Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I once was an over-achiever
A true journalistic believer
But now I relax
With a phone and a fax
And a large curly-coated retriever.
(actually the retriever has passed on, but there are other dogs).
-Mungo MacCallum

I know in my bones that theatre is one of the greatest human connectors. It's communication, it's entertainment, it's engagement, and it's emotion. Gabbie’s teachers and mentors are moving in a powerful territory. As James Longenbach noted: when a student complains that a poem is boring, I say, That’s fine. But it’s your fault … Richard III

Can we change the heart of theatre? SILLY, wordy and almost terrifyingly quick, Travesties is a theatrical treat, but only for those able to keep up
People who a few months ago were still keen on making major purchases, are putting all, or some, of that cash aside for a rainy day. One rainy night in April before Easter we went to check out Travesties. While Newton was rather disappointing last year in Stoppard’s Rock n Roll, everyone shines in the new production of Travesties. A road accident in old Czechoslovakia always attracted a crowd of onlookers and road to hell and travesties in Sydney is no different … Even Neil Brown treated himself to the play which he first saw in London in 1974 when a quote along these lines was used in the play: My art belongs to dada; and mamma’s not too bad.

In belt-tightening times, making the case for more theatre more difficult than ever.
One of the characteristics of modernist culture at the beginning of the twentieth century was the radical liquidation of the inherited structures and the creation of a bold phantasm for the organizing of an unprecedented society and a revolutionary art. In respect to this historical project, the political aesthetics of Dadaism, Joyce's fictional innovations that marked the height of high modernism in Ulysses, and the Soviet Proletcultur in Russia which Lenin spearheaded, ran parallel courses and allowed for extraordinary travesties in merging the concepts of aesthetic, literary, and political action. Shaping these political and aesthetic dimensions into one vision, Tom Stoppard's Travesties brings together Lenin, James Joyce and Tristan Tzara in a dazzling display of a time when an incipient communism expressed the last political installation of the left modernist project and when the work of art was used as a special kind of laboratory for designing and testing this project.
Like The Importance, Travesties is a shocker built on the simple structure of the paradox and parody. It is pure sport of the mind, with obscene limericks, Beethoven's Appassionata and Every Little Breeze Seems to Whisper Louise, and Carr playing the role of raconteur of the WWI days when Zurich, swarming with cafe conspirators, exiles like James Joyce, Lenin and Tristan Tzara, was the place where ideology merged with reality.

Exiled to the Far End of the Opera House; [ In praise of a great teacher ; We were lucky last year to watch I Sydney Rush’s knockout portrayal at exit the King. Geoffrey Rush Debuts on Broadway in Ionesco’s Exit The King]
• · Stories and storytelling are passions The name game; Because people lack the brainpower to weigh someone's true merits quickly when first meeting them, we may mistakenly rate the person high or low on imaginary scales of intention and capability - or simply - warmth and competence Just because I'm nice - don't assume I'm dumb
• · · The stories on the weekend reminded me of Sir Humphrey asking Sir Arnold how the FOI was going. Sir Arnold replied Sorry I cannot tell you. It is a secret. ….Allan Kessing was accused of leaking two highly-confidential Australian Customs Service reports to The Australian newspaper in 2005, sparking the biggest overhaul of airport security in the country's history. Former Customs official convicted of leaking confidential ; Monica Attard: When Allan Kessing worked for Australian Customs he was charged with writing two reports on the state of airport security in Sydney Allan Kessing
• · · · This week Allan Kessing, the whistleblower who says he's been wrongly convicted of passing on information about the parlous state of Sydney Airport security to the media. As he prepares a final appeal to the High Court, he talks to Sunday Profile. Allan Kessing, Sydney Airport whistleblower ; Kessing s report on the security problems at our airports was gathering dust until it found its way onto the front page of The Australian. So to thank Mr Kessing for his efforts, a grateful nation charged him with leaking the report. Media Watch: Democratic Sabotage (16/10/2006)
• · · · · Whistleblower protection: a comprehensive scheme for the Commonwealth public sector - report of the inquiry into whistleblowing protection within the Australian Government public sector, Blowing the whistle, or speaking out against suspected wrongdoing in the workplace can be a very risky course of action. Outcomes can fall far short of expectations...Australia is blessed with a very high standard of public administration and professional conduct within the public sector. However, wrongdoing within the sector does occur from time to time and legislation on whistleblower protection is piecemeal at best." Whistleblower protection