Archive for February, 2011

Sticks and Stones | Tap Gallery


I can’t help but support those who are brave enough to put their money where their mouth is – or their heart is -and produce their own show. Read more

Turns | Christine Dunstan Productions


In an industry obsessed with youth and beauty and the next hot thing – what happens to the performer as they age? Theatre is largely about energy – the energy exchange between director and performer, then performer and audience. And it appears the stayers in the industry are those, who may not necessarily have the most “talent,” but those who have the most stamina. Read more

The Wild Duck | Belvoir

5 The Wild Duck - Anita Hegh - Ewen Leslie - Photo Heidrun Lohr-1

Belvoir. No longer with the “St Theatre” tail, tagging behind. Like Madonna or Oprah. This company needs no explanation… it’s built it’s reputation – and now the new artistic directorate (complete with a shiny brand new literary manager Anthea Williams) – is busy defining it’s new direction. There’s a fresh coat of paint in the foyer – lollipop ice-cream parlor colours to offset the new flavours, the new taste (?) of the Belvoir pick’n’mix. There’s been an overhaul. The print program look different – all but one artistic associate from the old Neil Armfield family remains in the form of a new work associate… And I am very curious to see how the old guard respond to this shift in aesthetic. Read more

Doctor Zhivago | Lyric Theatre

The cast of Doctor Zhivago 22 (c) Kurt Sneddon

“Doctor Zhivago a new musical”- and a bold, new Australian production has launched itself in the Lyric Theatre at Star City. In the tradition of grand musicals of the early-mid 1980s such as Les Miserables (1985) and Phantom of the Opera (1986), Doctor Zhivago is the classic story of the power of passion and politics, produced by Australian John Frost OAM with Anthony Warlow at the helm in the title role. In recent weeks there has been much in the media about Warlow and a torn calf muscle – and the usual punters demanding money back/replacement tickets… and it’s been pretty comprehensive. Warlow is the darling patriarch of Australia’s Musical Theatre industry and his name attached to a project immediately makes it news worthy. Interestingly, opposite him are two fairly young rising stars of the industry – Lucy Maunder and Taneel Van Zyl. The posters, banners, taxi advertisements have been everywhere – CDs have appeared as a free bonus in magazines and with Valentine’s Day roses. It’s been everywhere and just may be one of the grandest musicals to premiere this year. Read more

Minto: Live | Sydney Festival 2011

minto -5148201156_811c7954af_m

It’s well after the fact but I thought I would write a little note about MINTO: LIVE – not really as a means of review – but to raise awareness about performance which happens where you least expect it. It’s not a press-sexy topic really is it? I think the daily telegraph did a pre-show feature: But largely this style of work is often left out of critical debate, or even discussion… but then again, arts commentary in Sydney, if not Australia is relegated to a very minute slice of the print press pie (is it 350 words for the Blake’s reviews) and unless it features the glossy stars of film, TV or theatre of yore – you won’t find a huge amount of coverage or commentary on community theatre, or performance made by and for and about specific communities. Read more

The Barber of Seville | Opera Australia


Another night at the opera with James Waites… it’s a slow education. Three hours every so often, we venture into the right hand sails of the Sydney Opera House for the next lesson. Read more

In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play | Sydney Theatre Company


This is one of those tricky reviews. I know for a FACT that everyone is going to love this and see it, and laugh and LOVE it. And I don’t know why, I didn’t. I didn’t love it. And I feel very alone in my opinion. Read more

Speaking in Tongues | Griffin Theatre Company

Speaking in tongues

Every now and then it happens. Like shooting stars, but rarer. Illuminating like chain lightning. Like finding love and knowing how to declare it, and keep it. And when it happens, you have no choice but to surrender to the beauty and the cruelty, the devastation of seeing a truly great work of art and knowing that you feel differently now. You are different, now. Forever.

Going to the theatre, as much as I do, can be difficult. The wear and tear on your heart can be difficult. For us foyer-dwellers we are forever optimistic that we will have those experiences which make the treasure hunt for great art, for great theatre, worthwhile.There’s a lot of kissing frogs in play going. There’s a lot of dates that just don’t work out. But I try to find the merit, provide context and offer encouragement to all the makers of this very demanding art form in the hope that somehow, somewhere, someday it translates into one of the great plays. And Speaking in Tongues is such a play. And Sam Strong’s production is such a production. Read more

National Play Festival | PlayWriting Australia


Yesterday, amid the heat of Sydney’s summer, the Sydney wharfs were buzzing with people. Lachlan Philpott (fabulous and celebrated writer and leader of ATYP’s Fresh Ink program) addressed a throng of young actors on the eve of their opening night of Tell it Like it Isn’t… ATYP classes were being picked up by supportive parents. Sydney Dance Cafe was hosting the usual lithe bodies and one on one conversations. The water. The heat. I was setting up Playwriting Australia’s banner with the lovely General Manager Elizabeth in preparation of the launch of the 2011 Play Festival season. My phone was buzzing with texts from friends and colleagues wanting to tee-up coffee dates and industry chats… Read more

Fighting the Cliche – Optimism and art


A garret, where the artist sits. Having spent their last few dollars on red wine and ink and cigarettes and a fair-weather friend. Alone. Abandoned. Without money or friends. Misunderstood. Unloved. Dark and brooding, furrowed and introspective. Wearing a beret…

It’s a familiar image and I’m not really sure where it comes from – Van Gogh and his rejected ear? Dylan Thomas’ untimely death? Jimi Hendrix choking on his vomit? Who needs it? Sounds utterly horrible. Tortured and suffering and then dead. Who wants to be celebrated for their contribution posthumously?
Why is poverty romanticized? Is it the fact that the ideals are kept in tact at all cost – at the cost of comfort and community? The writer who can never allow himself to fall completely in love with someone who nourishes and delights him because it may soften his edge? Read more

Return top

Augusta Supple

Sydney-based theatre director, producer and writer. This site is about my long, deep, bright-eyed, ever-hopeful, sometimes difficult, always invigorating, rambunctious, rebellious, dynamic and very personal relationship with Australian Arts and Culture... I reflect on shows, talks, essays, writing, artists that inspire me to say something, and you'll find out what I'm working on, who I'm working with and what inspires me.