Alison Croggon

is The Saturday Paper’s arts editor.

By this author

Culture June 17, 2023

Florentina Holzinger’s TANZ

Florentina Holzinger’s ecstatic dance work TANZ is a standout in Melbourne’s winter Rising festival. It is a wild, confronting meditation on care, permission and desire.

Culture March 25, 2023


This year’s WOMADelaide was the biggest so far – and the festival still holds moments of undeniable magic.

Culture March 18, 2023

Adelaide Festival

The Adelaide Festival holds both the deft idealism of Remote Theater Project’s Grey Rock and Kip Williams’ misguided follow-up to The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Culture February 25, 2023

Mona Foma

Tasmania’s Mona Foma explores the possibilities of a decentralised festival, offering hope in the fractures of modern life.

Life December 03, 2022

How Twitter pulled us together (and apart)

The future of Twitter under Elon Musk is deeply uncertain, leaving its tight-knit communities of users searching for new platforms to talk across boundaries and encounter new ideas.

Culture November 05, 2022

Girls & Boys

Dennis Kelly’s solo play Girls & Boys relies on a simplistic framing of violence and misogyny that undermines a powerful performance.

Culture August 27, 2022

Anna K

As a feminist interrogation of Tolstoy’s classic, Anna K is a disappointingly cosmetic treatment.

Culture July 30, 2022

Illuminate Adelaide

In its second year, Illuminate Adelaide is putting the art into spectacle.

Culture June 11, 2022


After two years of setbacks, Rising is finally reaching exhilarating heights with two powerful dance performances from Mette Ingvartsen and Marrugeku.

Culture April 30, 2022


The Melbourne Theatre Company’s SLAP. BANG. KISS. is a step behind the radical generation it is speaking to.

Comment April 16, 2022

The campaign to destroy the arts

“For state and religious authorities, art has often been the enemy. It’s easy to see why. Art tends to be anti-authoritarian. It argues against the simplistic. It opens possibilities. It values freedom. It imagines. Worst of all, it destabilises …”

Culture March 12, 2022

Adelaide Festival

This year’s Adelaide Festival is headlined by Barrie Kosky’s latest opera, but among the most affecting shows are the most modest.

Culture February 19, 2022

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth highlights how easily human beings can be lured into catastrophic delusion.

Culture December 11, 2021

Moulin Rouge: The Musical

Moulin Rouge reinvents the jukebox musical with a mix of sentimentality and grit that eluded Baz Luhrmann’s film.

Culture December 04, 2021

As You Like It

The MTC’s production of  As You Like It is burdened by heavy direction and a preponderance of song.

Culture October 09, 2021


Isklander is an interactive online thriller that puts the audience at the centre of its plot.

Culture July 03, 2021

The Truth

Florian Zeller’s farce The Truth is let down by a Melbourne Theatre Company production that stumbles behind its supple text.

Culture June 05, 2021

Food Court

A remount of Back to Back Theatre’s Food Court, one of the few shows seen before Rising was shuttered, is a masterpiece of violence and poignancy.

Culture May 29, 2021

Rising festival

Despite a snap lockdown, Melbourne’s newest festival, Rising, marks a revolution in how an arts festival can be conceived and how it can serve a city.

Culture April 17, 2021

Because the Night

The real star of Because the Night – the immersive theatre show that has taken over Melbourne’s Malthouse – is the production’s mega-installation set.

Culture March 20, 2021

Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes

MTC’s Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes may look familiar on the surface, but this intelligent play contains a devastating portrayal of erasure.

Life March 20, 2021

Into the breach

A foundering relationship between the author and her sister prompts a painful reflection on upbringing, British colonialism and the patriarchy, and examines how their entrenched structures can become the ties that divide.

Culture March 06, 2021

Adelaide Festival

From turgid opera to contemporary dance in bowling alleys, this year’s Adelaide Festival runs the gamut from dull to delightful.

Culture December 19, 2020

A different hope

The problems that plague Australian arts and culture long predate 2020, but this year's crises have thrown them into vivid relief.

Culture October 24, 2020


Ben Wheatley’s new adaptation of Rebecca opts for safe nostalgia over du Maurier’s conflicted subtext.

Culture March 21, 2020

Covid-19 and the arts

Covid-19 containment measures have led to unprecedented shutdowns in the arts sector, with small companies and independent artists in the greatest jeopardy.

Theatre February 22, 2020

Torch the Place

Despite some shaky moments, Benjamin Law’s Torch the Place is filled with humour and heart, and breathes new life into the Australian tradition of naturalism.

Theatre February 08, 2020

The Feather in the Web

Though it never quite coheres, The Feather in the Web takes some sharp digs at contemporary society and is bolstered by an excellent cast.

Theatre December 21, 2019

Best stage performances of 2019

While Australian artists face challenging times, brilliant work is still being staged.

Culture November 30, 2019

Apocalypse Meow: Crisis Is Born

Both riotously funny and achingly true, Apocalypse Meow: Crisis Is Born confirms Meow Meow as one of the world’s finest cabaret artists.

Theatre November 23, 2019

The Audition

Although it has moments of genuine power that convey the inhumane conditions faced by asylum seekers, The Audition never quite coheres.

Theatre October 19, 2019

The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes

Acerbic and powerful, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes exposes the exploitation of people with disability, and continues Back to Back Theatre’s tradition of making groundbreaking work.

Theatre October 05, 2019

Mentalist Scott Silven

Relying on more than sleight of hand and psychological manipulation, mentalist Scott Silven elicits wonder and delight from his audiences by connecting them through his performances.

Theatre August 24, 2019

Golden Shield

One of three plays by Anchuli Felicia King to feature on Australian stages this year, Golden Shield engages intelligently with the digital world and shows great heart. It’s a triumph.

Culture July 20, 2019


Although Stanisław Lem’s classic novel Solaris provides rich source material for a stage adaptation, there’s a disappointing banality to Malthouse Theatre’s production.

Theatre June 29, 2019

MTC’s Storm Boy

Although Melbourne Theatre Company’s Storm Boy is lushly produced, Colin Thiele’s story is showing its age – particularly in the face of a global climate emergency.

Culture June 08, 2019

Patricia Cornelius’s Love and Shit

Love and Shit, an exhilarating double bill by Patricia Cornelius at fortyfivedownstairs, expose the uncomfortable realities of Australia’s underclass. In doing so, these plays remind us how vital theatre can be.

Culture May 25, 2019

The Production Company’s Lazarus

Despite a bizarre narrative that at times seems nonsensical, the first Australian production of David Bowie’s musical, Lazarus, is gloriously camp. And of course, there’s no denying the power of Bowie’s songs.

Culture May 04, 2019

Bell Shakespeare’s The Miser

With an energetic cast and Peter Evans’ strong direction, Bell Shakespeare’s production of The Miser proves that Molière’s satire is still right on the money.