AUTHOR: Peter Hurley

The Last Five Years

5th December, 2016

  The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown is the story of a marriage told from both partners’ perspective, in the form of a chamber musical. We know from the beginning how the story ends, because at the start she’s in tears – it’s the end of the relationship. Cathy – played by Verity…Read More

Songs for a New World

9th June, 2016

Billed as a song cycle, rather than a musical, Songs for a New World is actually more than the sum of its parts, at least in this production at Chapel off Chapel by Blue Saint. In terms of form, this piece perhaps comes closest to Revue; each song is a scene in itself, and so…Read More

Opera Australia: The Pearlfishers

18th May, 2016

How do we receive an opera that contains a tune so famous that it in itself has acquired layers of cultural meaning beyond this original context? A musical and cultural artifact that has meaning to a population with no idea of the opera it came from? The Pearlfishers contains a male duet that has become…Read More

Gripped by Violet passion

15th March, 2016

Violet is funny, sad, charming, gritty, dramatic, confronting, nostalgic, simple, and sophisticated in its understandings of human nature all at once. I also believe it to be a significant piece that should attract a devoted following – both in the quality of its writing and the quality of this current production by Blue Saint at…Read More

Ghost: the Musical

18th February, 2016

Am I the only person in the world who didn’t see the film Ghost? I thought it would be an interesting piece to see with absolutely no preparation, because the film is so well known, fresh eyes and ears might be hard to find. The book for this musical was written by Bruce Joel Rubin,…Read More

The Grumpiest Boy in the World

7th October, 2015

  There was a serious buzz in the theatre as I was seated – people were using phrases like “so exciting to see this kind of innovation in our opera company!” “Have you heard Joseph Twist’s music yet? You are in for a treat!” I also noticed how very many children of all ages were…Read More

In good Company

22nd September, 2015

Now showing at 45 Downstairs, from its first opening in 1970 this musical shocked and delighted the Broadway audience, partly with the “non linear narrative”, but perhaps more because of its candour in showing aspects of modern relationships with all their flaws. Today it has lost none of its connection, because of the insightfulness behind…Read More

Master Class

9th September, 2015

A buzz from the Sydney season of this show kept appearing on my social media feeds but didn’t prepare me for the impact of this production of Master Class. Based on a series of actual masterclasses which Maria Callas gave to young singers at Julliard in 1971 through ’72, Terence McNally’s writing also takes us…Read More


19th August, 2015

Remembrance is Victorian Opera’s new work marking the centenary of the events at Gallipoli that we today commemorate as ANZAC. This work draws on documents of the period to allow the voices of the people involved to speak directly to us. From the songs of the period, and parodies crafted by the soldiers at war,…Read More

I am a Miracle

27th July, 2015

Text, music, soundscape and set are all active participants in Declan Greene’s I am a Miracle – Chapter 3 Ritual// Extinction at the Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse. The work opens with a short monologue from a condemned man, who admits to the crime with which he is charged. He is nervous, frightened, and unstable. He pleads…Read More