Five years of Foyer Talk

13 Jul

It surprised me to learn that I’ve now been blogging for five years. What started as a little spark from a conversation about the tendency of Canberra critics to make every effort to discourage artists has become a nice little part of my life.
Since I started Foyer Talk, The Canberra Critic has come and (it seems) gone, and the anonymous Guy Who Watches Canberra Theatre has started writing very encouragingly about his experiences. The venerable clique, Canberra Critics Circle, have started their own blog, which is a vastly more comprehensive dossier of theatre productions in Canberra than my own. And both the Crimes and WIN News have curtailed their involvement with theatre criticism.
And for me, Foyer Talk has become a most enjoyable journey. I have explored what really makes me respond in theatre and cinema auditoria, and I think this has improved my writing. I’ve done this well beyond our energetic little theatre community here in Canberra as well. People often respond positively, occasionally negatively, and in the last twelve months in particular I’ve engaged in some great discussions following my posts.
And the highlights of the last five years? There have been many, but the best definitely include:

  • Floating, with its amazing, engaging playfulness and remarkable story.
  • Ngapartji Ngapartji, which really draws us towards a truly national theatre
  • Another contribution to our national story, Faces in the Street, which really grounded some of the less palatable aspects of the Australian identity.
  • An exploration of my own identity and the influences upon my cultural adherences, in the brilliant The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • One I have not stopped raving about, Animal Farm
  • A Korean version of Hamlet
  • Rep’s wonderful production of I Hate Hamlet (a statement I could never make!)
  • And of course The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, the one that kicked off this little blog five years ago today.
  • So I hope there are a few of you out there who enjoy reading my abuses rants posts as much as I enjoy being at the theatre and writing about it. I certainly intend to do it for another five years. I just hope blogging stays as popular as it is now!


    Posted by on Saturday, 13 July 2013 in blog


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    3 responses to “Five years of Foyer Talk

    1. thatguy

      Sunday, 14 July 2013 at 7:26 am

      Glad to be noticed/acknowledged, or whatever! I must admit, I’ve never seen a great deal of Canberra Critics discouraging artists, except possibly by handing out half-hearted praise willy-nilly (for instance, the last two proper-theatre things I reviewed I was reasonably negative towards, while the print-media reviews were positive, but … hopefully my negative comments were done in a way that suggested there’s un-realised promise in the work, rather than suggesting that the work is perfectly adequate as it is and why bother getting better).

      And I don’t know whether reviewing really improves or weakens the product I’m seeing so much as it just … records what passes in front of me, and how I think about it. I’d also send a shoutout to Canberra Dilletente ( … without whom, I’d never have gone to see the N.U.T.S. productions this season which have both greatly impressed me.

      • chilver

        Sunday, 14 July 2013 at 3:24 pm

        Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I forgot the dilettante! I love that blog and follow it too! Must have been too keen to get away on holiday! Thanks for mentioning it!
        I think the quality has improved over the years, and the genuinely aggressive reviews have lost their edge, which is a good thing.

    2. thatguy

      Sunday, 4 August 2013 at 5:28 pm

      One extra new blogger for the blogroll – – just put up their first post but … they’ve got opinions and they know how to use them.


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