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Showing all Performing Arts news in Reviews
Hardly any of Shakespeare’s fools are funny any more. This isn’t his fault – or theirs for that matter – it’s just that 400 year-old topical wordplay doesn’t wash so well in the Twitter age.
Berg’s Lulu has a pretty eventful career with her three husbands, lesbian lover, menagerie of murderous admirers and eventual violent death at the hands of none other than Jack the Ripper. It is a shame that Christof Loy, director of the current production at the Royal Opera House, doesn’t see fit to show us any of it.
Wilful misinterpretation and misunderstanding are key to plot and humour in Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy and both are well-handled in Tim Sheeder’s lively, light-hearted production.
'As You Like It' is a bit like the 'What You Will' bit of Twelfth Night: a winsome frothy title that tells you next to nothing about the play it belongs to.
What you see when you see this production – and you really should – will depend upon the whereabouts of your seat and how much effort you make to engage with the almost overwhelming amount of storytelling on offer.
Human cloning has long been a reality. For evidence of this remarkable achievement; scientists need look no further than the National Theatre.
Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s good plays: sex and violence, comedy and tragedy. What else could you want? There’s even a happy ending if you forget about the broken hearts, ignore the body count and focus on the reconciliation between Olds Montague and Capulet.
You’d think it would be cool to be a God: Rock God, Love God, Sex God and even Domestic Goddess all sound cooler than ‘Data Input Manager’. If it’s cool to be a God then how much cooler must it be to be the Great God Pan: God of, among many other things, bees and unbridled lust?
David Farr’s RSC production, currently at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon, is a play of two halves. Greg Hicks gives an astonishing performance as Leontes, King of Sicilia, a part many actors denounce as simply unplayable.
Director Rufus Norris spent considerable time rehearsing in Oyo and he and choreographer Javier DeFrutos make full use of Yoruba traditions of storytelling: dance, chanting, masquerade and ensemble work meld with the authentic props and bundles of clothes strung high above Katrina Lindsay’s simple set and picked out by Paule Constable’s expert lighting.
There was a great deal to cheer over: conductor Carlo Rizzi and Dmitri Hvorstovsky as villain Count di Luna both return unwithered from the 2002 original and, in place of enmity, there appears to be a good-natured rivalry between Sondra Radvanovsky’s Leonora and Malgorzarta Walewska’s Azucena.
Ronnie Burkett is a Canadian master marionettiste who writes, directs, builds all the puppets and sets for and does all the voices in his incredible shows which are emphatically not for children. Feeling inadequate yet?
Chekhov’s name is mentioned in the dialogue and serves to underpin a particularly Russian form of nostalgia that could be characterised as naïve helplessness on the part of the rich when confronted with the ugly reality of life beyond the walls of their castles in the sky.
A simple living room set and the confessional, conversational tone of the writing combine to achieve something that is beyond both big and small screens.
Richard Bean’s England People Very Nice, directed by Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre, is intended to reveal the absurdity of offensive stereotyping through ridicule.
The four-act opera unfolded within the brilliantly recreated Iberian settings of Seville and was staged on a round platform that allowed for the exquisite flamenco, acrobatic, fire juggling and other routines.
The prologue is set in a present day pole-dancing bar and allows Morrison to frame the rest of the action as a misogynistic fantasy in the mind of a dissolute drunk who finds himself playing Petruchio in a play within a play.
The songs in this musical are not tremendously catchy, but they are enjoyable, and Stage One performed them all well, though some of the cast’s voices left a lot to be desired.
It is clear that a great deal of thought and expense has gone into this production and it starts well at a blistering pace.
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