VICTORIAN STATE SCHOOLS SPECTACULAR 2016 NEW website review and photos by Glen Wilson
Hisense Arena Saturday 10th September 1pm & 6 PM
3000 Victorian primary and secondary school students perform in an arena style spectacular not to be missed.
The Victorian State School Spectacular showcases the incredible talents of Victoria’s finest young Dancers, Musicians and Vocalists. Backed by a 1200 member choir, 8 backing vocalists and a world class 64 piece orchestra, the cast of 1200+ Mass dancers & Ensemble dancers deliver a brilliant performance.
The 3 Feature vocalists Imogen Spendlove, Isabella Clarke & Abby Pemmelaar are outstanding performers and absolutely shine with their stage presence and vocal abilities.
The production began 6 months ago with the creative director Neill Gladwin visiting the various regions, teaching dancers the routines for the mass dancers, all coming together this week to create an amazing dance production on a massive scale.
Behind the scenes is a massive task – coordinating dancers & Costumes, this is also run by students from The Victorian College of the arts, NIDA & Holmesglen College. The Victorian State School Spectacular is an outstanding achievement, giving young students the chance to shine both as artist and behind the scene. A huge thank you to Sonja McGill from McGill Publicity & Events for allowing me to cover this event. Glen GW Photography.
Cast List 30 x Principal and Ensemble Vocalists 8 x Backing Vocalists 64 x Victorian State Schools Orchestra 40 x Victorian State Schools Choir 1200 plus x Victorian State Schools Mass Choir Singers 32 x Principal and Ensemble Dancers 1200 plus x Victorian State Schools Mass Dancers 23 x Victorian State Schools Roller Skaters 2 x Circus Artistes 1 x Magician 1 x Beatboxer 8 x Puppeteers 16 x Hip Hop Dancers – Hoppers Crossing Secondary College 70 x Production Crew from Secondary / Holmesglen / VCA / NIDA
THE WOMAN IN BLACK NEW review by Kieran McNamara photos by Kieran McNamara
The Woman In Black
On Sunday I made the trip from Melbourne out to The Memo in the beautiful town of Healesville to watch the play The Woman In Black by Stephen Mallatratt and Susan Hill. The play was also performed in the Upper Yarra Arts Centre, Warburton making great theatre accessible to audiences. It was directed by Justin Stephens and staring Chris McLean and Kieran Tracey. It's a ghost story that has translated well to the stage and was brilliantly performed by Chris and Kieran. With only two performers, it was interesting to see how they used the performance space to convey multiple locations and even a multi room house with a few simple props, creative lighting and a fog machine.
The acting was brilliant and maintained audience interest throughout with several moments that caused some members of the audience to scream and jump followed by some nervous laughter. I enjoyed the lighting and sound with music and ear piercing screams to shock the audience alert in case they needed it. The story was engrossing and I'd never seen the play or the movie so I was interested to see how the ghost story would be performed and ensure an appropriate amount of drama and suspense. It certainly delivered for me and I really enjoyed the performance and story.
The story is about a lawyer Arthur Kipps played by Chris McLean who is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric. The townspeople aren't too keen to help Arthur as he goes out to the house which is only accessible at low tide and soon Arthur discovers the reason for their reluctance. Kieran Tracey plays an actor bringing the story to life.
The venue was very nice and with the audience sitting on tiered seating looking down to where the actors performed on the floor. There were some simple set and costume changes with the actors sitting on a large basket bouncing around as if they were on a horse drawn carriage or sitting on facing each other on a pair of wooden chairs rocking slightly to the motion of a train. Although, these techniques seemed simple they were performed well so it portrayed the feeling of motion and didn't look odd.
A thoroughly entertaining performance by Chris and Kieran with great directing, an interesting set and costumes and great lighting ensured a fun afternoon for me and the audience. I'd certainly recommend this performance and look forward to seeing more performance by the cast of this show.
‘PREMIERES’ – PIANO RECITAL BY TAMARA SMOLYAR NEW website review by Sylvester Kroyherr
(1 September 2016) At the Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University Flanked by an enthusiastic audience on stage, Tamara’s concert began with a preamble from composer/musician Anthony Halliday, heralding his composition ‘Introduction and Fugue for Tamara’ (world premiere).The short piece that aimed at giving self expression to the performer demonstrated immediately Tamara’s commanding technique through the spritely start and expressive fugue. Another world premiere followed with Jane Hammond’s ‘There is a Solitude’ which was based on the work of the poet Emily Dickinson. The short but moving piece was delivered with soulful artistry that was not only displayed musically but by Tamara’s beautiful hand movements. With another preamble by the composer, Anatoly Documentov’s ‘Mood, 2 Preludes’ followed – this being an Australian premiere. The piece displayed a mood of cheeky playfulness to finish with flighty intensiveness. The fourth offering was Livia Teodorescu-Ciocania’s short piece called ‘Briseis’ (Archile’s slave lover) – another world premiere written for Tamara. Although haunting and ghostly, the brutal emotional intensity was brilliantly interpreted. Prior to the interval, Kenji Fujimura delivered a preamble to his composition dedicated to Tamara called ‘Variations on a Highland Air’ (inspired by the Skye Boat Song). Tamara’s smooth and flowing style expressed a tuneful start that echoed a Liszt influence and spirited charm. Anticipating the journey to Skye, the audience took great delight at the dramatic and stately finish echoing the tunes from the Skye Boat Song. A well deserved applause closed the first half of the recital. The last major composition was another world premiere of Rachmaninov’s ‘Trio Elegiaque No.2 in D minor, Op.9’. Interestingly, the talents of Tamara and Anthony Halliday combined to produce an arrangement for piano of a larger work for piano, violin and cello in three movements. Interpreting Tamara’s favourite composer, the first movement flowed with sheer brilliance and artistic elegance while the second movement was saturated with colour and amazing expressive feeling. To conclude, the energetic allegro start evolved to fuse the trio’s intensity and power. Beyond praising the new arrangement, the ‘special project’ to create an intimate setting showcasing original compositions was a great success – aided by the excellent acoustics of the hall. To warm our hearts, Tamara treated us with an encore – an Etude by Chopin – peaceful, sensitive and soothing! A fabulous final recital in the series, ‘Wood, Metal and Vibrating Air’ by the Monash University Academy of Performing Arts.
MELBOURNE: MAKING THE AUSTRALIAN QUILT EXHIBITION 2016 AT NGV NEW website review and photos: Kieran McNamara
We travelled to the exhibition Making The Australian Quilt: 1800 - 1950 at NGV Federation Square looking forward to seeing the variety and quality of Australian quilts. We certainly weren't disappointed with the variety and quality and in some cases, rare quilts that were on display. The exhibition contains quilts brought out to Australia by people moving to Australia to start a new life and bringing elements of the old lifestyle and sophistication with them.
We also had a quilt made by convicts on the voyage out to Australia which is a very rare and special quilt. It was made on the ship Rajah during the passage to Australia. The variety of textures, techniques and materials was very interesting. From the "waggas" quilts made from any fabric or material that could be found including fine quality flour sacks, a possum pelt quilt, fabrics such as cotton, wool, silk and even cigar wrappers meant that the quilts were all wonderful and different.
An element of the exhibition I did like was the children friendly explanations so young visitors could enjoy the exhibition as well. One of the pieces that included a children friendly explanation was a fancy dress costume worn several times that was made of panels of fabric printed with newspaper style prints. Other quilts were composed of geometric shapes such as diamonds, triangles, squares, hexagons that created some visual effects that were quite hypnotic and also highlighted the many hours of fine cutting and stitching.
I did enjoy the three dimensional exhibits such as the dressing gowns and bags along with the embroidery ranging from honour board type signatures, animals and to heart warming slogans. It is a wonderful exhibition and I recommend going along to enjoy it even if like me you aren't a quilt maker to appreciate the skills, work and talent of the people who made these quilts.
MELBOURNE: TCHAIKOVSKY ROMANCE WITH RADA TOCHALNA NAD EMMA LIPPA NEW website review : Irina Ivanova photos: Ina Parakhina
Tchaikovsky Romance For Music Lovers’ Society
This is the 65th year since the foundation of the Music Lovers’ Society supporting talented young musicians and regularly organising classical music performances in Melbourne. Their recent concert was held at St John’s Church in Malvern East and presented the wonderful duet of two extremely professional performers: Emma Lippa – the pianist, and Rada Tochalna – soprano. The programme was dedicated to the romances by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – a Russian composer of the 19th century, whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire.
Emma started her piano performance with the excerpts from Album for the Young comprised of 24 simple, less than a minute long pieces, ideal for a beginning player. This album includes compositions close to children’s hearts, like Playing Hobby-Horses, Mama, March of the Wooden Soldiers, and The New Doll. It also has some genuinely Russian elements like Mazurka, Russian Song, The Accordion Player and Kamarinskaya. There are frivolously romantic Old French Song, rhythmic German Song, and famous Neapolitan Song. The album was created as a dedication to Tchaikovsky's favourite nephew, Volodya Davydov. Nowadays young pianists start their acquaintance with classical music through these innocent melodies.
The atmospheric sound of the church was a perfect match for the magnificent soprano of Rada Tochalna. The singer performed with great passion, selflessly immersing into the tunes of piano. Through the beautiful songs of Russian poets Tolstoy, Sollogub and Apukhtin the audience experienced a plentiful of intense emotions: the excitement of It Was in Early Spring, mystery of Tell Me what in the Shade of the Branches?, passion of Frenized Nights, and heartbreak of If Only I had Known.
After a short interval we were treated to a few more songs and excerpts from the ballet music. Having spent 28 years with Bolshoi Ballet and 20 years with Australian Ballet, Emma said she could play any part of classical ballets by heart if waken up in the middle of the night.
The culmination of the concert was Tatiana’s Letter Scene – the excerpt from the opera ‘Eugene Onegin’, beloved by Russians for its romantic devotion and emotional drama. Not only sang immaculately, but also acted out with a real talent, the song was met with a blissful delight of the audience.
The whole concert was held in the relaxed ambience of a friendly, family-like gathering. There were snacks and refreshments served in the interval and after the concert, that too added up to the welcoming atmosphere of the evening. It was a grand pleasure to indulge in these beautiful sounds of the brilliant voice and the tender piano accompaniment.
MELBOURNE: 5 POUND THEATRE LAUNCH PARTY AND FUNDRAISER NEW website review: Irina Ivanova photos: Ina Parakhina
The 5pound Theatre Fundraiser and Launch Party
Last Friday night the 5pound Theatre held a party to launch its new location and raise funds for its future productions. The line up for the next theatre season looks very ambitious, with two plays to be performed during the Melbourne Fringe Festival opening in September 2016, and a few more to come to their spacious new spot in Fitzroy North.
The venue flourished in a friendly atmosphere, live music, yummy goodies galore and beautiful selection of organic wines and gluten-free beers. Everybody tried to get closer to the fireplace on that chilly rainy evening. There were two local bands: one – entertaining guests with some classic hits, like Where the Wild Roses Grow (love Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue!) and Feeling Good (Nina Simone), and another – performed their own music with outstanding vocals of a young songstress.
The highlight of the party was the performance of a 34 year old poet Anthony O’Sullivan who treated the audience to a few of his creations performed in a confident, passionate manner. The son of a German Jewish mother and an Irish catholic father, one of 13 (!) children, Anthony gives all his heart to writing. Even saying, “I love love, but love doesn’t love me”, – he did not leave a soul not falling for his poetic talent. We were fascinated by Ships and Birds, which is a beautiful dedication to his mother, and Learning How to Say It – about love. When asked whether he has had or going to have an acting experience, Anthony was a bit shy about it, saying that he can be certain only with his own poems, and they are easier to declare (in comparison to someone else’s play script) as these are his own thoughts and feelings that he wants to stay true to.
The 5pound theater has been operating since 2010 and produced a number of intriguing shows including the acclaimed ‘Purgatorio’ and ‘Rhinoceros’, sold out ‘Noises Off’, highly reviewed Checkov’s ‘The Bear’, delightful ‘The Blue Room’ and a few more. Jason Cavanagh, the artistic director of the theatre, and the general manager Sharon Davis presented the future shows. The first one to come during the Fringe Festival, called ‘Man of the Year’, congregates the most famous influential speeches that shaped the world history. The other play ‘Journey of a Thousand Smiles’ was presented by Jessica Hackett who had walked from Melbourne to Canberra as a protest to the Australian government rejecting refugees. On her way Jess had got into a myriad of interesting adventures and met a lot of remarkable people that inspired her to share her story.
The theatre is preparing a production of one of the goriest Shakespeare’s tragedies ‘Titus Andronicus’. It is coming up in November this year and there are still positions open for actors willing to participate. Next year the 5pound theater is planning to launch their biggest project so far – a theatrical spectacular by the famous George Orwell’s novel ‘Animal Farm’. This is going to be an expensive production demanding animalistic costumes and specific stage decorations. Therefore the theatre welcomes investors ready to help creating the magic of this grand idea.
MELBOURNE INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2016: SPECIAL AND Q&A SESSIONS: RICHA CHADHA NEW website review by Jennifer Zaman
IFFM 2016 IN CONVERSATION WITH RICHA CHADHA BOLLYWOOD & BODY POSITIVITY 13th August, HOYTS Melbourne Central
In an hour long conversation with Bollywood’s feisty feminist actor Richa Chadda, she spoke about the changing definition of beauty through time. Regaining a new height to her popularity with her production “Masaan”, a movie breaking all stereotypes about pre-marital sex in India, she candidly speaks about female equality and empowerment.
With the aid of pictures, Richa talks about the humiliation women have been meted out through ages. Pictures from days of yore were used to depict the idea of beauty in earlier days; veteran actors Rekha, Mumtaj and Sridevi being the icons. She focused on how fuller and curvy women were considered desirable then and contrary to that, in the present days, anorexic and fragile looking bodies have become the norm. According to her, everyone should be happy and content with the way our bodies are; efforts must be made only to stay fit and healthy and not dependent. Bodies should not be treated mere as cloth hangers. The strain on being skinny is disturbing and unacceptable. However, she goes on to add that the idea of beauty is not the same for everyone. As long as a person is healthy and happy, no judgement should be passed on his/her individual choices.
The feminist does not shy away from openly speaking about eating disorders that usually come complementary with failures and that she, too, was a victim of the this phenomenon.
Richa also speaks about the position of females in the Indian film industry, female patriarchy and how women-centric movies are being made today. She mentions, with pride, the box - office success achieved by the IFFM Ambassador Vidya Balan with her women-centric movies. She also talks about the agelessness that has been established by feminist actors like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jane Fonda.
While talking about the sense of beauty in Asia, the actress calls the obsession of Indians with fair skin as “colonial hangover”, a legacy of the British.
The conversation later allowed questions from the audience which the talented actor answered with confidence and candidness.
Richa’s conversation had rich messages for both males and females trying to make it big in show-biz. However, the session lacked preparedness on the part of the actress; the slides on the presentation were disoriented and the topics randomly commenced and ended. Although the subject matter of the conversation was quite interesting, Richa had little new to offer. Also, I reckon that she needs to choose her words correctly with reference to female body parts; using ‘unrefined’ terms does not necessarily facilitate feminism.
MELBOURNE. INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2016: WESTPAC AWARDS NIGHT NEW RED CARPET AND AWARDS CEREMONY website review: Jennifer Zaman photos: Kieran McNamara
Westpac, Australia IFFM 2016 Awards Night and Empowerment Concert 12th August, Melbourne Recital Centre
This year’s IIFM Awards Night kept up with its previous glory and was a gala event with an array of popular Bollywood celebrities walking the red carpet. The chilly Melbourne wind could not deter the fans, media and other socialites from attending it; all dressed up to their best, mostly in glittery traditional attires. Right at the entrance of the red carpet were dancers from Melbourne in Indian classical dance costumes welcoming the elite guests. The energy around the venue was intoxicating with everyone trying to catch a glimpse of his/her favourite star.
The Red Carpet was graced by several stars from the B-Town :- talented actor Nawazuddin Siddique, director Anurag Kashyap, actress and dance diva Malaika Arora, actor Radhika Apte, director Leena Yadav, veteran actor and talk show host Simi Garewal, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor with wife Neetu Kapoor, the feminist actor Richa Chadda, Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, actor and producer Rituparna Sengupta, the beautiful actor Sonam Kapoor, and India playback singers Shalmali Kholgade and Suzanne D'Mello. The list also includes popular names from Australian movie industry and social circuit.
The Awards Night commenced with an energetic Indian classical dance performed with utter grace. In the midst of a hall packed with media and bollywood-frenzy audience, late Paulus Henrique Benedictus, the Dutch-Australian filmmaker recognized as "Australia's most prolific film auteur", lovingly known as "Paul Cox”, was remember as an ode before the night took off. The opening speech was delivered by Hon Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industry, where he talked about cultural ties between Indian and Australia.
Western Union Short Film Competition winner “Out on a Lim” was introduced by writer, actor, producer Damian Hill. The movie entails the story of a visually challenged musician Ritchell Lim and to the utter surprise of the audience she performed live right then and there. The award went to the maker of the film Joshua Walker.
Thereafter, the stage was taken over by the Indian playback singer, Suzanne D'Mello, whose power-packed voice resonated inside the Recital centre making the audience go ga-ga. The Empowerment concert included two Indian and one Pakistani Singers. With intervals for the announcement of awards, the concert went on with great pomp. Shalmali Kholgade, the other Indian singer, too, rocked the stage with her performance. Pakistani singer Sara Haider took the audience aback with her melodious jazz and desi music (Folk). The singers were true representation of female talent, resilience and empowerment. Sara Haider lifted the already euphoric mode of the event by coyly flirting with the handsome Fawad khan, the audience’s favourite. With regards to the awards, director Leena Yadav’s “Parched” was awarded the Best Indie movie. The award for the Best Film went to “Kapoor & Sons” starring Rishi Kapoor and Fawad Khan and directed by Shakun Batra. To the amazement of everyone at the event, a special video clip on Fawad Khan’s work in India and Pakistan was played followed by the star being honoured with the ‘Diversity Award’. The award for the Best Actor Category (Male) went to Mr. Nawazuddin Siddique for his impressive performance in Anurag Kashyap’s “Raman Raghav 2.0”. The award for the Best Actor Category (Female) went to the beauty with brains, Sonam Kapoor, for her unforgettable performance in “Neerja”.
This year, the “Excellence in Cinema” Award was presented to Mr. Rishi Kapoor for his splendid journey in Indian Film Industry by the female co-star of his very first movie, popularly known as the lady in white, Simi Garewal.
The awards were presented by the tinsel town’s stars along with Australian screenwriter Andrew Anastasios, Mr. Navdeep Suri (High Commission of India), director Sue Maslin (Dress-maker), Special Minister of State Hon Gavin Jennings, Scottish actor Paul Ireland, Australian actor Stefan Dennis, and representatives from Telstra, Singapore Airlines and Wetspac, the sponsors of IFFM 2016.
The spirit and excitement of Melbourne audience was applauded by the guests. The star-studded night was concluded by an extravagant performance by the three superbly talented singers Suzzane, Shalmali and Sara.
Director of Mind Blowing Films, Mitu Bhowmick Lange and her team deserves huge applaud for organising the event so efficiently and giving all a night to remember.
MELBOURNE. SHADOWLAND SHOW IN MELBOURNE NEW website photos of the Melbourne at night life after the show: Ina Parakhina review: Irina Ivanova
Shadowland Show in Melbourne
This year the acclaimed Shadowland show returns to Australia to indulge the viewers with a cunning illusion created by uber-flexible and strong bodies intertwined to produce complex shadow play projections and a powerful front-of-screen choreography. Originally the idea appeared as a short shadow work story in 2007, and after a great success at the Academy Awards, it transformed into a full-length show, which was taken on tour all over the world. Directed by the renowned dance theater Pilobolus, the show amazes with the creativity of movements, precision of light work, and fiery music by the popular American musician, producer, and film composer David Poe. It is a top class entertainment for all ages.
I’ve been given an opportunity to take an interview with Kristina Dobosz, one of the dancers from the Shadowland, before the performance.
Kristina has been dancing since she was 4 years old, so basically she was born for it. She has joined the company and performed with Shadowland a few years ago. Lately Kristina has been mainly working on smaller productions, though this year she returned to Shadowland and toured the world with the show. It was Kristina’s first time visiting Melbourne, which, in her words, reminds her a lot of New York City, her hometown, and London.
Here is a short interview that I (Irina) ran with K (Kristina):
I: Do you know how the idea of Shadowland was born? K: The shadow work initially began for a commercial. Pilobolus was asked to create an idea to somehow turn bodies into a car, and decided to use the medium of shadow. They played around with the idea and used it for some other events. It was presented at the Academy Awards in 2007 and gained so much great feedback, that this made [Pilobolus] realize that there was actually something here. So they started creating the show, and in 2009 it came together, and it’s been touring ever since.
I: Does the show change from year to year? K: It is ever-changing, which is pretty fantastic. People who saw it in Australia in 2014, if they come back to see it this year they will notice that it has morphed a bit. Though the storyline has never changed essentially. This is a story of a girl coming of age and going through a thousand of tribulations that build up her character. We’ve added and subtracted some things, so that this would make more sense to the overall storyline.
I: What roles do you play in the show? K: I played two different roles in the show. Firstly I played the circus queen which is such an awesome character – super fierce, she leads a section of the circus. And now I play the Mom – a much softer of a role, a different theater.
I: How long does it take to put together a show? K: It usually depends on the cast and how recently we’ve performed together. It takes hours and hours of rehearsals, every day before the performance, so that we could get ourselves into a mindset of being together as a collective, to keep everything fresh and very detailed. It is similar to the precision of a ballet, where one is trying to create these crisp clean lines and images that produce such magic.
I: What do you enjoy the most in the show? K: I have to say the comradery. The show requires so much working together. You have to be mindful of who you are with, and you have to adapt and change together as a group, instantaneously if necessary. I feel that the show has forced us to become a big family on stage. And that’s the thing I appreciate the most, for sure.
I: How many performers are there in the show and how was the team built? K: There are 9 dancers on stage, plus 2 extras on the tour. They are swinging between 3 parts each. All come from different parts of the United States and one dancer is French.
I: How do you evaluate your experience in Australia? K: When I was touring full-time with Shadowland we travelled all over the place: to Asia and South America. The travelling in general can be really difficult, but the company itself is very supportive and the people here are incredible. I really had a blast! Meeting new people have been fantastic. I’m really grateful for this opportunity.
Well, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to watch and enjoy the performance. It’s been truly awesome, with a heart-warming personal touch for all the Melbournians in the end of the show.
MELBOURNE. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE: NATURE ROARS BACK WITH FILM MAKER BOB POOLE NEW website press release by Ivan Lubkov
Nature Roars Back The renowned, Emmy Award-winner, filmmaker Bob Poole releases his latest documentary “Nature Roars Back”. The picture presents a heart touching story of the Gorongosa natural reserve and the constant fight for survival of the human residents and the wildlife of the majestic land. The presentation of the documentary is done by the creator himself who gives a detailednarration of the events. The story is shown in an autobiographic manner where the first scenes are from the creator’s childhood where he goes through his first work experience in cattle relocation assignments and his first encounter of National Geographic crews. As the picture unfolds the viewers are presented with the events that made the person standing before them a wildlife advocate and a dedicated fighter for protection and restoration of wildlife around the world. Bob Poole’s strong belief that it is not too late to stop destroying wildlife and his faith that there are countless places that can and have to be rebuilt is reinforced with the specific example of the Gotongosa national park. The beautiful land went through a lot of turmoil in the 20th century being a hunting ground, a place of war and poaching until the current government saw the need to rebuild it and make it a place for tourists and scientists. The picture uncovers the importance of peaceful coexistence of people among each other and the impact that all the wars have on the wildlife. The filmmaker manages to present the humane side of animals and makes the viewer realise that every single life of a lion, an elephant or just about any other animal is precious and should be valued.
MELBOURNE. INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL MELBOURNE 2016 PRESS CONFERENCE WITH THE STARS NEW website photos: Kieran McNamara journalist: Jennifer Zaman
The much-awaited ‘Opening Night’ of IFFM was preceded by a Press Conference attended by the celebrities from the Indian Film Industry. The guest list was as grand as the event itself - the Chief Guest of the festival Mr. Rishi Kapoor, the Pakistani heartthrob Mr. Fawad Khan, director of “Kapoor & Sons” Shakun Batra, the feisty actor Richa Chadda, the talented actor Radhika Apte, director of “Parched” Leena Yadav, playback singers Suzanne D'Mello and Shalmali Kholgade, and last but not the least, Minister for Creative Industries, Hon Martin Peter Foley. IFFM Festival Director Mitu Bhomwick Lange delivered the opening speech and introduced the festival guests to the media present there.
Once the floor was opened for Q&A, questions were directed to the celebrities one after another, especially to veteran actor Rishi Kapoor and to the handsome Fawad Khan. The questions entailed discussions on Bollywood, women empowerment, Indo-Pakistan cultural affiliations in terms of movies, and scope of creating music albums in India.
Rishi Kapoor answered all the questions directed to him in his jovial way impressing the gathering with his simplicity and lucidity. Fawad Khan too, was composed and answered all the questions eloquently.
The conference felt short-lived and came to a closure within a little more than 30 minutes leaving the excited media wanting for more. And before anyone could indulge the Bollywood stars into any one-one conversations or take pictures, they were whisked away by the organizers.
Kudos to the organizers of IFFM 2016 for performing an impressive job of hosting the conference and arranging it at a prestigious location. However, there is always room for improvement. It would be highly appreciated if media is treated in a more professional and civilized manner and questions received with an open-mind.
SYDNEY: HELPMANN AWARDS 2017 NEW
HELPMANN AWARDS 25 July 2016 Sydney BACKGROUND The Helpmann Award is an accolade presented by Live Performance Australia (LPA) (the trade name for the Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA)), an employers' organisation which serves as the peak body in the live entertainment and performing arts industries in Australia. It is named in honour of Sir Robert Helpmann, an Australian actor, dancer, choreographer and theatre director. Established in 2001, the award is handed out for achievements in the disciplines of musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, opera, classical music, theatre,dance and physical theatre. As of 2013, a total of forty-one competitive awards are given to individuals for their work in performance, direction, choreography, lighting, sound, music, costume and scenic design and production. Non-competitive awards are also presented, including: the JC Williamson Award, Brian Stacey Award and Best Special Event.
The Helpmann Awards were established in 2001 by the Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA) (currently known by its trade name Live Performance Australia (LPA)). They are named in honour of Australian actor, choreographer, dancer and theatre director,Sir Robert Helpmann (9 April 1909 – 28 September 1986).They are given to productions regardless of the Australian state they were originally staged in. The accolade was created to be the Australian equivalent of the Tony Awards for Broadway theatre in the United States, and the Laurence Olivier Awards for West End theatre in the United Kingdom. The aim of the awards is to promote Australia's live entertainment industry, both locally and internationally, by: recognising artistic achievements; administering the awards with integrity; ensuring the awards are celebrated by the industry and Australian community; and ensuring the ceremony is the most prestigious awards in the local industry and the highlight of each season. At the inaugural Helpmann Awards, twenty six accolades were handed out for achievements in performance, direction, choreography, lighting, sound, music, costume and scenic design andproduction, in the disciplines of musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, opera, classical music, theatre, danceand physical theatre. Over the years the categories have expanded and currently include forty-one honours.Special non-competitive prizes are also bestowed upon individuals: the JC Williamson Award (named after theatre manager James Cassius Williamson), for one's life's work in Australia's live entertainment industry and the highest honour presented by Live Performance Australia; and the Brian Stacey Memorial Award (presented by the Brian Stacey Memorial Trust), for emerging Australian conductors, which also includes an $8000 reward
16TH ANNUAL HELPMANN AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Celebrating artistic excellence and distinguished achievement in live performance
42 Awards presented plus the prestigious JC Williamson Award® and Sue Nattrass Award®
The 2016 Helpmann Awards were presented at a star-studded ceremony tonight, Monday 25 July, in front of a full house at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. Hosts for the evening were Chloe Dallimore, Helen Dallimore, Stuart Maunder AM, Guy Noble, Simon Phillips, The Umbilical Brothers and Queenie van de Zandt as “Jan van de Stool”. The celebrations continued after the ceremony as guests enjoyed an After Party at Marquee Sydney, The Star.
The high-profile line-up of Presenters included Kellie Dickerson, Tim Draxl, Marta Dusseldorp, Tim Finn, Antoinette Halloran, Noni Hazlehurst, Erika Heynatz, Celia Ireland, Tim Minchin, Hunter Page-Lochard, Katrina Milosevic, Milijana Nikolic, Eddie Perfect, Aurélien Scannella, The Hon Jillian Skinner MP and Toby Thatcher.
At the ceremony, the 2016 Helpmann Award winners were announced in the categories of comedy, cabaret, children’s presentation, contemporary music, dance and physical theatre, industry, musicals, opera and classical music, regional touring and theatre.
Awards previously announced and presented live on stage tonight included a special award given to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Comedy in Australia, the JC Williamson Award® recognising outstanding contribution to the Australian live performance industry presented to Stephen Page and the Sue Nattrass Award®, presented to Michael Lynch CBE AM, which honours exceptional service to the Australian live performance industry. The Helpmann Awards were established in 2001 by Live Performance Australia (LPA). Chief Executive of LPA, Evelyn Richardson said “We are proud to present the 16th Annual HelpmannAwards tonight. The breadth of winners, nominees and performances at tonight’s ceremony shines a spotlight on Australia’s world-class creative and artistic talent.”
The Helpmann Awards are proudly supported by the New South Wales Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres said “The Helpmann Awards is the pinnacle celebration of Australia’s live performance industry and this year’s winners reflect the depth, range and expertise of this significant industry. I commend all of tonight’s winners and nominees on their achievements.”
Guests were entertained by 10 sensational performances including:
Singin’ in the Rain –“Overture” and “Good Mornin’” starring Grant Almirall, Gretel Scarlett and Jack Chambers; and “Singin’ in the Rain” full cast finale
Sarah Blasko – “Luxurious”
Sydney International Piano Competition – Andrey Gugnin, 1st Prize winner Sydney International Piano Competition, “Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata #7, III Precipitato B Flat Major, Op 83”
Matilda the Musical – “Quiet” starring all eight Matildas from the Sydney and Melbourne seasons
Marina Prior and Mark Vincent – “Time to Say Goodbye”
West Australian Ballet – “On The Nature of Daylight” pas de deux starring Sandy Delasalle and Matthew Lehmann
Ladies in Black – “Ladies in Black” starring Lucy Maunder, Kate Cole, Kathryn McIntyre, Deidre Rubenstein, Carita Farrer Spencer, Sarah Morrison and Naomi Price
The Sound of Music – “Do-Re-Mi” starring Amy Lehpamer, Stefanie Jones and the von Trapp children; and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” starring Jacqueline Dark
The Helpmann Awards Ceremony was presented on the set of Singin' in the Rain at the Sydney Lyric Theatre with Jon Nicholls as Executive Producer. The ceremony was broadcast live on Foxtel Arts and is available via webcast at www.foxtelarts.com.au until August 25.
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The Helpmann awards 2016 showcased a multitude of talented artist's from across Australia.
The red carpet saw celebrities from all walks of life including actors, dancers, singers, performers and amazing individuals the list goes on.
BRC were lucky enough to have a chat to some of the stars on the red carpet. See Video.
During the awards ceremony held inside the Lyric Theatre in Sydney, there were standout performances from musical theatre stage shows including The Sound of Music, Singin in the Rain, Matilda and Ladies in Black to name a few.
The host's of the night included the stars of Foxtels tv series 'Wentworth', Tim Minchin, Noni Hazlehurst, Helen Dallimore and Marta Dusseldorp to name a few.,
The awards ceremony saw 'Matilda the Musical' take out a vast majority of awards for the night. It was wonderful to see so many talented people come together and celebrate their successes.
To end the awards there was a spectacular performance from the cast of 'Singin In the Rain' who performed on stage with water pouring down on them in doors. So wonderful to watch.
Of course there was a fabulous after party where everyone had the chance to unwind and have a chat with one another. The venue was Marquee Nightclub at The Star Sydney. A beautiful venue seemingly fitting for the occasion.
Make sure you keep supporting aussie grown talent and the performing arts. Thank you BRC for the opportunity to cover such a wonderful event. We look forward to covering more arts and entertainment events in the future. by Bryanna Reynolds
TRAVELLING AROUND VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA PLACES AND EVENTS TO SEE
RIMA BY SQUIDSILO 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 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 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 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 VAUDEVILLE 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 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 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 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 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! 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.