In Footfalls, a lone figure paces back and forth in an endless conversation with a memory of her mother. Act Without Words II draws on Beckett’s dark humour as two tragic figures are goaded out of old sacks to stumble through their pointless existence. Not I, one of Beckett’s most challenging plays illuminating only the performer’s mouth, unleashes the fierce stream of consciousness of a woman who has been mute for most of her life.
Ninefold is Sydney’s only contemporary theatre ensemble working with the Suzuki Method of Actor Training, resulting in unimaginably rich performances drawing from the infamous methods of theatre director Tadashi Suzuki. Glorious Thing Theatre Co. is the presenting name for Erica J Brennan as a director, actor, writer and producer. Brennan’s work is typified by a unique and ambitious style playing between magical naturalism and just plain magic.
“Beckett’s short plays are like paintings brought to life. They demand attention and it’s practically criminal they aren’t performed more often,” said Brennan, who both co-directs and acts in this production. (ES)
Dec 6–11, 8pm/6pm. The Don Bank Museum, 6 Napier St, North Sydney. $28. Tickets & info: www.ninefoldensemble.com
BY EMILY SHEN
This documentary delves into … Read more]]>
This documentary delves into the stories of the images, as well as Mapplethorpe’s journey from the suburbs of Queens to gaining cult status in the New York art world. His first love and muse Patti Smith has written about Mapplethorpe and there is also a biography from Patricia Morrisroe, but to visually experience Mapplethorpe’s work is quite powerful, with many of his stark black and white photos eliciting a strong response.
Although often unsettling, it’s clear Mapplethorpe had an extraordinary talent. Interviews with his family, friends and lovers shed insight into the artist, a perfectionist who was willing to be famous at all costs. Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures is absorbing and fascinating and absolutely worth watching if you are a fan of modern art. (ASim)
BY ALICIA SIM]]>
Actress Adele Quero, who plays Honey, said she had never read or seen Who’s Afraid until being cast.
“I’d heard of it obviously, and I have loved being able to get all up and personal with this absolutely incredible play,” said Quero.
“It is such an intelligent, nuanced and brutally honest deconstruction of relationships. The lies we tell ourselves and the ones we love, and what the cost of those lies really are.”
Quero says this play is still important in society as Albee shines a light on what we most wish to keep in the dark: “In a world of social media where we get to edit our lives on a daily basis, and where we witness only the edited version of others lives, seeing a play that dismantles all the construction we protect ourselves with is incredibly cathartic.”
This production is the first reprise of Who’s Afraid since Edward Albee’s death in September. (AMal)
Until Dec 17, Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 5pm. The Greek Theatre, Bldg 36, Addison Road Community Centre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville. $25-$35. Tickets & info: www.trybooking.com
BY ATHINA MALLIS]]>
For Nankervis, the Rockwiz concept was a winner from its inception: “We’ve just completed Season 14, and pretty early on we realised it was a really good format. You can tell in a live audience that it’s going well. People loved it right from the start”.
Recalling the early shows featuring the likes of Paul Kelly, Renee Geyer, Joe Camilleri, and Christine Anu, Nankervis points out that the show was hugely popular with the artists themselves: “They really liked doing the show because they realised that we took the music pretty seriously.”
While cast and crew have been together from the beginning, the undeniable mystery ingredient is the contestants. “They’re often the stars of the show because not being performers, they don’t behave in a usual way,” explained Nankervis. “When you get Barry, the bearded Bob Dylan fan from Hornsby, we don’t know how he’s going to react, and I love that. I think that’s a really crucial part of the show’s success.”
Nankervis stresses that it is the Christmas-“ish” show, with a comedic twist on events that have shaped the year as well as paying tribute to some of our fallen idols. “There’s a Prince song and a magnificent tribute to Bowie, which we’re pretty excited about. It’s been a bit of a sad year so the plan is to finish with a few laughs.” (GW)
Dec 10, 8:00pm. Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Newtown. $96-$122. Tickets & info: www.ticketek.com.au or call Enmore Theatre on (02) 9550 3666]]>
For two hours non-stop, this bold interpretation of the Shakespearean tragedy only has seven actors, whereas the original play when first performed around 1606 had almost 30. There is one witch instead of a coven of three. Delightful wood block percussion and thunderclap sound effects indicate the act and scene changes.
In response to the witch’s prophecies, Lady Macbeth wishes her husband to murder King Duncan (Travis Ash) in order to obtain kingship. Macbeth goes on a murdering rampage, fuelled by the desire for power, killing Duncan, then his guards, then arranging for the murder of Banquo.
In the leading roles are Robert Boddington (Macbeth), whose relationship with wife Lady Macbeth (Hannah Cox) is played passionately and authentically. He copes better with the murders than does his wife. She is completely undone by guilt and descends into madness. The enormity of Macbeth’s crime has awakened in him a powerful sense of guilt that will hound him throughout the play.
The gothic Act 4 Scene 1 is most memorable; a topless woman smeared with tar-like black goo is wheeled out inside a cauldron/barrel, the mad hag chants captivating incantations; the famous “double double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble”. There’s imagination shown in this adaptation, directed and designed by Saro Lusty-Cavallari and produced by Imogen Gardam. This young, new and quirky take on an old classic is artistic and aesthetically done.
With its up-and-coming, fresh faced, young cast, this production is especially enjoyable for those who are familiar with The Bard and can appreciate all the nuances that make this surreal, abstract production unique. Macbeth shares a Shakespeare-based double bill with Montague Basement’s contemporary take on The Taming of the Shrew. (MS)
Until Dec 10, performance days/times vary. PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville. $21.89-$27.12. Tickets & info: www.montaguebasement.com
BY MEL SOMERVILLE]]>
We follow two plot lines that explore David’s attempt to get to know Ruby as well as try to save his workplace from Max Menkoff, a Russian HR consultant with extremely unorthodox methods.
Murder and office mayhem ensue, and it’s down to David and Ruby to save the day. This is a quirky film with an oddball plot but unfortunately lacks characters to care about. (LS)
Thu, Dec 1, The Basement
Smoking Martha: Like the smouldering heat from a well-tended fire, this Brisbane rock/punk outfit have the intensity to scorch your best shirt but the discretion to spare your eyebrows. With the release of their latest single ‘Say You’re Mine’ they’re now in the midst of an east coast tour with the Sydney stop-off tonight.
Thu, Dec 1, Frankies Pizza
Jack River: This show ill be just the second headline show for Jack after her much hyped debut at this year’s I OH YOU BIGSOUND annual after party, to a capacity room full of fans and tastemakers alike. If the BIGSOUND performance is anything to go by, this is certain to be spectacular.
Fri, Dec 2, Hudson Ballroom
Keyim Ba: This brilliant eight-piece band has an intoxicating upbeat sound, bringing the influences of reggae, funk and rap to West African grooves. Led by the ever charismatic, Sibo Bangoura from Guinea, the group has enormous energy, giving tradition a modern twist that never fails to fill the dancefloor.
Fri, Dec 2, Camelot Lounge
Garbage: In celebration of their acclaimed sixth studio album Strange Little Birds, alt-rock pioneers Garbage are returning to Sydney tomorrow night for the first time since 2013. Joining them on support duties are Australian favourites The Temper Trap, The Preatures, Tash Sultana (2016 Unearthed J Award winner), Adalita and for especially for Sydney Olympia and Tiny Little Houses.
Fri, Dec 2, Horden Pavillion
Brazil & Beyond: A charming and exotic night of passion, music and fun not to be missed. It is a captivating brew of gorgeous bossa novas and ballads, irrepressible samba, playful swing, cool jazz and enchanting choro – songs of beauty, sorrow, irreverence and joy.
Sat, Dec 3, South Sydney Uniting Church
Matt Andersen: This weekend sees the Canadian soul/blues/roots musician make his welcome return to Australian shores following a hectic year which has seen him receive critical acclaim and tour the world.
Sat, Dec 3, The Basement
Tyne-James Organ: Having just taken the next huge step in his career by releasing his uplifting debut single ‘In My Arms’, the rising Wollongong singer-songwriter now makes the trip up to Sydney for a celebratory headline show.
Sun, Dec 4, Metro Lair
Cass McCombs: Over the past decade, McCombs has established himself as one of our premier songwriters. Diverse, cryptic, vital and refreshingly rebellious – just when you think you have him pinned down, you find you’re on the wrong track.
Tue, Dec 6, Newtown Social Club
James Kenyon: Melbourne based singer-songwriter James Kenyon is rather appropriately taking his latest album Imagine You Are Driving on the road for a national tour, which arrives in Sydney this week.
Wed, Dec 7, Gasoline Pony]]>
A short release, with narratives of understanding and provocation all wrapped up in three to four minute parcels. That is enough.
Harsh and selfish but necessary, the brooding conveyed in this EP is a blessing when it is brief, but it is too tempting to drown in it since there is no upward direction. This music sucks the listener in with such force that a sudden break is needed to let go.
Like “living in a snow globe”, the listener can see beyond himself, see outside of the music, but they can’t push through the sound barrier, it speaks to such a forceful part of its human listeners, freshening old pain.
Dark but short, listen with caution. (SP)
Sorry, I’m not enthused because every year there’s an awful predictability about the ARIAS and just who gets the pyramid-like gongs. These days what’s left of the so-called ‘record industry’ is controlled by an ever decreasing number of global conglomerates and their featured artists invariably scoop the pool – sadly an indictment of the lack of diversity in Australian popular music. In previous years it was Powderfinger and Gotye – this year it was Flume scooping the bulk of the pointed booty. Incidentally, the number he performed at the awards sounded an awful lot like Kate Bush having a panic attack – or am I just out of touch?
Throw in your token big name overseas artist, this year it was Robbie Williams, assorted X Factor or The Voice winners and runners up, a couple of heritage artists like Farnsey and Barnsey, a cheesy set, a bunch of hand picked sycophants in the mosh pit and you have the standard, Groundhog Day, ARIAs recipe.
There are of course minor awards for Best World Music and Best Jazz Albums, but these are usually excluded from the televised hoopla of the night. Ironically this is where the real diversity in Australian music lies, but these artists don’t sell numbers so it’s the mass produced iTunes fodder that takes priority.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with good top 40 pop songs, but despite all the advances in technology, the music world seems to have stalled. Unlike previous decades that delivered dynamic new genres, there’s little these days to truly inspire like the emergence of soul, funk, punk, reggae, hip hop, alt-country and even disco. A lot of today’s popular music is in fact rehashed retro, tarted up with technology but offering very little in the way of anything new.
And what of the actual ARIA ‘after’ parties, that back in the 1990’s were legendary for their top shelf boozing, white line snorting and shameless debauchery, much of it at the record company’s expense. Well they’re not entirely gone, but these days the post-ARIA flings are reportedly a far more sober affair, with record companies loathe to indulge the kind of gratuitous largesse that defined previous decades.
Now here’s a suggestion: unleash the turpitude and bring back some of the unmitigated bacchanalia of the 80’s and 90’s. Rather than televise another Groundhog Day of boring ARIA gongs, scrap the awards ceremony altogether and take the cameras into the riotous ‘after party’, a three-to-four hour extravaganza of celebrities, frustrated lesser recognised musicians, X Factor cast-offs and record company big boys, all behaving badly. Television ratings would soar as this ‘Don’s Party’ meets ‘Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf’ of the music industry strips bare all the ugly tensions, underhanded manipulation and rampant greed that define today’s recording scene.
Really – some people are just too goddamn cynical!
Whilst … Read more]]>
Whilst abroad Liam begun to feel the pull of his heartstrings to return home, which pushed him towards playing more of the music he loved, reading books about the concept of home and finding a place of belonging. So when he finally made the decision to come home, he described it as a truly liberating and exciting emotion.
“It was funny actually I got back to Melbourne, which is a great music town, but people just wanted to know why I would give up everything overseas. Whereas I said, ‘hang on a sec, I’m more excited to be here because there is an awesome music scene in Australia’.”
Simply being a part of the Australian music scene, which Liam described as having “a great depth and history as well as great new bands”, was a reward in itself, but also having the opportunity to produce music without a commercial cloud hanging over his head made it an exciting endeavour.
“While I made incredible music connections overseas there was always this sense of not being on solid ground, because you’re constantly being sponsored by record labels and therefore you have that need to write a hit hanging over you,” explained Liam. “Whereas here I could just come together with old mates and new friends to jam for a bit of a laugh over a few beers in a really natural process.”
By implementing this method and mindset, Liam and the band were actually somewhat surprised when they all realised “oh shit, we’ve got five or six songs here” – and decided to head into the studio to record them.
For a band that is new in terms of name, but has been playing together for four years, the passion was shared and the process was a truly natural one, and one which they are all incredibly grateful for.
As they now head out on tour they’re all really excited, because they are simply “jumping in the car and having lots of fun”. Liam added: “I remember on the last run Steve [Hadley] wore the same clothes for six days, so I wonder if he can beat that during his three weeks, and then maybe we can auction off his shirt at the end.” (JA)
Dec 2, 8:30pm. LazyBones Lounge, 294 Marrickvile Rd, Marrickville. $15 on the door. Info: www.lazyboneslounge.com.au]]>