sat 18/05/2024

Australia

The Great Escape Festival 2023, Brighton review - a long, hot, messy Day Three

“stay with the beer. beer is continuous blood. a continuous lover.” So said Charles Bukowski in his poem “how to be a great writer”. Who am I to argue. It’s a bright day and 11.50 AM. The sun isn’t past the yard-arm but the beer is cold and good....

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Hannah Gadsby, Netflix special review - shaggy dog story of marital bliss

Hannah Gadsby had a memorable lockdown; it was when the Tasmanian comic got together with producer Jenney Shamash. And it's their courtship that forms the basis for Something Special, the wonderful new show by Gadsby which is now a Netflix special,...

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Ten Pound Poms, BBC One review - a new life in the Great Southern Land

The Ten Pound Pom programme (or to use its official title, the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme) was devised to encourage British emigrants to Australia after World War Two. The idea was that the volunteers could escape from drab, rationing-...

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Gravity & Other Myths: Out of Chaos, Brighton Festival 2023 review - eye-boggling acrobatics

With acrobatics at this level, they make it all look so easy, it’s possible for an audience to become complacent. By the time the show Out of Chaos, by the troupe Gravity & Other Myths, from Adelaide, Australia, has finished, the Brighton Dome...

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Colin from Accounts, BBC Two review - winning mix of great performances, nuanced writing and a cute dog

As Australia's greatest comedic export exits the stage, strewing gladioli, a promising contender for that title makes an entrance, trailing a dog on wheels. The dog is the titular Colin from Accounts, for the few who still haven’t tried this...

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Black Superhero, Royal Court review - ambitious, but messy

The act of idol worship is, at one and the same time, both distantly ancient and compellingly contemporary. Whether it is Superman, Wonder Woman or Black Panther, our love of the superhero is both an aspiration and an abnegation. Looking at a star,...

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Robert Forster, Lafayette review - élan, spontaneity and thoughtfulness from the former Go-Between

“Learn to Burn” generates the loudest and most sustained applause. As it was originally the opening track of Robert Forster’s 2015 album Songs to Play, the response is unexpected. It’s preceded by a version of his old band The Go-Betweens’ “Spring...

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Album: Robert Forster - The Candle and the Flame

Reflections on how the past relates to now suffuse The Candle and the Flame. The album’s closing track is “When I Was a Young Man.” When he was 21, sings Robert Forster, “I wrote songs, I was unsung, unheralded and undone”. His figurative brothers...

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Courtney Barnett, Brighton Dome review - canny, poetic singer shows she can rock out with the best

There’s a disconnect between Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett on record and in concert. On record, especially on her latest album, her dryly-stated, touching emotional lyricism is to the fore, but in the live arena you’re as likely to...

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Album: Laura Jean - Amateurs

Much of Amateurs is observational. “Folk Festival” ponders appearing at said event: is the place on the bill right; would fitting in be easier if the lyric’s subject were a different age? During “Market on the Sand”, it’s wondered while browsing...

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Blu-ray: Nitram

Nitram is an object lesson in how to make a responsible film about a mass shooting, right down to not using the fame-seeking perpetrator’s real name as the title but the mocking ananym given to him by bullies at school.Scriptwriter Shaun Grant...

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Bronwyn Adcock: Currowan review - a fire foretold, a warning delivered

In 2019 Australia endured the hottest, driest year since records began and their bushfire season escalated with unprecedented intensity. The fires and pyro-connective storms that swept the country claimed 33 lives (and a further 400 from smoke...

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