from the editor
IT happens sometimes. One has a think about interesting cultural events coming up, speaks to writers, commissions articles, gets layouts done, edits stories and then realises that just about everything is happening in only one place. This week it’s all about Melbourne, as you’ll discover pretty quickly. There’s the reopening of Hamer Hall, which is a really big deal, and an interview with philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah ahead of Melbourne Writers Festival, and a chat with debut feature film director Benh Zeitlin, whose lauded Beasts of the Southern Wild will screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival next month ahead of a September cinema release. But wait; there’s more. Last year I was much taken with Angela Betzien’s play The Dark Room when I saw it in Sydney, so we talk to her and director Leticia Caceres about their new collaboration for Melbourne Theatre Company, which opens next month. Caceres, as theatrelovers may know, has recently been named associate director at MTC. We could even stretch the point a little by including in this week’s Melbourne mania the review of Stephen Orr’s
Dissonance: A Novel (see page 19), which uses as inspiration episodes in the life of composer Percy Grainger, who was born, yes, in Melbourne. I think you’ll agree the subject matter is extremely diverse, even if its location is singular. And while on matters Melbourne, Brett Sheehy has briefed journalists about his final Melbourne Festival, which runs from October 11 to 27, and while we’re not allowed to say anything until July 30, surely Brett won’t be cross if I say how stimulating and energising the program feels. A bit like the man himself, really, and it augurs well for his upcoming tenure at MTC.