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Totem: Cirque du Soleil twirls, flies and jives through the evolution of humankind

Practice, practice: Backstage with Cirque du Soleil's Totem.

LENNY ANN LOW 7:39am Cirque du Soleil's show Totem, has toured 25 cities and presented 1500 shows in the last four years, and now it's Australia's turn.


Wharf Revue plays Tony Abbott and Co for laughs

Phillip Scott, Jonathan Biggins in Open for Business.

John Shand 11:57am Even the ghost of Gough would concede one advantage of the Tories being in power: better fodder for the annual Wharf Revue. Labor's in-fighting and ineptitude just doesn't cut it by comparison with the grotesques of the Liberal front bench and their delightfully poisonous ideas.

Theatre review: Kafka's meaning twisted into obscurity

Compelling: Samara Hersch's interpretation of Kafka's

Rebecca Harkins-Cross 11:12am "Meta" is evocative and sophisticated but Hersch seems unclear about what the metamorphosis signifies.

Jimmy Carr under fire for Reeva Steenkamp jokes during Q Awards

Under fire: comedian Jimmy Carr.

TOM DECENT Jimmy Carr has copped a barrage of abuse on social media after an unsavoury joke about Oscar Pistorius' motives for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day last year.

161-year-old Philharmonic faces closure after council grant snub

Under threat: Andrew Wailes with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir which is facing a funding crisis.

CAROLYN WEBB The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic choir and orchestra, one of Australia's oldest arts institutions, could close after the City of Melbourne cut off its annual funding.

Sydney Theatre to be renamed Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay, or 'The Ros'

The 850-seat Sydney Theatre set to be renamed for Roslyn Packer.

LINDA MORRIS James Packer's $15 million gift to the Sydney Theatre Company gifts mother Roslyn Packer naming rights.

Met opera controversy

Amid protests, 'Klinghoffer' takes Met Opera stage and offers... anticlimax

A protester outside Lincoln Center ahead of Monday's opening night performance of the Death of Klinghoffer.

Anne Midgette NEW YORK - The protesters started gathering in the early afternoon. Everyone knew they were coming. The sidewalks around Lincoln Center were thick with police, who kept the protesters cordoned off behind riot fences, away from the main plaza and the arches of the Metropolitan Opera.

Doing the Lygon Street limbo


CHRIS JOHNSTON In the 1970s, Carlton – the counterculture capital of Melbourne – was the place to be. You could catch Skyhooks at Martinis, a movie at the Bughouse, a play at The Pram Factory, and a beer and a blue at The Albion. As a new CD of the music of the time is released, Chris Johnston speaks to some of those who were there – and survived.

Eddie Izzard a force to be reckoned with

Comic king: Eddie Izzard

KYLIE NORTHOVER Having toured the show throughout Europe, Africa, Russia, the UK, Canada, India and Asia, British comedian Eddie Izzard will bring the biggest stand-up comedy tour ever to Melbourne next year.

Arts world mourns Gough Whitlam, a champion of Australian culture

Gough Whitlam's purchase of Jackson Pollock's <i>Blue Poles</i> generated considerable controversy.

Debbie Cuthbertson, Joel Meares, Linda Morris, Garry Maddox, Bhakthi Puvanenthiran The purchase of Jackson Pollock's iconic painting Blue Poles speaks to the vision former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who has died aged 98, had for the arts in Australia.

Charlie Garber moves from Party Tricks to Platonov

Caption: Charlie Garber

ELISSA BLAKE Laughing. Crying. Screaming. It's all just part of an average day in rehearsals for actor Charlie Garber.

Move to the House

Sweet Charity moves upmarket to the Sydney Opera House

Verity Hunt-Ballard is set to reprise her role as Charity Hope Valentine this January.

JOEL MEARES When the team behind the Hayes Theatre Company launched their first show, Sweet Charity, in February they had no idea what an impact the little musical in their little Potts Point theatre would have.

Canberra dance critic Michelle Potter writes Dame Maggie Scott biography

Dame Margaret

Michelle Potter The chance to write the biography of the famous dancer opened the door to a remarkable life, reveals Michelle Potter.

Cabaret space at heart of $35 million Geelong Performing Arts Centre revamp

GPAC general manager Jill Smith (left), Premier Denis Napthine and Arts Minister Heidi Victoria at the arts centre.

DEBBIE CUTHBERTSON A new 150-seat cabaret and music space will form part of a proposed $35 million redevelopment of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre pledged by Premier Denis Napthine.

Force Majeure tour

Force Majeure: Eddie Izzard on why comedy is like rock 'n' roll and ... cheese

Boxing, clever: Eddie Izzard is ready to take on the Opera House again.

GEORGE PALATHINGAL The great British comedian with the penchant for women's clothes will be touring Australia properly very soon.


Barangaroo likely home to new international theatre expansion

Lucy Durack who plays the lead in Legally Blonde with Rob Mills and David Harris.

BHAKTHI PUVANENTHIRAN Barangaroo is likely to be the site of a new 1650-plus seat theatre to be managed by British-owned international entertainment company Ambassador Theatre Group, despite repeated calls for investment in a smaller theatre for Sydney.

St Petersburg Ballet brings Swan Lake to The Plenary

On tour: St Petersburg Ballet's

John Bailey Melbourne audiences will enjoy "Swan Lake" in a venue that has never before hosted a ballet.

Added extra in Melbourne production of Sondheim's Passion

John Bailey It's not unusual for a show to promote extra performances or even seats in the lead up to opening night, but it's rare that the acquisition of a whole extra scene will be trumpeted.

Canberra theatre review - August: Osage County by Free Rain

Andrea Close as Barbara Fordham and Jim Adamik as Bill Fordham in Free-Rain Theatre's. August: Osage Country.

Alanna Maclean Alanna Maclean finds Free Rain's production of August: Osage County to be a long but satisfying evening.

Male comedians join Victorian AIDS Council gala line-up for Short & Girly

Brawn: Joel Creasey will join the Short & Girly crew on stage to raise funds for the Victorian Aids Council.

John Bailey Girls will share the stage with their comic male counterparts in a hilarious gala evening.

Theatre review: Arthur and Red Stitch's The Mesh is intriguingly strange

Tom Dent.

Reviewed by Rebecca Harkins-Cross This collaboration with Red Stitch, loosely based on the experiences of writer Elise Hearst’s Austrian Jewish grandparents, continues independent company Arthur’s forays into the surreal.

Theatre review: Where I End & You Begin needs more dramatic tension

Playful: Where I End & You Begin, with  Raoul Craemer and Kate Hoskings, is the latest offering from The Street Theatre.

Alanna Maclean Cathy Petocz's surreal, science-fiction play at the Street Theatre has imaginative design and lighting but the characters remain rather undeveloped.

Cross generations

Sydney theatre odd couple Lee Lewis and David Williamson centre stage

Mutual respect: Director Lee Lewis and playwright David Williamson.

ELISSA BLAKE An unusual theatrical pair have joined forces to bring two big Australian stories to the stage.

Bell Shakespeare's new twist on Henry V

In rehearsal: Eloise Winestock and Michael Sheasby in Bell Shakespeare's production of Henry V.

ELISSA BLAKE Of all Shakespeare's kings, Henry V offers the most detailed portrait of what it takes and what it costs to be a hero.

Dance review: Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake exudes feral masculinity

Revolutionary: <i>Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake</i>.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by Jordan Beth Vincent This Swan Lake is utterly revolutionary, with the swans danced by men who ooze predatory, feral masculinity.

Max Lambert's Miracle City resurrected at Hayes Theatre

Harmonious: Mike McLeish and Blazey Best star in the Hayes production, directed by Darren Yap.

ELISSA BLAKE A potent home-grown musical with religious zealotry as its theme, is as relevant today as it was 18 years ago when it first played.


Young opera stars vie for Opera Foundation Australia Lady Fairfax Scholarship

New York bound? Sylvie Humphries and Sam Roberts-Smith.

NICK GALVIN Hard work encompassing study, coaching and performance will have its culmination at the Opera Foundation Australia Lady Fairfax Scholarship final on Sunday. Sylvie Humphries and Sam Roberts-Smith are among the six finalists. Nick Galvin reports

Brian Cox brings star power to science

Brian Cox

SARAH THOMAS Switching on our brains seems like a bright idea when physics' leading man is doing the talking, writes Sarah Thomas.

Tim Burton concert

Danny Elfman presents his Tim Burton movie scores at Adelaide Festival

Like family: Danny Elfman and long-time collaborator Tim Burton.

GARRY MADDOX Composer Danny Elfman's music for the films of Tim Burton will be celebrated in a concert at the Adelaide Festival in March.

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All aboard with the team of life

Some of the performers in Team of Life with David Nyuol Vincent.

PHILIPPA HAWKER "I came to Melbourne in August, 10 years ago," says David Nyuol Vincent, "and that spirit of the finals was starting." Football, he remembers, was a way into a new life. When he went to his first game – he thought initially that he would be going to a soccer match – "I saw the masses of people going into the MCG, and I thought, that is the culture I can identify with. It brings people together, you can see the joy." 

Cabaret rolls back years

Hot songs from the year 1942 will be reprised in a special show.

Different signals

Director Rafael Bonachela was inspired by signs.

Heavenly musical tribute

Celestial magic as ensemble takes to the open air.

Madam Pat and all that jazz

Life and times of Pat Thompson at Four Winds Festival.

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