Muriel’s Wedding the Musical: A resounding hit

Congratulations to the Muriel’s Wedding: the Musical team. After opening night this Saturday the reviews are flooding in. Here are just some of the terrific responses:

Muriel’s Wedding feels like the complete package: a beloved film seamlessly updated; a central character who retains all the ambiguities that made you root for her in the first place; a conspicuously inventive score peppered with classic pop hits, and a mainstage debut that will be talked about for years.” SMH

“Director Simon Phillips has the show running on a smooth rail and has cast the show impeccably.” – SMH

“Hogan and director Simon Phillips have made this story work superbly on stage, from their thoughtful inclusion of ABBA as Muriel’s unlikely guardians, to the several tragedies of the second act, to their handling of all the iconic lines” Daily Review

“Under the ebullient guidance of director Simon Phillips, Muriel’s Wedding arrives on the musical stage with raucous, ribald, uninhibited ­energy and an unshakeable belief in the concept that more is more, particularly in the show’s manic first half.”  – The Australian

“The sets and costumes by Tylesova are so good they are almost another character in themselves. The audience actually gasped at the first sight of Sydney on the stage, and Bill Heslop’s architectural model for coastal overdevelopment was hilarious, featuring a skyscraper in the shape of a half-peeled banana.” – News.com.au

“Pushing the action along is a clever set design by Gabriela Tylesova that mixes the prosaic with the poetic.” – The Guardian

Adam Cook at the Seymour Centre 2018

Acclaimed director Adam Cook doubles down at the Seymour Centre next year. Sport for Jove fans can catch MOBY DICK from August 9th:

“For those who have not read Moby Dick in years or have never wet their feet, it is an example of the very greatest poetry ever put to paper – exquisitely playful, funny, barbaric, soul-shunting and desperate. To see it on stage is a miracle of theatricality, the power of the spoken word, and the skill of the actor. This is an epic story where poetry is the captain of the ocean and of us all.”

From July 4th Adam will direct Outhouse Theatre Company’s Australian premiere of The Rolling Stone by rising British playwriting star, Chris Urch.

“In some parts of the world, being gay can get you killed and The Rolling Stone could not be more timely. Urch has crafted a powerful and gripping play where family, faith and paranoia collide. Shining a light on bigotry and the battle to be yourself in an unforgiving society, it is a play for our challenging times.”

Read more here.

Kriv Stenders signs on to direct POACHER

Kriv Stenders is attached to direct Poacher, a Tasmanian-set seafaring action thriller starring  Luke Bracey and Nick Nolte.

Bracey will play Cam Strachan, a young man who encounters a fishing baron named John Hardy (Nolte) who rules the town, and is transformed from a small-time abalone poacher into the boss of a criminal gang.

Stenders responded to the script as a blend of Western, crime thriller and seafaring adventure, likening it to The Perfect Storm meets Animal Kingdom.

Read more here.

AACTA’s Announced

Congratulations to all nominees for the upcoming AACTA’s, especially to all the HLA clients for their exceptionally good work:
BEST TELEVISION DRAMA SERIES TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL
BEST DIRECTION IN A TELEVISION DRAMA OR COMEDY TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL Episode 5 – Who’s Your Daddy? Jane Campion; SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY Episode 2 – Alex, Glendyn Ivin 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN TELEVISION TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL Episode 5 – Who’s Your Daddy?, Germain McMicking
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN IN TELEVISION TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL Episode 4 – Birthday, Annie Beauchamp
BEST COSTUME DESIGN IN TELEVISION TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL Episode 4 – Birthday Emily Seresin; WAKE IN FRIGHT Episode 1 – Part 1, Mariot Kerr
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN TELEVISION SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY Episode 1 – Joe, Bonnie Elliott
BEST DIRECTION BERLIN SYNDROME Cate Shortland
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY JUNGLE Stefan Duscio; LION Greig Fraser
BEST EDITING BERLIN SYNDROME Jack Hutchings
BEST SHORT FICTION FILM MRS MCCUTCHEON John Sheedy; SLAPPER Luci Schroder
Special mention to the creatives who worked on the following:
BEST TELEVISION DRAMA SERIES CLEVERMAN; GLITCH
BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINI SERIES WAKE IN FRIGHTSEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY
Read the full list here.

Tommy Lee Jones Joins STONER

Andrew Bovell’s adaption of John William’s book STONER adds another star to the list as Tommy Lee Jones joins the cast. To be directed by ATONEMENT’s Joe Wright STONER follows a dirt-poor farmer (Casey Affleck) turned academic who emerges as an unlikely existential hero while making his way through the first half of the 20th century.

Read more here.

Adam Spencer launches “The Big Questions””

How often have you used Google to help you answer a random question that pops into your head? Or sat around with friends to discuss a topic at length?

Adam Spencer’s new podcast is here to help.

“Big Questions HQ is a place to talk to smart interesting people about smart interesting stuff. Adam speaks to a range of experts across a mix of different topics,
with a strong tilt in the direction of Science & Technology. The idea is pretty simple – we’ll ask some Big Questions and we’ll find some big experts to help answer them.”

Read more here.

Thing I Know To Be True – UK tour success

Andrew Bovell’s THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE continues its tour of the UK, charming audiences as it goes.

“Those of a sentimental turn of mind may find Things I Know To Be True to be a heart-warming and reassuring story of family life as lived today – a familiar story of solidly working class parents struggling to make a better life for their children. Those of a more cynical bent might connect with the realisation that the ties that bind families together survive only at the expense of truth, honesty and ambition, through compromise, lies, personal suppression and sheer bloody-mindedness. Either of these approaches to the narrative delivers satisfying results: family is wonderful and awful at the same time in equal measure.”

Read the full four star review here.

Neil Armfield Directs New Play at National Theatre London

Announced overnight, director Neil Armfield will travel to the National Theatre London in 2018 to take on David Hare’s new play I’M NOT RUNNING.

“I was thrilled to accept. It’s one of his best plays — smart, passionate, absolutely contemporary and funny”

I’M NOT RUNNING follows the world wide success of his production of CLOUDSTREET which played at The National in 1999 and 2001. Read more about Neil and the National Theatre season here.

Four Stars for The Go-Betweens: Right Here

THE GO BETWEENS: RIGHT HERE is released in cinemas today! Kriv Stenders directs a “thoughtful, engaging, enigmatic” documentary charting the band’s rise and fall.

The Sydney Morning Herald gives THE GO BETWEENS a glowing four star review:

“The film, and most of the others I mentioned, ought to be compulsory viewing for young bands – how not to screw the pooch – but maybe not. Everyone has to make their own mistakes.”

Read more here.

Bright Star Hits Netflix

“Campion had been on a roll of casting popular A-list actors in her films (Holly Hunter in The Piano; Nicole Kidman in The Portrait of a Lady; Kate Winslet in Holy Smoke; Meg Ryan in In the Cut), but the casting of these two up-and-comers couldn’t have been more perfect”

Jane Campion’s dreamy Bright Star is now available on Netflix. Following Romantic poet John Keat’s final years and his romance with Fanny Brawne, Campion’s 2009 film cast young Ben Whishaw and Abby Cornish as the fated lovers. Stunningly shot by Greig Fraser, this is possibly one of Campion’s most underrated films.

Read more here.