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Theatre review: The Seed

Dear Dad The Seed of the title, and of war, is as physiological as it is mental. Kate Mulvany’s play that won Best Independent Production in the 2007 Sydney Theatre Awards is a semi-autobiographical account of her life as the daughter of a Vietnam veteran. Rose Maloney is clearly Kate — the playwright herself had played the character in…

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Theatre review: Clybourne Park

Dear Dad Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.                                                                       Elsa Maxwell 1958 This must be Bruce Norris’ mantra when he wrote Clybourne Park, his 2011 Pulitzer-Prize winning theatrical drama. However, the real subject of his self-denigration does not become apparent until the laughter has faded and the theatre is empty. In Lorraine Hansberry’s momentous 1959 play, A Raisin in…

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Theatre review: Hamlet

Dear Dad ‘Complex’ is the most common description of Hamlet. And it is the best description of Simon Phillips’ splendid staging of the Shakespearen tragedy. This sleek and beautiful production unfolds on a breath-taking and composite set in which Shaun Gurton uses an intertwining structure of stupendous glass walls that swerve and dis-join, slide and re-join to…

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Theatre review: The Gift

Dear Dad The cover image on a copy of Joanna Murray-Smith’s play script, The Gift, is an ornately-framed ostentatious mirror — something neither featured nor mentioned in the play. The Gift is a forensic examination of the boundary between obligation and responsibility. The question it asks about how prepared one is willing to pay a debt of gratitude with life-long responsibility will no doubt…

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Theatre review: Next to Normal

Dear Dad Life begins normal enough, in Next to Normal. A mother chastises her son for another late night out, then covers it from his father. Her husband appears anxious but protective and their daughter is decidedly studious. However, it is far from being so. Reviews on this theatrical work by writer Brian Yorkey and composer Tom Kitt …