The Winter’s Tale
John Bell (pictured) filters The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s late, great fable, through the eyes of the boy Mamillius, placing all the action in his bedroom amid child-size chairs, a tumble of toys and a dress-up box. Here Leontes, king of Sicily, launches into a bewildering denunciation of his wife, Hermione, and orders the deaths of those closest to him, Mamillius dies and his newborn sister is abandoned in Bohemia. Sixteen years pass and, magically, harmony is restored. Bell’s is a touching decision but a limiting one. There are many memorable images but the levels of superstition, art and rational thought. But we have to nut it all out somehow or life is not worth living. A theatre director, Will Drummond, is wrestling with a production of The Importance of Being Earnest and has been asked to give a school talk on Bertolt Brecht. The play is partly a series of speeches in which individual characters explain what they think they know or remember. They are played by an astonishingly star-studded cast. Brendan Cowell gives a beautiful performance of a man who is used to trying to make artistic sense of things but is blindsided by the shocking event we watch slowly creeping up on him.
Ganesh Versus the Third Reich
After an international tour that took in 16 cities, Ganesh Versus the Third Reich is making its Sydney debut at Carriageworks. The winner of the 2012 Helpmann Award for best play is presented by Back to Back Theatre and is performed by an ensemble of five actors with intellectual disabilities. It follows the Hindu elephantheaded god Ganesh on a journey through Nazi Germany to reclaim the swastika, highlighting issues of appropriation.
Alexander Zubrzycki Carriageworks. 245 Wilson Street, Redfern. Ends tonight, 8pm. Tickets: $20-$35. Bookings: 136 100 or online. Duration: 1hr 40min.
John McCallum Upstairs Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills. Today, 2pm and 8pm. Tickets: $48-$68. Bookings: (02) 9699 3444 or online. Duration: 1hr 40min, no interval. Until March 23.
Jump for Jordan
This surprisingly funny and very moving play, directed by Iain Sinclair, deals with issues that first became familiar in the drama of multiculturalism in the 1980s, but it does so with such a freshness that the story feels as if it is being told for the first time. Two daughters of a migrant Jordanian family have grown up in Australia and have found Australian partners, but they are tormented in different ways by the oppressive weight of a cultural tradition brought out by their mother — from one desert to another. The set, by Pip Runciman, shows an Australian suburban lounge room invaded by a huge drift of desert sand. There is a great deal packed into this relatively short show. All exiles have a story to tell. With Sal Sharah and Doris Younane.
JM SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross. Today, 2pm and 7pm. Tickets: $19-$49 (returns only). Bookings (02) 9361 3817 or online. Duration: 90min, no interval. Until March 29. chairman of Sotheby’s Australia, which is hosting the collection at its premises at 30 Queen Street, Woollahra. “We are greatly indebted to the generosity of all the private lenders and their willingness to share their treasured works of art with the broader community.’’ The proceeds of admission will be donated to the Australian Ballet. Sotheby’s Australia, 30 Queen Street, Woollahra. Daily 10am5pm. Admission: $10-$20. Inquiries: (02) 9302 2402. Until March 23. story of a former ironman champion and his wheelchairbound son, who join forces to compete in a triathlon in Nice. The program includes the world premiere of Folies Bergere, a comedy with Isabelle Huppert. Another highlight will be Roman Polanski’s Venus in