Archive for the ‘Reviews & Responses’ Category

The Burlesque Hour: the Glory Box Edition | Seymour Centre


It appears that burlesque is as common now as pub rock was in the 80s… in fact there is a part of me that thinks the rise of the popularity of burlesque may even manage to topple the pokies… (hmmm perhaps wishful thinking?) Many a bright young lass have been finding their sass and slide around the traps… and some unlikely of actors and designers doubling as burlesque performers… but there is something in it that captures imaginations. I am not so stirred by the sexual taboo – for me, there is a weighty and long history of cultural and political commentary at play.

The origins of burlesque are really like that of a revue or vaudeville variety show: originally being “a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects.” It takes a learned and thinking audience to appreciate that which is being referenced or subverted, and in a contemporary climate of visual stimulation, extreme physical portraits – I’m thinking body modification ( or even the more tame and still fascinating Embarrassing Bodies ) and overly sexualised images in advertising burlesque faces a tough crowd.

In the last ten years or so, the popularity of burlesque has proliferated. Read more

Ovo | Cirque Du Soleil


Months ago, I experienced a first.

Hard to believe – but there are plenty of firsts I’m yet to encounter.

As an avid attender of live performance in all its transient incantations, I must admit that until now, I had never seen a Cirque du Soleil show. The shows themselves have been orbiting me in rumour and advertising on buses for some time – and for whatever reason, I had neglected that part of my experiential diet. So feeling a little behind the times (as I usually feel) I struggled along to the Big Top in Moore Park in Sydney’s soggy September weather.

There’s no doubt about it – a beautiful and epic show. Brightly coloured, lithe and brilliant. Full of feats of endurance, strength and precision brought about by years of persistence and possible bruising.

Themed in as “An immersion into the teeming and energetic world of insects” I couldn’t suspend the magnificence of the human body. The majesty of insects and the natural world exploded and amplified into the wonder of human musculature. But the wonder doesn’t begin and end with unlikely twists and twirls of limbs – the visual (and therefore technical) artistry of the design – costume, makeup and set – all lavish and detailed – extreme and sumptuous. A LONG way from the bareboard, poor theatre I spend so much of my time experiencing. it felt like I was saturated in colour and movement – dazzled in jaw-dropped delight. Read more

Between Two Waves | Griffin Theatre Company


We live in interesting times. Ours is a globalised society, full of information and research, high speed data and digital memory. We live in a highly networked social structure, people are living longer, working longer, retiring later. International travel is commonplace. The primary political discussions that take place in parliament are economic. Science ( a modern replacement for ancient concepts such as faith) is treated with deep and furrow-browed scepticism. Our world is shrinking and the sea levels are rising. Read more

Porn.Cake | Michael Sieders and Griffin Independent


I see it everyday. The rise of reinvented recent history – retro frocks and hair shining with brill cream – bright red lipstick and curled hair, petticoated skirts. After the power suits of the 80s, the nihlism of the 90s and the electronica of the 00s, it seems now we are in an age of instant and direct digital connection, there is a desire for something we may feel we’ve lost. Read more

I Love You, Bro | La Boite & Riverside Theatres


The internet is possibly the most powerful force we know – well that and gravity. It is, like all power subject to extreme abuse. The anonymity of some on the internet is empowering to the coward – and simultaneously weakens the social fabric. It is a force that is unstoppable – and no-one knows this – or the irony of expressing this via a blog, better than me.

In the self-imposed prison of his bedroom, Johnny, a teenage boy, is free. Read more

Truck Stop | Q Theatre at The Seymour Centre


The stage is a boxing ring of metal school seats. Weeds grow up in between the cracks in the concrete. Dandelions with drooping heads. They’re dying – from heat – or perhaps they’ve grown as much as they can grow. A large screen – as big as the audience pounds us with light. We – performers and audience – are dwarfed by the huge faces, mouths. Then here they are. The girls.

Sam. Kelly. Aisha – The Skanks. Read more

Grounded | Tantrum Theatre & ATYP


Co-commissioned by Australian Theatre for Young People and Tantrum Theatre, Alana Valentine’s Grounded is a story combining the events and impact of when the Pasha Bulker ran aground on Nobbys Beach in Newcastle.

I have always, always admired and adored Alana Valentine – she is a straight-shooting, robust and rigorous playwright with an unerring political, social conscience and a prolific list of credits and awards to prove it. And she’s got great personal flair. Read more

Lucy Black | Subtlenuance at The Tap Gallery


Subtlenuance is a company that is the epitome of DYI. With a vision after my own heart, Paul Gilchrist and Daniela Giorgi, time and time again put their money where their heart/mouth/writing is and self-produce exclusively new Australian works. They produce each others plays and invite talented and enthusiastic people to leap on board. Last year most notably they opened their program to a collection of short one-person shows under the banner “Bare Boards Brave Heart”, and produced Katie Pollock’s “A Quiet Night In Rangoon.” Their work ethic is astounding – and if the mantra for academics is “publish or perish” Subtlenuance would be “produce or perish.” Read more

An Officer and a Gentleman | Lyric Theatre


Entertainment comes in all forms.

Australia’s Funniest Home Videos
Your cousin singing a song at the family piano
Two dogs at a park
petting zoos
Gossip magazines
local school fetes
Experimental music, art, performance
Folk music festivals
dinner conversation
Firework spectaculars
Rambunctious Sunday afternoons
A clown playing the banjo in the Devonshire Street tunnel
Twitter interactions (especially between people who might be in love with each other)
generalised people-watching
and of course…
Musicals Read more

Reasons to be Pretty | Slip of the Tongue & Darlinghurst Theatre Company


“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all /Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” John Keats

I am going to declare up front that I know (socially) director James Beach and actor Andrew Henry. 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.