The Great Australian Play | Montague Basement & Red Line Productions

Image by Phil Erbacher

Australia has the Great Australian Play just like America has the American Dream and England has the Great British Bake-Off. These iconic stories endure as myths of national identity and minimised imperialism that keep the masses rallying around idealised, constructed figures of power and triumph. But pretty soon the truth will crawl out from where it’s been buried to wreck havoc on the artists and audiences still buying into the centuries-old lie.

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The Fairy Tale of My Life | 180 Collective

He’s a household name, his stories are children’s classics with generations of memories attached to them, and yet many don’t know a whole lot about Hans Christian Andersen and his troubled life. Through a smoke-and-mirrors uncanny interpretation of his story, 180 Collective illuminate the life of a complicated man navigating self-doubt, homophobia, and crushing class barriers.

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The Caretaker | Ensemble Theatre

Image by Prudence Upton

This review comes from Night Writes guest reviewer Jack Mitchell

“What’s the game, then?”

The thuggish Mick asks the homeless layabout Davies this question at the end of Act 1 of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker. Davies doesn’t know how to respond and it is almost as though Pinter is probing the audience with the same question. What’s the point of it all? Sitting within the absurdist theatre style, the play questions our assumptions about the fundamental aspects of live theatre. The plot is sparse, the characters speak over and around each other, and the language is cyclical and repetitive. Under Iain Sinclair’s direction, this is a claustrophobic and intriguing production.

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My Family and Other Animals | the Genesian Theatre

Image by Vicki Skarratt Photography

The Durrells are one of those famed British families, like the Mitfords, who capture the imaginations of so many people through fictionalisations, dramatisations, and their own personal autobiographies about their unusual, unbelievable, adventurous lives. This new stage adaptation by Janys Chambers of Gerald Durrell’s autobiographic writing recreates the chaos and humour of 1930s Corfu for familiar and unfamiliar audiences alike.

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The Other End of the Afternoon | New Theatre

Image by Troy Kent

So many of us turn to stories as escapism to transport us to a completely imagined other reality, a perfect future, or an idealised distant past. But what if it was possible to really escape a life that wasn’t safe for you? What if you could just walk into that other place if you only knew the way?

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DUST | Milk Crate Theatre

Image by Robert Catto

For many city slickers, recent years of climate change and natural disasters have brought the threat of nature right to their doorstep for the first time. Whereas, for rural and isolated communities, the weather and crises like floods and droughts are common disruptions. Unfortunately for this group, though, this dust storm couldn’t have come at a worse time.

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Deep and Meaningful | Sydney Fringe Festival

An uninvited guest has arrived at this party: a blackhole. The threat of the end of the world puts a certain strained pressure on the loose, confessional deep and meaningful conversation customary at the end of all good Australian house parties. Suddenly this low-key hang has become a last opportunity to open up, right wrongs, and connect with the people around us.

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Anatomy of a Suicide | Sugary Rum Productions, Chopt Logic & Seymour Centre

Image by Phil Erbacher

This review comes from Night Writes guest reviewer Gabriella Florek

Even before the show began, one of the immediately striking things about this production of Anatomy of a Suicide was the set. The space comprised what looks like a single room with three doors, each one featuring a large window built into it. Hanging behind and above the doors, identical lights, and lastly, also behind the doors, an assortment of household objects, a table, a bathtub, chairs. We had the feeling of being in someone’s intimate space or, at least, the potential for someone’s intimate space. But, at the same time, there was something clinical about it. It was too clean, too bright, too light-filled. It was almost as if by virtue of being here to witness the story, the audience had transgressed something private. The house had been polished clean, hiding evidence of whatever dark horrors had occurred or that might be about to unfold.

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Looking for Alibrandi | Belvoir

Image by Daniel Boud

This review comes from Night Writes guest reviewer Gabriella Florek

Perhaps the big challenge for any adaptation is making the decision of how it will relate to the original text. Regardless of what is kept, culled, or changed, there is often still a feeling of responsibility to keep some essence of what the writer of the story intended or, if not, to directly challenge and subvert it. Then of course, there is the argument that a new interpretation should be judged as a stand alone work and shouldn’t be critiqued in relation to whatever came before it. No matter which path is taken, the audience is always going to bring with them their own expectations as to what the text means to them, what they would like to see, and what they think it should mean.

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ScatterGun After the Death of Rūaumoko | Sydney Fringe Festival

What does it mean to mourn, to grieve, to continue living after death? Where does one spirit fit into the expansive universe of spirits, gods, and natural forces that stretch out into eternity? In a combination of poetry, theatre, movement, and music, solo performer Ana Chaya Scotney takes the audience on a journey through space, time, and dimension.

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