Hayes Theatre Co’s ASSASSINS is a whirlwind of fairground nostalgia (2017)

Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins stirred up controversy at the time of its inception in 1991. With a book by John Weidman, it centres around the assassins who killed presidents of the United States – no doubt a contentious subject. But through a chorus of voices, it marks a questioning of the disillusionment associated with patriotic idealism; the flaws in a system that elevates individual rights. So … Continue reading Hayes Theatre Co’s ASSASSINS is a whirlwind of fairground nostalgia (2017)

NT Live: Angels in America Part 1 & 2 – A transforming display of wit and humanity

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America has been renowned in the contemporary theatre canon for its boldness, fantastical premise and social relevance. The UK National Theatre’s most recent production, directed by Marianne Elliott (War Horse, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) marked my first exposure to this magnificent scale of a play – and I was utterly gobsmacked by its concoction of realism with fantasy … Continue reading NT Live: Angels in America Part 1 & 2 – A transforming display of wit and humanity

Sydney Theatre Company’s rollicking CLOUD NINE subverts stereotypes

With fast-biting dialogue and quasi-slapstick humour, Sydney Theatre Company’s revival of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine is full of kinetic energy, 38 years after its premiere. A satirical portrait of colonial Africa that shows how Western values stifle authentic expression, director Kip Williams invigorates his production’s contrasting two-act movement with radical, vibrant humour that presents a sharp challenge to heteronormative ideas of femininity. Cloud Nine opens … Continue reading Sydney Theatre Company’s rollicking CLOUD NINE subverts stereotypes

THE BIG SICK (2017): A Rom-Com that questions cultural identity

The Big Sick is an introspective look at cultural identity, based on the real-life relationship between co-writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon If you are looking for a delightful romantic comedy that goes beyond the genre’s often exhausted tropes, look no further than The Big Sick. The film is beyond merely affecting: it rakes you up to care about its characters. With outrageous humour that … Continue reading THE BIG SICK (2017): A Rom-Com that questions cultural identity

FILM REVIEW: Clarity (2017, Raz)

Peyv Raz’s Clarity jumps straight into the action: Maggie (Dana Melanie), daughter of a wealthy, American family, arrives at her surprise party – only to collapse due to a rare hereditary kidney disease that threatens her life. The conflict is set-up just as quickly, as it is revealed that Maggie wasn’t born into her American family at all. Sharon (Dina Meyer) and Malcolm (Tony Denison) … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Clarity (2017, Raz)

Brief Words: War of the Planet of the Apes (Reeves, 2017)

Words before the opening title preordain the sequence of events that have been set out in the first and second movies – it began with the Rise, and then the Dawn. And now it is War between the Humans and the Apes. The third act of this franchise sees director Matt Reeves, bringing to the forefront his protagonist Caesar’s struggle between revenge and peace – … Continue reading Brief Words: War of the Planet of the Apes (Reeves, 2017)

FILM REVIEW: First Girl I Loved (Sanga, 2017)

This review was originally published at ImpulseGamer.com.au With some relationships, admiration begins from afar. Expectations of love and ideas of sexuality are turned upside down for Anne (Dylan Gelula) as she photographs fellow teenager Sasha (Brianna Hildebrand) at a high school softball game, leaving her instantly beguiled. But love isn’t all easy in the Sundance indie film First Girl I Loved, where the placement of … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: First Girl I Loved (Sanga, 2017)

FILM REVIEW: Okja (2017, Joon-Ho)

In Bong Joon-Ho’s newest film, Okja, it is a tale that delights with an undying friendship between a child and a giant-pig that reminisces off the imagination of Spielberg’s most beloved films, but never without fails to interweave it with dark undertones that commentates on our burgeoning capitalist society that profits horrifyingly off a meat-industry, fuelled by human consumerism. Opening up in the mountains of South … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Okja (2017, Joon-Ho)

THEATRE REVIEW: The Chapel Perilous (New Theatre, 2017)

This review was originally published on AussieTheatre.com.au A need for strong female representation arrives at the forefront of today’s entertainment context; to pursue well-rounded characters, and not reduce them to plot tools (the Bechdel Test is an example of how character tests are frequently applied to films/TV shows). It is a real testament to Dorothy Hewett’s 1972 play, The Chapel Perilous – with its sexually-liberal … Continue reading THEATRE REVIEW: The Chapel Perilous (New Theatre, 2017)

THEATRE REVIEW: Big Fish (Hayes Theatre Co, 2017)

Musicals that pull on your heart-strings are not an easy find, but the Hayes production of Big Fish – a modified 12-chair version of the 2013 Broadway musical – proves that imaginative but humble stagings can ignite the magic of storytelling equally, if not better than the often rife efforts of a full-blown spectacle. Based on 1988 novel by Daniel Wallace (also adapted on screen … Continue reading THEATRE REVIEW: Big Fish (Hayes Theatre Co, 2017)