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Reviews

As a freelance writer and committed artist and thespian, part of my guilty pleasure and excuse for work is writing reviews for art and community events, music, theatre and books.

Theatre Now Review: Nearer the Gods

Nearer the Gods is David Williamson’s unfrilly and truly witty retelling of the discovery and writing of the laws of gravity by Isaac Newton and the publication of his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. What sounds as though it may be a serious investigation and frankly nerdy retelling of a creation story of the discovery of gravitational fields, is really a dark comedy that relishes in seeing four of European history’s greatest scientific minds jockeying for first place to discover the mysteries of the universe.

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First published 23 March 2022, in Artshub.com.au

Near The Gods Ensemble Theatre Photo Credit Prudence Upton

Theatre Now Review: 'The Distraction' Umbilical Brothers

Watching three grown men play green screen for an hour and a half in theory sounds as entertaining as watching all the TikTok videos your kids have been saving up for you, back-to-back, for the same duration as two full-length feature films. But here we are, watching a green screen show, enjoying the riotous multi-layered comedy. The Umbilical Brothers’ show, The Distraction, winner of the Adelaide Fringe Festival’s Best Comedy 2021, has been brought to the Playhouse Theatre in Sydney Opera House.

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First published 22 February, 2022 on Artshub.com.au

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Theatre Now Review: Black Brass

For refugees and immigrants there are seemingly an eternity of moments between arriving in Australia and the brassy citizenship ceremony. As part of a bureaucratic rite-of-passage men, women and children must take part in ritual meetings with immigration to prove their value, or in this case their love, so that a ‘new life’ can truly become theirs. Black Brassexplores the grief, reckoning and loss experienced by an immigrant as they deal with an old life that is often emotionally bigger and more all-encompassing than the simple life they hope to have.

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First published 10 January, 2022 in Limelight Magazine

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Theatre Now Review: Things I Could Never Tell Steve

What would it look like if we gathered a few people from central areas of your life and got to know you through the window of their one-sided interactions with you, and their subsequent reactions to those interactions? Got all that? That’s what this piece is.

The Things I Could Never Tell Steven is an ambitious small-cast piece of musical comedy created by playwright Jye Bryant. Set in the eighties, the story has Steven’s discovery of his queer identity at its core. Steven’s dishonesty and struggles are revealed through the contrasting narratives of his Mother (Helen Dallimore), Father (Ian Stenlake), Girlfriend (Elenoa Rokobaro) and Ex-Boyfriend (Adam Rennie). Read More 

First published 17 November 2020 by Theatre Now Group

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Theatre Now Sydney Review: The Caretaker

Thursday night was spent in a small room with a homeless man, an ex-mental patient and a contractor witnessing Harold Pinter’s 1960 play, The Caretaker, at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta. Fascinated, I had no wish to leave. Read more...

First published 28 February 2019 by Theatre Now Group

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The Girl The Woman: a reality of growing up Aussie

The struggle to find our unique Australian voice is moving like a wave throughout the cities, suburbs and streets of Australia—onto our stages and into our books. This one night in Parramatta new playwright and performer Aanisa Vylet added her voice to the growing chorus of voices that are singing a familiar yet individually unheard song. Read more...

First published by Theatre Now Group

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Theatre Now Review: Orange Thrower

Orange Thrower is an intricate and uncommon play by Kirsty Marillier, a unique new voice in Australian theatre. Walking unbroken ground is never easy, yet this team of creatives and visionaries have weathered storms and pandemics to bring this inspiring and thoughtful piece to the intimate space of the Stables Theatre.

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First published 3 March 2022, in Limelight Magazine

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Theatre Now Review: The Acoustic Life of Boatsheds, Big hART

The Acoustic Life of Boatsheds by Big hART is less a theatrical production than a careful curation of space, time and memory. A composition where each boatshed visited in the work is a movement, and the water of Sydney Harbour is the silence in between.

For most people who grew up in or have visited Sydney, there is a nostalgia connected with the harbour. Memories evoked by salty air and moody winds, ferry rides to Manly or Balmain. Fish-n-chips, pineapple donuts, and ice-cream. Connection can be felt at the heart of this piece, and a fondness for a lineage of the families who lived on and around the water here. 

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First published 31 January, 2022 on Artshub.com.au

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Theatre Now Review: Norm and Ahmed

Missing the late bus and meeting a stranger at midnight at a suburban bus stop could be a benign event. Inconvenient, a little bit creepy, but part of the everyday. However, with the insertion of age, sex, gender or racial differences the pavement under the Parramatta skyline becomes a political space and the perfect setting in which to stage an act of racialised violence.

Late at night, Pakistani student, Ahmed (Rajan Velu) misses the bus. At the bus stop is Norm (Laurence Coy), a white Aussie male who blazes all the cultural signposts of the Great Aussie Bloke. Read more...

First published 19 November, 2021

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Snot, Vomit, Men and Money: Packer & Sons Opens at Belvoir

In an era where toxic masculinity is being defined and discussed, Packers & Sons by playwright Tommy Murphy, may stand as proof of its existence and its elevation. Directed by Eamon Flack, Packers and Sons at Belvoir Street Theatre is an unpretentious piece about men, masculinity, patriarchy, nepotism and every other thing that arouses the old white and powerful—should their hearts be undamaged by stress, alcohol abuse and over-eating. Read more...

First published by 25 November 2019 by Theatre Now Group

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The Red Tree: Storying the animals inside

In Australia where almost seven percent of children suffer from anxiety, The Red Tree is both timely and beautiful.

A musical adaption of Shaun Tan’s picture book, The Red Tree tells the story of Ava (Nicola Bowman), an eleven-year-old girl who is so paralysed by fear that she cannot leave her room. Read more...

First published by Theatre Now Group

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An Inanimate Distraction: Above Ground

Something climbed out of the primordial swamp, writhing, rolling, undulating across the floor. Choreographer and Performer Kathryn Puie explains that Soft Prosthetics and Metal Gods explores the space between prosthesis, the body and the embodied gaze. Read more...

First published by Theatre Now Group

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