Saturday, July 10, 2021

Catherine Skipper



SandSong: Stories from the Great Sandy Desert is Bangarra Dance Theatre’s first new full-length work for three years, and in keeping with their unique signature style it combines authentic storytelling, superb technique and a powerfully emotive performance.

The Cherry Orchard

The uppermost theme of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard is not merely large-scale change but how to adjust to a change that is already in the process of taking place. Consequently Eamon Flack’s up-dated, thought-provoking and up-beat adaptation and staging of Chekhov’s much-loved play has much of importance to offer to our present, uncertain times.


The declared mission of new company, Fuser Production, is “to stir the human spirit” and incite “awe, challenge and inspiration through original and compelling art” and Intact, its debut performance, is deeply engaging and awe-inspiring.

Tiny Universe

You could watch TV or Netflix, but if you really wanted a completely absorbing and dynamic 60 minutes of entertainment you could see Tiny Universe, co-presented by Milk Crate Theatre and Shopfront Art Co-Op. Showing for a very short season, Tiny Universe deserves a longer season and a more extensive audience.

A Passage to India

Bringing Martin Sherman’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s rich and sprawling novel A Passage to India to the compact stage of the Genesian would have posed many challenges. Apart from a large number of characters and costumes, a diversity of locations, the narrative is in no haste to reach its haunting conclusion.

Ulster American

David Ireland’s award-winning satire Ulster American takes as its target the current Western concern with constructing inclusive and equal cultural identities.


Dogged offers theatregoers a unique and startling theatre experience. Unflinchingly facing the problematic relationship between black and white people in Australia, it is a brilliantly conceived, powerfully realised and deeply confronting parable.

‘Sunday afternoon’

Sunday afternoon ...

Testing times – an interview with Harriet Gordon-Anderson

Talking to Harriet Gordon-Anderson as she walks to rehearsals at 8.30am for Belfast-born David Ireland’s hard-hitting play Ulster American is an invigorating experience.

Live a Little

Monologues work well in an intimate space, and the small King Street Theatre Popupsairs venue works well for Sylvia Marie Keays in Paul Gilchrist’s Live a Little. As Tilly, a young woman who has an uneasy relationship with herself, with others and with the truth, Keays is by turns insouciant, witty and distraught.

The pay gap is a hot potato – an interview with writer Melanie Tait

When Australian Melanie Tait was 21 and living in London in a share house she had ambitions to start up a theatre company to...

Amy in autumn – an interview with Amy Curl, creator of magical musical evenings

ZETLAND: While Amy Curl worked at the Seymour Theatre she had a vision of the forecourt becoming an open-air venue for magical summer evenings...

Stop Girl

In Stop Girl award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent Sally Sara offer us a semi-autobiographical story of grief and guilt, trusting that we will respond with understanding and compassion. Directed with integrity by Anna-Louise Sarks, the play offers a moving validation of the concept of moral injury.

Pete the Sheep

Gratefully, we welcome back Monkey Baa Children’s Theatre to the stage after a year’s absence. Their first 2021 production, an hilarious and imaginative musical adaption of Pete the Sheep, based on a whimsical tale by Jackie French and Bruce Whatly, adapted by Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry, with lyrics by Phil Scott, is dynamic and absorbing entertainment for the 4 to 84 year olds.

The Secret of Chimneys

The Secret of Chimneys is lovely fun. There’s a body, a stolen letter, a secret code, a hidden black diamond necklace and a missing person along with a gallery of wonderfully exaggerated and beautifully performed characters under the strong direction of Molly Haddon.

If truth be told – an interview with Jeremy Goldstein

Jeremy Goldstein is the creative force behind Truth to Power Café, a cathartic theatrical experience in which people of all ages, beliefs and backgrounds...

ArtsLab: Unreliable Witness

ArtsLab: Unreliable Witness is the youth-led Shopfront Arts Co-op’s annual emerging artists’ festival featuring a program of five works exploring the theme of perception and misperception. Each of these diverse works including two outstanding theatre performances is the outcome of a six-month residency at Shopfront in which young artists, selected from many applicants, are given the opportunity to work with an industrial mentor.

The Pass

John Donnelly’s gripping The Pass asks us to consider the age-old question: how best to live both an authentic and fulfilling life. Recontextualised in the world of 21st-century elite professional football, the question becomes how much the central character, Jason, is prepared to sacrifice for success and more importantly, how is success defined.


Funny, fast-paced and extravagantly joyful, the exuberant and inventive musical Fangirls lovingly celebrates the millions of teenager girls for whom a crush on a pop idol is a real and transformative experience.

Yellamundie Festival – Opening Night

This year’s biennial and fifth Yellamundie Festival, a unique platform for the identification, development and presentation of First Peoples stories, opened up submissions to composers and choreographers.

To pass or not pass – an interview with Deng Deng

Deng Deng plays the role of Nigerian Ade alongside Ben Chapple’s Jason, both caught up in the demands of the world of elite sport with its still toxic codes of masculinity and racism.


The award-winning documentary Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra celebrates the impressive rise of the Bangarra Dance Theatre Company over 30 years from humble beginnings to international fame.

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play

The joyous hilarity of the Genesian’s William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged) makes it a worthy rival to its very popular predecessor The Complete Shakespeare.

My Brilliant Career

In her illuminating and dynamic stage adaptation of Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career writer Kendall Feaver has included material from further afield than the original, drawing on My Career Goes Bung, Franklin’s childhood memoirs and biographical studies. Consequently, we have a fuller and deeper impression of Sybylla Penelope Melvyn, an appealingly provocative character, created by the 19-year-old Stella Franklin, and which, while located in personal experience, far transcends it.

Summer with Liesel – an interview with Liesel Badorrek

Liesel Badorrek, director of CDP Kids’ Summer Spectacular, says that there is something for every child as Australia’s favourite books come to life with three shows and five seasons in January.


Ostensibly, Kodie Bedford’s comedy is about the reunion of a dysfunctional family drawn back to Geraldton by their grandmother’s imminent death. However, on the well-tried principle that comedy makes unpalatable truths acceptable, it is an ultimately hopeful interrogation of post-colonial Australia.

Wicked Sisters

Wicked Sisters is an excellent piece of theatrical entertainment. While it encompasses many themes relevant to our times, the dynamics between the four middle-aged women, former friends reunited after several decades, is completely engrossing.

The Silver Tunnel

This dynamic production of The Silver Tunnel, advertised as “a hell of a play in a holy place”, marks the repurposing of the Ashfield Uniting Church as a new Inner West performance space. A brainchild of the Rev. Bill Crews, who has been an advocate for the poor and homeless for over 50 years, this new entertainment space aims at raising awareness and funds for the disadvantaged.

At home with Holmes

The Genesian Theatre is excited to be reopening on November 6 with Sherlock Holmes and the Death on Thor Bridge. The show was preparing to go into production when the theatre was forced to close owing to Covid-19, but the virus has had a positive side for the Genesian, central Sydney’s oldest operating community theatre.

Just making faces

An important condition of the Archibald Prize is that the portrait of an individual “distinguished in the arts, letters, science or politics” has to...

Something wicked this way comes – an interview with Di Adams

A delightfully middle-aged Di Adams plays the role of Hester in the Griffin production Wicked Sisters and she is delighted to be back on the stage, and delighted to be in a play by feminist Alma de Groen that feels “even more relevant than ever”.

Laughter is the best medicine – an interview with Luke Holmes

Producer Luke Holmes is fully conscious that audiences may have become accustomed to watching theatre from the best seat in their own home. Consequently, he and director Davey Seagles are promising theatregoers 70 minutes of escapist fun in Hotel Bella Luna which opens at the Marrickville’s Flight Path Theatre on October 22.


To say that Tenet is a time-travel sci-fi film really doesn’t do it justice. Time isn’t travelled so much as it is scrunched up and folded over multiple times.

Welcome to the Masque

Streamed once and once only, but capable of reaching a global audience, Welcome to the Masque is a welcome relief from the constant barrage of Covid-19 media coverage. The title’s play upon “masque”, a form amateur theatricals and a popular court entertainment in the eighteenth century, wittily references the current command or recommendation to wear a mask.

Stay Creative, Stay Connected – and funded

It is difficult at any time for our small not-for-profit local organisations working to support vulnerable people to find sufficient funding. So, imagine the...

Why not binge watch STC Virtual?

The Sydney Theatre Company is plugging the large “theatre-shaped” hole left by the forced closure of public venues to prevent the spreading of Covid-19....

Global Fringe benefits

In 2019 the Sydney Fringe Festival featured more than 1,600 performances by over 2,000 artists presented across 25 postcode areas. In May 2020 Kerri...

Lorinda Merrypor – set to shine

According to Tony Briggs, writer of much-loved and multi-award-winning musical play The Sapphires, Durumbal woman Lorinda Merrypor is “very talented” and “someone every theatre producer should look out for”.

Murder in the Garden

Murder in the Garden, presented by Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden in association with Théâtre Excentrique and Alliance Francaise, offers the mystery-loving public the opportunity to become detectives.

Meeting Melanie King, dog-whisperer

 This tiny fellow laid claim to any space he inhabited – sofa, room, street, park – with an imperious stare, and woe betide any...

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Does Jim Cartwright’s repertory staple The Rise and Fall of Little Voice suggest to our celebrity obsessed age that it is the meek who will inherit the world?

Counting and Cracking

The colourful Counting and Cracking is completely absorbing from beginning to end.

The Wind in the Willows

Welcome to ASC’s sixteenth outdoor annual production of Kenneth Graham’s children’s classic, The Wind in the Willows.

Counting down to international success

According to Indigenous actor Rarriwuy Hicks the spectacular new production Counting and Cracking “will look as lovely and amazing as it’s going to feel to be in it”.

Dubboo: Life of a Songman

Dubboo reflects upon the complex life of Nunukul/Munaldjali man, David Page, while celebrating his creativity as composer, musician, actor, singer and drag queen.

The Dance of Death

While the play is darkly pessimistic, under Judy Davis’s direction Strindberg’s dismemberment of a marriage relationship is ferociously entertaining.


Le Petit Theatre’s production of an innovative version of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata cleverly underlines the relevance of the original play to our own times.


PACT held their second Salon for 2018, entitled Apactalyptic, a one-night mini-festival of performance, music and art, examining, exploring and reflecting on the ends of the world.

Weaving the future

The month-long Weave Festival (March 1-31), offers an extensive and in-depth experience of Aboriginal and Pacific cultures.