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Criticism , Theatre Jan 16, 2017

Some of my most memorable meals have been enjoyed in the Middle East. I shared iftar with a Palestinian family in Ramallah on the West Bank, and was an unlikely guest at a Kurdish wedding in the Turkish city of

Home Country

Home Country

Criticism , Theatre Jan 15, 2017

Consisting of three short plays (each staged in parts), with a couple of musical interludes and a meal thrown in for good measure, Urban Theatre Projects’ Home Country is at once place- and site-specific. The place in question is Blacktown,

In praise of ‘Deep Water’ and Yael Stone

The new Australian crime series Deep Water premiered on SBS last night and showed a lot of promise. The first half hour was a little rote—procedural to a fault, it seemed to me, a sensation that was the more pronounced

Criticism as eulogy

We remember plays for all the wrong reasons. Maybe not as critics—as critics, we are paid to focus on the right reasons, and in any case don’t usually have the column inches to focus on the wrong ones—but certainly as

Violence and elegance

Toby Schmitz, in case you have been living under a rock (or, more likely, have simply stopped buying the newspapers), has spent the latter part of this year in the midst of what must have sometimes felt like a prolonged

Waiting for Godot

During intermission at Waiting for Godot, the Sydney Theatre Company’s fantastic new production of Samuel Beckett’s most famous play, I overheard an amusing conversation. “What a cliff-hanger!” a young man remarked of the first act to a friend. “I wonder if

Blood rituals

There are better places to see bullfights than Pamplona. In fact, during the city’s annual fiesta, Pamplona is one of the worst places in Spain to see corridas de toros: the crowds up here in the Basque country demand the

Debts owing

Debts owing

Criticism , Theatre Jul 06, 2013

“A man can die but once,” wrote Shakespeare, putting the words into the mouth of Frances Feeble, one of Sir John Falstaff’s hapless recruits in Henry IV, Part II. “We owe God a death.” Of course, some of us not only