Peter Craven
is a literary and culture critic.

By this author


Theatre March 14, 2020

Emerald City

MTC and Queensland Theatre’s revival of Emerald City brings the distinctly Australian dramatic idiom of playwright David Williamson into focus once more. Skilfully led by Nadine Garner, the work still has much to offer.

Culture November 30, 2019

Publisher and writer Hilary McPhee

Once a powerhouse of Australian publishing, Hilary McPhee traded the comfortable life she knew for a mysterious job with Middle Eastern royalty. In writing about this adventure and the collapse of her marriage to Don Watson in her new memoir, Other People’s Houses, she traces her strange journey back to herself. “I dreaded coming back to Australia because I left feeling I’d lost everything, I’d lost my marriage. We’d been together for more than 20 years, so it was quite a lot of life.”

Television November 09, 2019

His Dark Materials

With a superb cast and a cracking pace, the BBC–HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials proves television is the perfect vehicle for the beloved trilogy.

Theatre October 05, 2019

Anthem

As a piece of ambitious drama – brimming with compassion and moody delights, and performed by a superb ensemble cast – Anthem hits the high notes.

Theatre September 07, 2019

Ulster American

With its pitch-perfect production of David Ireland’s wickedly funny Ulster American, Red Stitch Actors Theatre continues to do some of the most interesting work to be seen on Australian stages.

Culture August 03, 2019

Alexander Briger and the Australian World Orchestra

Under the disciplined baton of founder Alexander Briger, the Australian World Orchestra played an impressive concert of works by Westlake, Janáček and Sibelius.

Culture August 03, 2019

Alexander Briger and the Australian World Orchestra

Under the disciplined baton of founder Alexander Briger, the Australian World Orchestra played an impressive concert of works by Westlake, Janáček and Sibelius.

Culture July 06, 2019

A Little Night Music

While Victorian Opera’s production of A Little Night Music may fail to dazzle, it satisfyingly portrays Sondheim’s witty insights into the sweetness and sorrow of the world.

Culture June 01, 2019

Actress Kat Stewart’s realms of possibility

Although Kat Stewart is well known for playing dark, in-your-face characters, her life experience has led her to a greater appreciation of hope and contentment. Her latest stage role is in Melbourne Theatre Company’s Heisenberg. “The idea I really love is that we spend all this energy trying to control our lives and take comfort in that … but we have very, very, very little control and what this play confronts you with is: What if that is not a bad thing?”

Culture May 18, 2019

Malthouse Theatre’s Cloudstreet

Although the Malthouse Theatre’s production of Cloudstreet is flawed, its failings cannot overshadow the fundamental power of Tim Winton’s novel.

Culture April 06, 2019

Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical

With the transformation of Muriel’s Wedding for the stage, some of the film’s winsome ugly-duckling charm has been lost, and along with it the story’s emotional reality.

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