Amazing India

April 9, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Music and Dance provided by alumni of Kalalaya School of Performing Arts, 6 April 2019, Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Theatre The Varnished Culture has great admiration for Indian accomplishment (mixed with a fair bit of ignorance, but profound for all that). But we were not quite prepared* for the Amazing India experience, pretty much a Hindustani eisteddfod featuring all levels of students and tutors of the local Kalalaya School of Performing Arts.  From old-style classical dance forms such as Bharatnatyam and cadenced Kathak, to modern, salacious Bollywood numbers, an enthusiastic (at times, overly enthusiastic) audience were treated to 140 minutes of some 20…

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Kosky Blows His Magic Flute – And it’s a Catastrophe

March 2, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Opera, OPERA, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Barry Kosky, Festival Theatre, Adelaide, 2 March 2019) A filthy hot early autumn, Adelaide buzzing with stock car racers; construction blocking easy access to the Festival Theatre, its bars cash-free to absolve staff from learning to do sums in their heads; refugee photos on the gallery walls; no paper towels in the men’s to conserve resources (you use a dodgy blower the size of a cigarette packet – wonder what is available in the ‘female and unisex’ facility?) and a sweaty, sun-burnt matinee crowd, applauding every number performed by the ‘B’ team – What else could one add…

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North by Northwest

January 5, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Staged at Adelaide Festival Theatre, 4 January 2019 (Directed by Simon Phillips) (1959 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock) Everybody knows the story: Manhattan Ad-man Roger O. Thornhill is mistaken for a (non-existent) government agent, kidnapped, framed and chased across the country by Cold War heavies. Hitchcock’s romantic thriller is a classic, featuring legendary scenes such as the interlude on the train to Chicago between Thornhill (Cary Grant) and Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint), the attack on Thornhill by a crop-duster, and the chase over the Mount Rushmore monument. And besides Grant and Saint, there were James Mason as a suave villain, Martin…

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Carl Barron – “Drinking With a Fork”

October 31, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Adelaide Entertainment Centre, 30 October 2018 A Queensland doppelganger for Paul Kelly, stand-up Carl Barron rapidly (almost obsessive-compulsively) circled the stage at a packed Ent. Cent last night, and his act went over a treat.  We might have missed a reference to his titular joke, ‘Drinking with a fork,’ but then, The Varnished Culture was locked-out for 7 minutes with several other unfortunates, having queued at length for some overpriced Bundy-and-Coke (to fire-up for the Man from Longreach’s act) – thanks, Entertainment Centre!  Nevertheless, Barron was true to form, and stayed mainly on script, with his usual array of observational and…

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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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