Archive for the ‘Reviews & Responses’ Category

The Floating World | Griffin Theatre Company


We owe a lot to history. The record of events or opinions that shape our opinions in overt and covert ways. Australia’s history at it’s most prideful is our participation in War – the Aussie battlers who defended the mother country and her allies against “the other.” It is the one theme in our history that is told and re-told, glorified and marks two days on the calender for rememberence. We don’t find the same pride in our settlement – how can we with the vicious murder of the indigenous Australians. We don’t find same pride in our convict heritage. But war is something different. Read more

Hamlet | Belvoir


I can’t help but raise one eyebrow when looking at the Belvoir website.
Under the headline of “Hamlet” is the usual credits:

“By William Shakespeare Director Simon Stone. 12 October – 1 December. Upstairs Theatre”

And then a quote:

“The play’s the thing… “

Indeed it is the thing. Read more

Spoil Your Love Life | The Newsagency


It’s one of those confessions I need to make, that despite living down and around the road from The Newsagency in Marrickville, I had only heard, not seen of the venue that seems to be carving out a place for itself as a space for live performance. Sporting an obedient row of tiny green chairs and stools, and an impressive flock of LED lights The Newsagency is one of the Inner West’s one room wonders. Read more

A Murder Is Announced | Sydney Theatre


“In an English village, you turn over a stone and have no idea what will crawl out. The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn, including Miss Marple, are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: ‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 13th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30p.m.’ A childish practical joke or a hoax? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd begins to gather at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out, a gun is fired and a body falls.”

As a teenager Friday nights were often spent with my father and an Agatha Christie or a PD James or a Ruth Rendell tele-movie. I’d watching a small village handle the threat of murder, or the realisation that not all were sweet and kindly church-goers, gardeners or local librarians – some people in the village were hiding nasty and difficult secrets. Coming from a small town myself I often wondered if my neighbours were equally likely to poison each other’s tea – and such is the tradition of the British murder mystery genre. A wise outsider – sometimes a Frenchman and sometimes an old maid – would outwit the police in understanding the situation faster and in more detail than the slow and sloppy law preservers. Read more

A Streetcar Named Desire | Liverpool Performing Arts Ensemble


A Streetcar Named Desire… a portrait of American working class life? A momentary glimpse of a life off the rails? An exploration of feminine and masculine role play? A poetic examination of power?

A classic play pumped up full of theatrical mythology – poking its head through the curtain of time and whispering in our post modern ears that it’s always “depended on the kindness of strangers” or screams out in hard and primal desperation “Stella!” The references to Williams’ play slide and slip across the world, across culture and into our back pockets. So well worn we can nearly take it for granted, that it is there.
Read more

Half World | Matriark Art Theatre & 107 Projects


There are moments in my theatre going which feel like shooting stars. Those very quick and wonderful moments where we feel like swiveling your head around and saying “Wow! Did anyone else just see that?” And sometimes the answer is a “resounding YES!” (as in the case of Sam Strong’s Speaking in Tongues) and sometimes the answer is “What? No. I must have missed it.” But the fact remains that when you experience that moment of catching a shooting star – or a piece of work – you feel happy for the fact that your faith is restored in shooting stars.

Half World was one such occurance. Read more

Tough Beauty | Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Tough Beauty

“There’s the girl who’s new. There’s the quiet girl. There’s the girl with no boyfriend. And the one with too many. There’s the girl who looks different, the girl who’s asking for it. And there’s the girl who’s just… just looking at me wrong. She doesn’t even know she is – but she is. And then there’s me. The girl who’s scared of nothing. The girl they say rumours about.”

The world is a brutal place. Always has been. The fight to survive has been competitive, relentless and has lead us to the here and now. Technically, if we are as Darwin suggest the fittest who have managed to survive – the survivors are fighters. The survivors are brutal. Survivors of society – us who are walking around – are charged with genes honed to fight, programmed with the need to survive at all costs. We are all, in some way, fighters – who and what and when we fight varies – but all of us have that instinct driving the human race forward. Read more

Henry 4 | Bell Shakespeare


The show may have closed, the milkcrate set may have been dismantled and re-distributed, the actors return to their own voices and thoughts and their daily clothes – but I’ve still been digesting the recent Bell Shakespeare production of Henry 4.

Catching up so late on my writing and thinking about productions, is a curse and a blessing – and a priviledge. In 2007 (when I began writing reviews for Australianstage) I would write and launch a review within 3 hours of seeing the show. This has its benefits and its drawbacks: the memory is fresh, the impression still present, but like trying to understand a landscape painting by pressing one’s nose up against the paint, you may not often see the whole vista. Perhaps I’m just trying to console myself for an egregious lapse of time. Or perhaps I am justified.

Personally, I don’t favour reviews that cherry pick actors to be elevated and spotlit. I also don’t really find that style of engagement with a work particularly revealing nor revolutionary: after all why would we need to be told that as an audience, we can spot that ourselves. Read more

Cavalia | The Entertainment Quarter


Australians love horses judging by the influx of horse themed shows on in Sydney at the moment – War Horse (currently at the Sydney Lyric theatre) advertisements splashed over the backs of taxis and Cavalia on nearly every billboard and flagpole in the city – and of course, every November there is a “race that stops the nation.” Yes. We love horses. Read more

Dance Hall Days | Q Theatre


Somewhere in St Marys on a Tuesday morning at morning tea time, a group of people gather at a community centre. Inside, chairs outline a dance floor – two cabinets contain beautiful frocks and a couple of framed photographs – and four actors.

Created by Katrina Douglas and the performers in a response to interviews conducted with members of the community, the show’s billed as: “Part verbatim theatre and part social dance, this cross-generational performance will bring the world of the dance hall back to life with hints of first love, the magical music of the era and overcoming two left feet.” Read more

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Augusta Supple

Sydney-based theatre director, producer and writer. This site is about my long, deep, bright-eyed, ever-hopeful, sometimes difficult, always invigorating, rambunctious, rebellious, dynamic and very personal relationship with Australian Arts and Culture... I reflect on shows, talks, essays, writing, artists that inspire me to say something, and you'll find out what I'm working on, who I'm working with and what inspires me.