More Hanging Than Picnic

October 7, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

“Picnic at Hanging Rock” – the Theatrical Adaptation (Directed by Geoff Brittain) Adelaide University Theatre Guild, 6 October 2018 If you don’t know the story, you’ve been living on Mars.  Young ladies from Appleyard College set off with some of their teachers to picnic at Hanging Rock.  It’s a warm day; the students have been forbidden any ‘tomboy foolishness’ by exploring the Rock; what could go wrong? This saga of Joan Lindsay’s has galvanised generations of readers and film-goers – such has been the hype over the years that people have started to regard the mystery as True Crime.  And there…

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Eurovision 2018: Bet Against Logic and Taste

May 14, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Modern Music, MUSIC, THEATRE |

Lisbon, May 2018 Israel claimed its 4th Eurovision victory in a stunningly predictable finale, where taste was defenestrated and trampled, writhing and squirming, on the Portugese cobbles below. The UK and Bulgaria had outstanding entries, and we give honourable mention to Estonia, Holland and Cyprus.  However, what with the jury vote and the televotes, bizarre results were in the cards. We liked Elina Nechayeva with her dress of many colours and the operatic aria, ‘La forza’ sung in Italian, but Estonia came in 8th. Bulgaria’s Equinox (see main image) featuring an East European Lady Gaga, had a dramatic pop-rocker called “Bones”…

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Our Review: Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America

May 6, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | POLITICS, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Adelaide University Theatre Guild, 5 May 2018 – Memo to playwrights: Beware Godwin’s Law! Which is not a law as such, but an exercise in mimesis. The ‘Law’ has it that whoever invokes Hitler or the Nazis in an argument thereby terminates that process, usually in defeat. In Australian playwight Stephen Sewell’s work (we’ll call it “Myth / Nazi” for short, à la Marat / Sade) an academic at New York University (oops, that is, a NYC Campus), Talbot Finch (Nick Fagan) writes a piece comparing post-911 America to Nazi Germany. Of course! (Snap fingers significantly). The myth of American righteousness…

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Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America

April 30, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | THEATRE |

Adelaide University Theatre Guild, 5 – 6, 9 -12 & 16 -19 May 2018 Stephen Sewell’s award-winning commentary on the War on Terror premièred in 2003. Fifteen years later, its anger and its resonance are undiminished, in that the eternal tension between individual liberty and social cohesion has become more acute in the post 911 world and the new theocratic age. The play asks “What does happen when the ‘Land of the Free’, with its neuroses about security and its desire for control says “You’re either with us or against us?” The Varnished Culture will no doubt seethe and gnash its collective…

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The Book of Mormon

April 5, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, RELIGION, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Eugene O’Neill Theater, 230 West 49th Street, New York, 3 April 2018 – TVC, being fans of Big Love, were naturally drawn to this sly musical blend of Americana and wacko cult. Joseph Smith would not approve, and frankly, anyone with the gift of real faith, of any sort, would smell blasphemy here. Yet this show is tight, hilarious and brilliantly conceived, staged and performed. From the prologue where we learn that Jesus, after the disportation, buzzed over to the States and handed a golden book of plates to the Mormons, through an intricate opening number where freshmen Elders ring doorbells to…

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