David Sedaris

January 20, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Sedaris signing prior to curtain

(Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide 18 January 2020) The Varnished Culture initially knew David Sedaris as the brother of Amy Sedaris, the author of the most sublimely hilarious hospitality book of all time, I Like You. David has shot ahead of his precocious siblings through sheer output, and a rather endearing sensibility. Open one of his books at random – Calypso, say, or the funny-sad Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk (we’ll never try to be rude about Jazz again), and you can see a humour that is gentle and yet sharp, generous and yet angry.  (In Calypso, he recounts how his partner and he…

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The Dark Master

November 3, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Oz Asia Festival Space Theatre, Adelaide, October 29, 2019 (Director: Kuro Tanino) Japanese rural inns are a mainstay of horror films and video games.  The Dark Master merges these genres when a hapless young backpacker (Koichiro FO Pereira) is bizarrely inveigled into running a once popular bistro in an undefined area of Japan (possibly Osaka).  The former proprietor (Susumu Ogata), who may or may not have operated the inn for the last 30 or 35 years, disappears upstairs and issues instruction to his apprentice, via earpiece. The young traveller, who has never so much as boiled an egg, learns quickly…

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Adelaide Festival 2020

October 30, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, DANCE, MUSIC, OPERA, THEATRE, WRITING & LITERATURE |

29 October 2019: TVC crept in to Bonython Hall at Adelaide University on a beautiful Spring Morning for the launch of the programme for the internationally renowned Adelaide Arts Festival (& Adelaide Writer’s Festival) in February/March 2020, the AF’s 60th year.  Expect ABC documentaries and coffee-table books aplenty! “The Big Reveal” (yes, ‘reveal’ is now a noun, evidently) was preceded by some homilies from Aunty Georgina Williams Ngankiburka Mekaune, Senior Woman of Water, who also dropped the (yawn-inducing) Welcome to Country upon us, along with a tag-team of professional signers, complete with their ‘jazz hands’ to emulate applause. Judy Potter,…

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Cuckoo

October 26, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

By Jaha Koo (Oz Asia Festival – Space Theatre, Adelaide 25 October 2019) TVC has had problems with rice cookers before – but never like this.  Hana (the quiet one) makes the rice (which smelt very nice); Duri (the alpha one) talked about making rice, but mainly traded pungent barbs with the florid one, Seri, who came with coloured L.E.D and a boppy soundtrack (the local brand name for the cookers is “Cuckoo”). Their owner, auteur Jaha Koo, uses these appliances as a trope for the plight of his nation, South Korea, in the wake of the Asian economic crisis…

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Sydney Dance Company: “Neon Aether”/ “Cinco” / “WOOF”

August 10, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | ART, MUSIC, THEATRE |

Adelaide Festival Centre, 8 August 2019 *** Sydney Dance Company is marking its fiftieth anniversary with this three part performance, currently touring Australia.  Although each half-hour long part is created by an individual choreographer (after which it is named; the title-names above were not used in the Adelaide performance), all three are connected by a sinuous melancholy.  The corps, of 5 to 11 male and female dancers occupy an empty space, leavened only by fog and low, diffuse lighting. The first piece, choreographed by Gabrielle Nankivell, begins and is punctuated by darkness and the sound of machinery, perhaps a lift…

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