Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

(By Robert Louis Stevenson; Sydney Theatre Company adaption and direction by Kip Williams: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, 5 March 2023) Stevenson‘s 1885 fable of the dangers of suppressing the id “is for ever being recalled, throughout the English-speaking world, to signify man’s divided nature.”* Filmed, staged and broadcast hundreds of times, the story is superior to the telling, and in this adaptation (by the team that presented The Picture of Dorian Gray) we are treated to a Gothic glory, vivified for the stage by dark demonic videographers, swarming hornet-like about the players. So it is not quite a two-hander. Stevenson’s…

Continue Reading →

Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man

(A Memoir, 2022; edited by David Rosenthal from taped conversations, recorded from 1986 to 1991) George Segal said, “Paul Newman is the last star. He’s the link. We’re just actors.” Impossibly pretty, and self-consciously ‘cool,’ Newman was a Great Big Movie Star for about thirty years, and since filmgoers managed to look past the looks and the sass, he avoided becoming a symbol during most of that time. His best films are (or include) The Left-Handed Gun (1958), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), The Hustler (1961), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch…

Continue Reading →

The Old Stoic’s Lethargy

January 6, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, PETER'S WRITING, Poetry, POLITICS |

POEM FOR THE YEAR (with apologies to W. H. Auden) This earth in 2023 Is not the planet fit for me, A world, I need, to give me hope Opposed to the end of a rope. *** My Eden landscapes and their climes Are great constructs from rational times, When reason meant, at least, induction, Not dogma posed as deduction. *** The plastic bags we gather to be Transformed as if by alchemy: I chose to send them whence they came, The ground, from fossil fuels by name. *** I’m now required to approve Blighted wind farms that rarely move:…

Continue Reading →

Breaking History

By Jared Kushner (2022) Kushner is no prose stylist. But this tome is a valuable guide to the tour-of-duty of an outsider in a White House full of outsiders. It shows how a transactional background with amateur oversight, ego, and the Art of the Deal, can actually accomplish something in the Deep Swamp that is American federal executive governance. Take, for example, the Abraham Accords. The conventional wisdom, espoused by the likes of the never-right-but-never-in-doubt John Kerry, was that a Palestinian solution was a necessary pre-cursor to improvement of general Arab-Israeli relations. Yet the Trump administration, at Kushner’s suggestion, flipped…

Continue Reading →

STONEHENGE STATS

December 18, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | HISTORY, LESLEY'S WRITING, LIFE, Poetry |

Here are Druidic spatial data, which is leadenly prosaic in both tone and content. ***************************** But three trilithons abide Seven metres high, five metres wide Sarcens – mortise and tenon joints Aligned to Bronze Age sistral points After digging an earthen bank, Fifty-six Aubrey holes the Britons sank Outer circles, a central horseshoe arc In total, seven times one Central Park Ninety-three stones remain at Salisbury Plain Once purchased by Chubb – but not for gain! (Cecil paid six thousand, six hundred pounds, Did that include the funeral mounds?) The bluestones came from Wales by boat (At about three tons…

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.