It’s fair to say Tom Wright is having a moment. Earlier this year, the playwright adapted Bertolt Brecht for Sydney Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (starring Hugo Weaving) and next week he will see arguably his most ambitious literary adaptation come to life when Bliss opens at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre. Taking on the work of a living Booker winner in Peter Carey is, as Stephen Romei relates for today’s cover story on pages 8 and 9, new ground for Wright, who generally deals in the business of expired writers. Bliss has a special place in the hearts of many Australians, particularly Gen Xers, and one cannot underestimate the importance of the book to Carey’s career: his debut novel put him on the path to literary greatness. But will it work on stage? Keep your eyes peeled for Chris Boyd’s review in the daily paper on Friday. Speaking of great Australian playwrights, on pages 12 and 13 Victoria Laurie delves into a new program of works at Perth’s Black Swan Theatre Company, featuring Ray Lawler’s classic Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. The only thing more enduring than Lawler’s text is the man himself, who has just powered through his 96th summer. He turns 97 on May 23. Australia might be in the midst of Archibald fever ahead of the winner’s announcement in Sydney on Friday (for what it’s worth, my money is on Nicholas Harding), but on the other side of the world arguably our most successful portraitist is quietly garnering global renown. During the past few years, Ralph Heimans has done official portraits of Prince Philip and the Queen (painted for her diamond jubilee) in addition to commissioned works depicting Margaret Atwood, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Princess Mary of Denmark. The princess’s Australian roots may have something to do with the fact that an exhibition of Heimans’s works will be on display this month at the Museum of National History in Copenhagen for Crown Prince Frederik’s 50th birthday. Should we expect to see unveiled a new portrait of Fred by Ralph? I’m predicting a royal flush.