can.

THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS is playing at the Seymour Centre as part of their Spring Tour until Saturday.  For more information visit:



First lineups revealed for national

NLMAs Parties! 

The National Live Music Awards are thrilled to announce the first lineups for all eight events happening around the country on Thursday, 7th December 2017.

Free tickets to all events – bar the invite-only Melbourne gala – are available now through Oztix at NLMAs.com.au/tickets. Guests who forget to RSVP will be required to donate $5 to Support Act on the day for entry. Coin donations will be encouraged at all events, with every cent going to the great charity.

Full lineups and set times will be revealed over the coming weeks. RSVP to the Facebook events at https://www.facebook.com/nlmas17/events/, or sign up to the mailing list at NLMAs.com.au to enjoy up-to-the-minute news.

All performances are LIVE sets unless otherwise mentioned.

.Canberra – Smith’s Alternative (Free!)

The Ansah Brothers /Betty Alto/ Glitoris (DJ SET)
…and more to be announced!

Sydney – Leadbelly (Free!)

Happy Axe (ACT based nominee Emma Kelly)/ Ani Lou (Tasmanian Nominee)/ Maddy Jane (Tasmanian Nominee)
Sarah Belkner
Plus a very special Keynote from Lindy Morrison
…and more to be announced!

Plus a live stream from Melbourne – Grace Darling Hotel hosted by Home and Hosed’s Dom Alessio, the night will feature live performances from Charm of Finches, Yeo and Party Dozen, the incredible new project featuring nominee Kirsty Tickle with Jonathan Boulet. Plus the night will feature a very special live tribute to The Peep Tempel, in collaboration with Girls Rock! Melbourne.

To see the 2017 nominees visit:


A few fun facts about the 2017 National Live Music Awards:

Gender Balance: A whopping 63% of the artists nominated in the national categories, and 51% in the State/Territory Categories, are either female or are a group led by a female vocalist.

Strong Indigenous representation, with nominated artists including Electric Fields, Kardajala Kirridarra, Dan Sultan, The Lonely Boys, Tjupi Band, Eleanor Dixon, Yirrmal, William Barton and A.B. Original.

Gang of Youths lead the nominees with 6 nominations.

Julia Jacklin, Amy Shark, Camp Cope sit right behind with 5 nominations.

All Our Exes Live in Texas, Stella Donnelly and the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival all have 4 nominations

To find out more :  https://www.facebook.com/NLMAs17/


For a fun-filled night of silliness, cross-dressing and belly laughs you can’t go past Bankstown Theatre Company’s production of MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT.

The show’s original 2005 production was a Broadway hit, winner of three Tony Awards, including a Tony for Best Musical.

Billed as, ‘A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail,’ MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT is a sassy, irreverent parody of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

King Arthur has been given a quest (by God) to search for the Holy Grail, a quest that is fraught with hitches, treating the audience to a smorgasbord of classic Python sketches including: I’m not dead yet, the killer rabbit, the Black Knight and the Insulting Frenchman.

Fear not, Lords and Ladies! There is no need to be well-versed in the 1975 film to enjoy the almost two hours of singing, dancing, gags and outrageous situations. Continue reading MONTY PYTHON’S ‘SPAMALOT’ @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE


Design exhibition exclusive to Powerhouse Museum
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) will open a major contemporary design exhibition on 2 March 2018 to celebrate the 20th SYDNEY DESIGN FESTIVAL  Curated by and exclusive to the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, COMMON GOOD explores design trends in Australia and neighbouring regions and the positive design-lead responses to social, ethical and environmental challenges.
“Design practice is constantly evolving, reacting to the challenges of its time. With COMMON GOOD we examine the place of ground-breaking designers from our region in shaping solutions for our future society,” said MAAS Director and CEO, Dolla Merrillees.
MAAS is pleased to be working with a new generation of socially-engaged designers from Australia and Asia, to both display and acquire works through this exhibition.”
“The Asia-Pacific is our creative commons. This exhibition is an opportunity to broaden our lens to explore the work and practices of a new generation of designers who are boldly taking action to affect positive change and influence long-term sustainability in our region,” said exhibition curator, Keinton Butler.
COMMON GOOD  surveys contemporary design practices from Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Designers from a range of disciplines and countries are profiled, including leading international designers and architects NendoStudio SwineBijoy JainJo NagasakaKwangho Lee and WOHA, as well as globally recognised local designers Ken WongLucy McRae and Henry Wilson.
The exhibition is framed by five themes that address increasingly complex challenges including housing affordability, waste management, population pressures and technological obsessions. 
Life Cycles explores emerging sustainable design practices in a reference library of design materials, including those made from industrial and agricultural waste. Award-winning Japanese designers AMAM demonstrate how algae and agar bio-materials can be used in packaging that could ultimately replace non-biodegradable plastics. The Life Cycles resource library will be made available during and beyond the exhibition, contributing to the education of emerging designers. 
AMAM research shell waste in Ishinomak
 Return to Craft profiles contemporary designers preserving cultural heritage through collaborative projects with artisans, craftspeople and manufacturers. Crafts such as woodworking, enamelware, ceramics and weaving are being given new relevance when worked by technologically driven designers. For instance, South Korean designer Kwangho Lee is reviving the ancient practice of Ott-chil high-gloss lacquering in projects such as the New Armor stool. Such projects bring fresh attention to otherwise forgotten traditions and can contribute to the survival of centuries-old crafts.
Kwangho Lee
 Connected Experiences demonstrate the ability of technology to generate social awareness and influence personal behaviour. In an exclusive commission for MAAS called Watermelon Sugar Wellness Lab, graphic designer and visual artist Pamm Hong invites you into an immersive installation where your online behaviour is transformed into a personalized virtual organism, providing a health check on your digital engagement habits.
Community Engagement explores projects that address social integration and poverty in the face of rapid urbanisation as well as international development initiatives and fully integrated, collaborative design concepts.
Design Fictions considers the role of the designer in shaping our future. Through their speculative and critical design projects, designers are questioning and debating the possible social implications of our scientific and technological developments, through carefully staged fictional scenarios. The Rare Earthenware project by Unknown Fields is the result of an expedition to Inner Mongolia, in which toxic mud was taken from a radioactive rare earth tailings lake and used to craft a set of ceramic vessels into the shape of highly valuable and recognisable Ming dynasty porcelain vases. Each vessel is sized in relation to the amount of waste created in the production of three items of technology: a smartphone, a laptop and an electric car battery cell. Such projects shape our patterns of excessive consumption and waste into powerful statements.


Unknown Fields
Picture: Toby Smith
COMMON GOOD opens as part of the Sydney Design Festival, an annual celebration of design with over 100 events at venues across Sydney from 2 – 11 March 2018.
For more infomation about COMMON GOOD or the 2018 SYDNEY DESIGN FESTIVAL visit

Live at Lunch – Ravel and Faure

Live at Lunch

To round off the 2017 series of Live at Lunch concerts we were treated to a most elegant and inspiring concert, with a majorly French feel , featuring artistic director Jane Rutter the renowned flautist and the tremendous Acacia Quartet led by Lisa Stewart. Founded in 2010, Acacia Quartet has quickly won great respect for their versatile and inventive programs which often couple established repertoire with the unorthodox. In 2013 Acacia was nominated for both an ARIA Award and an APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award.

The Acacia members were in orchestral black while Rutter was dramatic in a red and black outfit.

First up we heard an enchanting version of the lush, lyrical and seductive Pavane by Faure ( arr George Pikler) with Rutter on her favourite golden flute . A pavane is a Renaissance dance that’s generally described as a formal processional walk accompanied by a stately melody. The performance was full of elegant floating grace .
The main section of the concert was devoted to Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major in four movements as performed by the Acacia Quartet.

Ravel dedicated his work to Faure and it leans towards neo-Classicism . It was written in 1903 when he was 28. The quartet played magnificently , intently and with a great sense of being a unified whole .The first movement was passionate and questioning , volcanically ebbing and flowing. Rippling sections were contrasted with sharp spiky ones and it had a soft shimmering finish (note the use of pizzicato too.)

The second movement dashed off to a boisterous exuberant start and included dizzying scurrying violins. A passionate lamenting segment was contrasted with a stinging one. The third movement was fluid and intense and the final movement was fast and emphatic, full of dynamic intensity and was bubbling and flowing in parts. The finale is challenging because of its constantly shifting tonal changes and the Quartet handled this brilliantly.

Pessard’s Andalouse and Bolero followed taking us to Spain (the Andalouse , elegant and courtly with dominating swirling , bubbling flute ) and then the vibrant Bolero a bit more French ( no , NOT Ravel’s) with its darting shimmering flute and bubbling strings.
Before the final piece the Mayor of Willoughby Gail Giles Gidney was introduced and Rutter announced the most exciting season of seven concerts for 2018 .

The concert concluded with the heartfelt, delicate and flowing Pavane pour Une Infante Defunte by Ravel (1899). It is a meditation on grief and loss and a way of life that has disappeared. As we left for lunch we could buy CDs and brochures for the 2018 season were handed out – the box office was extremely busy!

Live at Lunch RAVEL STRING QUARTET, RAVEL & FAURÉ DEUX PAVANNES was at the Concourse for one performance only 15 November 2017 .  For more information visit:  http://theconcourse.com.au/live-lunch-2017-2/



Images from My Mother’s Lost Children and Rebel in the Rye

From Australian documentaries The Last Goldfish and My Mother’s Lost Childrento intimate Yiddish drama Menashefascinating biopic Rebel in the Rye, and award-winning hits In Between and Keep the Changethe JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is back for another year of outstanding Jewish cinema from all over the world.

With 65 films from 26 countries, the Festival builds on a 28 year long history of bringing the best of Jewish cinema to Australia, presenting 38 features and 23 documentaries to audiences in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. The Festival will also screen films by the inaugural recipients of the JIFF Short Film FundDream House and Still Alive.

“I am thrilled with the incredible creativity and diverse storytelling of our films in the line-up this year. With the first commercial release Yiddish language film in over 50 years, and fantastic events including a live jazz night and a collaboration with Sydney Writer’s Festival, we’re extremely proud to present our 2017 program,” said Jewish International Film Festival Artistic Director, Eddie Tamir.

Highlights of the 2017 program include: moving drama In Between, following three Palestinian women living in Tel Aviv balancing traditional and modern culture, and winner of the Best Feature at Tribeca 2017, Keep the Change, a charming romantic comedy about the blossoming relationship between two people at a support group.

Not to be missed is Bombshell: the Hedy Lamarr Story, narrated by Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) and featuring interviews with Mel Brooks (The Producers) and Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show), the eye-opening showbiz documentary shines a light on Hollywood queen Hedy Lamarr.

The Festival is also a great chance to catch poignant screwball rom-com The Wedding Plan, and Ben-Gurion, Epiloguea rare, recently unearthed 1968 interview with Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, with director Yariv Mozer taking part in an audience Q&A post-screening.

Showcasing the best of local Jewish filmmaking, the Festival will screen The Last Goldfish, an autobiographical documentary by Sydney’s Su Goldfish as she searches for her lost family, from Australia to Trinidad and WWII Germany. Rich with archival images, the film echoes through all those touched by forced migration. Goldfish will also engage in audience Q&As after screenings.

The Festival will also screen two films from Melbourne filmmaker Danny Ben-Moshe: My Mother’s Lost Childrenan uplifting documentary following Ben-Moshe’s own family, when two children, stolen from them, reappear after 40 years; and Shalom Bollywood: the Untold Story of Indian Cinemaa fascinating look into the overlooked influence of Jewish women in Bollywood – the first dance, kiss, talkie and colour film. Ben-Moshe will take part in an audience Q&A for both films.

Closing the Festival will be The Rebel in the Rye, starring Kevin Spacey (American Beauty) and Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past). A fascinating biopic on the infamously-reclusive author JD Salinger, the film covers everything from Salinger’s Jewish upbringing and his WWII service, to the completion of his iconic novel The Catcher in the Rye.

JIFF has generously offered 3 double passes to a film of your choice.  To enter email editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com using JIFF COMP as the subject by 5pm Friday 17th November.  Only winners will be notified.

For more information about the JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL which is now playing at  Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction and the  Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne  visit : 




Silent is not the word to use for the first act of SILENT NIGHT from Darlinghurst Theatre.  Some witty single adjective encompassing laugh out loud, occasional hysterical giggle or cringing gasps of recognition might give some inkling of what’s in store for an audience.  It has some really funny moments and some excellent jokes, even a few well executed sight gags.  It’s light and fun and aimed intelligently at those of us who think Christmas is just a titch over-commercialised.  The second act however is a different beast. A seven headed beast which sits uneasily in the Christmas setting.

The audience are welcomed into the theatre with a definite Yule feel.  Carols on the audio track and flashing lights of the festive season kind.  We meet Bill, head of the Lickfold clan.  He is some kind of leftover from a media driven near-apocalyptic era and his hobby is keeping his family safe in the event of an earth ending … um … event.  He is very supportive of wife Anne who has again entered the Australian Regional Christmas Exercise/Experiment/Excuse to show off …. Something involving Christmas displays and competition with the Dickshine family across the road.  Acronymic and suggestive puns repeated often here.  The Dickshines have a son who pitches in for ARCE but the third member of the Lickfold clan is a surly, emo goth who is only 33 when he wants to be.

In the first act as we get to know this pitiful excuse for a family, there are lots of fun moments.   Written by Mary Rachel Brown, SILENT NIGHT is at its best when the witty, quick and character based jokes fly, when the excesses ring with uncomfortable truths and when the absurd detail of Lickfold experience is fully expressed.

Unfortunately, the second act, though it has its high points, does grind along a little as the ideas of redemption and the possibilities of starting over are explored.  One is left however with an overall enjoyment in the time spent with this crazy family.

As Bill, Richard Sydenham, is put upon and seems completely oblivious to the fact that he is incapable of getting a win.  Not an ARCE win but a family win.  He is suitably frenetic in places but does have a lot of listening to do later on and handles this well.  His command of the physical comedy, the rushing and getting nowhere type of thing, is highly engaging.

In the mode of Kath from ‘Kath and Kim’ Amanda Bishop has created a lovely character in Anne.  Without actually making fun of her, Bishop gives us a fiercely protective parent with no ideas of her own. Her over researched and poorly understood excuses for her son’s demeanour and behaviour are grounded in love.  Bishop does a great job of placing the jokes just right and Anne’s enthusiasms and drive are fertile ground for her considerable comedic skills.

As the son Rodney, Aaron Glenane does not have a great deal to do early on but manages to make indolence and aberration watchable.  It is in the second act that his performance really shines when the other cast are struggling somewhat with the more wordy and contemplative text.  His man boy is in his element here and there is a real zest in his later Rodney.

Michael Denkha appears as the unwanted guest in Act Two and his charisma in the role helps lift it but this is a hard to grasp creation despite some good blocking and use of focussed lighting effects by director Glynn Nicholas.  There is such a wealth of skill at play with comedy aspects of the text, Nicholas’ use of pause and freezes and sneaky physical comedy is highly amusing.  And he has taken an equally comic approach toward the end despite the lack of lighter text.

The set design is clever too, we see a TV set house with one wall removed.  The detail outside the doors is very well conceptualised and adds to the absurdity and chaos.  The lighting of the set is simple enough in Act One, but becomes more defining and focussing in Act Two.  The delight though is in the Xmas lighting outside the living space … OTT and even with a clever joke on the roof.  The audio track is excellent, I loved the use of choir and hellish groans and bells and ghostly devils on the interval track.

In fact, there is a great deal to like about SILENT NIGHT.  Whether you are a silent smiler or a raucous reveller this show is a fun slide into the drudgery of real life Christmas.

SILENT NIGHT  is playing at the Eternity Theatre until December 10th .

For more information visit



A most enjoyable collection of Australian Sherlockian stories as edited and collected by Christopher Sequiera who is renowned internationally for his Holmes-related writings.

Sequiera’s published work includes poetry, prose, and comic-book scripts, including Pulse of Darkness, Rattlebone: The Pulp-Faced Detective and The Borderlander.
It is a selection from both established and emerging writers (better known names include Meg Keneally, Kerry Greenwood and Lucy Sussex).

Other writers include Kaaron Warren, , L.J.M. Owen, T.S.P. Sweeney, J. Scherpenhuizen, Will Schaefer, Robert Veld, Doug Elliott, Philip Cornell, Raymond Gates, Jason Franks, Narrelle M. Harris and Steve Cameron).

The writers imagine the famous detective duo in Australia in 1890, and visiting various locales in all the States and Territories from the outback desert, bush and city . It is not presented in chronological order per se. Continue reading SHERLOCK HOLMES THE AUSTRALIAN CASEBOOK-EDITED BY CHRIS SEQUEIRA


A treasure map that is, in and of itself, a treasure trove, THE BOOK OF FORGOTTEN AUTHORS is a resurrectionist text of literary loot too long buried.

Christopher Fowler has given us a literary atlas which empowers us to become a biblio Indiana Jones, a raider of the lost archive.
THE BOOK OF FORGOTTEN AUTHORS is “99 stories and a dozen essays about the men and women who reached for the moon, and found that it wouldn’t always be there.”

Fowler’s investigations into forgotten authors found that writers can be ubiquitous, influential and massively successful only to disappear within their own lifetimes.  So he has donned his fedora and cracked his whip and become a tome raider, unearthing writers who deservedly need resurrection and restoration into the imaginative landscape.

Romancing the tome, Fowler discovers authors who have inspired astute adaptors like Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney, been frightful frauds and fakes, or been too utterly human as to being monstrous and behaving shabbily even when their prose and plotting seems heaven sent. Authors who write like angels and behave like devils.

A Booker Award, you would think, would guarantee posterity, but, alas, prize winning is as ephemeral and inconstant as the wind when it comes to lasting fame.

Most of the authors are novelists, whose own lives would make a great novel. Who would of that that many shared a predilection of being church organists!

Among the profundity of prose princes and princesses, so pleased to see superb dramatists included, to whit, the Peters, Nichols and Barnes. Plays become ephemeral if they fail to enter repertoires. The shock of their experience fades and only the scripts remain.

Reading the scripts of both Nichols and Barnes reignites the shock.
Peter Barnes was one of the great proponents of anti naturalism, a dazzling response to the dreary kitchen sinkism of the fifties. At a time when Monty Python was reconfiguring comedy, Peter Barnes and Peter Nichols started incorporating surrealism, disjunction and Pirandello-esque antics into their works.

Arguably, Barnes masterpiece is The Ruling Class, famously filmed with Peter O’Toole as the mad earl and his identification with Christ. His screen writing credits include the Tony Curtis/George C. Scott starrer, Not With My Wife, You Don’t and Enchanted April, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

Peter Nichols plays were robust and cinematic – several were filmed- but he didnt go into the theatrical repertoire as much as his less demanding peers and consequently disappeared. Happily, Privates on Parade and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg have had recent revivals, but a full rehabilitation into the theatrical pantheon hasn’t quite happened yet, which is a shame, as theatre needs his angry, daring humanity more than ever.

Forgotten, maybe, but not gone, all these authors are in print somewhere, either in new editions or old ones, in shops and sheds or goodness knows where.

THE BOOK OF FORGOTTEN AUTHORS is a self help book for readers. Purchase it and proceed to have it guide you in perusing the shelves and stacks of second hand bookshops like Elizabeth’s in Newtown and Grand Days in Kings Cross.

THE BOOK OF FORGOTTEN AUTHORS by Christopher Fowler is published by Riverrun


Little Darlings Night Owls Kid’s Film Festival returns to nest at the Village Green Darling Quarter these summer holidays for 17 nights of free outdoor cinema.

From Friday 5 – Sunday 21 January 2018, expect balmy nights packed with the coolest family-friendly flicks, fantastic short films and live entertainment.

Arrive early and nab yourself a good spot for nightly entertainment curated by singing sensation Lah-Lah from 6pm, followed by kid-friendly short films at6:30pm. Presented with Little Big Shots, Australia’s major children’s short film festival, the program features the best local and international shorts, including films from kid filmmakers.

The main event kicks off from 6:45pm, with a fun-filled program of FREE screenings. From the 2017 remakes of Beauty and the Beast and Pete’s Dragon, to 90’s throwback hit Home Alone, and crowd pleasers The Lego Batman MovieRed Dog; True BlueDespicable Me 3The BFGMoana,Sing, and plenty more, there’s something for every member of the family.

Bigger kids can catch blockbuster favourites from 8:30pm at After-Hours screenings, with ArrivalStar Trek BeyondXXX: Return of Xander Cage,Ghost in the ShellLionZoolander, and plenty of superhero smash hits: Wonder WomanBatman vs Superman, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

“The Night Owls Kids Film Festival is a fantastic opportunity to round up the kids for a night of family-friendly cinema, and even better, it’s totally cost-free. So come along, pack a picnic, and enjoy a great night out under the stars with your nearest and dearest,” said Marketing Manager for Darling Quarter ,Sam Vicars.

WHERE: Village Green (North), Darling Quarter, 1-25 Harbour St, Sydney NSW 2000
COST: FREE Public Event
TIME: Festivities kick off each night from 6:00pm

For more information visit : http://darlingquarter.com/nightowls/


This beautiful and unique space presents a blank canvas which has never before been used in this capacity, a promising proposition for Division’s production team who will utilise the awe-inspiring industrial nature of the venue.

The Warehouse Collective is extremely proud to present the first in an exciting series of events, featuring an impressive lineup of iconic and cutting-edge electronic acts.

In the space of 3 years Sydney’s Division Agency has firmly established themselves through a variety of successful projects including the Days Like This Festival and the extremely popular Paddington venue, Goodbar. More recently they announced a strategic alliance with TEG Live to present national tours and events. On the 16th of December, the local tastemakers will launch the aptly titled The Warehouse Collective, an enticing new series of large-scale music events with the debut event taking place at Redfern’s The Australian Technology Park at the heritage-listed Exhibition Hall.

The debut event will take place at Redfern’s Australian Technology Park in the heritage-listed Exhibition Hall and will be headlined by legendary Australian duo THE PRESETS , who recently announced ‘Do What You Want’, their first new original in nearly four years. They will be bolstered by a formidable cast of support acts featuring Bag Raiders (live), Kilter, Nyxen and LUCY CLICHE (live).

This beautiful and unique space presents a blank canvas which has never before been used in this capacity, a promising proposition for Division’s production team who will utilise the awe-inspiring industrial nature of the venue into their first-rate production.

Prepare yourself for a warehouse experience on a scale never before seen in Sydney.

December 16th 2017

For more about The Warehouse Project pres. The Presets, visit http://www.divisionagency.com.au/warehouse-collective-pres-presets/
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Director and artist, Trevor Ashley, promises a night of fabulousness for the 20th year of Hats Off!

ACON in association with Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (OSCEFA) presents HATS OFF!HO20.  20 numbers celebrating 20 fabulous years

On Monday 20 November Hats Off turns 20! So it’s time to celebrate this fabulous milestone. Or in other words it’s time to take our HATS OFF TO HATS OFF.

To celebrate this milestone Hats Off! will be performed on the stage of the Sydney Lyric Theatre on the set of “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” on Monday 20 November.

The original Hats Off producers Margi de Ferranti and James Lee team up with Hats Off! legend and superstar Trevor Ashley as Director and together they will present a night of sheer fabulousness. A cavalcade of Hats Off! alumni and others will grace the stage with some memorable numbers from the past 20 years performing showstopper tunes.

The star-studded line-up includes Lisa Adam, Trevor Ashley, Rachael Beck, Rhonda Burchmore, Simon Burke, Kirby Burgess, Mitchell Butel, Paul Capsis, Angelique Cassimatis, Minnie Cooper, Michael Cormick, Chloe Dallimore, Peter Eyres, Lesley Hancock, Esther Hannaford and The Cast of Beautiful, Nancye Hayes, Shauna Jensen, Donna Lee, Amy Lehpamer, Genevieve Lemon, Lara Mulcahy, Sylvie Paladino, Shaun Rennie, Phil Scott, Queenie van de Zandt, Ann Wood and Chloe Zuel.

Since it’s humble beginnings at the Footbridge theatre in 1997, Hats Off! has grown into one of Sydney’s LGBTQI premiere events. After the Footbridge got too small Hats Off! moved to the showroom at Star City, then Sydney Theatre, and finally to the Seymour Centre where it has been a popular part of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival for many years. This year Hats Off! is back at The Star at the Lyric Theatre on the set of “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”.   Hats Off! would be nothing without the generous stars that have donated their time to help mitigate the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS.

WHERE: Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star
WHEN: Monday 20 November
TIME: 7.30pm
PRICES: $49.00 to $69.00

More bookings  visit





Sam Shepard said of Harry Dean Stanton, “His face is the story.”
Shepard sure as shit got that right.  Just point the camera and shoot and the Harry Dean visage gives a narrative.

Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja‘s script for LUCKY utilises that face effectively, affectingly and affectionately in the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist known as Lucky and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town.

Having out lived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment.

Acclaimed character actor John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut, LUCKY is at once a love letter to the life and career of Harry Dean Stanton as well as a meditation on mortality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection.

Lucky is a man of ritual, arising at the same time every morning, doing his callisthenics while simultaneously enjoying a cigarette.
Recreation at home is doing cross word puzzles and watching game shows.  He breakfasts at the same diner every day, gets his smokes from the same grocery store, and walks to the same bar, Elaine’s, to drink bloody Marys.

Much of the action of LUCKY takes place in the bar where he interacts with a variety of regular barflys, the bartender and the publican.  One of his best buddies, Howard, is fretting over the disappearance of his ancient tortoise, Roosevelt, a pet he has had since time immemorial. David Lynch’s performance as the bereft reptile fancier is a beautiful rendition of loss and hope.

David Lynch‘s appearance, other than supplying a virtuoso performance, conjures comparisons that LUCKY has with Lynch’s directorial work, especially the often overlooked and underrated The Straight Story, which, incidentally, featured Harry Dean Stanton.

LUCKY also has a Twin Peaks moment when a fellow barfly played by James Darren accompanies him to a lane way outside Elaine’s where a cosmic light show plies them with mystical wonder.

LUCKY works as a quasi screen biography of Harry Dean Stanton – the desert town location and Mexican music – he gets to sing and play harmonica- are redolent of Paris Texas, Tom Skerrit‘s turn as a fellow veteran recalls their teaming in Alien, and so it goes.

LUCKY is full of zinger lines made all the zingier played deadpan – “One thing worse than awkward silence is small talk”.
The one line from LUCKY that sums up the picture best is “I’m a nothing with everything, isn’t that something?”

We should feel so lucky that we had actors like Harry Dean Stanton gracing our screens making indelible contributions to classic films – The Godfather Part II, Alien, Paris Texas, Repo Man, Pretty in Pink, The Missouri Breaks, the list goes on.

You should be so lucky to ferret out this fine, fine life affirming film.
Funnier than a comedy, laden with special affects rather than special effects, LUCKY lives up to its title and makes one feel lucky to have seen it.


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