Sandra D'urso

Sandra D'urso

“The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time” Trades Deadpan For High-octane

The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, currently playing at the Arts Centre Melbourne with MTC, is a lauded adaptation of Mark Haddon’s debut novel, of the same title. Haddon’s book was published to much acclaim in 2003. Its literary innovation is in part due to the author’s dead-pan characterization of the internal monologue of 15-year-old protagonist, Christopher Boone, whom the reader is led to assume is neurologically atypical. Publicity for the novel referred to the young protagonist, Christopher, as having Asperger’s Syndrome, something that in hindsight, the author “slightly regrets.” Rather,...

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“Caravan” Delivers A Glimpse Of Women On The Edge With Sweet Comedy

Despite its forays into dark subject matter, Caravan, staged as part of the Melbourne Festival, is a rather sweet comedy. Described as a “darkly comic look at life on the margins,” it is also a curious blend of vaudeville with faint notes of magic-realism. It delivers cheery choreographed sequences set to popular music, rapid-fire comic delivery while touching on the social realities of gender and class disparity. The play is staged in a retro caravan, parked in the forecourt of the Malthouse Theatre. The audience looks out onto a distinctly Melbourne skyscape, adorned in the distance by the Arts...

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Patricia Cornelius’ “Big Heart” Exposes Hypocrisy In Tale Of Multicultural Adoption

Playwright Patricia Cornelius is known for populating the stage with complex, working-class, characters and artfully bringing to life an often-maligned Australian vernacular. She is also one of Australia’s foremost feminist playwrights, turning her critical gaze to the intersecting problems of racism, xenophobia, class, and sexism. Big Heart, currently being staged at Theatre Works in Melbourne, raises a mirror to Australia’s false sense of generosity toward others. Cornelius notes in the program, “it’s all looking a bit dodgy this generosity of ours.” The title of the play reveals an attitude of wryness. Indeed, how can we claim collective generosity in...

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‘Who Knew the World Could be so Awful’: Alice Birch’s Apocalyptic Feminist Theatre

Alice Birch’s production, Revolt. She said. Revolt again., currently on at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, has been staged before as part of the 2014 Midsummer Mischief festival at Royal Court in London. The play was a response to a famous feminist provocation, “well behaved women seldom make history”. The provocation belongs to the historian, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, who also adjudicated the plays to be included in London’s radical season. It comes as no surprise that Birch’s feminist theatre caught Ulrich’s eye. As Professor at the Department of History at Harvard University, Ulrich’s writing unearths the lost voices of ordinary people,...

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