Smells like teen spirit: the Powerhouse takes us on a grungy trip back to the ’90s
In late 1991 and early 1992 in Perth, Western Australia, you couldn’t walk into a pub, club, bar, or record shop without coming across a photocopied petition that demanded Nirvana, who would play their first Australian gig at Sydney’s Phoenician Club on January 24, 1992, add the city to their inaugural (and, as it turned out, only) Australian tour. The Perth show had been cancelled due to Kurt Cobain’s ill-health, and the sandgropers were incensed. I know – I was one of them. Pages from that petition are now on display in the Powerhouse Museum as part of the new exhibition, Unpopular, which charts the exploits of music promoter Steve “Pav” Pavlovic. The names have been carefully covered to anonymise the angry Westies, which is a shame; if my name isn’t on there, the names of people I know certainly are. It’s not the biggest ticket item on display – that’d be the 1959 Martin D-18E guitar Cobain played on MTV Unplugged, on loan from Rode Microphones founder Peter Freedman – but it’s personal, tactile, and evidence of the hands-on, grassroots approach that Pav took when he has bringing over the likes of Mudhoney, Hole, and Fugazi back in the day. “I was doing things that I love,” Pav explains of his fan-first philosophy. “And at that point in time I loved those bands and it was exciting to me and I had the opportunity to do it, so I did it.” Photograph: Powerhouse/Zan Wimberley Pav was only 25 years old when he toured Nirvana, and by sheer luck the Australian tour coincided with
Sydney Theatre Company returns to full strength for the 2023 Season
If the upcoming 2023 STC slate seems overwhelming, perhaps it’s because of this: this is the first full season announcement since the beginning of the pandemic. Until now, the vagaries of the Covid crisis had made forward planning a challenging prospect at best, but now STC can unveil a spectacular selection of works: 16 productions encompassing six world premieres and four new commissions. Theatremakers and writers of the caliber of Wesley Enoch, Andrew Upton, Anchuli Felicia King, Aleshea Harris, and Ella Hickson all have upcoming productions under the STC banner, attracting spectacular casts that include Sigrid Thornton, Don Hany, Zahra Newman, John Bell, Justine Clarke and – returning to the stage following a 25-year absence – Claudia Karvan. It’s going to be a bumper year for theatre fans. It's an eclectic selection, with bold new works standing shoulder to shoulder with revered classics, and yet there are themes to be discerned. Speaking to us on the eve of the program launch, STC artistic director Kip Williams explains that while his choices in 2021 reflected themes of community in response to the lockdowns and the Covid crisis, this year a different theme has emerged. “In this particular season I've been looking at creating a collection of plays that allow an audience to enter into a different world,” he tells us. “For a society that has largely been held in a contained space for a long time, we want to be transported. We want to go outside of ourselves. We don't wa
Bell Shakespeare marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s First Folio with a fantastic 2023 season
William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about productions being interrupted by outbreaks of pandemic proportions, and so too does Bell Shakespeare. But after a couple of fraught years thanks to Covid, a triumphant 2022 season marked a return to form – headlined by a new pop-musical spin on A Midsummer Night's Dream. And 2023 promises an even more impressive slate of productions – along with an important anniversary. “Next year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio,” Bell Shakespeare’s artistic director Peter Evans explains. “Without which we wouldn’t have some of Shakespeare’s most-loved plays, including Macbeth and Twelfth Night. It felt like the right time to restage these blockbuster works.” In addition to the aforementioned works, Bell will be mounting a minimalist, stripped back production of Romeo and Juliet designed to showcase the company’s new home base, The Neilson Nutshell at Pier 2/3 in the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, and starring Rose Riley and Jacob Warner, who featured as Ophelia and Horatio, respectively, in this year’s Hamlet. Read on for full details. Bell Shakespeare: 2023 Season Supplied/Bell Shakespeare | Hazem Shammas for Macbeth Macbeth Sydney Mar 1 – Apr 2 Canberra Apr 15 – Apr 22 Melbourne Apr 28 – May 14 Directed by Peter Evans, this production of one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies sees Hazem Shammas (The Twelve, Safe Harbour) as Macbeth, the valorous Scottish general whose ambition will be his undoing, and Jessica Tovey (The Miser,
After the epic cine-theatre feat of Dorian Gray, Kip Williams takes on Jekyll and Hyde
Having astounded audiences and critics alike with his bold take on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Sydney Theatre Company’s artistic director Kip Williams and the creative team behind Dorian, including leading video technology and production company TDC, return to the realm of Victorian supernatural literature with his latest directorial offering, Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Whereas Dorian Gray was a one-performer affair, with actor Eryn Jean Norvill playing 26 different characters and interacting with video recordings of herself in various guises in real time, Jekyll and Hyde splits two actors across three roles between them: Ewen Leslie, reuniting with Williams after their impressive recent staging of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and Matthew Backer, who appeared in Williams’ Cloud Nine. Between them, the pair play the saintly Jekyll; the sinister Hyde; and Utterson, Jekyll’s friend and confidante, and the point of view character in Robert Louis Stevenson’s source novella (exactly who plays who is left for audiences to discover). Williams will again employ the innovative cine-theatre live video techniques that have become synonymous with his work, and which made Dorian Gray into a nationally (and soon to be internationally) touring hit (next stop: Broadway). Many theatregoers are wondering, how is he going to top it? Photograph: STC/Daniel Boud “I've always been fascinated by the novella,” Williams explains. “And I was struck by how different the no
12 awesome podcasts to listen to right now
Everyone has a long list of podcasts they’ve been meaning to get around to, but haven’t quite found the time as yet. Well, with Sydney’s lockdown looking to last considerably longer than anyone expected, there has never been a better time to dig into that audio To Do pile. Even better, podcasts are compatible with other lockdown activities, like upping your wine subscription frequency, vaguely working out to compensate, alphabetising your regrets, and staring into the middle distance. So, the next time you’re doing any (or all) of those, slip one of these gems on in the background and forget about it. Unravel True Crime: Juanita Featuring investigative work from some of our finest journalists, all five seasons of the ABC’s Unravel podcast are well worth a spin. Each digs deep into a different unsolved Australian crime. The latest is a must for Sydneysiders, as it deals with the disappearance of journalist and activist Juanita Nielsen in 1975. A vocal proponent of tenants’ rights and heritage preservation, Nielsen vanished in the middle of a high-profile stoush with organised crime figures over real estate development in King’s Cross. This series picks at the underbelly of the city's crime, corruption, politics and bloody murder – just the thing to make you glad you can’t go outside. TJ This American Life If you’ve got a short attention span but still love a good story, look no further. Hosted by beloved American broadcaster Ira Glass, the podcast tackles a different theme e
The best true crime programs you can stream right now
It’s a bit of a grim time in Sydney with the city in lockdown and its cultural life flatlined. But things can always be worse: you could fall prey to a serial killer, or get sucked into a bizarre cult, or any number of grim fates that are the province of the true crime genre. It’s all bit nasty, but we can’t pretend we’re not fascinated by the macabre and malevolent things that real people do to other real people. The ratings don’t lie, after all: true crime is a booming business. Perhaps it’s comforting to know that, no matter how bad your iso situation, things could be demonstrably worse. Perhaps it’s simply that we’re all a lot more morbid than we like to let on. Here, then, are some truly frightful and fascinating true crime series for you to sink your teeth into.
11 awesome comics and graphic novels you can read online
In 2019, comic juggernaut Marvel ruled the world, raking in US$2.8 billion globally with their big-screen offering Avengers: Endgame. Capping two decades worth of storytelling in the MCU, it became one of the most-watched movies in history. Flash forward a year and global lockdowns managed what Thanos could not, by taking out the heroes we know and love. Scarlett Johansson's swansong Black Widow was pulled from release schedules as cinemas shut worldwide. Skip to now, and on the eve of it finally bowing in Australian cinemas, Sydney and other cities find thesmelves shuttered once more. But don’t despair. If you’re itching for some super-powered action, you can always go straight to the source. These 11 awesome comics are all available on Comixology, but make sure to check if your friendly neighbourhood comic shop is delivering – they’ll appreciate the business in these uncertain times. And yes, that was a Spiderman reference. RECOMMENDED: The 100 best horror movies you can stream right now.
Art Month Sydney
Art Month in Sydney is about much more than exhibitions – although there are certainly a lot of them. The program extends to talks, tours, open studios, performances, workshops and classes too. Artistic director Emma O’Neill has curated a fantastic array of events across the city for the annual festival, which was started by gallerists and heavyweight art dealers Vasili Kaliman and Michael Reid in 2010 in response to the growing public interest in art. Below are some of our highlights, including events that expand the footprint well into April, if you're the sort of person that swings into cool gigs fashionably late. Art Month Sydney runs through March and into April. See also, our hit list of best art to see this month.
Katie Noonan talks bringing women’s voices to the Don Walker songbook
Drawing on songs from the length and breadth of Don Walker’s storied career, superstar Katie Noonan is set to rock the Headland stage at Barangaroo Reserve this Sydney Festival with a few of her favourite friends. Fans will hear refrains from his formative years with hard rockers Cold Chisel, through his country-rock work as one third of Tex, Don, and Charlie, and from his solo outings. Combining the words of one of our greatest songwriters with the voices of Noonan and co, Songs of Don promises to be one of the highlights of the 2021 festival. The initial seed from which this flame tree has sprung was planted several years ago when Noonan was Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival. Ruminating on the kind of musicians coming out of Queensland, she was surprised to discover that Walker hailed from Ayr, a little under a hundred kilometres south of Townsville. “I’ve always thought of Cold Chisel as an Adelaide band,” she explains. “But in fact one of their primary songwriters and the writer of some of their biggest hits is a Queenslander. So that was something that I was interested in exploring.” Noonan was, and remains, an unabashed fan of Walker’s musical craft and song-writing chops. Cold Chisel were well-established by the time she was born in 1977 and so, as she puts it, Walker’s rough-hewn pub rock poetry was, “In my musical DNA since I was a baby. I have admired his incredible capacity to write really interesting songs that are musically engaging but then also
Kenny's creative team talk translating the mockumentary to the stage
Nobody expected Kenny to take the world by storm. And yet the Shane Jacobson-led mockumentary went on to become one of the most beloved Australian films of all time. It tells the tale of a put-upon plumber trying to win the respect of his father, the esteem of his peers, and perhaps even a little love for himself, all the while trying to be the best purveyor of portaloos he can be. Co-written and directed by Jacobson’s brother, Clayton, Kenny struck a chord with movie audiences and critics alike, and the amiable, unassuming prince of plungers earned a place in the Australian cultural firmament. Now, almost 15 years on from this first flush of success, the story is headed to a new medium: theatre. It’s been re-imagined as a one-man play starring Ben Wood (Top of the Lake: China Girl), which will debut at Ensemble Theatre this Sydney Festival 2021, running from January 15 to February 27. Funnily enough, it was Wood’s close resemblance to original Kenny that first spurred the project. The actor regaled director Mark Kilmurry with an amusing recollection of the time a prominent theatre director chatted to him at the Helpmann Awards before realising that the man before her was not, in fact, Shane Jacobson. “It’s always been a running gag that I certainly get mistaken for him a fair bit,” Wood laughs. “And I’ve spoken to friends of his about it as well, and he seems to get inversely mistaken. So they’ll see me on an ad or something and they’ll think it’s him.” Kilmurry, artistic di
Listings and reviews (36)
Bell Shakespeare brings us a minimalist, sly, and refreshingly funny take on the Scottish play with their latest production, which sees Hazem Shammas (The Twelve, Safe Harbour) as Macbeth and Jessica Tovey (The Miser, The Merchant of Venice) as Lady Macbeth, killing and scheming their way to the top of the feudal heap in a medieval Scotland that looks a lot like Great Britain in the aftermath of World War I. Soldiers wear greatcoats instead of armour, and sport rifles rather than swords. Nobles and courtiers swan about in sharp-cut dinner jackets, while Tovey’s Lady Macbeth greets us in a stunning ivory dress that director (and Bell artistic director) Peter Evans and designer Anna Tregloan somehow resist smearing with blood as the murderous action of the play unfolds. Modern productions of Shakespeare sometimes feel like a game of Mad Libs as theatre makers strive for a fresh take on the Bard’s well-worn works – “It’s Othello set in a diner in the 1950s!” – but a careful selection of setting and aesthetic can contextualise the narrative wonderfully. Here, the post-war setting is a nice touch, reminding us of both the strife that precedes the story being told as well as the greater tragedies to come – Macbeth’s downfall looms in the future like World War II did after the Treaty of Versailles. Hazem Shammas' brilliant turn as Macbeth is underpinned by a rueful gallows humour But in an interesting take on the material, Evans and his team choose to emphasise the supernatural el
Amadeus, Sydney Opera House
You could be forgiven for thinking that this latest production of Amadeus had reworked Peter Shaffer’s 1979 Tony Award-winning play into a one-man show, so thoroughly does acclaimed Welsh actor Michael Sheen dominate the marketing material. And you’d only be half-wrong. At times there are around 40 people on stage together, but Sheen’s turn as the preening, pompous, guilt-wracked, self-aggrandising Antonio Salieri is so captivating you find yourself having to drag your attention away from him even when he’s simply sitting quietly in a chair on stage while the action of the scene plays out away from him. When we first meet Salieri the once-revered composer is a withered old man, dressed in a wig and a red robe reminiscent of Gary Oldman’s first appearance in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And much like that film, Amadeus tells the tale of a devout man who declares a war on God. In Salieri’s case, it is unquenchable professional jealousy that drives his mutiny against heaven; on meeting the prodigiously talented Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Rahel Romahn, recently seen on screen in Here Out West and excellent here) at a salon in music-obsessed 18th century Vienna, he simply cannot reconcile the man’s unarguable compositional genius with his boorish, scandalous behaviour. Aghast at the injustice that God would grant such talent to such a man, he resolves to destroy Mozart – to strike back at God, he tells us, not for any mere personal grudge. If you say so, Salieri. ...this is 18th century
Now marking its ninth edition since its 2014 inauguration, New Breed is a vital showcase for emerging choreographers in both Sydney and the wider arts scene, allowing new talent the opportunity to work at the highest level and draw on experience and resources often difficult for fresh practitioners to access. Presented by Sydney Dance Company and Carriageworks, in conjunction with principal partner the Balnaves Foundation, New Breed 2022 presents four debut works from four exciting up and coming choreographers: Jenni Large (Hobart), Charmene Yap (Sydney), Sophia Ndaba (New South Wales Central Coast) and Luke Hayward (Sydney). Each new dance will be performed by the Sydney Dance Company, with the four emerging practitioners having worked with the troupe since September to craft their pieces. Sydney Dance Company artistic director Rafael Bonachela says: “Australia is blessed with an extremely rich talent base of dynamic young dance creators. Yet in order for them to grow in their careers and reach their full potential, they need the opportunity to practice – the chance to take their ideas and put them on the stage in front of an audience. New Breed is about giving the next generation of talented young artists the best possible opportunity to experiment and create.” New Breed 2022 runs at Carriageworks from November 30 to December 17. For more information and tickets, go here.
At first glance, The Tempest, Sydney Theatre Company’s final production of the 2022 season, seems like a breather for director Kip Williams. Especially after the formal daring of this year’s Julius Caesar and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, both of which employed his high tech cine-theatre technique, which blurs the lines between theatre and cinema. By contrast, The Tempest’s staging is deceptively simple, set designer Jacob Nash centring the action around a large rocky outcropping on a rotating stage, while Nick Schlieper’s stormy lighting fills in the rest of the scenery. But it's in the writing that we see some audacious alterations; Williams and dramaturg Shari Sebbens have not only boiled Shakespeare’s original text down to two hours with no scene breaks, they’ve made some dramatic changes to the play’s themes. The character of Caliban (Guy Simon) and his relationship with the sorcerer Prospero (legendary Australian actor Richard Roxburgh) is reframed in light of our modern understanding of colonialism. ...a revered classic invested with fresh meaning by a company at the very top of their game The broad strokes remain the same, though. After a storm wrecks the ship carrying Alonso (Mandy McElhinney), the King of Naples, Antonio (Jason Chong), the Duke of Milan, and their party on the remote island inhabited by the wizard Prospero and his daughter, Miranda (Claude Scott-Mitchell), the stage is set for several plotlines. Among the threads, romance buds between Mira
Australian Geographic: Our Country Immersive Experience
Go bush without leaving Sydney in the global premiere of this multi-sensory experience. Our Country comprises footage from around Australia, captured by 25 leading cinematographers, combined with a unique 360 degree soundscape, to take audiences on a singular journey across the length and breadth of Australia. It is created by acclaimed filmmaker Karina Holden of Northern Pictures in collaboration with over 25 cinematographers and Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, sound designers and performers. The immersive experience is mapped onto over 40 impressive screens measuring up to six metres tall, and utilising large screen 4K technology, motion controlled timelapse cameras and UHD aerial drones. It promises to be an astounding spectacle, encompassing every biome and phenome found on the Australian continent: rainforests, oceans and deserts, storms, lightning, fire and ice and more, all captured with the absolute finest video technology available. “Australian Geographic has a long tradition of showcasing the very best of Australia’s natural environment, wildlife, people and places through stunning photography and storytelling,” notes Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison. “Our Country will display Australia’s incredible diversity and help to drive widespread visitation by highlighting all we have to offer on a global stage.” Presented in partnership with Tourism Australia and Destination NSW, together with TEG Live, the international touring event will laun
One Hour No Oil
Following on from the rousing reception of Ate Lovia and The Marriage Agency, theatre collective kwento caps off a stellar 2022 season with One Hour No Oil, a new play from director Kenneth Moraleda, who co-writes with Jordan Shea. It’s 2012 and Bhing (John Gomez Goodway, The Peasant Prince) has been working as a massage therapist in Perth, having immigrated from the Philippines four years ago. He dreams of regaining his teaching credentials and moving out of the service industry. A new client, Scott (NIDA graduate Shaw Cameron, Trainspotting) is a FIFO coal miner caught up in a world of oppressive toxic masculinity and battling for a sense of himself. Over a number of massage appointments, the pair alternatively butt heads and find common ground, contrasting their wildly different value systems and approaches to masculine friendship and emotional intimacy. Along the way this intimate show takes in themes of racism, mental health, patriarchy, and conditioned hatred, ultimately delivering a two-hander of uncommon power, perception and nuance. One Hour No Oil runs at the Kings Cross Theatre (KXT) from October 26 to November 5, 2022. Find out more here.
Ensemble Apex Performing Verdi’s Requiem
Founded by Sam Weller and hailed as “one of the most exciting new ensembles on the Sydney scene”, orchestral musical collective Ensemble Apex will perform a modern reading of Verdi’s Requiem with members from Sydney Philharmonia Choir’s VOX and guest principal vocalists, Mariana Hong (soprano), Anna Dowsley (mezzo soprano), Nick Jones (tenor) and David Greco (bass). This rare and exclusive event will take place in Dangrove, Judith Neilson’s famed art storage facility, and represents the very first opening of the venue’s Great Hall to the public. This is an exciting development after Neilson recently launched cutting-edge live performance venue Phoenix Central Park. Just like concerts at the Phoenix, tickets to these Dangrove shows can only be claimed through a free ballot. First performed in Milan in 1874 to mark the death of prolific Italian writer Manzoni, Italian operatic composer Giuseppi Verdi’s epic, liturgical work was brought to life by 1000 singers and 400 instrumentalists, combining operatic bravura with symphonic prowess, going on to become recognised as one of the most influential pieces in the Western musical canon. Furthermore, on top of a fantastic evening of Verdi, audiences will also get a rare look inside the award-winning Dangrove building, a working art storage facility that houses Judith Neilson’s world-renowned art collection. Curated by Phoenix Central Park creative director and executive producer Beau Neilson, the concerts will take place in the 10,0
Review: Let the Right One In
Tone is a tricky element to handle in any creative endeavour. It’s impossible to define in a quantitative sense, but you know if you’ve hit the mark or not. With the Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s production of Let the Right One In, it’s safe to say that if the audience is frequently fizzing with laughter at what is ostensibly a bleak and transgressive horror story about the relationship between a 12-year-old boy and a centuries-old vampire in the body of a child, the aim is off by a considerable margin. It’s not down to one factor, but a combination of things. At least we can’t blame the pedigree. Adapted by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) from the novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, which has also spawned two movies and a new television series, Let the Right One In is directed by Alexander Berlage, who mounted American Psycho at the Sydney Opera House last year. It boasts impressive central performances from Heartbreak High’s Will McDonald as the bullied Oskar and especially Sebrina Thornton-Walker (Three Winters Green for Lambert House Enterprises and Les Solomon) as Eli, the vampire who befriends and/or seduces him, depending on your reading of the material. Thornton-Walker is fantastic as Eli, her physicality and demeanour managing to evoke an unsettling mix of child-like innocence, playful seductiveness, loneliness and danger. There are striking, stark moments of horror that see her streaked in blood or gliding ethereally through a fog bank.
The Wharf Revue: Looking for Albanese
Our latest prime minister, Anthony Albanese, gets a turn in the hot seat thanks to the affable satirists of the Wharf Revue and their latest show, Looking for Albanese. Between their season in Canberra and their upcoming national tour, Jonathan Biggins, Mandy Bishop, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott will set down at the Seymour Centre for a merciless but mirthful take at everything that has occurred under the Albanese government since the last federal election, including (but not limited to) “inflation, rising interest rates, conflict in Ukraine, climate disaster, culture wars, Covid-19-20-21-22-23, and a looming World War III”. “Whether he’s Albo Baggins tackling the Mountain of Debt, down a rabbit hole in Wonderland or fighting a terf war in Inner West Side Story, Australia’s favourite new PM is ably supported by Tanya, Chris, Tony, Jim and Katy,” said the Wharf Revue team. “Not so much by Jacqui, Allegra and Pauline on the very cross benches. And let’s not mention King Charles, Vladimir, Boris and Joe – oh bugger, we just did.” The Wharf Revue crew have been sticking the boot into richly deserving targets since the turn of the millennium, delivering up-to-the-minute, ripped-from-the-headlines satire, song, dance and strangeness to eager audiences around the country. With our new PM in the crosshairs, this will be one you don’t want to miss. The Wharf Revue: Looking for Albanese plays at the Seymour Centre, Chippendale, from Nov 12 to Dec 11. Get your tickets here.
Billed as “an ethnic romp from Leichardt to Liverpool”, The Italians is a new full-blooded Italo-Australian comedy from playwright Danny Ball (Cleansed) and director Riley Spadaro (Unruly Tourists). The Italians follows the adventures of millennial Italian-Australian Joe, who has worked hard to claw his way up from his working-class immigrant-stock roots and is looking at a bright future with his wealthy soon-to-be husband when his cousin Luca arrives on his doorstep with a desperate need for a quick $40,000 and a terrible family secret that could torpedo Joe’s future. What follows is a comedic odyssey into the heart of Western Sydney and across the Italian diaspora, taking in issues of class, queer identity, ethnicity, and culture, with cameos from Madonna, Lady Gaga and Anthony Albanese. “My aim was to continue the tradition of Italian-Australian storytelling in this country by examining our contemporary experiences,” Ball says of the production. “Our languages,traditions and stories are starting to disappear through the process of assimilation. I feel a great urgency in telling our stories to a contemporary audience that redefines what it means to be Italian-Australian.” The Italians stars Will Bartolo, Philip D’Ambrosio, Deborah Galanos, Amy Hack, Jonathan Lagudi, Emma O’Sullivan, Tony Poli and Brandon Scane. Produced by Malocchio Productions and Bontom, the play is part of the Belvoir 25A program in the downstairs theatre. It plays alongside Looking for Alibrandi in Bel
The alternative music scene of the ‘90s is the focus of this new major exhibition at the Powerhouse. Unpopular draws on artifacts from the archive of renowned music promoter Stephen ‘Pav’ Pavlovic, the founder of the legendary Summersault festival tour. A key player in the music industry, Pav was responsible for the first and only Australian tour by Nirvana, and also brought the likes of the Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Beck, Foo Fighters, Pavement, Rancid, Jawbreaker, Bikini Kill and the Amps to our shores. Working with designer Alice Babidge, Pavlovic has put on display over 200 items from his personal collection, including photographs, posters, graphic art, fanzines, tour itineraries, setlists, and personal letters and postcards, along with previously unreleased video footage, music demos, and live audio recordings. In addition, artist Lillian O’Neil and filmmaker Julian Klincewicz have created major new works. Accompanying the exhibition is the film program Uncensored (Dec 2-4, 2022), featuring crucial music documentaries such as Cosmic Psychos: Blokes You Can Trust, Fugazi’s Instrument, Cobain: Montage of Heck, The Man from Mo'Wax, and Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr. There’s also Unproductive (April school holidays, 2023), a series of art workshops from Ben Brown and Paul Curtis, and Unfocused (Nov 3 + 12, 2022), a music photography masterclass with Sophie Howarth. For fans of the music and veterans of the ‘90s alike, this is a can’t-miss exhibition. The exhibition i
Sydney Underground Film Festival
The Sydney Underground Film Festival is returning for a new year with a new venue. Running from Thursday, September 8, to Sunday, September 11 (with an online program of select films running from September 9-25), the city’s most provocative slate of cinema has left its traditional home at Marrickville's Factory Theatre to set up shop at Event Cinemas George Street, right in the heart of the CBD. Since 2007, the Sydney Underground Film Festival has showcased the strangest, most provocative, and most controversial movies from around the globe: gut-wrenching horror, avant-garde arthouse, comedies ranging from the surreal to the simply gross, and documentaries that offer us a way into the weirdest corners of the world. This year is no different. After two years spent as an online-only event (thanks, Covid), festival director Katherine Berger has crafted a spectacular program to lure audiences back into the cinema. Choosing just a handful of films to highlight is a thankless task, but if you’ve got the right stuff for SUFF, try starting with these: Our top five picks from SUFF I Love My Dad The opening night film sees Patton Oswalt as Chuck, an estranged dad desperate to reconnect with his son, Franklin (writer and director James Morosini, who based the film on his own experiences). Chuck goes to the extreme length of creating a fake, female online persona to interact with his unwitting offspring, only for Franklin to start falling in love! It’s the cringiest catfishing story in
Now that live venues are closed, can digital gigs save the music scene in Sydney?
With waves of folks let go from the hospitality industry in one fell swoop, it’s hard to look past those devastating headlines. But it’s not just our cafes, bars and restaurants that have shut up shop indefinitely. The arts are smarting too, with music venues, in particular, falling silent. Festivals and gigs have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Venues and music rooms are shuttered with no concrete return date. Jobbing musos have seen their day gigs in hospitality, retail and the service industry disappear in a puff of hand sanitiser too as the lockdown kicks in. Still, musicians are a resourceful lot, and many have pivoted remarkably quickly to the notion of live-streaming gigs to a now-housebound audience. Isol-Aid, a two-day virtual festival organised by Melbourne artist Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt, was a recent example hosted on Instagram. Some 74 artists including Stella Donnelly, Angie McMahon, Didirri, and Julia Jacklin played 20-minute sets from their respective homes, tagging the next artist on the roster so fans could follow along. Isol-Aid is the biggest cyber-festival to take place since the virus outbreak, but many more of varying scales are sure to follow, with smaller sets already cropping up. On a global level, Sofa King Fest is aggregating live gig stream from around the world, with the likes of Willie Nelson, Melissa Etheridge, Cypress Hill, and more playing for homebound, and Mary’s Group curating the Australian contingent for the site. Locally, Sur