Buoyed by the success of his last screen musical, The Greatest Showman (and its chart-topping soundtrack), Hugh Jackman will perform songs from his stage and film career backed by a live orchestra in arenas around Australia.
The boy from OZ. Australia’s chosen son. Jackman’s the all-singing, all-dancing, baddie-slicing, muscle-bound boy next door. He wins Tony awards pirouetting around Broadway one minute, then, as his X-Men character Wolverine, proceeds to stab and maim people with six blades protruding from his fists.
At MIFF on Thursday night last week, the Australian premiere of the The Australian Dream – a new documentary on the booing of Indigenous footballer Adam Goodes – concluded with a standing ovation. The applause was a moving rejection of the racism and violence inflicted on Australia’s First Nations. The next night at 8.30pm at a civilised Fitzroy North pub, a fight broke out and a man was punched to the ground, where he lay bleeding on the terrazzo floor from a gash on his head.
While it isn’t a problem unique to this country, violence and machismo are built into Australia’s identity – despite its attempts to crawl out of the last century. All of which is a long way of saying that although Jackman’s Hollywood charms feel like they come from a different age, in many ways he’s a mirror of a country learning to discover its sensitive side, while struggling to hold onto the sweat, blood and muscle of its past.
Fri August 16, 7.30pm
Sat August 17, 2pm & 7.30pm
Sun August 18, 2pm & 7.30pm
Tue August 27, 7.30pm