Tag Archives: Sydney Fringe

Year of the Abbott

9 Sep

Seriously, sometimes Sydney theatre can seem like a thought-free zone. Leave your intellect at the door.

But this is an intelligent production; sharp and very funny.

Year of the Abbott begins with Brent Thorpe as Deidre Flick, ‘self funded retiree from Mosman’. She chats to ‘Alan’ on talk-back radio. It’s a beautiful skewering of the uninformed Right.

Year of the Abbott GS pix IMG_0421

The majority of the show is Shane Addison and Timothy Hugh Govers presenting what looks like a TV talk show, but is actually a wonderfully performed satirical revue of the last year of federal politics. They chat to each other and to some fascinating guests. The impersonations of both Rudd (Nathan Lentern) and Abbott (Jonas Holt) are superb.

A show like this reminds us of the power of good satire: we laugh at certain individuals, but the laughter empowers us. We’re not left cynical about the political process; we’re reminded how truly fascinating the whole thing is, and how important.

Veronica Kaye


Year of the Abbott

The Den (Chippendale Hotel)

Sat 27 Sept 9.30pm


Harry and Liv

5 Sep

Harry and Liv are brother and sister, played with delightful irony by brother and sister Evan and Charlotte Kerr.

There’s a playful exuberance to this cabaret. Musical virtuosity is neatly balanced with fun, silly banter.

The venue, despite its lighting and acoustic challenges, has a lounge room charm.


Charlotte Kerr’s opening number, a gentle ballad, reminded me what an extraordinarily beautiful voice she has. As the show continued, I occasionally wished the pace would slow, so I could savour that beauty even more.

However, these two performers have a vibrant, utterly engaging stage presence. They close tonight, but hopefully they’ll be back with more.

Veronica Kaye

Harry and Liv

closes tonight 6 Sept

Glebe Justice Centre (37-47 St Johns Rd)



Jane Austen is Dead

22 Sep

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a critic reviewing a play alluding to Jane Austen will assert their authority by appropriating an obvious famous quotation.

But I’m not a reviewer. I’m what I call a responder.

Any authority I have regarding Austen comes from a course I did at uni. For six months I surrendered myself to six great novels about love. Disappointing – the class consisted of ninety nine women and one gay male couple. It wasn’t only Austen’s prose that awakened my sense of irony.

jane media image SQ 350px

But Mel Dodge’s Jane Austen is Dead isn’t just for Austen aficionados and it certainly isn’t gender specific. An exploration of the modern dating and mating game, it’s terrific fun. Dodge’s performance is absolutely brilliant. She plays multiple characters, treating the audience to a heap of hilarious insights and a good sprinkling of poignant moments.

Dodge’s main character is Sophie, who is battling the influence of fiction in her life. Where can Mr Darcy be found?

We need stories. And we need to escape them.

They help us look to the stars. But they don’t get us there.

Or to offer another analogy: when the heart goes a hunting, we shouldn’t treat stories as maps. They don’t actually tell us what’s out there.

Perhaps stories are more like gun sights, helping us zero in on what we want. Violent imagery, I know, but they’re powerful, dangerous things.

Love stories, but never ever trust them.

Veronica Kaye


Jane Austen is Dead

New Theatre

One more show in Sydney – Mon 23 Sept