Steve Dow
is a Melbourne-born, Sydney-based arts writer.

By this author


Culture August 24, 2019

Film director Jennifer Kent

Five years after her much-lauded The Babadook, director Jennifer Kent has returned with The Nightingale, which tackles Australia’s brutal colonial history. She reveals what drew her to tell this story – and what she thinks of audience reactions to the film’s violence. “The whole point of The Nightingale is what happens when that rage winds down. What are you left with? That to me is the most interesting part of the story: what lies underneath it is a broken heart.”

Theatre August 10, 2019

Oriel Gray’s The Torrents

A long-overdue revival of Oriel Gray’s The Torrents is brilliantly cast and beautifully produced, highlighting the work of a talented Australian playwright who was never given the recognition she deserved.

Sport June 08, 2019

Skateboarder Aimee Massie’s Olympic dreams

While her sights are firmly set on a spot in the Australian Olympic team for Tokyo 2020, skateboarder Aimee Massie is also using her sporting talents to assist local community projects.

Culture May 25, 2019

The many facets of Zindzi Okenyo’s world

Zindzi Okenyo is asserting herself through her art – on stage, on screen and in the recording studio. Here, the singer-songwriter and actor talks about growing up in different parts of Australia, travelling to her father’s birth country, and being comfortable in her own skin. “The older that I’ve gotten, the more it seems to me the way to be better is to know yourself as much as possible and then relax into it.”

Culture April 13, 2019

Rosslynd Piggott’s sense of self

As Rosslynd Piggott prepares for I Sense You But I Cannot See You – the second retrospective of her career at the National Gallery of Victoria – she reflects on her childhood in Frankston, her ambition as a young artist and her life’s work. “I did a year of teaching in 1981 in the remote Victorian country at Werrimull. I’d just come out of post-punk Melbourne, thrust up there in the middle of nowhere. I was never going to do three years up there. After that, I just ran away, basically, to St Kilda, doing dishwashing and waitressing. I knew I wanted to be an artist.”

Culture February 09, 2019

Metal singer Karina Utomo’s roar history

Whether singing about the bloody past of the country of her birth in metal band High Tension, or in the wordless growls and screams of Speechless, a new opera about the Forgotten Children, Karina Utomo finds catharsis in unleashing her powerful voice. Etched into her memory is the burning down of a music store, which sold cassettes because CDs remained a luxury item. The shop, she says, was targeted because it was owned by Chinese Indonesians, the long-time targets of racist scapegoating. “Buying music with my father was a treat. That was somewhere we had gone every week and it symbolised access to music, to engage in a culture with which I connected.”

Culture January 26, 2019

Wiradjuri dancer Joel Bray’s platypus identity

As a gay Aboriginal Australian who grew up in a largely white world, Joel Bray found purpose and identity through dance. His latest work – the intimate solo performance Biladurang – blends choreography and theatre in a raw exploration of his own very personal journey. “I’ve had people hug me, I’ve had people crying, I’ve had people share their stories of discovering their Aboriginality late in life.”

Theatre November 17, 2018

STC’s A Cheery Soul

STC’s production of Patrick White’s darkly comic A Cheery Soul shows that the story of ‘monstrous’ nursing home resident Miss Docker is a still-relevant examination of the loss of agency in old age.

Theatre September 15, 2018

The Harp in the South

Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Ruth Park’s still-resonant The Harp in the South trilogy for the STC boasts perfect casting for its darkly comic tale of gentrification and community.

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