Oddments ~ theatre notes

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


My robust (and esteemed) colleague Chris Boyd is feeling understandably smug for breaking some exciting advance news about this year's Melbourne Festival. We're seeing Peter Brook's production of Athol Fugard's Sizwe Banzi is Dead, now in tour in Europe, and a Barrie Kosky adaptation of Poe's story The Tell-Tale Heart. About time Barrie got to Melbourne again. And like, wow. I'm already salivating.

Meanwhile, Playgoer has some interesting background on the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, which this year was awarded to David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole, recently on here at Red Stitch. The 17-member panel overruled the nominations of its theatre judges to give the prize to a play not even on the shortlist. This play brought TONY theatre critic David Cote out in hives:

David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole made me sick. During this competent dramedy about the mourning process, I experienced bizarre hallucinations, nausea, confusion and an irritability verging on dyspepsia. Upon learning my theater-going patterns, the doctor delivered a swift diagnosis of Biltmore Syndrome. It's a fairly common condition brought about by seeing too many middlebrow, bourgeois plays at New York's big nonprofit theaters.

Hmmm. And also there's some interesting blogospheric discussion around the notion of "ownership" at Parabasis and Superfluities (and here as well). That should keep you going for a while...

UPDATE: More discussion on the Pulitzer Drama Prize at Playgoer, who digs a little deeper in the politics of the award, and David Cote's Histriomastix. As David says grumpily: "Why are we telling the world that this is the best we can do? Where the hell are our intellectually inspiring issue plays, our bold stylistic experiments, our epic history plays?"

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