Arts and culture

Phantom of her own career

8 June 2024 9:00 am

Sunset Boulevard is one of the weirdest entertainment phenomena in the history of the world because it starts as a…

An imperfectly articulated plot

1 June 2024 9:00 am

It seemed, on the face of it, a bizarre idea: opera at the Margaret Court arena. And Opera Australia was…

This distorting mirror of cruelty

25 May 2024 9:00 am

Every so often a bit of streamer television comes along and makes you grateful for what the form can achieve…

In defence of Jonathan Yeo

20 May 2024 4:00 pm

If the basic job of a work of art is to be interesting, as I think it is, then Jonathan…

The once-in-a-generation genius of Alice Munro

19 May 2024 7:35 pm

In the early 2000s, a young Canadian writer who shall remain nameless found herself in the backseat of a car…

Obscured by tattiness

18 May 2024 9:00 am

A friend, with a lot more culture than your columnist, used to carry audio recordings of two works on her…

Dark and crooked byways

11 May 2024 9:00 am

Isn’t it strange that the new television, the television of the streamers which has dominated our world since Covid, has…

The best and worst of the 2024 Met Gala

9 May 2024 6:50 am

On Monday night, celebrities, designers and the highest edges of New York’s upper crust attended the biggest party of the…

Music as pasta

4 May 2024 9:00 am

It’s sad to see that Sir Andrew Davis, the former head of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, has died. The man…

Is John Cleese right that the ‘literal minded’ have killed comedy?

3 May 2024 6:16 pm

John Cleese appeared in the West End this week. ‘I’ve got vertigo,’ he said as he walked on stage at…

Taylor Swift is a rotter

27 April 2024 4:30 pm

Taylor Swift has released another album spilling the beans on her private life. ‘I’d written so much tortured poetry in…

The barbarity of this man

27 April 2024 9:00 am

It’s a spectacle a lot of people would kill to see: Hugo Weaving in a Sydney Theatre Company co-production of…

Shylock and the Nazis: the truth about Shakespeare’s most infamous character

23 April 2024 3:30 pm

None of William Shakespeare’s characters are more controversial than Shylock. The moneylender from The Merchant of Venice may be the…

The music of their eloquence

20 April 2024 9:00 am

It was a tweet by the novelist Joyce Carol Oates that warned us PBS, the American public broadcaster, had done…

Why one-man plays are all the rage

15 April 2024 11:08 pm

Well, it’s nice to feel on trend. The Today programme this morning carried an item on the popularity of one-man…

Somersaulting beauty of the songmaker

13 April 2024 9:00 am

It’s uncanny sometimes how it works. There we were last Saturday in Hamer Hall to hear what Stephen Layton from…

A lithe brilliance

6 April 2024 9:00 am

It figures that Australians should write great plays about sport because we are exceptionally – some people would say excessively…

Did he/didn’t he?

30 March 2024 9:00 am

Good witches and witches dubbed bad and born green. Wicked is one of those pieces of musical theatre that will…

What a strange thing

23 March 2024 9:00 am

It sounds irresistible, doesn’t it? A National Theatre Live version of a play by Jack Thorne (the magician who conjured…

Steve Harley was no one-hit wonder

19 March 2024 5:00 pm

Celebrity deaths range from the ‘tragically young’ (Amy Winehouse) to the ‘I thought they’d gone years ago’ (Peregrine Worsthorne) and the monumental (Michael Jackson). But there’s another…

Another popular feast

16 March 2024 9:00 am

Miriam Margolyes was not wrong – however intrepid she may have been – to remark to Her late Majesty the…

Moody shifts of tone

9 March 2024 9:00 am

It’s interesting to see a new production of The Sound of Music is on at the National Theatre (a somewhat…

Power beyond eloquence

2 March 2024 9:00 am

It was fascinating to catch up with the Grammys the other night. There was the cheering sight of Miley Cyrus…

An all-but-lost treasure

24 February 2024 9:00 am

Tennessee Williams is still looking like one of the greatest playwrights of the twentieth century and the plays he wrote…

A fey screeching parody

17 February 2024 9:00 am

Is it a necessary declension, the descent from histrionic splendour to self-parody and worse? For years now Ryan Murphy has…