Davina and the Vagabonds

June 12, 2022 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 11 June, 2022) [Davina and the Vagabonds, late to town thanks to post-Covid chaos in international flights, appeared at the Cabaret Festival on Saturday night, drawing from the past 100 years of American music, from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits. Reportedly, Davina has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, but in order to verify, The Varnished Culture had 2 guest reviewers in attendance who know a thing or three about past and contemporary music in this Dawning Age of Aquarius….

Continue Reading →

The Power of the Dog

December 11, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Chaps and More Chaps, and a Little Anthrax on the Side How Jane Campion’s Dude Ranch Film Slides Away into the Montana Night By Janelle McCulloch “The Power of the Dog” directed by Jane Campion (2021) What can be said about The Power of the Dog? It’s a strange way to begin a film review of this Western drama, but I am well and truly mute. And much of this now-widely-talked-about film is, too. It’s a beautifully shot piece, low on dialogue but big on wide Montana skies (which are actually wide New Zealand skies), and there are some very…

Continue Reading →

Chekhov Goes Feral at The Belvoir – The Cherry Orchard

June 23, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Reviewed by our learned NSW correspondent, Margo Jakobsen) The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, Belvoir Theatre, June 2021 – directed / adapted by Eamon Flack The burning question is about the adaptation of The Cherry Orchard. The Larrikin tradition was evoked. Examples: the Zumba style dance, the MC calling the partygoers a bunch of c..ts, the f…k you conga line. Missing the subtle humour of the original, the 2 ladies next to me left at interval. [I’d probably have joined them – Ed.] The audience, a full house, was split between those of penshionable age and secondary students. In their…

Continue Reading →

Hamilton – The Musical

(Directed by Amy Campbell, Lyric Theatre, Sydney, 2021) (Reviewed by Margo Jakobsen) Masked-up and entering the Sydney Lyric Theatre in an orderly fashion, I was eager to see if the musical justified the buzz. Some already knew, a couple of fans wearing period costumes of their own. Others were clearly familiar with the moments. For example, a cry went up at the ‘immigrants get the job done’ line and Brent Hill’s crassly, juvenile King George, made a popular and delicious contrast with the rawest emotions of Chloe Zuel as Hamilton’s wife, Eliza. The play ended with her enigmatic gasp. Amazing…

Continue Reading →

We Will Survive

February 24, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | LIFE |

(Why The Varnished Culture is leaving Facebook) Google has a link to a post on leaving Facebook, that suggests as reasons to leave, “its echo chamber effects, avoiding time wasting and procrastination, and the negative psychological effects of perpetual social comparison.” That is more a salutary warning to addicts rather than a shot at the product. From its o so humble beginnings, Facebook has become a monster, the Standard Oil of our age, a virtual monopoly allowing global networking of personal, commercial, and political content, along with news, a salad of actual old-time reportage and a trove of ‘fake news,’…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.