from the edi­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Profile - Tim Dou­glas

Philippa Hawker’s chat to­day with Emma Stone (pages 14-15) sheds light on a dif­fer­ent era. The 1970s, of course, saw great leaps for­ward for the women’s move­ment but it was still very much a man’s world. That made the ten­nis match in 1973 be­tween Bil­lie Jean King (who Stone plays in new film Bat­tle of the Sexes) and male player Bobby Riggs all the more fas­ci­nat­ing. Fa­mously quoth Riggs be­fore the tele­vised match: “No 1, the woman should stay in the bed­room. No 2, they should get to the kitchen. No 3, they should sup­port the man.” Charm­ing. Stone, like King in 1973, is at the top of her game. She won the best ac­tress Os­car last year for her role in La La Land, and is the high­est-paid ac­tress in the world, earn­ing a whop­ping $US35 mil­lion last year. (Warn­ing: tragic irony ahead.) That fig­ure wouldn’t even put her among the top 10 high­est-earn­ing male ac­tors and is about half the salary earned by the man on top: Mark Wahlberg ($US69m). Seems the bat­tle of the sexes has a way to go yet.

It’s all hap­pen­ing in Bris­bane at the mo­ment. Queens­land Bal­let artis­tic di­rec­tor Li Cunxin an­nounced this week he will re­turn to the stage for the first time in 18 years, along­side wife Mary Li; QAGOMA is pre­par­ing to launch its reimag­ined Aus­tralian art col­lec­tion; and David Berthold’s penul­ti­mate Bris­bane Fes­ti­val is in full swing. On Tues­day, I found my­self in the glo­ri­ous 100-year-old venue, the Tivoli. Usu­ally Bris­bane’s rock venue of choice, the Tiv had been mag­i­cally trans­formed into a Weimar-style can­dlelit cabaret den for the bril­liant fes­ti­val per­for­mance of Or­pheus by Lit­tle Bulb Theatre and Bat­tersea Arts Cen­tre. The so­phis­ti­cated makeover be­comes the Tiv, but it won’t last. Aussie rock­ers Re­gur­gi­ta­tor re­turn there on Wed­nes­day night.

The same-sex mar­riage ques­tion might be di­vi­sive along po­lit­i­cal lines, but it has strong sup­port in the arts sec­tor, and no com­pany has more firmly nailed its rain­bow colours to the mast than the Aus­tralian Bal­let. On Tues­day, as dancers took their cur­tain call for Christo­pher Wheel­don’s Alice’s Ad­ven­tures in Won­der­land, the stage was fes­tooned in con­fetti, heartshaped bal­loons and signs read­ing “YES”. Or­ches­tra Vic­to­ria played the Wed­ding Waltz from the pit. It was a sim­i­lar story, if you can be­lieve it, in the re­mote NSW min­ing town of Bro­ken Hill where the Bro­ken Heel drag fes­ti­val was tak­ing place. As cabaret king Trevor Ash­ley re­ported via Twit­ter: “My lovely ma­ture cab driver told me the whole town will vote YES. It loves its as­so­ci­a­tion with Priscilla.”

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