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What visions have I seen
The last Tivoli reborn
Adelaide Festival opening weekend conjured worlds beyond the mortal realm of coronavirus and international border closures, courtesy a United States countertenor released from quarantine to reign over impish fairies and an acrobatic troupe and choir who pulsed as one in a spectacle of human possibility.

As festival co-director Neil Armfield revived his production of the Benjamin Britten opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream, first staged for Houston Grand Opera in 2009, the Festival Theatre fizzed with celebration to help its audience forget that Covid-19 travel restrictions had blocked artists from across the African continent, the UK, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Russia, Canada, Spain, Scandinavia, Israel and Lebanon from physically entering Australia.


The $66 million rebuilding of Adelaide’s Her Majesty’s into what has been hailed one of the world’s finest theatres required a dance with its almost vanished history of a century ago.

The theatre’s grandeur has been restored in contemporary textures, including a stylish wood-filled auditorium likened to a ship’s hull and a new, additional west wing with a dramatic glass façade, as a lucky few Covid-restricted audience members discovered upon the theatre’s reopening in September 2020.


Steve's essays Bent Man Running published in Growing Up Queer in Australia and Stream drama in Meanjin autumn 2020.
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