Peter Allen – Not the Boy Next Door

September 22, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

A match made in Heaven

The final stages of this TV two-parter are a salutary reminder of that dreadful scourge of the homosexual world in the 1980s – the music of Peter Allen. Oh yes and that AIDS was, in those days, suddenly rampant and absolutely untreatable.  This is a paint-by-numbers production.  But that doesn’t mean it is bad – just mediocre, glitzy, watchable  and non-threatening.  Like Allen himself. The audience is  told what to think at every stage, from the obligatory hard-scrabble childhood (cleaning Dad’s brains off a wall), to fame, fortune and an opportunistic marriage to American music royalty. Sigrid Thornton looks surprisingly like Judy Garland but is stretched by a script which…

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Suddenly Last Summer

Sydney Theatre Company, Opera House, March 2015 A  thin story, not as shocking now as it was when Tennessee Williams wrote it, or even when it was filmed in 1959. Presented here as a sort of live cinema – for much of the play the actors are videoed as they perform in a pot-plant garden behind the screen on which the video is shown. Doors and windows open and shut.  Robyn Nevin doesn’t really have much to do.  Eryn Jean Norvill as Catherine and Mark Leonard Winter as Dr Cukrowicz  are impressive. Sebastian’s part  is  effective and powerful.   An odd choice of play for such an…

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The Lonely Critic Laments

March 13, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | PETER'S WRITING, Plays, Ulalume |

'The Critic' by Allen Robert Branston (1817) (Wikimedia Commons Images)

I sense the ending, lack the script, A familiar story’s meaning stripp’d, Of what and when and who and how Whatever, I want the ending now.   I go to shows and realize The makers of them do despise Their customers; ’tis crystal clear Mammon not art, is worshipp’d here.   But have I miss’d a salient point? Got it wrong, destroy’d the joint? Confounded meaning with the clear Unconscious cause of being here?   Art is always doomed to flunk. From highest brow to utter junk, Through countless, low, fun-free travails To rare, derided, epic fails   And as…

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We Really Like the Theatre Guild

January 21, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, Ulalume |

Whilst TVC is dubious as to artistic awards, the Theatre Guild of the University of Adelaide  was justly honoured at the Adelaide Critics Circle Awards on 8th ultimo: Best Group Award (for Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land), which also took out best individual performance (Michael Baldwin).  TVC saw this production, which it liked to a degree over the source material.  At the risk of being a Sally Field, “We like you! We really like you!”

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The Illusionists 1903

January 16, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Adelaide Festival Theatre, 15/1/2015 In The Wanderings of a Spiritualist (c. 1921), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has this to say: “There is an excellent clairvoyante in Paris, Madame Blifaud, and I look forward, at some later date, to a personal proof of her powers, though if it fails I shall not be so absurd as to imagine that that disproves them. The particular case which came immediately under my notice was that of a mother whose son had been killed from an aeroplane, in the war. She had no details of his death.” On asking Madame B., the latter replied,…

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