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No Time to Die: James Bond, Daniel Craig and the End of an Era

This review contains spoilers for No Time to Die   You only live twice Once when you were born And once when you look death in the face -         Ian Fleming   Daniel Craig has been the incumbent James Bond longer than any other actor (though Sean Connery did return after his original run in a non-official Bond film, Never Say Never Again ). Craig has been James Bond for fifteen years, since Casino Royale in 2006. He’s been 007 longer than Ian Fleming wrote James Bond books, which was thirteen years between 1953 and 1966. Connery and Roger Moore may have made two more films than Craig, but neither of their runs were as consistently good as the latest actor in the role. From Russia with Love and Diamonds Are Forever have completely different tones. Live and Let Die and A View to a Kill feel like entirely different genres. With the release of No Time to Die (NTTD), Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond has come to an end. And his final film is full of subtle references to the movies an

REVIEW: Cactus by Madelaine Nunn

It’s 120 days (not counting weekends) until Abbie leaves high school, but she’s got a lot to tackle and endure in those final months. Luckily, she has her best friend, PB, by her side. Abbie’s period surprises her one day at school and she has to improvise, because she doesn’t have any tampons with her. PB hands her a roll of toilet paper under the stall and it feels like the pair of them are always there for each other in similar ways. PB seems to be more outgoing, forward thinking, forward trying, but that might be because Abbie is held back by the torture of endometriosis. High school and puberty are hard enough without feeling like there’s a cactus scraping at your insides. So, on top of the usual school dramas like exams and boys and emotions and sex and clothes and the school formal and self-defence classes, Abbie is facing the likelihood she’ll never have children. Something she has always dreamed and assumed would happen for her. Madeleine Nunn’s script is insightful, and

REVIEW: Poona by Roshelle Fong & Keziah Warner

Poona Li Hung is a cyborg of Chinese and Indian descent. She is a lesbian and in 2050, she is running on a platform of compassion and empathy to become the first robot President of the country of So-Called Australia. It’s four weeks before the election and her campaign team are all in the one room, ready to brainstorm speeches, debate clothing choices and decide how to handle the onslaught of robophobic attacks from the United Human Party. Poona , the play, is the brainchild of co-creators Roshelle Fong (also Producer) and Keziah Warner (also Assistant Director). But the inspiration for the show comes from an unlikely source – Pauline Hanson’s 1997 book called The Truth . The book, where Hanson pontificates on the problems she sees with Aboriginal people, unchecked immigration, and gun control, also predicts the rise of Poona, a figure that must have terrified Hanson – foreign, queer and non-human. The audience are all members of Poona’s campaign team and we’re all asked how involv

REVIEW: The Gospel According to Paul by Jonathan Biggins

Early on in Jonathan Biggins’ one-man ode to Australia’s best-dressed, collector-of-antique-clocks Prime Minister, the character of Paul Keating says that there has never been a great Australian PM. None on the scale of Churchill or Washington or Jefferson. And I wondered if the premise of the show was to submit Keating for consideration. Paul John Keating was the 24 th Prime Minister of Australia, elected to office in 1993, after ousting his predecessor, Bob Hawke, in 1991. He was a career politician from the age of 25, after managing a rock band called The Ramrods in the late 1960s. He was only Prime Minister for one full term and a bit, nothing like Hawke (in The Lodge for nearly 9 years) nor his successor, John Howard, who held the country hostage for nearly 11 . Keating was a member of the Labor Right; socially progressive but fiscally conservative. He’s famous for saying “the recession we had to have” during the economic slowdown of 1990, responding to the High Court’s Nativ

REVIEW: This Genuine Moment by Jacob Parker - Midsumma

Christmas Eve. A bedroom. Two strangers, their limbs entangled; the doona cover and pillows hiding their identities just a little while longer. Riley wakes first to chimes from his mobile phone; an alarm or an early morning text message. He carefully manoeuvres himself away from last night’s hook-up and drags himself out of bed. His family are coming over for dinner and he’s got to clean up his new apartment before they arrive. But first thing is first, he’s got to get rid of “L” – the man he slept with last night, whose name escapes him right now in his early-morning, hangover fog. L doesn’t seem in a hurry to leave, though. He’s checking his messages; friends are texting photos of their Christmas Eve barbeque, trying to talk him into coming over. He’s not sure he wants to. He’s also sending messages to someone in his phone known only as FUTRE HUSBND and ignoring texts from his dad. Riley, in a haze, is trying to put the pieces together from the night before. He got wasted at

REVIEW: Lou Wall – That One Time I Joined the Illuminati, Melbourne International Comedy Festival

2020 was a weird year for everyone and Lou was not coping. They spent some time in hospital and they joined the Illuminati. I mean, with all the downtime they had, what else were they expected to do? Write King Lear or something? In amongst the global pandemic, people seemed to be attracted to conspiracy theories more than ever before. In a time when QAnon threatened to affect the results of the US Presidential Election, Lou seeking out the truth of the modern-day Illuminati seems almost rational. I mean, they have – allegedly – been around for hundreds of years, there must be something to it right? Joining Lou on their journey, mostly delivered in song, is a wild ride. From diving into dozens of Facebook groups and Reddit forums, to a five-month-long conversation with Deborah, who welcomed her to the light of knowledge, you can’t help but see why people are attracted to enlightenment. I mean, it would make sense if Queen Elizabeth was a lizard person, right? Lou’s stage presence

REVIEW: Because the Night – Malthouse Theatre

Belinda McClory as Gertrude in Because the Night When Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith wrote the song “Because the Night” in 1977, I doubt they were thinking about Hamlet and Ophelia – the song about desire and lust does not really describe the fractured couple of Shakespeare’s play. Springsteen was writing the song for himself to sing, but struggled with it until his sound engineer, Jimmy Iovine, who was working with Smith at the time, introduced the pair. Together they created Patti Smith’s first and, arguably, greatest hit. Theatre, as with song writing, is hugely collaborative, even if we often elevate singer-songwriters and playwrights above the rest of the creative collective. Immersive theatre turns up the viscerality in all areas of the experience of watching a performance. You’re closer to the actors, the sets, the lights and the sound. You’re within a world where you can appreciate details you would never see on stage: drawings, notes, letters, photographs, the feel of dirt

REVIEW: BURN THIS by Lanford Wilson

  Mark Diaco as Pale in Burn This After attending the funeral of her roommate Robbie, and his partner Dom, killed in a freak boating accident, Anna and her other roommate, Larry, must deal with the heartbreak of their sudden loss. Soon joining them is Anna’s long-time boyfriend, Burton, and later – in the middle of the night – Robbie’s brother, Pale. Together, they dance around their feelings, trying to deal with their grief – alternating between opening up to each other and shutting down. Lanford Wilson’s play was first performed off-Broadway in 1987 and while the text gives the actors a lot to play with, this new production at 45 Downstairs made me wonder, “Why now?” The question is a double-edged sword; some plays are just so good, that reviving them can be relevant any time. Some plays, even if they are dated, can feel like interesting time capsules – an insight into a time gone by, a world that no longer exists. “Why now” can be a question for creatives, to dig into why it’s a

Returning to COME FROM AWAY

  “You are here At the start of a moment On the edge of the world…” I first saw Come from Away on stage eighteen months ago , though I had listened to the cast recording before that and had seen a staged development reading, streamed online many years ago. Back before streaming theatre and readings was a regular occurrence. A lot has changed in the last year and a half. When I first saw the show, it was moving and uplifting piece of history – based on the real lives of people in Gander, Newfoundland on September 11 th , 2001. It sparked memories of that day, for good and bad, and reminded me of the human-interest stories from the time – from Gander itself, but also of communities all over working together to deal with the traumatic fallout from the day. Returning to the show, as well as to large-scale musical-theatre for the first time since the pandemic closed theatres across the world in March 2020, the show felt much more present, more real and was a far more emotional ex

REVIEW: And Then She Became A Chair by Michelle Myers

  Michelle Myers in And Then She Became A Chair A woman emerges from the darkness, head covered, moving slowly, weighted bags are attached to her dress and drag along the ground behind her. She is in a waiting room. A doctor’s office. A hospice. Inside a commercial begging her to start a new life in Queensland. This is purgatory. Michelle Myer’s one-woman performance, And Then She Became A Chair , is an unsettling, confronting and poetic study in grief. We watch as a woman deals with the inevitable death of her mother, remembering absurd moments of her life, of their lives, in the years, weeks and days leading up to… C.S. Lewis wrote in A Grief Observed , a reflection on the passing of his wife, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” And it’s this observation that Michelle explores in this work – grief being the fear of loss, the fear of the unknown and the fear of what comes next. It’s interesting that the first work of theatre I have seen this year is focused so mu