Listen to SmartArts - 12 December 201955:4612 December 2019

Richard discusses a program overview of Asia TOPA with Artistic Director Stephen Armstrong and Associate Director Kate Ben-Tovim. Armstrong says that one of the major themes running through the program is "how the past is a ballast for the present and the future."

Richard discusses a new book The Australian Musical: From the Beginning with Co-author Peter Wyllie Johnston. This comprehensive history is a work of passion from two people who have a lifetime love of musical theatre. Wyllie Johnston started his first scrapbook on musical theatre at age eleven. His collection of information culminated in a PhD on the subject and now this book. He says his co-author, Peter Pinne, is equally as passionate.

Richard talks to Alison Croggon about her new Platform Paper on arts criticism. Alison is an award-winning critic and creative and addresses the question 'why is arts criticism important?'.

About this program

Visual art, theatre, film and literature. Segments include:

  • 'Art Attack' - fortnightly visual arts reviews with Ace Wagstaff and Tai Snaith.
  • 'Shoot the Messenger' - fortnightly theatre news & reviews with Fleur Kilpatrick.
  • 'Drawn Out' - monthly chat about comic books and graphic novels with Bernard Caleo.

Please email for all interview requests.


Richard Watts has many years experience working in the arts industry, including five years as the Artistic Director of the youth arts organisation Express Media, seven years on the Board of Melbourne Fringe (including three years as Chair), and six years on the Committee of Management at La Mama Theatre, where he currently serves as Chair. Richard has helped program a range of festivals including Next Wave, the National Young Writers' Festival, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the Emerging Writers' Festival (which he founded) and he has written for various broadsheets, journals, zines and magazines. Currently he pays the rent by working as the Performing Arts Editor at In his spare time he watches old Doctor Who episodes.

The podcast intro and outro theme is Soft Illusion and was generously provided by Andras.