Arts & Entertainment

SYDNEY FRINGE: BEFORE & AFTER KNOCKOFF

Playwright James Pike describes Before and After Knockoff as, “His attempt to bring epic tragedy to the concrete trade and boasts a new dialect in his drama about business and family.” It’s the story of Vaughan, owner of a Central Tablelands concreting outfit, who sacks his son on the advice of an arselicking employee with […]

SYDNEY FRINGE: THE HIDEOUS DEMISE OF DETECTIVE SLATE

It’s pulp, pure and simple. Placed on a stage, juiced with ‘cream yourself funky music’ and finished with a knowing wink of 21st century irony. Writer Alli Sebastian Wolf takes us through her hardboiled radio drama and the trials and tribulations of an ill-fated Jericho Slate … So, without giving too much away, what happens […]

ISOBEL CAMBELL & MARK LANEGAN – HAWK

Hawk is the third album from this unlikely of combinations; Isobel Cambell the one-time chamber pop queen with Belle & Sebastian; and Mark Lanagan king of 90's Seattle grunge lords The Screaming Trees. Having now settled into a modus operandi (she does most of the work and he comes in and sings!) it is safe […]

PETER BRODERICK – HOW THEY ARE

Like a musical mutation of Will Oldham and Art Garfunkel, Peter Broderick sings his odd folk ballads with a subliminal intensity. Touted as a multi-instrumental genius, here his barenaked lyrics and fragile tenor are splayed across 8 beautiful vignettes, led almost entirely by a muted piano, or here and there a guitar. The arresting Sideline […]

CHARLIE PARR – WHEN THE DEVIL GOES BLIND

Charlie Parr, by his own admission is a touch shy, hopeless at promoting his own albums, and has bad hygiene. At least two of those might explain why you haven't yet heard of Charlie. But you may well have heard him, his foot-tapping old-time folk tune 1922 was used in Vodafone's popular "folding" add. You […]

STEPHEN CUMMINGS – GOOD BONES

"Sick of looking into the past", sings Stephen Cummings on The Brighter the Light, a delicate waltz from his latest retrospective, Good Bones. "Some things can't be changed." Here he's playing it dirty and lean with his back catalogue, so call him perverse if you like, but then, he’s always been  a bit of a […]

THEATRE: YELLOW MOON

Director Susanna Dowling describes Yellow Moon as, “A beautiful, fiery, funny, fast ride.” She says of writer David Greig that, “He creates this fantastic mix of gritty, grounded subject matter with a lyrical, poetic musicality in his writing.” It's about two troubled teenagers, Leila and Lee, who get into trouble one night and go on […]

SARAH MCLACHLAN – LAWS OF ILLUSION

Canadian treasure Sarah McLachlan's main asset is her creamy mezzo-soprano voice, and in material terms (let's face it), the royalty cheques from "that" song from her best-selling 1997 album Surfacing.  Following a smattering of studio and live recordings, and a Christmas album, we have her latest flamboyantly polished offering. McLachlan's thoughtful songwriting is certainly intact, […]

THE BLAKE PRIZE & AVANT-ART

Like most of Australia’s biggest art prizes, the Blake has been earmarked by controversy since its inception in 1951. As a society dedicated both to religious expression and artistic freedom, it was destined to never please both camps. In 1954 Charles Bannon’s fiercely abstract Judas Iscariot raised the ire of art-purists and religious fundamentalists alike. […]

OPERA: THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

Gilbert & Sullivan is a cash cow for Opera Australia, which knows audiences will flock to see anything written by this Victorian librettist and composer. You can almost hear the feet tapping away as Peter Carroll sings, at breakneck speed, one of the most popular patter songs ever written, I am the very model of […]