Dark comedy and very effective dialogue driven play, with two unhinged constantly feuding brothers. Beautifully constructed dithyrambic drama and savage tale of the weak good versus the strong bad. Unending sibling rivalry, despite five years since they were last together, the happily married younger brother is still the submissive victim of his dominant brother’s constant dangerous threats. Fortunately director Dimity Raftos has chosen the perfect cast for the two brothers, to deliver vividly believable performances, always showcasing all the highs and lows of brothers, who have taken very different paths since leaving home.                    Continue reading TRUE WEST @ THE FACTORY THEATRE Marickville


This is the next best thing to actually attending an Evening with Paul Keating. As Jonathon Biggins says in the program, “I like to think of this show as the first three dimensional autobiography written by someone else.”

Through the show there is the use of a slide show with pics of his early life and then notable politicians and events in his life. This adds intimacy to the evening.

I found the show both very informative and highly entertaining. There are just so many stories, it is almost overwhelming with Biggins  talking in a rapid fire fashion. At one time he says to the audience, “come on people, keep up. There’s  going to be a test at the end”.

Did you know that Paul Keating is an avid Tom Jones fan and that they shared a bit of a friendship?! This  is one of the times that Biggins bursts into song singing ‘Why, why Delilah”.  I enjoyed the times when, during the show,  he burst into song. It lightened up the evening.

As did the many witticisms, some of which were Keating gems, others Biggins’ own rapier like wit. Keating had a healthy ego such as his remark, ‘this was the greatest achievement of my career. Then again why narrow it down.” As against Biggins own witty remark, ‘She’s a NIDA graduate. There goes another HECS debt that won’t be paid back.”

There’s a lot of did you know’s through the show. I knew that Keating is a big classical music fan. His parents soundproofed his room so that they didn’t have to heart the music blaring. He was also a rock music fan and a bit of a rock entrepreneur, trying to get bands good contracts before he changed direction and started to get involved in politics.

Biggins covers so much territory. Keating is a big Jack Lang fan and the great Labor man generously gave him his time. Lang told him, “You will never be a leader unless you have a host of enemies.”

There  are plenty of references to Keating’s economic reforms, some of which went over my head, and I am sure others in the audience.

Other Keating quotes. “I’ve always been drawn to beautiful things”, which accounts for Keating’s love of  beautiful suits and watches.

“I went off giving State Funerals.  When I gave one to Kerry Packer, it took the gloss off it.

We learn of Keating’s fondness for political colleagues Bill Hayden, Lionel Bowen and Bill Kelty, who was instrumental in getting our current superannuation laws. And Keating was a good hater. “Being a fan of Andrew  Peacock is like being thrashed with raw tofu.” And  Reg Withers, “I am not a proctologist, but I know an arsehole when I see one.”

There are reference to Keating’s view on indigenous issues and his famous speech  in Redfern. And there’s reference to Bob Hawke reneging on his handover of power deal with Keating. It’s all there in this show!

The show has been well directed by Aarne Neeme with stage design of Keating’s apartment by Mark Thompson, lighting by Verity Hampson and sound and video design by David Bergman.

So much to take in! Go and see the show for yourself and take away your own favourite memories.  THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL is playing the Everest Theatre at the Seymour Centre until Saturday August 3, 2019. Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm and there are also matinees on Saturdays at 2pm.














LE PRELUDE – 10,000 MILES FROM PARIS (2018) – “Thousands have lived without love, not one without a drink”. Experience a clever “Truth or Dare” with “France versus Australia” and with the biggest alcohol hip flask on Planet Earth.

Directed by Kathleen O’Dwyer, beautifully scripted comedy and unexpected denouement, in a ten minute journey that tells the story behind each character in a carefully crafted paradigm, but actually gives nothing away until the end credit sequence. A little bit of crowdfunding and the producers offset, the full ninety minute version will be produced as quick as a flash, and will be on Australian cinema screens, Australian made with Australian landscapes, Australian cast and crew.          Continue reading LE PRELUDE – 10,000 MILES FROM PARIS (THE FILM)


In WHO DO YOU THINK I AM? Juliette Binoche plays Claire, a university lecturer and mother of two teenage boys, who is contending with the approach of middle age and remains stung by the betrayal of her ex-husband, who is building a new life with someone else. Claire has a new lover too, but is under no illusions as to his fidelity.

Out of a mix of petulance and curiosity, she impulsively creates a fake Facebook profile in which to keep an eye on him: she’s ‘Clara’, vivacious, blonde… and 24 years old. He doesn’t take the bait, but his close friend (François Civil) does, and their online connection soon becomes flirtatious. Titillated by the opportunity of being “young again”, Claire’s deceptions lead both of her identities into increasingly dangerous territory. Part psychological drama, part thriller, this remarkable film based on the novel by Camille Laurens explores contemporary issues with sensitivity and intelligence and shows Binoche at her best.

WHO DO YOU THINK I AM?  is releasing in cinemas on Thursday 1st August.

Sydney Arts Guide has three in season double passes to give way. Email with  WHO DO YOU THINK I AM? promotion in the subject heading. Winners will be advised by email.


Anthony Lister, a Brisbane artist who staged a one-night only art installation at the heart of Kings Cross ten years ago, did the same again – this time coming back with a vengeance to add colour and life to this one-time bustling entertainment precinct. 

Lister’s latest exhibition `Culture is Over’ opened on Wednesday July 17 at the old Porky’s entertainment venue in Darlinghurst Road Kings Cross to packed audiences. The abandoned nightclub was cleaned up for the pop-up art installations and restored temporarily to its former glory to accommodate a mix of paintings, sculptures and lighting on display.  The queue to get-in was long – due to the outstanding support for this event, but with security guards on duty and excellent catering by Fishbowl, the evening became a breeze.

In returning to Sydney having toured around the world creating his type of public artworks, the artist was somewhat dismayed at the post-lockout laws embracing the character of this suburb. Taking the initiative to strike a chord where he left-off a decade ago, Lister put-together this amazing show inviting Sydney to his trip down memory lane.

Many Sydneysiders share his beliefs and look forward to seeing this iconic suburbia experience a new lease in life in the not too distant future.

(All pics by Denver Mottau)


This is the scenario. A pool party for eight (four boys, four girls) takes place while 16-year-old Mindy’s parents are absent. Mindy like-likes Cam. Cam like-likes Mindy. Izzy like-likes Cam and Cam also like-likes Izzy. What else could happen? Will we find out who Mindy’s secret next door neighbour is? Will the kiss ever come?!

It sounds like a typical teenage drama but this was anything but a conventional night in the theatre. We, the audience,  come into the theatre to see all the performers sitting on chairs on the stage together with the writer and director. One of the performers stands up and ushers us in to the theatre and makes us sit in the middle to keep things nice and cosy.  The screen behind the performers states that there is going to be a pre performance discussion about the show. This was the first sign that things were a bit odd. I’m familiar with a panel discussion after a play is performed but before…

Anyhow we settled into our seats. and the discussion started, It was ‘chaired’ by one of the playwrights and the director. They said that they were going to talk about how the play came about and the process of development. It sounded interesting. Continue reading COOL POOL PARTY @ BONDI PAV


There’s a fascinating play that is coming on soon at the Reginald Theatre in the Seymour Centre. The work is British playwright Tanya Ronder’s play TABLE. 

The play’s title refers to a handcrafted table that was built by a master craftsman Mr Best  for his new bride in 1898. The table is passed on from one generation of the Best family to the next generation over the space of some 115 years. As one can imagine a lot of changes take place over this long span of time.

From the time that she first read the play director Kim Hardwick has wanted to stage the work  and she is very excited about the upcoming production. “TABLE is an epic piece, epic in time and in emotion. We are witness to many different conversations that take place around the table.” Continue reading TABLE : AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR KIM HARDWICK


This is a fascinating ,enthralling book extensively researched and vividly written by renowned dance critic and journalist Valerie Lawson . Lawson uses letters, interviews and personal anecdotes from dancers, directors, impresarios , producers, and critics to bring the history and characters alive . The horrendous drain of one night stands on the exhausting long tours ! The backstage scandals and dramas!

With a forward by David McAllister of the Australian Ballet , and a well laid out table of contents , the book while large and heavy is beautifully illustrated and also includes a terrific bibliography and helpful index at the back .

The preface briefly acknowledges the very early history of ballet in Australia but the book really begins with the tours of the famous Anna Pavlova ( with her signature solo ‘The Dying Swan’) in 1926 and then her 1929 tour, where the Taits and JC Williamsons ( ‘The Firm’ ) first feature and we learn how she influenced a young Robert Helpmann. The merits (or lack of) the ballets presented are discussed. Continue reading DANCING UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKIES BY VALERIE LAWSON


Last week with a small group of friends and family gathered, Poppy Lynch turned on the switch that lit up the new sign naming the bar in the Griffin foyer ‘The Penny Cook Bar’ in honour of her mother. Her dad, David, had just given a beautiful speech recalling how he had met the love of his life at that very bar (prior to the renovations of course!) and hoping that, in a theatre full of ghosts, we may now hear her extraordinary laugh when we come here for a pre-show drink. The sign is pink and the glow lights up everyone in the foyer very attractively, which you’ll be happy to see next time you are here.

The naming of the bar in her honour was an idea dreamed up by Peter Lowry of the SBW Foundation and Diana Simmonds, as a way of publicly remembering that without Penny, Griffin would not be standing where it is today.  Continue reading THE PENNY COOK BAR @ THE STABLES THEATRE

Penn & Teller: The world’s greatest comedy magicians

The masters of modern magic Penn & Teller will bring their record-breaking Las Vegas live show to Australia for the very first time in January 2020 for eight performances in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.

Life-long friends and former high school outcasts, Penn & Teller have spent the past 45 years redefining popular magic with their distinct blend of unconventional magic tricks, comedic mime and bumbling “blunders”. Their Australian debut at the Opera House will combine the outrageous wit, humour and unbelievable magic that has been the hallmark of their illustrious career.

Australian audiences will be familiar with the dynamic duo’s hit TV series Penn & Teller: Fool Us! Originally commissioned for The CW Network, the show airs locally on ABC Comedy and challenges up-and-coming and veteran magicians try to fool Penn & Teller for a chance to star in their hit Las Vegas stage show. Continue reading Penn & Teller: The world’s greatest comedy magicians


The Best of Enemies

THE BEST OF ENEMIES is the true story of the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. During the racially charged summer of 1971, Atwater and Ellis come together to co-chair a community summit on the desegregation of schools in Durham, N.C. The ensuing debate and battle soon lead to surprising revelations that change both of their lives forever. Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell star as Atwater and Ellis in this historical drama. The Best of Enemies releases exclusively to Dendy Newtown on July 25.

Sydney Arts Guide has four double passes to give away to this highly charged historical drama. Email the Editor on with THE BEST OF ENEMIES PROMOTION in the subject heading. Winners will be advised by email.

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