Arts & Culture

Animal Farm by Black Swan State Theatre Company


George Orwell’s Animal Farm is one of those classics that many people know about it, regardless of whether or not they’ve read it. It’s a satirical take on the Russian Revolution, the birth of the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin’s rise to power – in which animals revolt against human farmers and set up their own Communist utopia. But as Van Badham’s adaptation shows, there are plenty of parallels to modern day politics in the Western world.

Inspired by prize-winning boar Old Major’s dreams of an egalitarian society, the animals of Manor Farm overthrow Mr Jones and establish their own nation state, Animal Farm, led by pig revolutionaries. As time goes by,

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Every Brilliant Thing by Black Swan State Theatre Company


Written by playwright Duncan Macmillan and comedian Jonny Donahoe, Every Brilliant Thing has been touted as a funny play about depression – a description that certainly got my attention even before I went to see it. And what I got was… well, a funny play about depression. And so much more.

Every Brilliant Thing has only one cast member – in this case, Luke Hewitt – playing an unnamed character who narrates the story of his life, beginning with his mother’s first suicide attempt. The then-seven-year-old child begins writing a list of the brilliant little things that make life worth living. Over the years, he revisits the list, as he grows into adolescence and adulthood, and his mother makes further suicide attempts.

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We Don't Deserve Dogs at Luna


It’s a running joke that we often love our dogs more than we love our partners!

Perhaps its their unconditional love that makes us love our dogs more and we do often go to great lengths for our dogs to show our love for them in return.

With their trust and acceptance (as well as many other amazing traits), dogs are indeed special.

The directors of the documentary “We Don’t Deserve Dogs”, Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker, provide an interesting take on what meaning dogs can provide to human lives.

They have provided a wide perspective from a number of people around the world living in a vast range of circumstances: from therapy dogs who provide comfort and assistance to people who have experienced severe trauma, to simple pet dogs that provide a special bond and companionship to their owners.

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The Rose Maker at Luna


On a blustery and wet winter's night, my partner and I headed to the Windsor in Nedlands to watch The Rose Maker.

Being a sucker for French movies, I couldn’t resist the lure to watch this one.

Catherine Frot plays Eve – the central character who runs a rose cultivation farm that is on the verge of bankruptcy. It is dear to her heart having inherited it from from her father who has since passed and she will do anything to save it from ruin.

Her secretary Vera comes up with the clever idea to hire 3 farm hands from a back to work program – the only problem is that they have no clue about working on a rose farm!

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Borderline by Stumble at The Blue Room Theatre

Borderline personality disorder (or BPD for short) ?

I had heard the termed mentioned once by a friend of a friend who had been diagnosed with BPD and said that it had been a relief to have finally received a diagnosis on what their condition was after considerable time and suffering.

But apart from that, I do not know much about BPD.

On waiting outside to enter The Blue Room Theatre, before the performance of Borderline by stumble began, we were offered a soft space to chill out (the soft toys eagerly awaited !) and a mental health counsellor on standby at any time through the performance, if we thought we needed a time out.

Whoa...that sounded heavy duty I thought.

The opening night performance of Borderline could be described as heavy duty but in a good way. It could also be described in many other positive ways.

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York by Black Swan State Theatre Co and WA Youth Theatre Co


As I write this review, Boorloo/Perth is pretty much free of COVID restrictions. But as I walked through the rain, past Yagan Square and into the State Theatre Centre to catch a performance of York (which had itself been delayed due to COVID) three other states were in lockdown, and I couldn’t help thinking, not only about how lucky I was to be out and about, but also how privileged I have been in so many ways throughout my life. And how not everyone gets to enjoy the things I take for granted.

York, written by Ian Michael and Chris Isaacs, is certainly ambitious – spanning two centuries of Western Australian history in two hour-long acts. We begin the play in the current day, with tree changing couple Emma and Rosy moving into the Old York Hospital, now a private residence. Emma, a lawyer, is soon called back to the city to defend one of her juvenile clients, leaving Rosy to unpack their boxes with the help of their new neighbour – who is clearly terrified of the house.

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Shiva Baby at Luna


Growing up in a tight-knit Jewish family community comes with its own expectations, rules and family life. Add to that the challenges of growing up bisexual – and you’ve got the makings of an interesting story.

Danielle sets off with her parents to attend a shiva (a wake) after a family friend’s funeral. She is a busy University student trying to juggle all the different parts of her life – studies, part time work, dealing with the pressures of parental approval, and comparison with her peers etc.

When she turns up at the wake with her parents,  she discovers that her sugar daddy is also there  – along with one of her ex-girlfriends – the relationship who her Mum describes as that sort of weird thing that happened with your friend.

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