Arts Features

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 12:59pm

Sex, Lynch And Video Games is a difficult work to explain.


For a start, it’s not even technically a ‘work’: it’s works, plural – three of them, comprising separate productions conceived by the celebrated artist, musician and classical composer Nicole Lizée. “Two of the pieces were written in 2016,” Lizée explains. “Both 8-Bit Urbex and Lynch Études. The third piece is Karappo...

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 12:26pm

Patricia Cornelius talks the way she writes: colourfully, with an occasional splash of language blue enough to make the sheltered wince.


It would perhaps be foolish to expect the mind behind plays called Shit and Slut to communicate in any other way. But for Cornelius, cursing isn’t about eliciting cheap shock value, or merely trying to sustain the attention of strangers – it’s...

Posted 12 Dec 2016 @ 4:14pm

Australian writer, journalist and musician Nathan Jolly's debut book, Sydney Is For Strangers, is out now. It's a series of interlocking stories about life, loneliness, and searching for love in the big city we call home, and you can read an excerpt below.


Illustration: Keiren Jolly 




We are at a...

Posted 9 Dec 2016 @ 5:17pm

Presents and 'family time' can get stuffed: everyone knows the highlight of the festive season is always TV Christmas specials. Especially when it comes to Doctor Who.


Festive episodes of Doctor Who are an institution in and of themselves, as integral to the season of goodwill as the Queen's Christmas Day address. This year's instalment is ...

Posted 9 Dec 2016 @ 10:00am

Close your eyes. Cover your ears. Walk through your house.


Now imagine for a moment that you’re outside, crossing a street, boarding a plane, ordering from a menu.


That’s the life that performer Heather Lawson and pianist Michelle Stevens have lived for decades. Stevens was born without sight, and Lawson without sound – over time, they both became deaf-blind....

Posted 9 Dec 2016 @ 9:00am

Christa Hughes is a barrage of anecdotes and reminiscence.


She has emerged as one of the most celebrated cabaret/vaudeville acts in the country, and when your crowd can be as raucous as the stage, well, it helps to be able to talk the talk. She reams off stories and observations as though a dam has burst within her chest, and more often than not, my questions are swept away as...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 3:04pm

Most people would agree that the politics around Australia’s acceptance of refugees and asylum seekers are divisive.


Sure, our discourse is not quite as vitriolic as the jingoistic tone heard in the USA these days, or various European capitals trying to sidestep the plight of Syria, but we’re also not the most empathic of people. Often that’s because asylum seekers are couched...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 9:48am

Australia's international short film festival, Flickerfest, returns for its 26th edition to Bondi Beach in January ahead of a national tour.


The Australian competition component of the program has now landed, with 60 shorts competing for the prestigious Best Australian Short Film title, accredited by the Academy Awards.


Here are five highlights on the Bondi...

Posted 6 Dec 2016 @ 12:36pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. I'm easing the BOXING DAY OVERLOAD here by introducing a film *previewed* this week that doesn't launch for a fortnight.


In an interesting turn of events after last week's strong female turnout,...

Posted 3 Dec 2016 @ 11:00am

Alife of adventure, adrenaline and risk is not one actively sought by many, but for trial bike artist Thibaut Philippe, it’s one he cannot live without.


The French-born performer stages a dazzling and exhilarating show as part of the Cirque Éloize troupe, living the daredevil existence and quite literally running away with the circus every day. 


But how does one...

Posted 1 Dec 2016 @ 5:26pm

It's official: summer is upon us.


With the temperatures rising, Sydneysiders are now free to do what they do best - flock to the beach en masse, towels in hand and slathered in sunscreen. And aren't we just spoilt for choice? Sydney is an embarassment of riches when it comes to scenic spots to set up and stare at the waves, and sometimes choosing a destination for your beach...

Posted 1 Dec 2016 @ 2:39pm

Christmas in Australia is a time of sun, family, holidays and gifts.


While buying presents can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be, and you can definitely do better than the dime-a-dozen stocking-fillers at the local department store. A bunch of Christmas-themed markets are happening all over Sydney in December – the perfect place to find a unique gift for that special family...

Posted 1 Dec 2016 @ 11:27am

At just over six feet tall and around 130 kilos, Melbourne-via-Sri Lanka comedian Dilruk Jayasinha is not one to shy away from talking about his size – he even once titled a festival show with the punningly brilliant name Kind Of A Big Dil.


So when the former accountant is ribbed and roasted about his love of ribs and roasts – particularly by other comics – he knows exactly how...

Posted 1 Dec 2016 @ 10:37am

Though they might seem invisible, we’ve all seen them.


Ghosting away down school corridors, hiding behind shields of books, tablets or phones. Some of us have even been there, and remember the terrain. Adolescence can be a raw and unsettling time, but as Girl Asleep’s playwright Matthew Whittet suggests, it can also be a period of intense creative growth and speculation. The...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 2:11pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, the ladies reign supreme with lead roles in all five films.


Plus, three of the six directors are women, meaning actual equal representation! At least for this week, anyway.


The women in these stories are not two-dimensional: they are champions, leaders...

Posted 24 Nov 2016 @ 1:03pm

Tell us about your bar:


The bar menu offers a vast and colourful array of cocktails, a well-travelled wine list and refreshing beer on tap.


Care for a drink? 

We’ve got a great wine list and a seasonal cocktail list. We can proudly declare the Aperol sour and The Exchange Punch our two signature cocktails and best-sellers.


Posted 24 Nov 2016 @ 12:30pm

In the world of contemporary theatre, Complicite stands alone.


The pioneering British company is a formidable collective of singularly talented writers and performers led by co-founder Simon McBurney. Their aim is simple: to buck the preconceptions associated with the dramatic arts by embracing a range of technological...

Posted 24 Nov 2016 @ 12:10pm

After an overwhelming response from audiences in Brisbane – where it was hailed as the best Aussie musical since Priscilla, no less – Ladies In Black is soon to arrive for Sydney Festival.


It’s quite fitting, given our city is where the actual story takes place, and in light of recent events in world politics...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 11:15am

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, the folks at A Night Of Horror/Fantastic Planet Film Festival are looking forward to your company.


But that's a story in and of itself. Instead, let's focus on a couple of...

Posted 18 Nov 2016 @ 12:45pm

We truly live in the new media age, hey?


“What do you want to watch tonight?” has transformed from a mere casual inquiry into a profound question now heavy with existentialist despair. What do you want to watch when you have one of the greatest audio-visual libraries of all time beamed directly into your living room; when you can access services like Netflix and Stan with ease...

Posted 17 Nov 2016 @ 10:35am

Khaled Khalafalla is a lot of things: he’s a stand-up comic, an actor and an award-winning cultural commentator.


He is also, by his own admission, most resoundingly not a morning person, and the pre-9am timeslot selected for his interview with the BRAG means he has to wake up earlier than he might normally. Even more unfortunately, it’s the second time in the space of a week...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 5:10pm

It’s never easy for a performer to find themselves overshadowed by a co-star, but one can imagine that pain might feel particularly acute when the scene-stealer in question is completely inanimate.


That’s the predicament veteran performer Wayne Scott Kermond is currently mired in, thanks to his involvement in a multi-disciplinary cabaret performance named Spiegel’esque, due to...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 12:30pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases, AKA The Best Films To Plonk Yourself Down In Front Of As A Means To Overcoming The Encroaching Sense Of Dread Gnawing At Your Very Soul.


But enough despairing and finger-pointing - I get enough from social media. Time to soak up some stories and remind yourself that the world...

Posted 15 Nov 2016 @ 3:49pm

Originally established as a support and leasing program for Australian artists, Artbank is at the forefront of the contemporary art sector in this country, providing direct benefits to local talent through the acquisition of their work and promoting the value of homegrown art to the broader public.


Since 1980, Artbank...

Posted 11 Nov 2016 @ 10:00am

In a world as messed up as ours, it can sometimes be hard to find anything to laugh about – never mind if you’re a Muslim woman thinking about providing humorous release for the masses.


And yet, Sakdiyah Ma’ruf is just that: a hilarious Indonesian comedian intent on finding the light in adversity and releasing tensions across the globe via her unique comedic stylings. 

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 5:05pm

In early 1971, British director Ken Russell completed his masterpiece.


A dark, profoundly surreal film about religious persecution and the infectious nature of insanity, The Devils was based in part on the novel The Devils Of Loudun by Aldous Huxley, though Russell injected Huxley’s carefully constructed narrative with his own trademark manic creativity and froth-mouthed...

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 10:30am

The much-loved Newtown Festival has had a facelift after 38 years.


Event director Gill Minervini is part of the new team charged with delivering its new look. Formerly creative director of City of Sydney Events, she’s also had a hand in Winter Feast for Dark Mofo and Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. For her, Newtown Festival offered more than just a convenient geographical...

Posted 8 Nov 2016 @ 4:12pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Dendy is seeing the biggest surge in new film with some international fare, but the real winner is Amy Adams, who is EVERYWHERE.


And what better time to distract yourself from the inevitable collapse of Western society?...

Posted 8 Nov 2016 @ 12:19pm

The Winda Film Festival kicks off its inaugural showcase of curated Indigenous films from across Australia and the world this week. From the Red Centre to Russia, Winda presents a global Indigenous voice. 


It's a diverse and fascinating program, so we've narrowed it down to select highlights. Check out the full...

Posted 4 Nov 2016 @ 11:00am

With another year comes the latest release in the Call Of Duty juggernaut.


Infinite Warfare, however, hopes to shake things up. Infinity Ward’s studio art director Brian Horton speaks with the BRAG about moving the series to the final frontier: space. 


Keeping up a yearly release schedule is difficult for many reasons, but Infinity Ward hopes individuality is...