TRAVELLING AROUND VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA PLACES AND EVENTS TO SEE
RIMA BY SQUIDSILO NEW website review by Jennifer Zaman
RIMA is a durational art form based on unique concepts of time and endurance. The 'performance', which is unlike any other, is the depiction of how a person behaves in solitary confinement. In this unlikely performance, the 'stage' is a 2×3 metre area with a single mattress and other small elements, all in stark white. One can observe the bahavioural pattern of the performer within and reflect on the pcycholigical and physical affect of solitude combined with detention. This act was performed over a stretch of an unbelievable 23 hours. This form of art has tremendous potential for studies meant for researchers working in this particular field of interest. However, I doubt it's impact on the rest of the audience, purely because it holds nothing to amuse or entertain anybody. After a few minutes, it can easily get tedious for one to watch. Contemporary art is losing its essence into the sea of blurred ultra-modern concepts; and it is time for revival! Rated it 5/10
CESAR OROZCO AND KAMARATE JAZZ NEW website review by Sylvester Kroyherr
BIRD’S BASEMENT LATIN JAZZ PRESENTED BY CESAR OROZCO & KAMARATA JAZZ – A REVIEW OF A SET IN THE EVENING OF 3/8/2016. Set in the ultra modern and cosy Bird’s Basement, the show consisted of seven numbers with Cesar Orozco (piano, keyboard and vocals), Fran Vielma (percussion), Pablo Bencid (drums), Rodner Padilla (bass) and Troy Roberts (tenor & soprano saxophones). Without hesitation, the band sprang into a very energetic start with the domination of the soprano sax, delivering strong, sometimes discordant passages with powerful rhythms. With the great drive came freshness and inventiveness which was further augmented by the electric keyboard. The Latin style ‘Horopo’ was followed by Cesar’s own composition (Jovo) that displayed his amazing technique on the piano with an incredible solo from the base. The next number involved the singing of the audience with a theme about coffee, tobacco and sugar – cha cha cha! Mixed with all this was a superb sax solo from Aussie Troy Roberts. Driving the Venezuelan themes, the band breezed through another ‘Horopo’ with abstract arrangements displaying marvellous syncopation and another great base solo. The rhythmic fusion of jazz and Latin flavours followed with an interplay of piano, percussion and voice – masterfully executed and with great gusto! As an added dimension to his talents, Cesar displayed a close rapport with the audience aided by his warm sense of humour. In finishing, the band went all out to merge Cuban and Venezuelan rhythms, pushing the limits with a spectacular performance by all the musicians. Having met Cesar on the night, I found him a warm and passionate person who is at the cutting edge of modern jazz. As we know, he is a proficient violinist and it would be interesting to note whether there will come a time when he will adapt his music also to the violin. Full marks and best wishes to Cesar and Kamarata Jazz - and cheers to a memorable evening! SYLVESTER KROYHERR (Singer/Musician/Architect). 7 August 2016
MELBOURNE CLASSIC ORCHESTRA AND RADA TOLCHANA: P.I.TCHAIKOVSKI WINTER DREAMS NEW website review and photos: Kieran McNamara
The Melbourne Classic Orchestra presented P.I. Tchaikovsky Winter Dreams at the St Kilda Town Hall. It is such a beautiful venue inside and with a full house, it was going to be an exciting concert. The Music Director was Alexander Vengerovski with Soloists Rada Tochalna, Irving Dekterev and Alexander Pokryshevsky. The pieces performed were: * Elgy in Memory of Ivan Samarin * Excerpts from opera 'Eugene Onegin' * Symphony N1 'Winter Dreams'
What a pleasant surprise to be seated in the centre of the front row and only 2m from the conductor with orchestra and soloists on the same level as the audience. The soloists were wonderful and to be seated so close to soprano Rada Tochalna as she sung beautifully and with so much power and feeling in her performance as she acted whilst singing. I've listened to many different voices but to be seated so close to a performer and not only hear, but feel the power of their voice and talent was very special. I enjoyed all three soloists performances and the differences that each brought to the concert.
During the performance of Symphony N1 'Winter Dreams', images of snow and winter were projected on a large screen above the orchestra. The images were beautiful and I felt it added to the performance having them shown. Of course, being raised in tropical climates meant I didn't have much experience of such conditions but I could appreciate the beauty of the landscapes on display whilst listening to the beautiful music.
It was a beautiful concert on a Sunday afternoon with excellent performances by everyone and a very appreciative audience. We felt like we were in a grand winter palace with the music, different snow and landscapes shown on the slides and the Russian food available during the intermission and the beautiful traditional costume worn by the MC. I certainly had no idea that such a grand space existing in the St Kilda Town Hall just behind the front facade and look forward to attending more music and events there. A beautiful concert and performances by the soloists and orchestra was enjoyed by everyone with big smiles from the audience and performers after the event.
SUTHERLAND TRIO: LOST LANDSCAPES NEW website review and photos: Kieran McNamara
The Sutherland Trio performance of Lost Landscapes was performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre in the Salon. It was a beautiful and intimate room with the performers against one wall with rows of chairs on three sides with the performers and audience on the same level.
Being such an intimate space, it was so wonderful to be able to hear every note and then watch the way the members of the trio interacted with each other. From the little smiles and the explanations provided of the four pieces created an atmosphere of being in a lounge of a stately home many years ago.
The four pieces performed were:
* Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Trio in C * Lera Auerbach - Postlude for cello and piano * Einojuhani Rautavaara - 'West 23rd Street NY' from Lost Landscapes for violin and piano * Robert Schumann - Piano Trio No. 3 in G minor, Op.110
We enjoyed the mix of pieces and particularly closing my eyes during the West 23rd Street NY did remind me of the sounds in New York but not as random noise. The playing was beautiful and the performance was carried out as a trio with an interesting mix of pieces.
As it was our first visit to the Melbourne Recital Centre and performance by the Sutherland Trio, we couldn't have asked for a more wonderful evening. All four pieces were beautiful to listen to and it was a thoroughly enjoyable night.
SPEAKEASY HQ: LONDON'S BURNING - UK'S BIGGEST NAMES IN VAUDEVILLENEW website press release (photos and article) by Kieran McNamara
London's Burning at Speakeasy HQ The London's Burning show provides an interesting mix of different acts from the UK to keep the audience entertained. The MC provided a wake up to the audience who were struggling with Thursday night after work to get us fired up ready for an exciting show. We listened to stand up comedy where observations of the Aussie way of speaking was explained to us and then current affairs including Brexit were intertwined in Shakespeare's plays in a funny way.
Two female burlesque performances were included in the show for some tease. It's entertaining to watch someone balance an aluminium step ladder on their chin, hammer a nail up their nose in a don't want to watch but cannot your eyes off it kind of way. Andy came out to sing and he was great and with an excellent voice. It's so cool listening to him sing Mr Bojangles while he looks so cool on the stage.
It was an entertaining show in a beautiful venue with a good mix of acts to keep it fun and interesting. All of the performers are experienced which makes it a wonderful show with a mix of serious, silly, fun, happy and weird performances but that is what is to be expected at a vaudeville venue. I recommend getting along to Speakeasy HQ to see any of their shows for a fun evening.
MISS WORLD AUSTRALIA CROWNING CEREMONY NEW website press release, article and photos by Glen Wilson
South Australia: Beza Mickan –White, Tina Della-Putta and Yasya King
Northern Territory: Magnolia Maymuru
Western Australia: Mercide Perise, Sylvie Parsonage and Tegan Hayden
Victoria: Brooke Cairns, Georgina Hope Gunn, Kiani Lee Trisna and Siobhan Liston
New South Wales: Bridget Rootsey, Georgia May. Izzi Ramsay, Lavinia White and Paige Klimowsow
Wild Card Contestant: Breana Gorman.
And to the girls competing for the crown: 1st Runner Up Esma Voloder, 2nd Runner Up Amy Dixon, 3rd Runner up Tasha Ross, 4th Runner up Anna McEvoy. And of course to the winner Madeline Cowe. Glen GW Photography
This show at Speakeasy HQ offered a variety of acts performed by ladies for an interesting and fun night out. There was a mix of singing, circus acts, dance, burlesque and more.
The variety was excellent with a lady escaping from a straight jacket and also performing a strong woman act with an axe that was great and a little scary while still maintaining grace. Two years ago she'd set the world record for the fastest escape from a medical grade straight jacket so we were watching a very good and talented performer who also mixed in some great jokes and laughs.
We got to hear some beautiful singing of some fun songs even though the lyrics were a little naughty but delivered in Minnie's sweet and innocent style. The next act was Ronicka performing her dance with a large sword demonstrating grace and balance skills with the sword.
Tara demonstrated amazing dexterity with her feet throwing, catching, spinning a tube that was mesmerising because it looked so easy which means that it isn't.
The final act was Tara providing an extremely fun and quite messy act involving spinning hoola hoops while it was raining popcorn that was cooking in a special hat. It's certainly a memorable act and gets the crowd going nuts with laughter and enjoyment at her antics. Probably is something that everyone has thought of doing to spread popcorn everywhere while dancing and now we can see it although the crew then have the less interesting task of cleaning up the mess.
The show was extremely entertaining and provided enough variety to keep it interesting and diverse with plenty of laughs. The performers are experienced, professional and bring life and energy to the stage to ensure a great evening. I recommend checking out Speakeasy HQ on their website as they provide quite a variety of shows to cater for all different kinds of audiences.
DEMENS NEW website review and some after the play photos: by Jennifer Zaman
Demens (I know who I am. Most of the time.) 10/10
A modern contemporary play performed at the Bluestone Church Arts Space, Footscay. Under the brilliant direction of Natasha Broadstock, writer Amedeo Astorino’s “Demens” is an unforgettable experience. The play basks in the glory of phenomenal acting, direction and writing. In the director’s words, and I quote “…demens is a fascinating piece of chilling, thought-provoking theatre that explores the blurred boundary between sanity and insanity. Set in the claustrophobic world of a psychiatric hospital, it follows four very troubled characters all fighting their inner demons (‘demons’ + ‘dementia’=demens) – balancing desire, patriarchy and prejudice.” The play lives up above and beyond one’s expectation and imagination. The performance of each of the characters is glaring and impressive to the zenith of standard. It almost felt like watching a 4D movie right in front of your eyes. The agony and inner conflicts of each of the characters was so raw that one could almost touch it. Right from the costumes to their demeanor spoke of the character the actors played. Not even for a split second did the act lapse in holding on to one’s singular interest. So impressive were the dialogues and their delivery that it was hard to believe each one got it right, when there exists no option of a second take. The spontaneity of it all was so gripping that when the play claws towards its climax, the passage of time is barely realized. The subject may not be a fresh one, however, the way this short piece was presented was. Writer Amedeo’s effort to garner a delicate combination of both sinister factors, so prevalent in the psychiatric space, with dark humor calls for applause. The struggle each of the characters were going through with their ego-self as well as the outer world could be felt even in the silent pauses of the actors. The actors Louise Crawford (Lilith), Philip Cristian Claassen (Gabriel), Jai Luke (Allan) and Don Bridges (Dr. Osmond) are like the icing on the cake, brilliantly playing multiple characters with disturbed perspective of life and happiness, fighting between good and evil, Yin and Yang. It is absolutely magnificent how such a fantastic act was performed within the limited space of the Church. Someone rightly said, “ You do not need to be the tallest tree on top of a mountain, even if you are a shrub at the bottom of it, be the best”. This saying is apt for the admiration of such fabulous talent. The complexity of the subject and the clever handling of it, the phenomenal acting, impeccable direction, praise-worthy writing, and expert contribution of the tech-crew, all clubs together to present to the audience a surreal yet exalting sojourn! I hope these genres of plays receive a bigger and better platform and wider audience because the limited reach at the moment deprives art lovers from witnessing the best! Highly recommended!!
TUNZAFUN XTREME KNOX NEW website review and photos: by Glen and Camilla Wilson
TunzaFun Xtreme Knox
TunzaFun Extreme Knox is the latest in indoor fun parks and this one is awesome. Featuring over 30 climbing walls, rope ladders & tyre walls, they have climbs suitable for all ages.
There is a giant beanstalk, skyscrapers to climb, giant slide and a huge jumping platform to launch yourself off. Add to that dodgem drift cars and a high ropes course –Discover.
The center also features arcade style games to earn tickets and win prizes.
The staff at the center are incredibly helpful and fun –adding to the experience.
Your 1 hour climb session starts with harness fitting by the staff and a safety briefing. Climbing begins simply by standing in front of a climbing wall and put up your hand – a staff member then hooks you up to the safety cable and off you go. The center features fail safe hydraulic auto – belays (cable & Carabiner system). Once you reach the top, climb down, absail or simply jump off the top and the cable system guides you safely back to earth – Jumping off the top of a 9 meter wall seemed the way to go for all the kids.
The center features a life matting system designed to absorb falls of up to 12 Meters.
A big feature of the center is Discover – a high ropes course way up in the rafters. My 7 year old daughter had no problem getting around with the help of a friendly staff member.
Pricing varies depending on the activities chosen – for best value, pick the Xtreme pack.. $50.00 This gives you 1 hour climbing, Jump and slide. I dodgem ride Discover high ropes and $35.00 arcade game credit. This gave my kids over 2 hour’s entertainment.
Sessions are limited in numbers so make sure you book ahead. We found there is no waiting for any of the activities, and there is always a staff member at the ready. The staff are fantastic with the kids and very helpful.
A huge thank you to Callum, who made us feel so welcome and was so helpful. And Natasha and TunzaFun management for making this possible.
Go along and have a ball – the kids will love you for it.
Glen GW Photography
BASTILLE DAY FRENCH CULTURE FESTIVAL MELBOURNE 2016 NEW review and photos Kieran McNamara website
Bastille Day French Festival Melbourne Last weekend was the Bastille Day French Festival Melbourne in the State Library Victoria which provides an opportunity for a French market, live music, movies and conferences. We started by exploring the market and looking at the various products and services that were on show with friendly French and English speaking people willing to answer any questions we had on their products.
The products were quite varied and included cosmetics, clothes, lingerie, jewellery, foreign language books, hampers and various food items. It was interesting with the variety including legal services, immigration and travel options. We explored this part of the festival looking at the stalls and products before heading to next room which was the same size but was configured more as a food court. There were crepes, pastries, cheeses, champagne and a bunch of other yummy food for sale. We purchased some pastries and coffee and sat down to enjoy our treats before continuing our exploring.
Thankfully, we'd arrived early so we were able to purchase food and have a seat before the room filled up. Next stop was the live music and entertainment which was meant to be outside but had to be moved inside. The stage had some poem recitals in French followed by some singing and dancing by a group of school children and another group of children performed a play in French. A group called Amber Isles performed and this was a group that sounded interesting to us when we read about them in the program. It was a beautiful and easy sound and my interest before hearing them was justified when we watched them perform and the crowd also enjoyed their performance.
There were activities for the younger children with face painting and also an area for the kids to sit at tables and draw and do some colouring. Over the two days, there was also movies to watch in the theatre, master classes and conference sessions. Unfortunately, we missed the movies and the master classes which covered cheeses, wines, Champagne and pastries but were able to attend one of the conference sessions.
The session we attended was an interview by Viviane Smith (FABWA) and Corinne Noyes who started Madame Flavour providing a variety of teas available in supermarkets on being a successful French business woman in Australia. It was an interesting and frank discussion with Corinne describing how Madame Flavour started, the challenges she faced as a woman and mother in business with a start up company and her experience in developing a product. Her answers were open and honest about her experiences.
Although the session was very informative and entertaining, the funniest moment was when we all thought the cleaners were vacuuming in the room with us. In actual fact, it was just the Michelin Man strolling through the conference room with his electric air pump to keep his suit inflated sounding like a vacuum cleaner. He waved casually and continued on his way.
The festival was excellent and the quality of the products was very high and it's something I'll definitely visit again and recommend you attend the next time it is on. Bastille Day is quite special to me as I was with my mother in Paris for the bicentennial celebrations on July 14, 1989 so to be able to attend the celebration of all things French in Melbourne was very special and to see so many people coming together and celebrating French culture and products was wonderful.
When the festival returns next year, get along and ensure you get to the food area earlier to avoid the lunch crowd so you can sample and enjoy more of the delicious treats and drinks.
MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL - WOMEN ON FIRE! NEW website review and photos: Glen and Camilla Wilson
A guy's view and a girl's view. Glen and Camilla had a bit of fun with this one
Menopause the Musical Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne.
So off I go to the theatre to see a musical about the changes in life women go through???? As I enter the foyer – ALONE, my lovely wife abandons me to get dinner!!!
The foyer is packed, lots of ladies everywhere, not a man in sight. Perhaps they are all at the bar, that’s where guys go ….. Nope, more ladies sipping cocktails. ( I later find out in a song with the lyrics `` She’s a witch yes a witch – She`s a BITCH) that all the guys are at Bunning’s or hiding in the tool shed ….
Ok, so I made it through the crowd & strange looks and picked up the tickets, after a brief discussion with the staff in regards to photographing the event (The staff were amazing and so accommodating to our needs) it’s off the see the show.
The stage is set – giant bra covered store display… what have I got myself into ???? Ok on to the show.
The show is a mix of brilliant humor, parodies of some of the best known hits from the past 30 years all blended into a musical that pokes fun of and shows the lighter side of a very touchy subject. There were some lines and songs I just didn’t get (I guess it’s a guy thing). There were other moments I was in tears with laughter. The cast is fantastic, great vocals & harmonies, brilliantly acted. The set is simple and colorful.
A huge thank you to the producers and promoters for making this possible, to the theatre staff who were so helpful. Ok Guys out there – come out of your tool shed, bring your wife along – you may just find you have a great time – and learn a little about what you’re in for when the dreaded M word hits.
Ok over to Camilla for a girls point of view….
I was so looking forward to seeing this play as soon as I heard about it! I knew just by the sound of it, it was going to be hilarious. Menopause the musical… Women on fire !! what a fantastic title. But considering the fact that I have been periodically burning up, fanning myself wiping perspiration from my brow ,and fighting with glen over the heater controls both in the car and the house all winter I began to get a little worried….hmmm… what could this mean??
As soon as we arrived I knew the show was going to be every bit as fantastic as I imagined it would be, and I certainly was not disappointed. The music was fantastic, with hysterical lyrics, having me crying with laughter many times over. The acting was superb and the atmosphere very engaging. After the last song the cast invited everyone up on stage to join them in song and dance, a real treat! Everyone in the audience seemed to be loving it , laughing, singing along and dancing. Even the few brave men were clearly having a blast also.
The only concerning thing was, the content of the songs…. Hmmm… let’s see…
Forgetfulness Confusion Un predictable Mood swings, …hmmm?? Burning up Sleepless Exhaustion Thighs that swish together when you walk Calories getting stored on hips, thighs and waist… Hmm, oh dear L and should I mention the burning up thing again, ?? All I can say is… Oh Oh…… HELP !!!!!!!!!
We had a bit of fun with this review, but the show truly deserves it. They have taken a subject that is not openly talked about and given women (and their partners) a lighter view of a very delicate and taboo subject. A big thumbs up to the creators and all who have performed this musical worldwide. A truly brilliant and funny show.
Right in the heart of North Melbourne, inside of the full of historic events jewel Meat Market building dated 1880, the incredible indigenous narration captures all your senses at once. The effects and connections between energetic contemporary dancing, stage lightning, background video screen and signing certainly leave an enormous impression on the audience. The narrator takes you with him on a journey of life covering issues from natural disasters, mining scarling of land, climate change, transformation of human and land to the connection and oneness with Universe. The show Cut the Sky is a truly enlightening experience website
It was a great honor to be invited to photograph the Melbourne finals of Miss World, Held at Areal, Dukes Walk, South Warf Melbourne. To be present as the girls prepared for their big moment and witness the excitement was unprecedented. Soon they would step out in front of the judges, for all to see all the hard work and dedication they put in to the competition. It was also great to see that these are just average girls – not just supermodels, and are aspiring to make their dreams come true. It was also really refreshing to see that all the girls are really down to earth.
A huge surprise was the other photographers – all seasoned catwalk pros, so down to earth and eager to share their experience and shooting secrets with me. The staff and event organizers were fantastic, friendly and helpful, making the event a huge success. Well done to all the girls, congratulations to the finalists’, and all the best for the Australian Finals.
Glen and Camilla Wilson at GW Photography
DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR. YOUNG AUSTRALIAN BROADWAY CHORUS STAGE SCHOOL AUSTRALIA website review and photos: Glen Wilson
Stage School Australia Young Australian Broadway Chorus Beauty and the Beast Director: Robert Coates.
A cast of 74 of Australia’s finest young performers bring Disney’s classic musical to life in an unforgettable performance. The cast ranging from ages 5 to 18 deliver a professional and polished performance. The 70 minute production comprises outstanding vocals, acting and choreography.
Jessica Koncic who plays the lead of Belle delivers a brilliant performance with amazing vocals and acting, Her vocals – dare I say are better than the original movie. – Jessica is one to watch out for as one of Australia’s rising stars.
David Duketis plays the role of Gaston with great vocals and a boyish charm that brings the character to life.
Lachlan Wolters gives a powerful performance as The Beast.
The show is complimented by beautiful costumes, Brilliant sets and special effects. I cannot praise this performance highly enough – this is not a kids theatre production, the Young Broadway Chorus deliver a first class performance that rivals the best of professional theatre.
Tickets are mostly sold out, but try and get a seat – you won’t be disappointed.
Melbourne University Union Theatre July 6 – 9 2016
Glen GW Photography
4:48 website photos: Ina Parakhina review: Irina Ivanova
4:48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane Presented by Bare Naked Theatre
4:48 Psychosis was the last piece written by English playwright Sarah Kane, just a few days before she committed suicide at King's College Hospital in London. The author was suffering from severe clinical depression for many years. Even so Kane kept writing while mainly working on exploration of the nature of physical and physiological pain of emotionally disturbed human beings.
The title of the play is derived from the time in the morning when consciousness comes back to the depressed woman – the time of waking up, clearing the mind, resetting… Will the new day bring solace and ease? Or will it continue torturing her with all the destroying thoughts of misery, unhappiness, worthlessness, and loneliness?
Kane did not give explicit instructions on the characters and setting of the play. This production presented by the Bare Naked Theatre, had four actors, including the depressed woman, her psychiatrist and two supporting roles. It was an interesting exploration of theatrical form with two teenage girls representing the scattered thoughts of the main character. Although, in my opinion, the foulmouthed expressions did not suit them at all, I guess it was inevitable due to the desperation set by the plot.
The story revealed a painful description of a long treatment process with a plethora of medicaments and procedures. Among common tiredness, shattered sleep routines and loss of interest in life, the play displayed the most cruel issues a person with depression is dealing with, such as anger, reckless behavior, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and talks, etc.
The drama of the story was wisely supported by the thrilling staging. The quiet motionless scenes were abruptly changed into great intensity turmoil. The “thoughts” were behaving freakishly moving in a strange dance along the walls or hiding under a table. Sometimes the main character spoke so quietly that it was nearly impossible to decipher as if she forgot of the surrounding audience and immersed into self-talk.
I was impressed by the lighting work of the production. It was fully responsive and well coordinated with the actors’ movements, especially noticeable when the characters were citing the "serial sevens" (counting down from one hundred by sevens, a test often used by psychiatrists to check for loss of concentration or memory). I also liked the fact that the actress who played the main character did not appear for bows in the end of the play as it worked really well with the idea of the script and added a little bit more intensity.
Surely do not expect anything cheery and bright from the play, and grab a pack of tissues if you are vulnerable to the topic.
TIVVOLI THEATER OF PANTOMIMES ALICE IN WONDERLAND press release by Glen Wilson
Tivoli Theatre Pantomimes. Alice in Wonderland St John`s Church Hall Malvern East
Tivoli Theatre Pantomimes established by Carole Ann and Terry Gill has been running since 1974. In 2015 the company entered a new era, in the hands of Clinton Barker as Artistic Director. Clinton brings over 15 years of experience as a musical theatre performer. (1)
Alice in Wonderland is children’s pantomime at its best. With a mix of great acting and excellent vocals the cast puts together a highly polished performance. The story includes all of Lewis Carols character’s in a hour and a half show featuring Lewis Carols famous story line mixed with classic children’s nursery rhymes and songs – and just enough humor to give the adults a laugh too.
The theatre layout – rather than the traditional rows of seating, is rows of trestle tables and chairs giving a relaxed party atmosphere to the performance. Unfortunately the planed interval treat of tarts didn’t happen – thanks to the Nave of Hearts stealing all the tarts, but luckily the theatre staff came to the rescue with mountains of fairy bread.
It was also great to see a full house for the performance.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of Australia’s leading children’s shows and the Tivoli`s productions rate among the best.
So grab the kids, Grandkids, or just borrow some and come along to what is a great performance.
My kids loved it, and it was a great trip down memory lane for me having been bought up on pantomimes.
ACMI: LITTLE BIG SHOTS International Film Festival for Kids website website review and photos: Kieran McNamara
Little Big Shots - Australia's International Film Festival for Kids Friday night was the red carpet launch event for Little Big Shots at ACMI Federation Square. The evening began with a red carpet arrivals for kids attending the 'Best of the Fest' screening followed by a Dance Party. So many happy and excited kids got to strut their stuff down the red carpet and pose for a photo in front of the shiny screen and Film Victoria and City of Melbourne supporters banners. As with kids events, there was the usual excitement at having their photo taken immediately followed by a serious case of shyness and freezing up. We still managed to get some photos of the happy kids all dressed up in their red carpet finest outfits looking sensational. After the red carpet, the kids and their parents entered the cinema to receive a bag of popcorn and a drink for the screening of the 'Best of the Fest'. Two award winners were present to receive their awards including Alako Myles for his film Clay VS Fridge which won Best Child-Made Film and Natalie van den Dungen for her film Bunny New Girl which won the Best Australian Adult-Made Film. Both Alako and Natalie gave beautiful speeches about their movies and were allowed to ask each other one question. We had a couple of short speeches and then it was time to watch some of the short movies. The movies we saw were all excellent and a huge variety of styles. They were all entertaining, beautiful and emotional and we enjoyed them all. There were films from all over the world providing a view of different situations from the claymation film of four men discovering a fridge to a movie about objects and their associated memories. It was so enjoyable sitting in the theatre watching the movies and having the younger children laugh at things falling down to the wonder of older children and adults at the powerful messages in the movies. There were several directors in the audience as well so congratulations to all of the movie makers for putting their art out there for others to see and enjoy. Following the movies screening was a dance party in Cube. Who would ever have thought that kids as young as 3 could venture out onto the dance floor and dance to Beyonce and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Thanks to the DJs and the dance leaders, kids were out on the dance floor under the disco lights tearing up the dance floor with huge smiles and energy as they followed along to the leaders or just went freestyle. We definitely recommend checking out the ACMI website for session times and going along to see the movies whether you have children or not. They were beautiful and we enjoyed all of the movies we watched with a sense of fun for both kids and adults. The winners were selected by a dozen kids making up the Kids Jury and the festival has been running since 2004 to encourage kids to get involved in movies and is now part of ACMI. Get along and enjoy the movies as we did.
MUSEUM VICTORIA: SCIENCEWORKS website press release by Kieran McNamara
Scienceworks A trip to Scienceworks is always exciting to see what new exhibits have been added and to wonder at all of the interactive exhibits and venture down to the Pumping Station. This visit was just as exciting and we arrived a little before opening time and there was already lines of excited children ready to go in and explore. The main interest for me with Scienceworks is the hands-on nature of the exhibits. Standing back and watching kids run up to an exhibit, look at it for a few seconds to figure out what they can do with it and then watch them play with it is great. It doesn't matter how young or old the children are, they manage to figure it out and interact with it, learn something and move on to the next one. Their place is immediately taken by another child or group of children and this is repeated. This visit involved the new Test Lab and Workshop area that has been designed for children aged 10-15 where the older children can take part in workshops and write down ideas to share with others. There are different pieces of plumbing pipes for the children to interact with along with different blocks and items to test their creativity by building various things. The Workshop area was new and while we were there, a workshop on building a paper circuit was taking place. Older children with some parents were sitting around tables making paper circuits with an LED, strips of copper wire, a battery and a few other bit and pieces. It was very quiet as they all concentrated on taking the various parts and assembling their circuits. We moved on to the mood room that had various places to sit where it was possible using a touch screen to drag various sounds to represent our current mood. The sounds would play with a light show and then there was also the option of just pressing a single button to represent happy, etc. As with all Scienceworks exhibits, it's very hands on and requires children and adults to use their brains and bodies to get the best experience. There were the usual sports related exhibits including the sprint race against Cathy Freeman. The netball shooting challenge, the Aussie Rules handball and the Cricket umpire review to play with. There was also an area I hadn't seen before called Think Ahead that looked at technology and what will the future be like. I did feel quite nostalgic when looking at a display of digital media from the old magnetic tape, 8 inch floppy disks, Zip disks through to modern memory cards knowing I've used all of them in my IT career. It always fascinates me what simple items can engage children to use their minds and hands. While having a coffee in the cafe, a wall had been set up with a lot of wooden pegs and various lengths of transparent tubing and a bunch of golf balls. The idea was to place the tubing on the pegs in a variety of configurations and then drop a golf ball in the top and watch it follow the tubing and fall out the bottom. Little kids, older kids and parents all played with this simple and effective display. I did like the two displays that created an interesting perception experience. The first was a room where the ceiling sloped down the further someone walked into the room which created the effect of making that person look larger. The second was a spaceship interior where we could walk through it with the outside rotating which created an interesting result with my mind expecting me to tilt so my body braced for that but the walkway was stationary. The shop provides an excellent range of interactive toys and learning aids for all ages. I did note the different Periodic Chart to what I remember from Year 12 chemistry class back in the 80s. There were puzzles, t-shirts, costumes, models to build, telescopes, microscopes, crystals and a whole bunch of other cool things. The Pumping Station is always an interesting visit for me to see 100 year old steam powered pumps that run very quietly and with incredible precision and accuracy. Coins are standing on their edge on various points on the pump and even when it's running, the coins do not fall over. I always think it's worthwhile taking the walking tour and being there when the pump is running to see precision engineering and beautiful attention to detail that highly skilled workers have built before computers. As usual, a trip to Scienceworks is always exciting and engaging for all ages of children and adults. There are plenty of school holiday activities so I recommend taking the kids along for a fun, interesting and learning experience that a day at Scienceworks provides and to explore the many other attractions that I didn't mention.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND BY TIVOLI THETAER PANTOMIMES website photos: Ina Parakhna review: Irina Ivanova
Alice in Wonderland presented by Tivoli Theatre Pantomimes
These school holidays are fully packed with events all over Melbourne. Our lucky children are spoiled with attention. They will certainly enjoy this beautiful production of the Lewis Carroll’s classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Tivoli Theatre Pantomimes. Held in the nice and cozy building behind St Johns Church in Malvern East, the show creates a warm atmosphere of friendship and joy.
Who doesn’t love the story of little Alice lost in her incredible fantasies?! The Cheshire cat with his captivating smile, the powerful Caterpillar and moody Queen of Hearts, the naughty Humpty Dumpty, the Mad Hatter and always-hurrying White Rabbit brought in lots of lough and a bit of awe among young spectators. The show boasted with wonderful costumes and makeup, bright decorations and brilliant musical accompaniment. The cast of six actors was performing 14 (!) different characters. I was so impressed to find out that the crew had only four or five rehearsals, and could create such a marvelous production meanwhile! It all speaks for their amazing professionalism and love of what they do.
The performance runs for about an hour and a half with an interval, but flies very quickly with all the shifting scenes mixed with well-known songs and fascinating dancing moves, that invite audience for participation. This makes it easily accessible for restless preschoolers and young school children alike. Both boys and girls watch the show with their mouths open, it is ‘oh so cute’!
My six-year-old son was especially amused by the funny couple of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, who kept bumping into each other and rolling over the stage. As to me, I absolutely loved the Mad Hatter’s tea party and ‘A Very Merry Unbirthday to You’ song. It may even become the slogan for our school holidays’ celebration. The March Hare was also so adorable!
There are plenty of great emotions to take home and ideas to play about for kiddies. It is also a great opportunity for a quality time to be spent with grandparents, creating splendid family memories.
For the coming spring school holidays Tivoli Theatre is going to present the “Snow White and the Magic Dwarfs”, so do not despair if you cannot make it to this season show (although it’s worth reconsidering your schedule) and plan ahead for the next one!
SILVER'S CIRCUS website press release by Kieran McNamara
Silver's Circus On a cold Melbourne winter night we travelled the short distance to Silver's Circus to watch the show. I hadn't been to a travelling circus so I wasn't sure what to expect. We were greeted by very happy and friendly staff and taken to our seats where we had a great view of the main circular stage and the raised rectangular stage behind the main stage. I could see various equipment ready for the show so that was exciting to prepare you for the excitement to come. The Ringmaster made his entrance and the show began and we experienced a variety of acts from high speed juggling of balls with the added twist of bouncing the balls and rebounding them off a triangular shaped prop through to the Globe of Death with motorcycle riders riding around in a high speed game of precision timing and synchronisation. During the setup between acts, we were entertained with some magic tricks that were interesting and enjoyable. There was a very expressive and entertaining clown followed by the German Wheel. I enjoyed the balance and control of the German Wheel and the almost magical optical illusion as Emily transferred her body into various positions and performed tricks on it with great control. The unicycle act was great with different equipment and transitions from one unicycle to the other. At one point riding a unicycle with a wheel that looked like its diameter wasn't much larger than a 20 cent coin. The Wheel of Steel was next and this was the most heart stopping part of the show for me. Two guys ran, jumped, somersaulted and skipped rope all while the Wheel of Steel was spinning and it was very exciting. Quite nervous to watch but retained interest with the variety of skills and stunts performed on it. Gypsy Gomez balanced on a giant mirror ball with anywhere from one to eight hoola hoops was a dynamic and high energy act. Her act then transitioned to some light shows with the hoops and then members of the crew throwing hoola hoops at her as she continued to keep them in motion with over 20 spinning around her body at one point. The grace of the high wire balancing act and Roman Rings came next with grace and poise and some great motion. This was the calm before the storm as the Globe of Death was wheeled out ready for the noise of the motorcycles and precision riding. The costumes during the show looked great and showed up well with the various lighting setups and the acts were all very good and entertaining and the show flowed well and kept the interest going throughout. I highly recommend going to see Silver's Circus and taking the kids as there were plenty of things for the smaller kids with a show bag and jumping castle to entertain them. A great show and thoroughly enjoyable.
WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINA WOOLF website review by Sylvester Kroyherr and Rachel Sandey
REVIEW OF THE PLAY “WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?” By Edward Albee (1962) Performed at the Blackbox Theatre 26 Sackville St. Kew on 21 June 2016 Set on the campus of a New England college in the 1950’s, the play centres around a middle aged couple George (played by Chris Connelly) and Martha (Michele Williams) together with a young couple, Nick (Jordan Fraser-Trumble) and Honey (Cassandra Magrath). The volatile relationship between George and Martha is extended to include Nick and Honey following a party earlier. Fuelled by alcohol, the four set about stripping apart the meaning of life - with the ultimate result of pointlessness. This viewpoint has been called ‘absurdism’ and it indirectly links back to the writer Virginia Woolf who intended to expose human illusion – thus, ‘who’s afraid of living without false illusions?’ An engaging two hour play, portioned in three parts, was presented in a very small theatre which created an intimate atmosphere and close stage setting that aided the audience to connect more fully with the action. The first part immediately exposes Martha’s vicious and abusive nature while George appears resistant to her insults – setting the stage for further engagement on the arrival of Nick and Honey, quite late in the evening. With the heavy intake of booze, the situation intensifies where both couples show more of their true nature – well driven by the actors. In the second part, although Honey is off ill, the men engage in a fiery exchange that cools to a much warmer appreciation of each other until all four are together that leads to teasing, violence and games like, ‘humiliate the host’, ‘hump the hostess’ and ‘get the guests’. The tension builds as Martha seduces ‘the boy’ (Nick)! Although left in a limbo as to where things are or where they are going, the audience is left wondering at the start of part three as to what Nick really is (a stud or a houseboy). Further complicated by what is reality, George introduces the last game about their fictitious son who dies once again - to the bitter grief of Martha, who concedes that she is afraid of Virginia Woolf. The highly complex themes deserve further study and reflection, as drama and comedy, sometimes mixed with folly, create worthy potentials to mirror our values – rightly or wrongly. Full marks to all the actors in delivering a highly polished and smooth performance, with credits to the Director Denis Moore and all the production crew – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCH AT INDIAN CONSULATE MELBOURNE 2016 website photos: Kieran McNamara review: Jennifer Zaman
IFFM 2016 Program Launch
20 June, Monday: The launch of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, 2016 was held at the Consulate of India in the midst of media and elite others. The short program was opened with a speech delivered by the Consul General Ms. Manika Jain and glimpses of the forth-coming festival was displayed as a backdrop to it.
This year’s festival will also bring forth the “Confluence Festival of India”, an affair stretching around six weeks and organized across six cities; Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and specially Melbourne. It strives to bring together different dance styles, music and myriad other art forms from this Asiatic (including Pakistan) culture hub which ranges from puppet shows, music, exhibition of cartoon, well-being, devotional music, architecture and bollywood.
IFFM is celebrating its 5th Year with the glorious theme of “Women’s Empowerment” and the selection of movies and panel discussions revolve around it. Several monumental movies would have its Australia premiere during the course of this gala festival in the presence of celebrated Indian and Australian filmmakers and journalists, not to mention the celebrities representing Indian cinema.
The festival opens on the 11th August with the launch of the women centric movie “Parched”and closes on 21st August with the launch of yet another movie yelling empowerment to women “Angry Indian Goddesses”. The highlight of the festival is the Westpac IFFM Awards Night on 12th August, to be accompanied by the Empowerment Concert. The complete list of events can be found at the IFFM website: www.iffm.com.au This year, IFFM would be graced by the presence of Indian celebrities like veteran actor Mr. Rishi Kapoor, the feisty Richa Chaddha, the elegant Vidya Balan (also the festival ambassador), Punjabi singer and actor Amrinder Gill, the sensuous Rituporno Sengupta, director Srijit Mukherjee, CNN IBN’s Rajeev Masand, director Leena Yadav, the gorgeous Malaika Arora Khan, director Shakun Batra, the versatile Radhika Apte, and singers Sara Haider (from Pakistan), Shalmali Kholgade and Anushka Manchanda. Tickets for various events will be available on sale from 30th June.
The launch program promises a memorable festival to look forward to this winter and with the huge array of movies, guests, and events falling within its ambit, IFFM 2016 is definitely the place to be!
NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA: DEGAS A NEW VISION AND FRIDAY NIGHTS AT NGV: CLARE BOWDITCH website and website
Friday Nights at NGV with Musical Performance of Clare Bowditch.
Having trouble figuring out what could suit everyone’s taste for a good get-together? Here’s an idea! Friday Night at NGV is a perfect setting for a fabulous night out with friends. It is great for catching up while having an unforgettable esthetical experience. There is art, music, food and drinks – everything that can help relax after a busy week. I sincerely love this sort of entertainment! Nothing beats a glass of champagne with French croquettes served in their hall bar and cafeteria. The crowd is happily chirping to the sounds of an elegant local ensemble Bon Appetit. Live flowers are decorating the tall pillars and spreading out fantastic aroma. NGV, here we come!
Last Friday a few of my girlfriends and I visited the National Gallery to see the opening of the new exhibition of Edgar Degas’ paintings and sculptures. Degas was a French impressionist, mostly famous for depicting ballerinas and nude women before, during and especially after taking a bath. I know it may sound simplified, but that was truly his main artistic interest and the things he was mainly known for, apart from his political views and misanthropic demeanor.
NGV presents a large collection of Degas’ artworks, including the celebrated masterpieces like The Bellelli Family, Ballet Rehearsal, L'Absinthe, A Cotton Office in New Orleans, Fin d'Arabesque, Horses in a Meadow and of course After the Bath. There is a massive representation of Degas’ Nudes created at different stages throughout his lifetime: some in pale and dark shades of rather thin paint, others – with luminescent bright colours as if they were made out of gems. Quite a few works are borrowed from Musée d'Orsay in Paris, some come from the United States. There are also a few most prominent sculptures (I love the silky skirt on bronze figure in the Little Dancer of Fourteen Years, such an unexpected concept!) and monotypes. In his older years Degas was captivated by this new media and willingly incorporated it in his artworks.
After enjoying the art we rushed into the grand hall to see and listen to the beautiful Clare Bowditch – a ‘girl next door’ with lustrous ginger locks, a guitar and a tender voice. She is an Australian musician who has released seven albums, given birth to three children, acted in Offspring, the popular Channel 10 series (which are back in their 6th season, yay!), and founded the Big Hearted Business project helping creative people to better connect with business and vice versa. During headlining the Friday Night at NGV she sang the best hits, like One Little River and Fall at Your Feet (originally by Crowded House). Her sweet single You Make Me Happy has finished the evening on a wonderful uplifting note and the crowds have left into the winter rain to their homes and families.
MISS WORLD AUSTRALIA WESTERN AUSTRALIA FINALE 2016 website press release - Manish Bolla
It was an amazing experience to attend such a world class event. So many beautiful talents who are in such a young age are ready to make a difference to the world. The event is not about outer beauty but inner beauty and a zeal to serve humanity. Met some amazing and inspiring people like 19 year Magnolia Maymuru the first indegious australian from remote northern territory who is breaking barrier and opening path for many indigenous aspiring talents to showcase what australia has to offer
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL: KRISTIN BERARDI BAND website review by Stuart Buchanan at Third Life Photography
Reviews from the 2016 Melbourne International Jazz Festival
I saw the Kristin Berardi Band perform at The Coopers Malthouse. as a part of the 2016 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
The band is made up of Kristin Berardi on voice Greg Coffin on piano Carl Morgan on guitar Brett Hirst on bass Tim Furth on drums
Brisbane based Kristin has such a beautiful clear voice. She has great range and control.
She performed a number of original pieces that were lovely.
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL: STU HUNTER website review by Stuart Buchanan at Third Life Photography
I saw the Stu Hunter Band perform their amazing piece "The migration" at The Coopers Malthouse. as a part of the 2016 Melbourne International Jazz Festival. As someone new to Jazz this band was sensational. The Stu Hunter band is a 10 piece band. The band is made up of : Stu Hunter on piano Phil Slater on trumpet Matt Keegan on Saxaphones and clarinet Julien Wilson also on Saxaphones and clarinet James Greening on trombone (amazing) pocket trumpet and tuba Carn Dewhurst on guitar Cameron Undy on bass Simon Barker on drums and percussion Declan Kelly on percussion and drums Tina Harod vocals
The Migration was an eighty minute suite of fantastic music. The brass and wind sections of the band were wonderful as individuals and as a group. Tina was also wonderful with her vocals. I felt that the band took me on a sensory experience. From slow rhythmic sections where I felt as if I was in an exotic forest with animal, bush and human sounds all intermingled and then on through a slow build in volume to a vivacious, raucous and rollicking sound experience that just had me squirming in my seat. I just wanted to get up and dance. It was an eighty minute experience that was over all too quickly. Highly recommended. Stuart Buchanan
Circus Oz TWENTYSIXTEEN We had the opportunity to attend the Circus Oz Gala Evening to enjoy another wonderful Circus Oz production. What a wonderful night out of the cold and wet of a Melbourne winter for a few hours in the big top. We received a Welcome To Country from a descendant of the traditional land owners that was heartfelt and a beautiful way to start the evening.
The show provides a great mix of different acts from group juggling, flying trapeze, the Chinese pole and unicycle adagio. What I particularly liked was that the band led by musical director Ania Reynolds were an integral part of the show. From the opening entrance of the performers playing trumpets, the tumbling act over the piano (see photos), the drum act and the mobile collection of triangles and drums. I enjoyed looking over towards the band during the show and seeing them genuinely happy and lively and great in their costumes. It was nice to see the genuine and joyful expressions on the performers faces intermixed with the character faces they were portraying.
The show included the usual juggling portion but with a twist involving the entire group and also with three people stacked on each other juggling. There were wonderful examples of strength demonstrated by various members of the ensemble including a mix of strong woman and strong man elements. New ensemble member Robbie Curtis provided an entertaining mix of grace and fluidity with his more dance-like routine on the mat to contrast his more dynamic strong man and juggling elements.
The mood and flow of the show was wonderful with the right mix of slapstick, comedy, music and incredible circus acts we've come to expect from the Circus Oz ensemble. All of the performers brought something interesting and were able to showcase their individual skills while ensuring the show was entertaining throughout. There were the mesmerizing sequences of the performers flying out over the audience in an graceful aerial act, the shock moments during the chair dream sequence, the heart stopping flying trapeze along with a few other surprises.
Congratulations to Guest Show Director Anni Davey and the rest of the Circus Oz crew and performers on a thoroughly entertaining and wonderful show. The mix of humour aimed at different ages ensures a fun experience for kids and adults alike. Whether you have kids or not, get down to the big top at Birrarung Marr and watch the Circus Oz TWENTYSIXTEEN production. It is not to be missed!
Thanks to a show performer Robbie Curtis for taking the time to answer some questions. What attracted you to Circus Oz? I joined at the beginning of the year and enjoy the work and the collaborative mix between music and acrobatics. It's also a collaborative environment where people get to take part in group acts as well as perform as individuals.
How much time is spent in preparing for a new show like TWNETYSIXTEEN? We were lucky to have a lengthy development process of 6-7 weeks to develop it and then toured around regional Victoria so feel that it is a well honed show.
How do you combine the grace of dance and ballet with the strength of acrobatic work? I studied dance full time for 3 years and fell in love with dance and always had a love of physical theatre. Fusing dance with acrobatics and the dance elements has added a new outlook on how things flow and the different components of not only focusing on acrobatic positions but the transformation of movement.
Do you prepare differently for a show with Circus Oz where there can be such a range of ages in the audience? We've made a cutting edge show for all age groups with circus having physicality, surprises, gender roles and images of hope. Different images for the audience with the female lifting the big guys to create a difference and surprise.
What do you think will be the most surprising parts of the new show for the audience? Always trying to push the physicality and movement that hasn't been seen before. Juggling mixed with acrobatics and dance as well as hoop diving and also throwing people through hoops and not just diving through them.
As an experienced performer, does the audience react to elements of your performance that you expect them to? Definitely although regional Victorian audiences laugh at certain things whereas the audiences in Brazil will react to different things so it's great to create a show that is entertaining and you cannot predict how the audience will react.
Audiences have come to expect an entertaining and diverse show with Circus Oz so how do you ensure TWENTYSIXTEEN brings that with new elements? The show showcases what makes a Circus Oz is with pushing the elements with hoop diving, group juggling act, cool chair stacking act and a rope act among other elements.
What is the most enjoyable part in performing in a show like TWENTYSIXTEEN? The ensemble parts of the show such as the group juggling act. It's satisfying when the group is in sync with other members and adjusting to the extra adrenaline when performing on stage in front of an audience. It's a really exciting show with lots of love in it and collaboration between everyone.
I have always loved going to the theatre and personally involving myself in anything to do with performance and entertainment, however on this one particular day my mind was blown. I saw my first ever one woman play.
At the age of 24 there are a lot of risky and adventurous things I have done but this one challenged me a little. I didn’t have a clue what to expect. There were so many questions running through my mind that I couldn’t really relax that entire day. Boy did things change though.
From the moment you enter The Lawler Theatre in Southbank Melbourne you are greeted by the world of passion and performance. The enormous red poster’s advertising the play we were about to see ‘Blonde Poison’ were magnificent but didn’t reveal too much about what the play was going to entail.
I would recommend getting there early and getting yourself a drink or a light snack to enjoy before the performance, which only goes for about 1.5 hours. Perfect if you have just finished work and are looking for something to tie you along a little further.
The calling bells signalled it was time to go into the theatre and we made our way to our seats which happened to be in the front row. By this stage I was actually really excited and couldn’t wait to see the play.
I am one of those people who likes surprises and therefore like seeing movies and plays I know nothing about. So I walked into this play not knowing anything.
Words cannot describe the outstanding performance by Belinda Giblin, I was literally blown away. I couldn’t believe the amount of character this one lady brought to the play. There was not one moment I thought about anything apart from what was happening before me in the theatre.
The play itself is based on a true story about a women who recalls her life living as a ‘greifer’ which is a person who works for the Gestapo informing them about other Jews in hiding. There are a range of emotions explored throughout the play and they intensify through the end of the play. You may find yourself clinging to the edge of your seat, holding on to her every last word.
I would recommend this play to anyone who loves going to the theatre and watching plays that challenge your expectations of the world in performance. I never thought I would love the play as much as I did and like I said I was blown away. I cannot wait to see another one, especially starring Belinda Giblin.
Make sure you get down to the Lawler Theatre in Southbank; this is a play you do not want to miss.
FLESH EATING TIGER website photos: Ina Parakhina article: Irina Ivanova
Flesh Eating Tiger @ The Owl and Cat Theatre
Set up in a great location, just opposite Richmond train station, The Owl and Cat Theatre meets you with a veil of mystery and warm hospitality. Just a narrow lane between two buildings, the theatre’s bar fits in a handful of tables and continues into a cozy lounge with demure lighting and nostalgic allure. Do try the red wine there (please don’t ask me its name) – it tastes delicious!
The Owl and Cat recently obtained a new owner Gabrielle Savrone, who took up the role of directing the play Flesh Eating Tiger, that opened the theatre’s new season. Gabrielle has a long history of performance on stage and television, and her directorial credits include Wash Room and Riot by Thomas Ian Doyle (also the host and the manager of The Owl and Cat), The Winners by David L. Williams and Michael Thebridge’s After Party. Miss Savrone has been truly rapturous about the work of the Tiger’s author, American prodigy playwright Amy Tofte, known for being awarded a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The play was named "Best of Fringe" at the Hollywood Fringe and nominated for Best Play. Its Australian debut in Melbourne was in February 2015.
Now back to the Wednesday night (By the way, the theatre offers a donation-based entry on Wednesdays, so anyone can afford a bit of good drama). After a small talk and drinks at the bar we were invited into the theatre setting in another room. It was a hall, like the one you can see in an ordinary house with high ceilings – neither too big, nor too small. It fits about 40-50 people comfortably, with actors being at the same level as spectators.
The show began with an impetuous whirlwind of raw emotions that captured the audience immediately and for good. The Man said, “I want out” – the Woman replied, “I want in”, but moments later it all flipped…
Amy Gubana plays the role of a Woman. She also puts up few other hats, like of a hesitant scriptwriter and of a pathetic “professional” actress, a men’s nature analyst, and a hot date. As a Woman she’s madly, selflessly in love with the guy. She’s cheerful and happy no matter what, even though he’s addicted to alcohol and not ready for healthy relationship. While the Man, played by Marcus Molyneux, denies the attraction between them and keeps his feelings under control of a “using-her-for-sex” cover up, his girlfriend flutters around him trying to understand and help him unfold.
After one romantic date in the rain the Man suddenly stumbles upon a tough realisation that he’s in love. He can’t even pronounce the words in his mind, so unfamiliar they sound. “I feel confused… sometimes. I feel… I might be gay.” Oh-oh. Now he’s really in trouble with his girlfriend. “I feel I can’t live without the bottle. That is what I want to feel about a woman.”
The actor Brayden Lewtas has tried (and proved) himself as an assistant director, also responsible for the lights and funny unpredicted interactions with performers and audience during the play.
The Flesh Eating Tiger has plentiful of humour, raw energy and behavioral anomalies; and the actors play the piece naturally with hearts fully opened, as if using any chance for a bit of improvisation. It is a very live, contemporary theater, bringing up provocative topics and developing the culture of sharing and understanding.
Gabrielle, the director, is taking the play to the USA later this year, and we wish the crew the same immense success (or more!) as they have here, in Melbourne.
UKRAINIAN CULTURAL WEEK 2016 website press release by Glen Wilson
organiser and event manager, creator and a hosterOlga Pasechnikova Kseniya Belenko Violin Anna Bogachov Piano Rada Tochalna Soprano Janis Cook Piano Markiyan Melnichenko Violin Irina Vasillieva Piano Yakubouvich Quartet Ukrainian Men’s Chorus
The Ukrainian Cultural Week Held at the beautiful historic Victorian Artists Society was a magnificent mix of beautiful artworks and some amazing musical performances. From the opening few bars of Ave Maria performed beautifully by Kseniya Belenko on Violin this was to be a sensational concert. The entire performance was an incredibly high standard – Equal to any of the world’s finest performers.
Rada Tochaina is a superb vocalist- a whilst I’ve never been a big fan of operatic music, her outstanding voice may have just won a new fan.
The Concert was divided into 2 performances, the first being a mix of international composers, the second half, Ukrainian Composers.
The concert was a new experience for me, being bought up with the more familiar orchestral instruments’ hearing a quartet comprising violin, 2 Bandura`s (traditional Ukrainian string instrument) and Bass was an absolute delight.
The Ukrainian Men’s Chorus is simply sensational and has to be heard to appreciate their fine vocals and wonderful harmonies. The concert and art show is an absolute credit to all involved and a must see for any music and art lovers.
The setting for the event – the Hammond Gallery at the Victorian Artists Society was superb. Paintings and artworks surrounded the audience and artists to provide the perfect backdrop for the performances.
My only complaint …… it just wasn’t long enough… I could have listened all day ….
THE WINTER'S TALE website press release by Kieran Mcnamara
two photos are of Angelique Malcolm (Producer and Actress) and Stephen Lee (Director).
The Winter's Tale We were fortunate enough to go along and see the Class Act Theatre present The Winter's Tale at Northcote Town Hall. The play was written around 1611 and combines romance, comedy and tragedy into the one story. The story focuses on a jealous king, Leontes, who accuses his pregnant wife of adultery with his best friend and fellow king Polixenes. The staging is simple and the costumes are designed to be timeless. The set was beautiful and simple without being distracting with the audience sitting slightly higher than the performers so we get a different view. I found it great to be able to see and switch my focus to different actors standing towards the back and watch them perform. The first half travels from the autumn of Leontes' suspicions through the winter of his jealous actions. The second half travels from the spring of the young lovers courtship into the summer of joy and reconciliation. The acting throughout is wonderful with the first half being quite heavy but the actors are able to come to life with a feeling of lightness and fun after the intermission with some singing, dancing and humour. Producer and actress Angelique Malcolm explained that this play was also produced by Class Act Theatre in Perth for teenagers who were studying Shakespeare and I can see how beneficial this would be to bring the story to life. As the Director Stephen Lee explained, this story has relevance today approximately 400 years after it was written with what we see in the media currently with celebrities. The theatre venue was very nice with a bar providing a mix of drinks and treats and for those using public transport, the tram stop is right out the front of the Northcote Town Hall. I'm definitely interested in attending other shows and performances in the venue. Stephen Lee pointed out that this isn't one of the more commonly performed plays but it's a great story and he thanks Angelique for producing it and bringing him over from Perth and providing an opportunity for actors to perform it. Thanks also to the Director Stephen Lee and Producer and actress Angelique Malcolm for taking the time after the show to chat with us about their wonderful production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. I enjoyed the play and performances of the cast even though I'm by no means an expert in Shakespeare and for those who do enjoy the language of Shakespeare, I'd recommend going along before the season finishes on June 11th.
Martin Scorsese Exhibition @ ACMI review and photos: Bryanna Reynolds.
From the moment you walk through the doors at ACMI in Federation Square Melbourne you are encompassed by a feeling of creativity and magical movie memorabilia. For any lover of film and television, ACMI is the place to visit.
The current special exhibition titled Scorsese explores all the magic behind Martin Scorsese the man responsible for creating cinematic history and inspiring generations to come in the world of screen and cinema.
From the first step you take down the stairs inside the exhibition you are transported to Scorsese’s childhood. It was wonderful to learn the inspiration behind why Martin first got into film. Without spoiling too much I was surprised that it was actually due to a medical condition and his doctor advising him to stay home in the one suburb that he decided to set so many of his feature films in New York City.
If you are a lover of films by Scorsese such as Taxi Driver, The Age of Innocence and Goodfellas you will find original scripts and signed artefacts from the films during production.
It was fascinating to read through the original transcripts from the films as it transported you to a time and place. That is the thing I love most about the Scorsese exhibition is that it takes you to a moment in time where Scorsese was impacting on the creative side of production.
More recently Scorsese’s films Hugo and The Wolf of Wall Street feature predominantly towards the end of the exhibition. You can see some of the original costumes featured in Hugo and take a behind the scenes look through a video installation.
I would recommend this exhibition for anyone who loves watching film and television and lets be honest, nowadays who doesn’t? Even if you are not familiar with the work of Martin Scorsese, I would still recommend the exhibition to anyone who loves learning the origin of creative geniuses and being inspired.
This exhibition is suitable for people of all ages and demographics. There are videos to watch, scripts to read and visually pleasing objects and artefacts to look at and talk about with a friend. So next time you are in the Melbourne CBD take a friend down to ACMI and check out all they have to offer. Make sure you check out the gift store as well. There are plenty of cute gifts for your loved ones.
TEA FESTIVAL 2016 website review and photos by Camilla Wilson Tea Festival Sunday 29th May. Melbourne Convention center.
We were privileged to attend one of Melbourne's finest exhibitions, "The Melbourne Tea festival" on Sunday, I was most impressed with this event. The venue was an ideal location for it, as it was spacious , warm, and held an inviting atmosphere. As we entered we were greeted by friendly staff, and presented with a lovely china tasting cup. There was a huge crowd present when I attended, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, tasting many different types of tea, both hot and cold. The Stall holders were very approachable, friendly and knowledgeable, always willing to help out with a smile. They sold much tea paraphernalia as well as actual tea to compliment the entire tea drinking experience. There were hundreds of vendors all displaying various varieties of tea, and their own takes on how to make "the perfect cuppa", much produce was on display, at very reasonable and competitive prices. Samples of many products were available to try and the purchasing of biscuits, and many other types of sweets was a lovely addition and compliments any great tea experience.
The venue provided plenty of seating and also food vans to satisfy one's appetite, from all that walking and exploring the world of tea. Entry price, is very reasonable, the experience was one of my personal highlights and with that in mind I highly recommend this event to lovers of all things tea. You wont regret it .
The 40th Historic Winton On Saturday May 28th we had a wonderful opportunity to visit the special event: the 40th Anniversary of the Austin 7 Club Historic Winton, the largest and most popular all-historic motor race meeting presenting two big days of non-stop car and motorbike racing.
Historic Winton has a special place in Australian Motor Sport as the only 2x4 historic event with both cars and bikes running at the same meeting point. Over 400 historic racing cars and motorbikes from the 1910th to the 1980th were featured during the show which took place at the Winton Motor Raceway, the popular circuit located near Benalla, Victoria. The circuit hosts to some of the country’s biggest and most prestigious automotive and motor-sport events including the V8 Supercars, Shannons Nationals, Historic Festival of Speed, Performance Car Mania, Australian Superbike Championship and many others.
The event was well spaced out, the display was fantastic and you could easily move around to observe the race from lots of different viewing points. The crowd was enthusiastic and positive; they all watched the races with great interest. There were a lot of races scheduled and we enjoyed watching them greatly.
Apart from racing the guests and the participants could also enjoy various displays – numerous classic cars and historic motorbikes and the Heritage display featuring the selection of vintage and classic pushbikes and even vintage radios and a unique display of scaled-down steam engines and steam driven vehicles. Male members of the family loved their time at the Competition Paddock, having a closer look at fabulous old racing machines and motorbikes and talking to their proud and enthusiastic owners.
There were plenty of food stalls to suit every taste, with food being tasty and well priced and lots of other pop-up shops offering various items – from vintage auto magazines to some lovely souvenirs to take home along with the awesome memories of the day.
INVENTI ENSEMBLE CONCERT review and photos by Glen Wilson
Inventi Ensamble Melbourne Recital Center Ben Opie Oboe Melissa Doecke Flute Lynette Rayner Violin Phoebe Green Viola Blair Harris Cello
Inventi Ensemble are the creation of Ben & Melissa. Formed in early 2014 they perform worldwide, bringing their own unique interpretation to the classics and modern composer’s works.
Our performance for the evening, featured:
Mozart`s Flute Quartet in D,
Benjamin Britten`s Phantasy quartet for oboe & Strings.
Sergei Prokofiev`s Symphony No 1 in D
Originally a Symphony composed for orchestra, brilliantly arranged for Ensemble. Inventi Ensemble`s arrangement challenges the musicians’ to fill the role of a orchestra. Particularly evident in the 1st movement “Allegro” where it is easy to close your eyes and hear a full orchestra.
Melissa is a brilliant flautist, both technically and in her expressiveness and interpretation. Ben’s oboe playing is outstanding – one of the best I’ve ever heard. A true virtuoso.
For any lovers of fine music and anyone new to the Classics, this was a brilliant performance and a must see. It was also great to see so many young children attending the concert. Even my 16 year old daughter who is a new comer to classical music thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
THE MEMORIAL EVENING OF SERGEI YESENIN review by Irina Ivanova
Goodbye my friend, goodbye my dear, You are forever in my heart. Predestined farewell that is near Promises a reunion to those who part. Sergei Yesenin
The name of Sergei Yesenin lives in every Russian heart. Being very young children, we began to discover the entrancing world of poesy by reading his works in schoolbooks. For many romantic souls Yesenin was the first revelation, the first awe, the first love…
This is one of the most famous Russian poets whose name is associated with true patriotism, dedication and vulnerability. The story of his life is as dramatic as it is hopeful, full of emotional ups and downs, like a rebellious river flowing through a rough landscape. Having lived for only thirty years, Yesenin has left a huge legacy, and his talent captivates hearts and minds nearly a century after his death.
The Soloukhin’s Russian Literature Society celebrated the memory of the outstanding poet by organising a philanthropic soiree, where Yesenin’s poetry was presented in songs, and brilliant Olga Shonina, the president of the society, recited her favourite lines and shared the tale of Yesenin’s awfully short but pithy life.
There were a few songs (with the renowned “Oh My Dear Maple” among them) performed by a vocal ensemble “Aquarelle”, composed of six heavenly voices plaited in a divine melody. The magnificent Rada Tochalna, accompanied by Sergei Suetin’s beautiful piano performance, sang other poems, like the very well-known “The grove of golden trees” and “I will not be wandering about trampling goosefoot in the bushes anymore”. The audience could not have enough of the evening and lingered long after to say their thanks to the performers and organisers of this wonderful event.
Although the evening had more of a nostalgic tint and the joyful crowd was comprised mostly of the older generation, it was great to see young participants on stage and among listeners. The noble mission of cultivating taste and character exists in the moments like these.
I do not regret, and I do not shed tears, All, like haze off apple-trees, must pass. Turning gold, I’m fading, it appears, I will not be young again, alas.
The concert took place Sunday, May 22 at Glen Eira Town Hall. event page