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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ADEL-AID

16 March, 2018 at “Jade”, Adelaide Fringe Raw, but we ate it up. This performance was one of those closest to the spirit of the Fringe, where non or semi-professionals can test their abilities, and material, in front of an Adelaide crowd, a crowd that is no pushover, albeit less querulous than Milan and less violent than Edinburgh. Co-producers Simon Coad and Adrian Nippress, in collaboration with Simon Goodes, created the gruesome conceit of a mock ‘Telethon,’ with all the forced striving to entertain and chaotic variety which that entails, and whilst The Varnished Culture had reservations (of which more…

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Hamlet Sings! We Laugh!

March 7, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Hamlet, Glyndebourne Festival Opera production, Adelaide Festival Theatre, 6 March 2018 You know the story, or perhaps you can condense it into one word, as did the English stage director Tyrone Guthrie: “Mummy!”  But you might prefer to concentrate on the post-modern man Shakespeare seems to have had in mind with Hamlet: “the revolutionary whose manners and ways of life are attached to the old régime, whose ideals and loyalties belong to the new, and who, by a kind of courageous exhibitionism is compelled to tell the truth about both.”*  Bloom calls the play (which admittedly, has its own structural…

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Co-Operate! See the Barber of Seville

February 15, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THEATRE |

'Figaro sù, Figaro giù! Figaro quà, Figaro la!'

A Co-Opera production, Waverley House, Willunga, 21 April; Adelaide Showground, 22, 28 & 29 April. The Varnished Culture has already enthused about Rossini’s little piece – the Barber of Seville is nigh perfect, and whilst Co-Opera – the nation’s only dedicated touring Opera Company – runs on a shoestring, this production not only deserves your support but is likely to command your attention and admiration as well.

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