Theatre: Athol Fugard wrote Sizwe Banzi is Dead during the darkest apartheid years, but he knows that political writing must also reach into the heart and mess of human lives, writes Alison Croggon. Peter Brook’s production is impeccably realised on a bare stage, with Pitcho Womba Konga and Habib Dembele. Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, ends today. Bookings: 131 246.
Music: The Australian Chamber Orchestra again brings contemporary composition to centre stage, with an unsettling new work by Estonian Erkki- Sven Tuur and James Ledger’s Folksong , writes Vincent Plush. Mistress of the recorder Genevieve Lacey, radiating warmth and modesty, performs both new works, plus a Telemann concerto. City Recital Hall, Sydney, tonight; and Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Monday.
Visual art: Loaded high with symbolism, the National Indigenous Art Triennial, Culture Warriors, is a varied and at times powerful show, writes Sebastian Smee. On display are bark paintings by John Mawurndjul that hum with magnetism, and brazenly provocative paintings by Gordon Hookey that depict some of the harsher realities facing Aboriginal society. National Gallery of Australia, until February 10.
Theatre: The eccentricities and disturbing ideas of 19th- century scientist Francis Galton, the father of eugenics, are explored in Brian Lipson’s A Large Attendance in the Antechamber . Lipson plays Galton and himself in a virtuoso performance, writes John McCallum. His elaborate business with quaint scientific equipment, as he demonstrates Galton’s silly and sinister sides, is superb. Malthouse Theatre from Wednesday. Bookings: ( 03) 9685 5111.
Dance: Grand is Graeme Murphy’s tribute to the piano and its music, and a striking collaboration with designers Gerard Manion ( set), Damien Cooper ( lighting) Akira Isogawa ( costumes) and pianist Scott Davie. There are ravishing and serious moments, and mawkish ones, writes Deborah Jones. Murphy’s work is most potent when he re- creates in bodies what the music is doing. His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth, Wednesday to November 24. Bookings: ( 08) 9484 1133.
Musical: An American GI and a young Vietnamese woman fall in love just before the evacuation of Saigon, with heartbreak for all concerned. Claude- Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil’s Miss Saigon has been rethought in this new production, bringing the star- crossed lovers into greater focus. Lyric Theatre, Sydney. Bookings: 1300 796 330.
On key: Sydney Dance Company’s Grand