Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Space Between

Photography | Brian Rope

Jakub Beseda | The Space Between

Cox Gallery, 1/19 Eastlake Pde, Kingston | Until 29 January 2021

Jakub Beseda discovered photography during high school years. Like so many others, he experienced that magical moment in a wet darkroom -  developing and printing his first photograph.

Studying photomedia at university, focussing on capturing the built environment, led to architecture and exploring how people interact with those environments. Beseda uses photography to document how we perceive and interact with the designed spaces around us.

I have previously enjoyed some of Beseda’s imagery on Instagram. It was great to see his prints. Images printed start speaking to us, invite us to be a part of them and, at times, let us hold or touch them.

Providing background to his exhibition, Beseda quotes the famous American freelance photojournalist Steve McCurry: “Some of the great pictures happen along the journey and not necessarily at your destination”.

When people travel, or when they are journeying near home, using photography to explore particular places is a worthy approach. It allows the artist to provide viewers, themselves included, with a sense of what those places mean. A place can be a physical one, or an imaginary one evoked by experience and emotion. It can be the detail of a single location, or an extensive exploration of an entire street, city or rural property. Our images of one place might stir another’s memories of a different place - or invite others into our own memories.

Good contemporary images, such as those in this exhibition, suggest rather than describe. They allow us to use our imagination. Returning to the place where he was born, after an absence of thirty years, Beseda wanted to reconnect and explore his roots. The places have changed, the people have grown. His images invite us into his memories.

In Between 02 © Jakub Beseda

Using his camera as a tool to arrest the fractures of time and explore the intersections of natural and built environments, Beseda discovered things. He has interpreted places seen again many years after leaving Europe; places he would have been unable to visit in earlier years.

In Between 06 © Jakub Beseda

He wanted to join the dots of his past to his place now; and discover the dots of his future. That is, to connect moments and events that have shaped his past life and will shape his future – not necessarily static, some significant and others mundane. He doesn’t think he has been successful discovering the dots of his future – not surprising as most of us cannot prophesy. However, he has been successful in his explorations with his camera, having discovered and learned – both personally and artistically.

In Between 07 © Jakub Beseda

All eleven excellent prints on display are worthy of individual contemplation. They were taken from moving cars, buses or trains; so many include the familiar blur often seen. I saw these blurs as metaphors - for the spaces between his previous and now lives. As for many of us, his memories may have become a mix of reality and fantasy – a blurred space between the past and now.

In Between 08 © Jakub Beseda

The prints in the exhibition have a strong horizontal linearity about them, seemingly drawing lines between the dots of his childhood and now. There are spaces between the artist’s camera and the captured scenes. Some images might remind us of places we have passed through; near where he was or somewhere else altogether.

In Between 10 © Jakub Beseda

The images aren’t, intrinsically, architectural, landscape, documentary or travel photos – although different viewers may see them as such. For me they fall neatly into the Contemporary photography genre, lending themselves more to intentional creative expression.

The Space Between is presented in association with Design Canberra, and all profits from sales will be donated to the Black Dog Institute.

This review was published in The Canberra Times on 27 December 2020 here, and on the author's own blog here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020


QL2 Dance

Streaming online 

until 16 January 2021

Reviewed by Len Power 22 December 2020


Now in its 14th year, QL2 Dance’s ‘On Course’ project is a great opportunity to observe young dance artists in development.  QL2 alumni who are currently in full time study at universities around Australia and New Zealand usually come together in Canberra at this time to choreograph, collaborate and perform new short works.

However, this year due to Covid 19 and the challenge of closed borders and changing restrictions, ‘On Course’ has been presented as ‘On Course On Film’, a festival of dance films made in Perth, Wellington NZ, Melbourne and Canberra by tertiary dance students.

They have created 12 short dance films.  For those who could not return to Canberra in time they have danced themselves or choreographed friends in their courses.  Others have created their films here and were able to work with senior Quantum Leapers.

Dance on film adds a different dimension to live dance on stage and requires a mastery of film technique and editing to be fully successful.  Because of this, and with having no choice but to film the work this year, the results are understandably uneven but would still have been a good learning experience for the choreographers.

‘Fond Illusion’ by Caspar Ilschner presented some fine, energetic, controlled dancing by the choreographer himself in the atmospheric setting of an empty car park.  The startling mirror images at the beginning were clever and inventive.  It was conceptually clear but the over-use of camera tricks as it progressed threatened to unbalance the work.

Fond Illusion

‘What Day Is It?’ was choreographed by Jett Chudleigh and focussed on the  disorientating effect of the repetition of a daily routine in the midst of lockdown, losing track of time, stuck in seemingly never-ending loops.  Again, a clear concept was presented well in dance and on film. The use of low level camera angles enhanced the work.

What Day Is It?


‘The Step Of Two’, choreographed by Christopher Wade with Liam Berg, also started with a clear concept.  It explored the classical structure of a ballet pas de deux through the lens of an all-male contemporary work, rather than a classical piece.  The filming techniques were used sparingly and enhanced the choreography.  It was danced very well by Christopher Wade, Danny Riley, Magnus Meagher and Rory Warne.  The choice of music and excellent lighting added a striking atmosphere to the work.

The Step Of Two


Nothing beats the immediacy of a live presentation on stage in a darkened theatre with an audience but this initiative ensured the annual ‘On Course’ project could take place this year.  It was great to see that QL2, the choreographers and the dancers were up to the challenge with ‘On Course On Film’.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on the Artsound FM 92.7 ‘In the Foyer’ program on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3.30pm.

‘Theatre of Power’, a regular podcast on Canberra’s performing arts scene with Len Power, can be heard on Spotify, ITunes and other selected platforms or at


Thursday, December 17, 2020



Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021. 

Artistic Director  Alan Cumming.  Adelaide Festival Centre. June 11-26 2021.

Previewed by Peter Wilkins

Artistic Director Alan Cumming 


Any lover of cabaret, fan of the TV legal series, The Good Wife or viewer of  Britain’s Who Do You Think You Are will be thrilled to learn that Tony Award winning actor, Alan Cumming has been appointed Artistic Director of the 2021 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Following in the footsteps of such cabaret luminaries as David Campbell, Kate Ceberano, Ali McGregor, Eddie Perfect and Julia Zemiro, Cumming promises to return the nation’s leading cabaret festival to its previous pre-pandemic glory. “To be asked to come and curate Adelaide Cabaret Festival after this missing year, to be able to bring together the most vibrant of the world’s cabaret performers, to ask them to entertain us, provoke us, make sense of the maelstrom we’re living through, and most of all remind us why cabaret is such a vital form of connection between performer and audience – well it doesn’t get much better!”

And who better to make it all happen from June 11th. – 26th. at the Adelaide Festival Centre and the newly renovated Her Majesty’s Theatre where Cumming performed his one man cabaret show at Julia Zemiro’s 2019 festival? A glimpse at Cumming’s professional career provides a staggering array of achievements. Apart from stage and film and TV appearances by the scores, Cumming has also published five books, hosted the Tonys, won the Emmys, sung in concert halls across the globe and received over forty awards for his humanitarianism and social activism. Of his last concert tour, Billboard said “He’s an icon to behold – he is unapologetically himself, and with a talent like that, he has no need to apologize.”

Selina Jenkins in Boobs
 As if such accolades were not enough to convince aficionados to book their travel to Adelaide next June, Cumming has just released the first six shows of his exciting programme as a teasing taste of cabaret treats to come. First up will be the world premiere of Cumming’s brand-new show, Alan Cumming Is Not Acting His Age. For one performance only, this thrilling evening of story and song will close the festival on what is certain to be a triumphant note.

The Famous Spiegeltent makes a welcome return as the venue for Club Cumming. Until 2 a.m. each weekend evening, patrons can indulge in a feast of hedonistic delights, live performances and raucous Cumming DJ sets. Any suggestion that Adelaide is the staid old city of churches and gardens is sure to be blown out of the nearby River Torrens as Cumming’s touch of New York sets the city alight.

Hans  Photo: Claudio Raschella

In a blaze of synchronicity, the Adelaide Festival Variety Gala will celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2021. The event will be hosted by none other than Adelaide’s international star of camp, the amazing, outrageous and uniquely ostentatious Hans. The red carpet will roll out for festival folk dressed in their cabaret finery on the opening night of June 11th.

The Space Theatre at the Festival Centre will be transformed into a French hotel, brimming with bohemian verse for the first two weeks of the festival. While partaking of French champagne and a delectable French cheeseboard at L’Hotel audiences can be entertained by a line-up of cabaret artists, circus performers and sensual burlesque artistes.

Audiences who can remember Reg Livermore’s astounding performance as Betty Blokkbuster in 1975 that took Australia by storm must not miss musical theatre and TV star Josh Quong Tart in this iconic role when a re-imagined version of Betty Blokkbuster hits the cabaret festival stage. Nearly fifty years on the has-beens, battlers, freaks and survivors of this legendary theatre work still remain for a new generation to see through the probing and provocative eyes of the cabaret.

Billed as a “ground-breaking tale of mammary proportions” Selina Jenkins’s Boobs pushes the boundaries of what cabaret can be  as Jenkins faces the quandaries and dilemmas of a woman’s journey through life.

 Cumming’s programme reflects the daring and inventive decisions compelled by the pandemic. Forced to resort to live streaming, Julia Zemiro’s Cabaret Festival and Annette Shun Wah’s OzAsia Festival were both compromised but encouraged to lead the way in digital programming. Cumming may well be encouraged to highlight the abundant talent that Australia has to applaud. “The restrictions COVID-19 has placed on our plans has actually been a positive in terms of my desire for the focus of Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021: the spotlight is firmly on Australian Cabaret and talent.”

Cumming’s appointment as the Artistic Director of the 2021 Adelaide Cabaret Festival has been a coup for the festival board and a boon for cabaret lovers throughout the country. Cumming also delights in the fact that he has been asked to lead the festival, hopefully, out of the pandemic that saw the cancellation of so many festivals during 2020. He obviously has real affection for Australia and Australian artists. “I first came to Adelaide over thirty years ago and have always loved the welcome I received here.” he said. “And of course cabaret  with a big and small c has always been very close to my heart.”

Previous Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the wonderful Julia Zemiro, gives audiences a taste of what’s to come when she says, “Your new AD is going to blow your minds. I can’t wait.”

Adelaide Cabaret Festival

June 11-26 2021


BASS 131 246

The full programme will be released in March 2021

Wednesday, December 16, 2020



Bethany Hill, soprano

Penelope Cashman, piano

Art Song Canberra

Wesley Music Centre, Forrest Saturday 12 December

Reviewed by Len Power

Music can take us out of ourselves and bear us away from life’s challenges.  Taking their inspiration from the words in Franz Schubert’s song “An Die Musik” (To Music), Bethany Hill, soprano, and Penelope Cashman, piano, gave us an Art Song Canberra concert that did exactly that.

Bethany Hill is an Adelaide soprano who is equally at home on the operatic stage and in intimate chamber music settings.  She is a passionate performer of early music and has appeared as a recitalist around Australia.  She has performed roles in Purcell’s “Dido & Aeneas”, roles in several Mozart operas, Schoenberg’s “Erwartung” and Handel’s “Saul”.

Penelope Cashman is an Adelaide-based pianist, vocal coach, performer, teacher and researcher.  As pianist and repetiteur, she has worked for the State Opera Of South Australia, Opera Queensland and other companies here and overseas.

Penelope Cashman and Bethany Hill

The program commenced with a group of songs that focussed on the relationship between music and poets.  The first song, “If music be the food of love”, composed by Henry Purcell and arranged by Benjamin Britten, had words by Henry Heveningham.  Bethany Hill sang it beautifully, her clear voice soaring with expression.

It was followed by Schubert’s “An Die Musik”, with words by Franz von Schober.  This was the signature work of this concert and was sung with great feeling, enveloping the audience in the power and joy of music.  “The son of the muses”, composed by Schubert to the words of Goethe, displayed Hill’s accurate singing and clear diction in this fast-paced song.

Songs relating to nature and, particularly the beauty of flowers, followed in this well-planned concert.  A group of three songs composed by Roger Quilter were haunting, reflective and wistful.  Hill sang them all with a warmth and tenderness that was very appealing and Penelope Cashman’s accompaniment was excellent, especially in “The Wildflower’s Song”.

Her heart-felt singing of the next item, “The Last Rose of Summer”, a traditional song arranged by Benjamin Britten was one of the highlights of the concert.  The clarity of Hill’s voice was then fully displayed with her gentle a capella singing of “I’ll meet you there” by Australian composer, Jodie O’Regan.

The final works of the concert by composers Erich Korngold and Leonard Bernstein showed the wide range of Bethany Hill’s vocal skills.  Penelope Cashman’s playing of the final part of Korngold’s “Marietta’s Song” was particularly notable.

This was the first time these performers have appeared for Art Song Canberra.  Let’s hope they return for another concert as fine as this one.

Photos by Peter Hislop

This review was first published in the Canberra City News digital edition of the 13th of December.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on the Artsound FM 92.7 ‘In the Foyer’ program on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3.30pm.

‘Theatre of Power’, a regular podcast on Canberra’s performing arts scene with Len Power, can be heard on Spotify, ITunes and other selected platforms or at



Monday, December 14, 2020


Emma Rix as Elsa in "Frozen"

Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez – Book by Jennifer Lee

Directed by Michael Grandage.  Choreographed by Rob Ashford

Musical Director – David Young. Scenic and Costume Design by Christopher Oram    

Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions.

Australian Premiere, Capitol Theatre, Sydney, 10th December, reviewed by Bill Stephens

The Company of "Frozen"

Just “Let ‘em Go”. “Let ‘em Go”. “Let “em Go“. Every child who’s been enchanted by this  story of sibling loyalty, will be desperate to  see this stage version,  and you’ll risk breaking their heart if you deprive them, because this production is even more enchanting, and more fun, than the animated feature that inspired it.

As with the film, the audience is introduced to the princess sisters as children, delightfully portrayed on opening night by Deeana Cheong Foo (Elsa) and Chloe Delle-Vedove (Anna), who set the tone so charmingly that their transformation into the older Elsa (Jemma Rix) and Anna (Courtney Monsma) during “Do you want to build a Snowman?”, becomes the first of many magical moments woven throughout this production.  

Sans the green make-up she was hidden behind in “Wicked”, Jemma Rix is superb as Elsa, born to be queen but possessing terrifying powers she is unable to control. Appropriately regal, she commands the stage; literally stopping the show with her powerful rendition of “Let If Go”, the stunningly staged song everyone has come to hear, then later in the second act furiously wielding her magical powers to rescue Anna.

As her compulsive younger sister Anna, newcomer Courtney Monsma captivates with a dazzling, star-making performance, acting with flair, singing and dancing with a compelling assurance that makes it impossible to take your eyes off her. Whether flirting outrageously with the handsome prince, Hans (Thomas McGuane) in “Love is an Open Door”, dueting affectingly with her sister in “I can’t Lose You”, or arguing with the smitten Kristoff (Sean Sinclair) her endearing comedic flair is always bubbling just beneath the surface.

Courtney Monsma (Anna) - Thomas McGuane (Hans)

Of course the handsome prince Hans is not quite what he purports to be, resulting in a revelation that provides the impetus for a succession of spectacularly staged production numbers, not all of which advance the storyline, but which delight the eyes and ears.

As with all Disney musicals it’s rarely the convoluted storylines which stamp these shows as “must see”.   Rather it’s the opportunity they provide for lavish sets, costumes and eye-popping special effects and in this area this production certainly doesn’t disappoint. The costumes are gorgeous, particularly those for the ball sequence, and the special affects genuinely magical. And of course there are the extraordinary characters met along the way.

Jemma Rix (Elsa) - Matt Lee (Olaf) - Courtney Monsma (Anna)

Among them, Olaf, the lovable snowman, irresistibly portrayed by Matt Lee whose joyful song “In Summer” provides a memorable highlight; the matey ice-man Kristoff (a terrific performance by Sean Sinclair) and his loyal reindeer, Sven (Jonathan MacMillan). There’s the merry outpost shopkeeper, Oaken (Blake Appelqvist) and his motley bunch of sauna friends who surprise with their hilariously risky “ nude” birch-twig dance, “Hygge”, and  the diminutive Duke of Weselton (Aljin Abella) who turns remarkably unpleasant when Elsa rejects his romantic overtures, and of course the exotic “Hidden Folk” who try to make a match of Anna and Kristoff.   They’re all there, even more entrancing when played by real live actors giving their all at every performance just for you.



Sean Sinclair (Kristoff) - Lochie McIntyre (Sven)

                                                        All photos by Lisa Tomasetti

This review first published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW .

Tuesday, December 8, 2020


Conductor: Leonard Weiss

Wesley Uniting Church, Forrest, Saturday 5 December


Reviewed by Len Power


Recently returned from musical studies in the USA, Leonard Weiss conducted the Canberra Sinfonia in their only concert for this year.  It was good to have them all back.

The program, performed at the Wesley Uniting Church in Forrest and entitled ‘Natalie Nicolas & Lachner’, concentrated on the works of two composers – Natalie Nicolas and Franz Paul Lachner - who are almost three centuries apart, giving the audience a nice contrast in style and content.

Natalie Nicolas is an Australian composer who completed her Master of Music (Composition) under scholarship at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she is now a tutor and lecturer.

The first of two of her works presented in this concert was “The End”, which was written for and won the Flinders Quartet Composition Competition in 2019.  It had a quietly reflective opening, followed by a busy mid-section with moments of tension and underlying playful melodies leading to a wistful and calm finale.  It was played with clarity and colour.

The second work, composed in 2020, “The ‘Business’ Of Recovery” deals very much with the circumstances we’ve all found ourselves in this year.  Pulsating rhythms at the beginning were edgy and tentative in mood and, as the work progressed, it had a sense of hope that ended with a bright, sustained note of optimism.  It was a work that really resonated with today and was very well-played

Both pieces were arranged by Natalie Nicolas for this performance.

Nine members of the Canberra Sinfonia then played “Nonet In F Major” by Franz Paul Lachner who was a prominent German composer and conductor in the 19th Century.  No longer well-known, his compositional output includes eight symphonies and several orchestral suites, six operas, a Requiem and a number of chamber works.

His “Nonet In F Major” is a highly romantic and melodic work.  An outstanding Minuet second movement includes a notable clarinet solo, played very well here by Tim Artelaris.  It was followed by a quietly elegant Adagio and ended with a robust and bright Finale.  The orchestra members gave a very fine performance of this charming work.  It made you want to explore more of the output of this composer.

At the end of the concert, the audience showed its appreciation with sustained applause necessitating more than one bow.  It was richly deserved by all concerned.

This review was first published in the Canberra City News digital edition of the 6th of December.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on the Artsound FM 92.7 ‘In the Foyer’ program on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3.30pm.

‘Theatre of Power’, a regular podcast on Canberra’s performing arts scene with Len Power, can be heard on Spotify, ITunes and other selected platforms or at

Sunday, December 6, 2020

THE WHARF REVUE - Good Night and Good Luck

Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe, Mandy Bishop, Phil Scott.

By Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott.

Co-directed by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe.

Designed by Charles Davis. Lighting designed by Matt Cox 

Video designed by Todd Decker – Sound designed by Nate Edmondson

Canberra Theatre Centre until 9th December 2020.

Opening night performance on 1st December reviewed by Bill Stephens.

 After 20 years of writing and performing revues together it must have been tempting for the three creators of what has become an Australian theatrical institution, to decide that 2020 would be an appropriate year to make a graceful exit.

Indeed the title of this year’s revue, “Good Night and Good Luck”, and the original promotion, suggested that this revue was to be their swansong together. But like so many others faced with the predicament of the cancellation of much of its 2020 touring schedule, Covid-19 actually provided a pause for re-appraisal, leading to a decision to forego the security of the mothership, The Sydney Theatre Company, for which the revues had been created, and continue under its own management. So thankfully, “Good Night and Good Luck” will not be the last we will see of The Wharf Revue, only the last under the umbrella of The Sydney Theatre Company.

Two viruses

Jonathan Biggins - Phil Scott

Judging by the response of the first night audience to “Good Night and Good Luck”, it’s a fortuitous decision, especially as there is no evidence that the team has lost any of its ability to skewer, question, expose and ridicule pretentiousness, not only in our local politicians and public figures but also in our world leaders. So in addition to the usual local suspects, Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Bolsonaro join the International targets along with Trump, his wife Melania and solicitor Rudy Giuliani.

Of course all the favourites are there. Phil Scott’s obsequious Kevin Rudd complete with beard, Drew Forsythe’s hawk-eyed Pauline Hanson and her blissfully mangled English, and Jonathan’s Biggins joyously self-content Trump. Paul Keating misses out this year, but among the new creations are the Jobseekers, The Brigid McKenzie Musical – “How Do You Solve a Problem from Hawaii”, and an even funnier version of Fawlty Towers than the original, taking the mickey out of hotel quarantine.

There are also two riotous Covid-19 viruses (Jonathan Biggins and Phil Scott) happily spreading the love, and a version of the musical “Cats” – now re-titled “Cats in the Ranks” good enough to make Andrew Lloyd Webber envious.

The Jobseekers
Drew Forsythe - Phil Scott - Mandy Bishop - Jonathan Biggins

Almost stealing the show however, holding her own against the brilliance of the three originators is Mandy Bishop, dancing up a storm in Brazil, or delighting in a succession of wickedly accurate impersonations among them Judith Durham in The Jobseekers, Jacinta Ardern doling out advice, a soulful Gladys Berejiklian, or best of all, tugging at the heartstrings as the Koala from Sofala.

 As we’ve come to expect from the Wharf Revues, the production values are first rate. Brilliant writing supported by clever direction, excellent costumes and props, exceptional video content, lighting and sound, not to mention brilliant performances by masters of the art of intimate revue, are reasons why the Wharf Revues have flourished for more than 20 years. Hopefully, under its new arrangement, we can now look forward to many more annual visits from The Wharf Revue.

                                            Production images: Brigette Honeyman

This review first published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW.



The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Directed and adapted for the stage by Kip Williams. Featuring:  Designer: Marg Horwell Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper Composer & Sound Designer: Clemence Williams Video Designer: David Bergman Dramaturg: Eryn Jean Norvill Production Dramaturg: Paige Rattray Voice and Text Coach: Danielle Roffe Assistant Director: Ian Michael. Sydney Theatre Company  Roslyn Packer Theatre. Until January 9th. 2021 Bookings: 02 9250 1777.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins

Eryn Jean Norvill in The Picture of Dorian Gray  


To say that I was blown away by Kip Williams’s production of The Picture of Dorian Gray for the Sydney Theatre Company would be an understatement. I am not given to unconstrained hyperbole but hyperboles afford the greatest accolades for Eryn Jean Norvill’s portrayals of Oscar Wilde’s enigmatic characters. For two hours traffic on the stage, Norvill intrigues, captivates, dazzles and delights her audience as she moves seamlessly from narrator to character in the telling of Oscar Wilde’s entire short story of the Adonis like youth whose corrupted Faustian  desire for youthful immortality is revealed in the portrait while Dorian Gray retains the beauty of his younger years. It is a moralistic tale more clearly expressed in a contemporary mantra of “Be careful of what you wish for!”

In Eryn Jean Norvill we behold an ascending star of the Australian stage. Under Kip Williams’s inspired flight of the imagination she commands a mesmerising hold over her audience, aided by Williams’s use of video cameras to create live streamed and pre-recorded footage of Norvill as storyteller, Dorian Gray, the hapless artist Basil Hallward , the corrupting Sir Henry Wotton and a host of other characters that populate Wilde’s Victorian fantasy. At times, in a feat of technical wizardry, live streamed characters interact with pre-recorded and edited video footage upon one of the many video screens upon the Roslyn Packer Theatre stage. The skilful video operators in black also double as brilliantly disciplined props handlers and dressers, supporting Norvill’s lightning speed changes, while never allowing the action to lag. The entire production is a joyfyl expression of perfect timing and stage movement. Williams has used video technique before, most notably in his engrossing production of Brecht’s The Resitsable Rise of Arturo Ui, but nowhere with such ingenuity and faithful adherence to Oscar Wilde’s period and extravagance. 
Wilde’s philosophical moralistic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, drawing as it does upon Victorian Gothic influence contains a bitter irony of an older man’s corruption of a beautiful youth, a reversal of Wilde’s own experience and downfall due to a love for his Adonis, the beautiful Bosie, son of the Marquis of Queensbury. In Dorian Gray’s cruel and unwitting treatment of the innocent Sybil Vain, we see the cruelty suffered by Wilde as a result of his blinded love for Bosie. The challenge facing Kip Williams has been to stage the adaptation as a one woman performance, while bringing to life the various characters of the novel. Williams’s vision and Norvill’s astounding performances combine in a theatrical tour de force that not only breathes new life into Wilde’s portrait of art for art’s sake and the corrupting power of the human heart and mind, but projects an exciting new destiny for the theatre. Our willing suspension of disbelief is nowhere better engendered than in the Sydney Theatre Company’s ground-breaking production of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Williams’s direction and Norvill’s performance make this the hottest ticket in town. The ephemeral nature of theatre is its own  tragedy. To miss it would be yours. 
Photos by Dan Boud