Peter Craven
is a literary and culture critic.

By this author


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 March 09, 2019

Ellen Burstyn variations

Ellen Burstyn, in Melbourne to star onstage in 33 Variations, has a film career spanning six decades and including such cinematic touchstones as The Exorcist and The Last Picture Show. She talks tabout Beethoven, spirituality and recruiting Scorsese to direct her in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. “I asked that he be the director. He had already made Mean Streets, but it hadn’t been released and he was deeply grateful that I wanted him. This doesn’t mean that I gave him his start. And there was no stopping him, anyway – he would have got there in any case. But, you know, there was never any sense with Marty of working with a monster, with a master in the nasty sense. He’s marvellous, he’s an original. He’s smart and fiery and rough and excitable and alive.”

Culture February 09, 2019

Antony and Cleopatra

The National Theatre’s modern, militarised take on Antony and Cleopatra – ‘the greatest of Shakespeare’s history plays’ – offers a flat production but fine performances from Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo.

Theatre December 08, 2018

MTC’s Twelfth Night

Simon Phillips’ MTC production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night may lack a little of the comedy’s melancholy, but in Tamsin Carroll and Richard Piper it has performances as good as seen anywhere.

Theatre November 09, 2018

Astroman and Krapp’s Last Tape

MTC’s childish ’80s romp Astroman – unsuccessfully transplanted from New Zealand to Geelong – is unlikely to appeal even to schoolkids, but more adult audiences will revel in Max Gillies’ masterful turn in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.

Theatre October 13, 2018

Barry McGovern’s Watt

Barry McGovern’s one-man adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s novel Watt is a masterpiece of poignant, pratfalling absurdity

Culture September 29, 2018

Choreographer Liam Scarlett

Choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former dancer with the Royal Ballet whose Midsummer Night’s Dream will soon tour China, seems destined to join the ranks of the all-time greats. “With every premiere you sit back and watch it for what it is. You think I could tweak this or I could tweak that. But I was happy with it, it was such a relief when it was over but it’s probably the thing I’ve done which I felt most proud of.”

Theatre August 25, 2018

‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’

Solid acting from Marta Dusseldorp and her supporting cast at MTC can’t save A Doll’s House, Part 2, an unnecessary and misguided sequel to Ibsen’s masterpiece.

Culture August 04, 2018

Christie Whelan Browne’s theatrical life

Actress-singer Christie Whelan Browne catapulted to the attention of theatregoers at a young age, untrained but bursting with talent. Here, she talks about fate, timing and discovering a love of musical theatre. “I was the clown, I really made people laugh. Boys told me I was ugly … I used comedy to fit in.”

Theatre July 14, 2018

‘Gloria’ at MTC

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ much-hyped Gloria is well executed by MTC, but its pretensions outweigh its eminence.

Theatre June 02, 2018

‘The Wizard of Oz’

A tricked-up Andrew Lloyd Webber version of a timeless classic has the viewer realising they’re not in Kansas anymore.

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