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Sometimes, the best part of seeing a show is the conversation it sparks. Our series of ‘morning after’ breakfast events invites you to join a selection of writers, critics and arts lovers to dissect selected Melbourne Festival shows, sharing views on what worked, what didn’t – and why.
Each Morning After session will pair one or more of our creative writers with established critics to talk about what they’ve seen. Come and debrief in a relaxed, informal atmosphere – the perfect way to share ideas and inspiration about art.
This morning, we’ll be talking about The Shadow King, an explosive Indigenous reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, King Lear.
A powerful melding of Shakespearian pathos with Aboriginal language, music and dance, The Shadow King recasts King Lear as a sprawling, blood-soaked tale of two Indigenous families in Australia’s north.
Download the podcast: (mp3 - 53m47s / 25.8mb).
Read our writers' reviews and join the discussion around The Shadow King on this website.
Simon Abrahams is a strategic arts and cultural leader, dynamic programmer and experienced producer whose work has been recognised nationally and internationally. He is Chair of Theatre Network Victoria, and a freelance arts consultant and performer.
Born in Hamilton in western Victoria in 1953, Shane Maloney is one of Australia’s most popular novelists. His award-winning and much-loved Murray Whelan series – Stiff, The Brush-Off, Nice Try, The Big Ask, Something Fishy and Sucked In – has been published around the world.
In 1996, The Brush-Off won the Ned Kelly Prize for Crime Fiction. In 2004, Stiff and The Brush-Off were made into telemovies starring David Wenham as Murray Whelan. In 2009, Shane Maloney was presented with the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia Lifetime Achievement Award.
Alison Croggon is an award-winning novelist, poet, theatre writer, critic and editor who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She works in many genres and her books and poems have been published to acclaim nationally and internationally.
She is arts editor for The Saturday Paper and co-founder of the performance criticism website Witness. Her most recent book is the creative non-fiction Monsters, out in March 2021, from Scribe Publications.
Melissa Lucashenko is a Goorie writer whose work celebrates Aboriginal people and others living around the margins of the First World. Her latest novel, Too Much Lip, won the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance. Her novel Mullumbimby was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and Stella Prize, shortlisted for the Kibble Literary Award, and won the Queensland Literary Award for Fiction and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing.
Between the rise of new media and the shrinking of the old, arts criticism is evolving fast.
While blogs and online forums have opened the conversation to anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection, professional critics fiercely guard their status as informed arbiters of art. What’s the difference between opinion and criticism? Does it really matter?
The Wheeler Centre and Melbourne Festival are bringing criticism off the page (and screen) and onto the stage, with a dynamic events series that brings together some of Australia’s finest creative writers, a cast of international critics — and you.
Join us for a morning series of ‘live criticism’ cafe events on selected Melbourne Festival shows, and an expert panel on the future of criticism itself.
We’ve enlisted some of Australia’s most creative writers – Malcolm Knox, Amanda Lohrey, Melissa Lucashenko, Chloe Hooper and Shane Maloney – to craft personal responses to the Festival’s shows for our website, for people to discuss. Delve.
Supported by ABC Arts.