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VIENNALE: Comedy and Catharsis

VIENNALE: Comedy and Catharsis

Vienna is a commodious city for a film festival. Skirting the Ring is the small ensemble of cinemas, coterminous with trams, bicycle- and footpaths, rustling through crisp seasonal mists biding one’s time between films. Just three days into the festival, there was already a lot to take in. The Viennale’s Opening Gala, on 24 October, […]

Shakespeare in the Park Midsummer and Beyond

Shakespeare in the Park Midsummer and Beyond

Baz Luhrmann gleaned the requisites for his 1993 production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, rummaging through the Australian Opera’s warehouses. Constrained by budgets, the director fashioned Regent Park replete with rotunda, centre-stage, in which he delivered the orchestra from their stygian pit. And from under the rotunda, a boys chorus paddled forth from […]

Mauthausen Memorial

Mauthausen Memorial

Sunday, 5 May 2013: Two hours out of Vienna, past palatial Melk, across a sweeping plain sprouting green shoots and golden raps, picking up the coursing Donau, veering through a biscuit-box village into leaden Erinnerungstraße past retinues of police and a rickety hunter’s lookout, the bus lurches at the shoulder of a granite-grey wall. The […]

Festwochen: Rethinking Ibsen

Festwochen: Rethinking Ibsen

Last year it was Kate Blanchett’s virtuosity in the Sydney Theatre Company’s uneven production of Botho Strauss’ Big and Small. This year’s Australian contribution to the Wiener Festwochen is Simon Stone’s, “after Ibsen” Wild Duck. His ensemble goes for the jugular. Beyond the idealism, the notions of truth, “life-lies” and aesthetics associated with the Norwegian […]

Körperwelten: Body Worlds Reaches Out

Körperwelten: Body Worlds Reaches Out

“One can tell the morals of a culture by the way they treat their dead.”  – Benjamin Franklin I first saw one of Gunther von Hagens’ Körperwelten (Body Worlds) exhibitions more than ten years ago. The figure I remember most was controversial: a cross-sectional cut of a woman bearing an almost finished pregnancy. It was […]

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