THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL - WHITNEY HOUSTON SHOW NEW website review by Carolyn Newall
The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show Athenaeum Theatre, 11th to 27thJan. 2018 There are good reasons why Belinda Davids won the BBC ONE’s Even Better than the Real Thing, an award which showcases the best musical tribute acts in the UK. She may not actually be better than Whitney Houston but it would have been hard for them to find someone who is as close to being equal.
Davids makes no attempt to impersonate Houston, rather she chooses to present her as she was “at the top of her game.” That Davids is uniquely qualified to do this is without question. Not only does she share the same remarkable vocal range but also she has been a fan of Houston since she began singing in her early teens in South Africa.
The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Show is in its fifth year of touring, including performances in the US, Canada, UK, Europe, South Africa, Asia, UAE, New Zealand and Australia. That it can still fill houses in return seasons owes much to Davids’ talent and ability to channel Houston while remaining herself.
There were moments during Didn’t We Almost Have It All and the shows title song that I was aware of the differences between Davids and Houston. What exactly those differences are I am not completely sure. Perhaps a softness and pleading quality to the originals that I did not pick up this time, though it is difficult to remember whether I am comparing a recording to a live performance which is always tricky.
I have to say that I found the dancers to be very distracting. Not quite in sync and too obvious when dressed in white, they were a little jarring. Perhaps it was the style of the dances that was so very different from the spontaneous and enthusiastic dancing of the audience.
For those who love the music of Whitney Houston this concert will be a treat not to be missed. The two hour show includes all of Houston’s greatest hits including I Will Always Love You, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, How Will I Know, One Moment in Time, I Have Nothing, Run to You, Didn’t We Almost Have It All, Greatest Love of All, I’m Every Woman, Queen of the Night, Exhale (Shoop Shoop) and more.
The show is playing at the Athenaeum until January 27th before heading of on tour around Australia and New Zealand during February.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND LIVE ON STAGE NEW website review by Sam Bell
In 1865 Lewis Carrol published a book about a young girl falling down a rabbit hole and experiencing a chaotic adventure the likes of which the world had never seen. In the years following, the tale has taken on many forms as it is told through nearly every lens imaginable; from comic strips, books and graphic novels, to music, television, cinema and even video games. It is on the stage though, that Rapidfire International brings their telling to life. Not through song and dance, as many Disney fans may expect, and not through outrageous prop reliance as many may think necessary, but rather through a thorough exploration of Lewis Carrols language and literary prose.
The absurdity of the plot and lack of any semblance of literary structure makes for an anarchic performance, with one scene seeming to bleed into the next with no real sense of consistency. That is not to say that the plays disjunction in any way minimizes the wonder of the performance, or the awesome power of it’s tale. Quite the opposite in fact, the topsy-turvy nature of the show only highlights the skills of it’s performers and of it’s director as they keep us in the loop through what should by all rights be an unintelligible performance. There are some issues with the plays pacing, as some scenes are extended beyond suitability in order to delve into the lyrical fancy of the source material, while others are brushed over almost incidentally.
The performers do their best, from Georgina Walker’s somewhat unbalanced Alice, to Karen Crone’s emotional mad hatter; the performers all gives their all in what must be demanding roles. The stand out of the show has to be Simon Burvill-Homes’s zealous Queen of hearts, rarely has the line “off with their heads!” been shouted with such upbeat perkiness. The exuberance and cheer, prevalent throughout all the performances were not always met with assent though as some of the more impassioned scenes had a tendency to come across as almost condescending in their sickly sweet tones. Combined with the use of puppets throughout the play, it did gives the show a far more child centric nature than was perhaps necessary given the vocabulary used.
Alice in Wonderland is a romp through one of histories most ludicrous tales. While it is based of a somewhat dark story, the fantastical attitude it is told with and the sheer dedication to the poetry and farcical nature of it’s source material make it safe for the whole family. Ironically, it is the youngest viewers that are likely to understand the play best; without having to appreciate the lyrical tone to the script, they understand that sometimes caterpillars can be grumpy, playing cards can be scary, and sometimes you just get lost in a dream. In many ways, Alice in wonderland is the perfect choice for families with younger children, as not only is the plot self-explanatory to the active imagination of youth, but the vibrant colours and exuberant performances are reminiscent of most child centric entertainment. With a one hour runtime to boot, the plays breakneck pace is liable to keep even the most easily distracted of children in their seats for the duration.
To sum it up, Alice is Wonderland is a somewhat middling performance, unlikely to be to the tastes of the more critical viewers, but perfectly acceptable for the younger audience. It is not a show I would take a date to, or see with an adult group. I would however recommend it to families with young children, looking for an activity to do with the kids, or even as an introduction to theatre.
review by Max Lyons
Theatre Review: Alice in Wonderland – Live on Stage By Maxwell Lyons
Alice(’s Adventures) in Wonderland is one of those universal stories that has captivated audiences worldwide in some form or another, whether it be the original 1865 literary classic by Lewis Carroll, the childishly morbid animated movie from Walt Disney productions, or the more recent 2010 live-action adaptation starring Johnny Depp (and its questionably ‘necessary’ sequel). It is one of those tales that seems timeless, and so is told time and time again through adaptation upon adaptation. So here we are, 153-years since its inception, with another retelling of Alice’s Wonderland adventures, this time “live on stage”.
Adapted and directed by Penny Farrow, Alice in Wonderland: Live on Stage showcases a theatrical retelling of the story of Alice and her journey down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Coming straight from its success in New York, the show presents a condensed one-hour production with no intervals. More akin to recent adaptations, the show is intended for children and families, but is said to be enjoyable for all – I disagree, but we’ll get to that soon enough. Furthermore, an interesting point to note is also Farrow’s gender-bender-esk twist on the classic story and its portrayal, casting a male lead as the Queen of Hearts and female actors for the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee, and Tweedle Dum.
I must commend the cast of the show for their efforts. With only eight members in total, it was certainly an impressive feat for them to display such diversity in portraying all the characters that made up both the shows key players and the supporting accompaniments. Notable performances were those of Simon Burville-Holmes as the vociferous Queen of Hearts, and Karen Crone as the lovably absurd Mad Hatter. Though unfortunately, compared to the impeccable performances of these two seasoned veterans the inexperienced nature of the remaining cast members was rather apparent. Not to say they were bad performances, just that they seemed rather contrived and lacked authenticity.
Set design was minimal – a static backdrop, a table and some stools, and a mushroom-head-shaped table cover for select scenes. It was enough to carry the story, but nothing to rave about. Props were of a similar minimal nature, but again, they were effective enough. In terms of costume design, they were all quite lavish and rather fitting of the historical era and general conception of Wonderland attire. Though as a whole everything was rather drab. It lacked any form of vibrancy or wonder, and detracted from the bizarrely romantic ambiance that was Wonderland.
Now let’s talk about the actual story. True to the novel, the show embodies an alluringly niche genre of literary, and theatrical, nonsense, doing everything in its power to break away from the traditional narrative structure and logical sequencing of events. The plot is perplexing at best with but a fine line of thread connecting the scenes and characters to one another, the dialogue is an intertwine of irrational thoughts placing greater emphasis on syntactical word-play than actual definition, and the characters themselves are both boisterous and timid in an unpredictably capricious nature. Beyond being illogical, it didn’t know what it wanted to be. Comedy? Tragedy? Melodrama? There were elements of all, yet it culminated to none.
To its further discredit, amongst all this madness there seemed to be little to sustain the audience’s emotion. Everyone had a seemingly singular role to play and there was nothing to connect to, feel for, or empathise with. Should I have felt sorry for Alice having to put up with the irrationality of her new surroundings, or contemptuous at the queen blindingly throwing beheadings to all who oppose her wishes, or suspenseful for the potential execution of the woman on trial at the end? In the end I wasn’t sure and so just did not care! I was not interested, I was not entertained, and I did not enjoy it, and that ultimately sums up my experience of the show.
Alice in Wonderland: Live on Stage is a wildly nonsensical show that fails to capture the magic of what made the original story so widely popular. On paper it may be true to the source material, but in performance it lacked substance and entertainment value. It may be intended for a younger, more childlike audience, but that should not be a limiting factor for its general viewership, and on that front, I would not recommend it. Not to children. Not to families. Not to adults. And DEFINITELY NOT to the lovers of Carroll’s acclaimed literary masterpiece.
The show is being marketed with the quote “The most HILARIOUS madcap FUN” (Broadway World), but to this end I would have to disagree on all fronts. I found it to be neither funny nor fun, and in terms of madcap – defined as amusingly eccentric – well, eccentric it may be, but amusing it is most certainly not.
review by Dina Gavrilova
Alice in Wonderland
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland… One of the most iconic pieces of writing across the globe. No matter in which part of the world you grew up, it is still a benchmark for finding ‘right’ type of people. Who knows how many adaptations for stage, movies or cartoons it has withstood during its 150 years of existence. Some of them we remember forever as they determine our perception and force us to go back and reevaluate things again and again.
However, all the above is not applicable to the current performance at the Athenaeum Theatre. That would’ve come as a surprise if any kid could be inspired and thrilled by this performance. The program promises ‘a handful of brilliant actors and puppeteers’ whereas only two in fact. Two actors Simon Burvill-Holmes and Karen Crone who performed so genuinely that literally saved the show. As to the puppets, their necessity as such should be questioned in the first place as well as their aesthetic appeal.
There are many more things to argue in regards the show given its positioning but I’ll mention the only one. If you decided to introduce children to the theatre and picked this show, don’t be surprised later on if they refuse to see anything else. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep magic alive throughout the performance.
TRIENNIAL AT NVG NEW website review by Dina Gavrilova
Triennial at The National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria presents more and more diverse and alluring exhibitions of classical art: The House of Dior, Hokusai, Van Gogh and The Seasons etc. In these terms, Triennial stands apart as exhibits contemporary art. Uniting more than 100 artists from 32 countries, it establishes new global-relevant standards of quality confirming again the title of Victoria as the most creative state.
A lot could’ve been written discussing curatorial decisions regarding selection of art works, their compatibility etc. However, I’m sure that it is more valuable to actually visit this exhibition (especially since it’s free admission) and make up your own mind as the experience is definitely worth it.
But as to be fair I will outline a few highlights from the Triennial. To start from the very beginning, Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana should be mentioned. Enormous Buddha with Greco-Roman and Renaissance sculptures on the top makes an indelible impression. And even though you’ll have to hustle among those taking photos, you’d better stop and have a look as the attempt of Chinese artist Xu Zhen to establish a conversation between East and West deserves to be digested properly. Yes, the idea is not a brand new one. However, the implementation is intriguing: Western sculptures forming the pediment of the temple and the Buddha as the pedestal tells a lot about the correlations between Western and Eastern cultures.
Once you’re lucky enough to go through the crowd, there is an installation not far from the entrance made by Pae White. This hall tied with acrylic threads unimaginably questions your sense of space and reality. It would seem, what such a thin thread can do? And it turns out – a lot, blurring the borders and walls of this labyrinth, leaving up to an audience to figure out what is what.
The next point on the exhibition map I’d designate Moving creates Vortices and Vortices create Movement by TeamLab. Going into that hall, one should be really careful as despite the ephemerality of tools the effect is absolutely tangible. If you ever been tortured by a question like ‘why Van Gogh’s stars are depicted that way and not another’ or ‘what feels a person sucked into a black hole’, then this hall is created for you! Dizziness because of irreality and butterflies in the stomach are provided.
And one more project which should be mentioned (without detracting merits of others). It is called Draped marble by Analia Saban. It is four marble ‘rugs’ hanging on wooden trestle. The idea is as simple as brilliant. Totally atypical choice of material breaks all the possible expectations and delivers a deep aesthetic pleasure from destruction and creation at the same time.
All in all, if you haven’t seen Triennial so far – hurry up! It is an absolute must-see exhibition especially for those who have at least an embryo of interest in contemporary arts.
AN INTERVIEW AHEAD OF SO FRENCHY SO CHIC NEW website run by Bryanna Reynolds
INTERVIEW: One on One with FÉFÉ...
In the lead up to ‘So Frenchy So Chic’ Bryanna Reynolds had a talk with long time SFSC favourite, the Nigerian-born, French rapper FÉFÉ. He will take to the stage with a brand new repertoire of chic Afro-influenced beats. Performing tracks from his 2017 album Mauve. Féfé will leave his audiences moving with his rhythmic repertoire and signature style, joy and je ne sais quoi.
B: How did you first get into music. What inspired you? F: I use to be a good mathematician and student then little by little... I started studying music for fun.
B: Where did you grow up? F: At the age of seven I went to live in England for one year and I also went to Nigeria for a month and I think the trip from when I was seven years old really opened my eyes. I grew up in the French ghetto and travelling taught me there was more to the world than my ghetto.
B: Do you have a favourite genre of music? F: It is very difficult to choose and say there is one genre of music that I prefer. You’re going to love some artist’s. I love art and music in general. I can love classic songs for the vibe it gives me at one moment and then love a rock song. I honestly try but my favourite music would be black music, jazz, soul, rock and anything that has rhythm and moves.
B: Can you tell me about your upcoming performance and what the audience will take away from the performance. F: Usually when I come to this show I don't have any ideas about how it will be because there are going to be different people. I always go there with a free mind. What I would like the audience to go back with would be good vibes. That's what I love about life, is feeling the moment and letting it take over.
B: Do you have any goals for the future, is there something you want to achieve through your music? F: Yeah of course, when I was twenty years old I wanted to change the world and I still want to do that with my music. I want to open their minds, I want them to evolve. I am trying to be a part of that movement.
photos from So Frenchy So Chic - year 2016 by Arastou Mirshahi
ABBA SHOW NEW website review and photography by Carolyn Newall
There are two kinds of tribute show. One is often uncomfortable the other is pure fun.
In one kind, the performers take it very seriously and want us to suspend disbelief and imagine that we are seeing the original. These can be problematic as every little inconsistency is noted and jars.
The better kind is a salute to the original. The cast know that we know that they are not who they are pretending to be. Everyone knows so inconsistencies don’t matter so much. If accents are geographically hard to pin down and movements are not exactly as remembered it doesn’t matter. Actually, it can add to the fun. The cast are released to play with the material and offer the audience an evening of entertainment delight.
The ABBA Show, currently playing at the Athenaeum in Melbourne is definitely the second kind. Bohemian Rhapsody were fortunate to get tickets for the performance and it was the most fun I have had in a while.
Were there elements of the show that were less than perfect? Yes. Did Hannah Pocock and Jenna Ball appear even more intensely mobile than I remember Agnetha and Frida being? Yes also. But it didn’t matter. When conservative looking senior citizens suddenly stand independently and rock to the music with total abandon you know that the performers are doing something right. The show made me happy and entertainment doesn’t always achieve that.
Even more delightful was seeing these same seniors rocking along beside their grown children. It reminded me of just how successful ABBA have been at appealing to successive generations.
The secret of course is the music and it was certainly the star of the show. I had forgotten how many of the songs I actually knew and could remember the words to. Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Fernando, Knowing Me Knowing You, Ring Ring and The Winner Takes It All were among the many. However, very fittingly the show ended with the song that summed up the entire experience, the iconic 1977 hit, Thank You for the Music.
As the lyrics point out, the music brings joy and that is something we all need more of.
Hannah Pocock and Jenna Ball are joined by Cameron Charters as Björn and Brent McMullen as Benny and a really good band. Together they offer a high energy, two-hour concert experience complete with detailed replica costumes and a photo gallery of the original band in their heyday.
If you get the chance to see this show, take it. It will make you happy.
Myself and the friend who accompanied me were singing Thank you for the Music in our heads for a long time after.
Carolyn Newall For Bohemian Rhapsody.
THE TUDOR CHORISTERS NEW website review by Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: The Tudor Choristers By Bryanna Reynolds
Bohemian Rhapsody Club were lucky enough to attend a magnificent performance by ‘The Tudor Choristers’ at Our Lady of Victories Basilica in Camberwell, Melbourne.
The group is comprised of a range of choir singers who believe in the notion of unaccompanied music hailing from Melbourne, Australia.
When it comes to this time festive time of the year sometimes we lose track of what is really important. What the Tudor Choristers remind you of, is that it is important to spend time with others and simply romance in the notion of good old music and engagement.
The notion of the performance was to celebrate not only Christmas carols but also traditional music, so that all were included. For someone who isn't very religious it was a beautiful tradition to be a part of.
The choir allowed and urged us to sing along to popular tunes and it was truly breathtaking. I haven't been to the carols in a very long time and this performance reminded me of my childhood.
The voices of the choir filled the beautiful location and illuminated off of the interior walls. It was very reminiscent of Italy and really had a feel about it that you must simply be a part of if you get the chance.
Imagine a christmas carol evening just like out of the movies with everyone simply coming together, leaving their troubles behind and enjoying the very moment of a christmas song.
I can't wait to see what The Tudor Choristers get up to next and I for one will be following their journey. If you ever get the chance to experience one of their performances, i highly recommend it, take along some friends and family and make an evening of it.
MORE TELEMANN CONCERT NEW website review by Nina Tunaley
MORE TELEMANN CONCERT - ****
That was a beautiful concert on the 10th December in the St Johns Southgate.The Melbourne Musicians under the direction of Frank Pam performed three Mannheim symphonies by Johann Stamitz and a number of Telemannpieces which are seldom heard at large concert performances. Tania De Jong started the concert with her beautiful soprano performing Ombra mai fu from Xerxes by George Frideric Handel. It was a very pleasant experience which I would recommend to anyone who needed some down time without much fuss. All performers were highly capable and professional in this ensemble and it was not hindered by being too large, as the audience became involved with the players and humorous interjections – I myself, not being musically gifted, had no idea that an opera piece was written about the death of a canary! How did I know this; as the story was sung by a fine Soprano in the German language? Frank had carefully provided an English translation of the piece which he had done himself! You do not get that type of service at a performance very often. Frank in the introduction to the performance mentioned that the second piece they were going to play involved a trumpet. As we were in a small auditorium I thought that this would be over powering. Wrong; I became introduced to a piccolo trumpet with a very fine player Mark Fitzpatrick. The sounds from this instrument were really magic, well done! I did enjoy this afternoon concert and suggest you log on to their website at www.melbournemusicians.com and catch a session or two.
WICKED - THE MUSICAL NEW SYDNEY website review by Ivan Lubkov
Wicked – The Untold story of the Witches of Oz The story of the Land of Oz which has been shown and told to people around the world for more than hundred years returns in a grand production from the Manly Musical Society. The magical land has allowed countless stories and legends to reach children’s books, TV shows, Hollywood films and specifically Broadway theatrical performances. One such production is Wicked, the untold story of the Witches of oz. The show has been a great success and has reached the top 3 Broadway musical shows ranked by revenue. The only performance that surpasses Wicked is the Lion King. Manly Musical Society has taken up the task of producing great musicals in Australia and beyond. The quality of the music and theatricalfinesse of the teamconfidently matches the top Broadway performances. The production might receive less attention in advertisements but it is clearly is on par with the US counterparts when it comes to the professional show and entertainment. Elphaba, the Wicket witch of the East has been a character that has symbolized evil and oppression in the first stories of Oz. She has been the target of hatred and acts of chevalier adventurers aiming to defeat her. The story of Wicket is a prequel to the first series of tales about Dorothy and the Wizard Oz. The plot of the musical uncovers the true intentions and history of the rebellious character Elphaba who was wrongfully portrayed as evil in the magic land. In essence the story is about a vigilante who stands by her ideas and wishes to show the society all the wrongdoings and oppressions in her land. The Manly Musical Society has presented a fascinating work. Anyone interested in musicals should definitely save the schedule of the shows produced by the team. The quality of the performance is something to be cherished and admired.
YOTHU YINDI ANF THE TREATY PROJECT NEW website review by Max Davine
Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project At Croxton Band Room Max Davine
Just going to throw it out there: digeridoos rock. Check out Goanna’s “Solid Rock”, if you don’t think so. How well the haunting gravel of the didge compliments the electric guitar. Yothu Yindi were more than just a band. They were a cultural movement, way ahead of their time. While Midnight Oil were still establishing themselves, Yothu Yindi were a group formed of genuine Indigenous Australians (largely of the Yolngu Nation) and a few balanda (Non-Indigenous Australians), from a band formerly known as The Swamp Jockeys. Their most famous song, “Treaty”, is still largely played today, and its Filthy Lucre remix has lost none of its dance club appeal since it peaked at No. 11 back in 1991. They brought the world a unique combination of electronic and traditional instruments, from keyboards to clapsticks, and brought the powerful, haunting sounds of the great, red land to the mainstream. While Ross Edwards and Stephen Leek had created classical music amongst that vein, nobody had, nor has anyone since, given the unique and indescribably beautiful Indigenous Australian musical culture such a vast and accessible platform. Sadly, frontman Manadwuy Yunupingu passed away in 2013, aged only 56. Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project was formed with the help of producer Gavin Campbell, whose Razor Recordings have released the new remix pack, as well as producing some originals in celebration of the original band, to mark the 25th anniversary of “Treaty”, and brought their unique, revolutionary sound to the Croxton Band Room on November 19th. It was an event to remember, as it demonstrated more than anything the timeless quality of the band, and the universal appeal of their message and sounds. What greater message of reconciliation and friendship is there, after all, than a band formed of both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous musicians, creating culture and celebration together, sharing a stage, bringing black and white to their venues and combining the ethereal power of tradition with the raw energy of contemporary dance. Yothu Yindi are as relevant today as they ever were, and that they have been around for so long is testament to their originality, their courage, and their artisanship. Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project are a new beginning for that original vision, catapulting these landmark recordings into a new generation.
NICA - PLEASE HOLD NEW website review: Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: Please Hold By Bryanna Reynolds
“A refreshing take on performance art involving everyday sounds of Melbourne”
Bohemian Rhapsody were lucky enough to attend the National Institute of Circus Arts to preview the showcase performance of the third year students.
The moment you entered through the doors of NICA the students were on stage practicing. You could say it was a very relaxed production and it felt like you could easily connect with them (the students) during the performance. Once everyone was seated the students continued to practice and then it became apparent that this was actually all a part of the performance.
Before we knew it Katherine Martin was walking through the crowd and interviewing people. This theme of interviewing continued through the first segment where she then proceeded to walk through her classmates and ask them questions about what they were doing and how they got to be so talented. It was a refreshing take on performance art and it really settled the audience into the show.
Just like any performance there were times of laughter, fear, excitement and death defying moments. At one stage a large number of students were suspended on ropes from the roof surrounding Ella Bartilomo. I remember Ela from her previous performance and she has most definitely upped her game of performance and death defying stunts that leave you on the edge of your seat.
I would like to make note that this performance was more tame than other performance I have seen at NICA and it was very calming in a way and aesthetically pleasing. It is obvious the director Kate Champion is always coming up with new ways to bring out the best in terms of performance art with the students of NICA. Director Kate Champion describes the show as being a depiciton of the outside world that awaits the students.
Elements of comedy are present and there is a hilarious stunt with audio from a centrelink recording and the students waiting on hold. It's the quirky little touches that Kate and the students have involved in the performance that really make it special and unique to their own experiences whilst studying.
I would definitely recommend seeing a NICA performance and seeing the talented work being produced at the early stage of the students careers. There are sure to be some big names coming out of NICA and into the performance world internationally.
Please Hold is playing at the National Institute Of Circus Arts (NICA) from the 29th November to the 9th of December so make sure to get your tickets before they sell out.
MISTERMAN NEW website review by Dina Gavrilova
Nearly 20 years ago Enda Walsh wrote the play called ‘Misterman’ and now it’s been staged here in Melbourne by FizzWack Theatre and directed by Kris Weber.
Inheriting to Samuel Beckett, another renowned Irish play writer, Enda Walsh examines peoples’ boundaries. This time it is an exploration of how dogma can affect human’s mind. Determining the only possible way to exist, it takes the slightest deviation to the side to plunge one into the state of panic. A human who lost everything and everyone loses control over the whole life and therefore tries to find support in faith which he turns into the rigid dogma.
It is evident that the play requires a lot from the cast, especially from the actor as he’s supposed to captivate audience’s attention throughout the whole time alone. And Travis Handcock done this brilliantly! The tension does not weaken even for a moment and mise en scenes with him flouncing about in an agony and running in the loops of mental labyrinth simply shiver the spine.
All in all, this production is such an experience which one won’t forget for a long time as it appeals to every sense and lifts from the bottom of the soul things which one never could’ve expected to find in there.
TELSTRA PERTH FASHION FESTIVAL 2017 NOVEMBER: RESORT AND SWIMWEAR SERIES NEW website review and photos: Manish Bolla
Venue : Perth City Beach Date : 26th November 2017 WA Fashion Council 2017 Swim and Resort Series by WA Designer Runway and Camilla - Rio with Love WA DESIGNER RUNWAY Spectacular runway presented by finest local designers including Morrison, SKYE & Staghorn, SEI Bella Aqua Wear, Ocean Zone, Amore + Sorvete, Kirrikin, House of SKYE and Ambra Madden. Afternoon was set by some spectacular swim and resort wear on a runway over looking city beach front. There is a reason Perth is hub of some amazing swim wear design and ready to wear Resort wear and is definitely a swim wear capital of Australia CAMILLA: From Rio With Love Ever since the release of her first kaftan, designer Camilla Franks’ name has become synonymous with resort wear not just in Australia but across the globe. Bohemian at heart, the brand has pioneered a vibrant aesthetic that is immediately recognisable. Every collection speaks of a journey to a faraway place and the SS17/18 offering, From Rio With Love, is no different, shining with the joyous carnival atmosphere of Brazil’s capital. Infused with Samba soul, the garments flow as if powered by music and dance, with dresses, kaftans, bikinis and accessories embodying an eclectic vibe in a kaleidoscope of colour. Personnel Observations - This year's Swim and Resort run showcased the most vibrant colours as summer approach. Guests and patrons were dressed in most spectacular ready to wear designs with gold and Orange as prominent colors. Not sure if making a statement is an understament. Mens resort were floral and nature prints... There were designs showcased for all shapes and sizes with some local aboriginal influence on prints. Brazilian designer Camilla stole the show with some amazing vibrant designs and prominent bold colours. With samba and drum rolling the runway was truly not to be missed event.
ARTVO EXHIBITION NEW website review by Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: Artvo By Bryanna Reynolds
Bohemian Rhapsody Club were lucky enough to get a sneak peek look at Artvo in Docklands, Melbourne. Artvo is an immersive gallery experience where you can insert yourself into life size paintings.
From the moment we entered the doors of Artvo, we were greeted and welcomed into the space with a delicious beverage.
Then we were taken into a practice room where the lovely guides explained the exhibition and showed us how to take photos at each portrait. They even included details like whether to take the picture portrait or landscape which was very handy. After the induction you are free to roam the rooms and coridoor’s.
Each corridor had a different theme to it, including famous classic paintings, underwater themes, jungle themes and wonders of the world which included the Taj Mahal.
And for any aussies who haven't travelled Australia there are some Aussie themed paintings so you can insert yourself into a pic of Uluru or a paper plane over the Sydney Opera House.
One of my favourites was the flying carpet portrait where Egyptian ruins were featured in the background, it really felt like you were in a different time and place.
If you love feeling dizzy and out of this world, there is an out of space room where you can be the king of the world as well as an optical illusion room where things get a little trippy.
One of the crowd pleasers was definetly standing in the palm of King Kong and living out a movie fantasy.
If you have ever wanted to feel like a celebrity there are portraits for paparazzi and you can even insert yourself onto the front page of a magazine.
And don't worry if you get lost along the way, there are tv screens to guide you and teach you how to pose throughout the experience.
If you feel like taking your experience home with you at the end of the experience there is also an opportunity to get your favourite print on an item such as phone related accessories.
This is definitely a family friendly experience that I would recommend taking the whole family along to or a special date for a fun time.
WAITING FOR GODOT NEW website review by Dina Gavrilova
Waiting for Godot by Wits’ End
What is so appealing about postmodern play is the fact that it could be interpreted in many ways. Some may say that it is about wars, revolutions and other historical turning points. Others might argue that the main point in Christian values and searching for God. At last, someone may see him or herself as in a mirror waiting for incomprehensible Godot who will appear and change everything in the unfulfilled life.
Undoubtedly, a director’s genius is in the originality of interpretation, in shifting the angle of perception. Whereas an actor’s genius is in impersonation. An ideal production happens when all these pieces come together: solid literature basement, authentic insight and actors’ skills coupled with genuine passion. If any of the above is missing, there is no room for unimpeachable, unfortunately. A play might be called ‘well, thoroughly made’ but epithet ‘brilliant’ is incongruous.
Regrettably, ‘Waiting for Godot’ is the exact case. It would seem, very experienced actors are involved, even those who’ve done this characters before; tremendous play with great potential; proper costumes, props, set up, space etc. Nevertheless, it was impossible to get rid of the feeling that something’s missing and hence everything’s falling apart. The ‘chemistry’ on the stage was missing… that elusive thing which tightens in a black hole and real world disappears for a while. For the sake of justice, it should be mentioned though that Richard Bligh (Pozzo) and Tom Considine (Lucky) desperately tried to save the performance but it wasn’t enough.
As one of the famous Russian actresses said half of the century ago ‘One should live on the stage rather than act’.
MARK VINCENT TOURING website review by Robyn Daniel
REVIEW OF MARK VINCENT CONCERT
On November 12, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Mark Vincent Live concert at Hamer Hall in Melbourne. Mark performed songs which showcased his latest album ‘A Tribute to Mario Lanza’ and thrilled us all with his amazing tribute: A breathtaking “Virtual Duet” with the late Hollywood legend, singing the classic, ‘Because you’re mine’. Mark’s beautiful, rich tenor voice was supported by a magnificent orchestra, and together, they took the audience on an emotional journey from start to finish. We smiled. We cried. We had goosebumps. And we felt so proud of this fabulous, talented young man. Young and old, he touched our hearts in such a way. Mark has a wonderful stage presence, and at times interacted with the audience on a personal level, sharing stories from his own life. From his humble start, singing in his grandfather’s restaurant, he quickly achieved national fame when he won Australia’s Got Talent, back in 2009. Mark is now recognised among the greatest Tenor’s on the World Stage.
This was our first experience of this kind and we were left spellbound. It was such a privilege to see Mark perform live in our home city. Thank you for this incredible opportunity and we wish Mark all the very best as he heads to the UK where he will perform live with the beautiful and talented Katherine Jenkins.
THE KRANSKY SISTERS website review by Bryanna Reynolds photos: Tony Collins
REVIEW: A Very Kransky Christmas By Bryanna Reynolds
Bohemian Rhapsody Club were lucky enough to attend a performance of ‘A Very Kransky Christmas’ at the iconic performance venue Alex Theatre in St Kilda, Melbourne.
As they say in show business “The show must go on” and that’s exactly what happened at the beginning of the show. Despite some audio issues with a microphone i have never been so impressed with an on stage act taking it into their stride and continuing to perform. It was absolutely amazing and showed just how brilliant the ladies behind the Kransky Sisters truly are.
The theme of the performance was christmas and the stage was set upon with decorations, jokes and christmassy songs to capture the spirit. There were even parsnips hanging from the roof, adding to the hilarity of the night.
The melancholy of the christmas tunes performed by the Kransky Sisters were mesmerizing and really added another viewpoint of listening to your favourite tunes. When I say mesmerizing I am talking about the essence of one of the sisters playing a sword to the eerie vibes of the music.
Imagine a Tim Burton esque vibe mixed with the hilarious comedy of the Australian trio and you have yourself a christmas extravaganza that can't be missed in 2017.
The story throughout the show is the lead up to Christmas in the Kransky Sisters home town of Esk in QLD, Australia. They sister’s tell tales of their childhood that are both cringeworthy and comedic then intertwined with top 40 hits and christmas tunes.
The Kransky Sisters also get the audience involved with men dressing up as the trio on stage and everyone getting out their car keys and jingling along to jingle bells.
And as they advertised it is one of the kookiest shows you will ever attend in celebration of christmas. If you get the chance to see the Kransky Sisters live in concert, it is an experience you simply don't want to miss.
Performance Art always contains a bit of a magic and witchcraft so to speak. It turns adult audience into group of curious children expecting for a miracle to happen. The theme of performance might vary but the only rule is unshakable: process matters.
The Substation and Liquid Architecture in association with Performance Space and Room40 brought to Melbourne Japanese artist Tetsuya Umeda. He is world known by site-specific installations and the environment inspired performances. Items for his installations/performances are usually our daily commodities such as bottles, buckets, bulbs etc - generally speaking, nothing special from the first glance. One approaches and unwittingly wonders how all this going to work out? There is no clear connections or common purpose or whatsoever which would unite everything happened to exist in this space. The viewer comes to a standstill and that’s the exact point where magic begins.
Once Umeda starts the performance, the level of perception shifts from logical and intellectual to the sensual one. Exploring cause-and-effect relationships between unrelated items he discovers how everything is linked to everything in this world. Using artist’s position as demiurge he becomes the only connection and force which hustles objects to emerge their nature. Everything starts to make sense! Sounds, noises and lights only strengthen the effect making the whole experience totally kinesthetic. Developing according to the laws of drama and reaching the culmination, performance ends resolving the conflict with the wave of a magic wand and leaves the audience with the same useless bottles and buckets as at the beginning. But with the only difference: they met with the magic along the way!
A VERY VERY KRANSKY CHRISTMAS website review and photo by Sam Bell
Forget Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar, there’s a new combination in town; gallows humour and the Christmas season. Gone are the overly sweet songs of snow and smiling hosts of multicolour, in their place stand three morose giants of comedy, dressed in spotted shirts and long navy skirts. Look out Melbourne, the kransky sisters are coming to town.
Luckily for me, the Esk born trio were willing to spare a moment to talk to me about their new show, and what a show it will be. With nearly two decades of experience in Australian comedy, the Kransky sisters have long since mastered the art of the deadpan delivery. Combined with their dark and nuanced take on traditions and expectations, makes for an unpredictable, nigh unstable wave of absurd humour that you almost feel bad enjoying. As if their incredible banter and stage presence wasn’t entertaining enough, I was also treated to a brief sample of their new songs. Never before have I seen a songs theme be changed so drastically by such subtle tweaks. From a deeply disturbing rendition of Santa Claus is coming, to a vaguely threatening version of take on me and even a uniquely educational Deck the halls, their musical talents provide something for nearly everyone. So, if you’re tired of the monotony of most Christmas events and you think you’ve got the stomach for grave desecration, family squabbles, audience participation and a Christmas roast made out of spam, the kransky sisters will begin their Melbourne performances in two weeks. Until then, I for one, wish you a very, very Kransky Christmas.
DATES: Monday 20th to Sunday 26th November (No performance Tues 21st Nov) PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: MON, WED, THUR, FRI @ 8:00PM SAT 5:00 & 8:30PM, SUN 5:00PM WHERE: ALEX THEATRE, 135 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda | alextheatrestk.com TICKETS: $49.50 (Adult) $44.50 (Concession) BOOKINGS: www.ticketek.com.au
SANTA'S MAGICAL KINGDOM website review by Jeanette Russel
What a wonderful day attending a special preview event of Santa's Magical Kingdom, with Mrs Claus T
The weather was perfect at Churchill Island Heritage farm, and the entertainment was magical and delightful. My young companions enjoyed themselves immensely and had a terrific time. We were all treated to the interesting and informative shows about the working farm. We saw a cattle dog in action. Had a whip demonstration and participated also in cracking the whip. After this we were off to the shearing shed to find out about shearing its history and we witnessed another amazing act. The Children were given showbags and feed to feed the various animals at the farm. A delicious lunch of meats vegetable burgers and numerous lovely salads were served to us after the shows were completed. The children all seemed to be very fascinated by Mrs Claus. Thank you so much for the marvellous opportunity to review this amazing event put on by Santa's Magical Kingdom . At Santa's Magical Kingdom this year ,at Caulfield race course, you will be treated to
Mrs Claus letter writing area and Christmas Movies The magic of Christmas will come alive at Santa's Magical Kingdom 2017, with an interactive walk-through adventure land that includes everything you love about the festive season, plus an International Spectacular Christmas Show that will amaze young and old. Lasting memories of fun, laughter and special 'family time' will be remembered by guests long after the event has come to a close. This event is on Nov 17th to the 26th as well as Dec the 2nd, at Caulfield Racecourse.
Melbourne Festival offered variety of entertainments among which classical piano music. Emanuele Arciuli, Italian pianist in whose asset the collaboration with internationally renowned orchestras, performances at major concert halls and festivals, prestigious awards including a Grammy nomination, was represented in this category.
When it comes to modern and contemporary composers and pianists, what do we know about them? As an educated cultural audience, we are familiar with such names as Banksy or Jeff Koons, we’ve heard of dramas, ballets and operas recently performed at our city. We can call the name of the favorite actor/actress, dancer or singer, probably even classical composer. But how many of us are able (without conducting a research on the internet) to recall the names of post WWII musicians who don’t belong to the mainstream? And Melbourne Festival gave the perfect opportunity to fill this gap in.
For two performances, Emanuele Arciuli’s repertoire included mainly American composers: John Adams, Judd Greenstein, George Crumb, Talib Rasul Hakim, Philip Glass, Frederic Rzewski, Louis W. Ballard and John Cage. Different styles of music from lyrical and balanced to playing on the strings of the opened piano, tapping on the wooden parts and creating all possible resonances represented the complexity of past 70 years. Performer’s craving for minimalism and avant-garde was offset by Italian passion with dramatic and elegant dropping of score sheets to the floor.
So, aesthetic pleasure along with an intellectual one (which was provided by the follow-up research) enriched not only the palette of feelings but also improved the knowledge regarding subject matter. But that’s the whole purpose of cultural festival, right?
PAX AUSTRALIA 2017 website review and photos: Jeanette Russel
PAX Australia is one of the video game industries premier gaming events. It ran from the 27th – 29th of October. It is centered around gaming culture and more specifically the e-sports side of the industry. It is a chance for all the latest games to be displayed, tournaments to be held and a chance for spectators to see their favorite professional gamers in action with much more on offer. In all these fields, this year’s PAX did not disappoint, held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre the venue was large with much to do at the event. All the big video game companies and peripheral companies had spectacular displays at this year’s PAX, this included the big three being Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. All three companies had their own highlights such as Sony’s amazing VR experience or getting to trial some of the latest releases/upcoming games for Xbox or Nintendo. There were stations for gamers of all kinds at this year’s PAX. A large portion of the venue was dedicated to tabletop games, there were heaps of stalls where some of the latest tabletop games were on display, as well as the classics. There was also lots of space to play friendly games with fellow enthusiasts. The indie game section was also another great highlight of this year’s PAX, it is a great experience to be able to test games independent developers put a lot of passion into while also being able to give feedback or just talk to some of the people involved. Among the scheduled events there was also a bunch of entertaining and interesting panels that more so than ever delved into some of the professional aspects of the industry such as how to get your own foot in the door for a potential career. Of course, when one thinks PAX cosplay comes to mind, and this year’s cosplay was as insane and astounding as ever, the sheer detail into some of the costumes cosplayers attain is amazing! Overall this year’s PAX was a fantastic experience that really showcases all of which gaming has to offer. Including a broad range of genres such as retro, competitive, releases and tabletop just to name a few. One can’t help but feel the atmosphere of passion and excitement as you experience PAX. I would highly recommend attending this event to anyone who has an interest in gaming, or would like to learn more about the industry as it is quite literally the place to be for gamers.
SOPHIA RYAT FUNDRAISER AND CHARITY HIGH TEA website review by Jeanette Russel
Fundraiser. for the global women's project. Supporting the Children's hospital at Westmead. Westmead hospital was originally opened in 1880 for sick children by concerned citizens, and was headed by Lady Allen wife of Sir George Allen. They were worried about children's health. Starting in a small building the hospital was then moved to Camperdown. In 1995 it was relocated to its current location at Westmead and amalgamated with with another paediatric hospital nearby. Sophia did a wonderful job of speaking about the hospital which she seems so passionate about. Very close to her heart also is the Global Women Project a charity which she endorses and believes empowers women to change the world. The Australian International pageant she feels gives her the opportunity not only to share her dreams but to fulfil them. Sophia maintains it has been a privilege and honour to take part in the pageant. She is committed to sharing her voice and representing Australia around the globe. Sophia did not have an easy life growing up and even as an adult. She now wants to support herself and others as she opens up opportunities for herself and wants to show that she can achieve anything despite the odds. The Knox club luncheon was delicious and the guest speakers were inspiring. I would like to thank Sophia for the opportunity to review this lovely event and wish her the very best of luck on her journey. It seemed a great time was had by all who attended this fundraiser.
Tree of Codes by Wayne McGregor, Olafur Eliasson and Jamie xx
I wonder if Bruno Schulz, that drawing teacher from provincial Drohobych, could’ve imagine what fate awaits for his book ‘Street of Crocodiles’? Being one of the masterpieces of the era, it inspires creatives during all 80 years since it’s been published. In 2010, American writer Jonathan Safran Foer wrote his piece ’Tree of Codes’ by slicing out chunks of text from this novel which he called ‘his favourite one’. Using the original one as a hypertext, Foer deconstructed it to the grounds and put it together using repetitions and meanings of the words to create a new sense which is related and unrelated to the old one at the same time. Then three other creatives: musician and composer Jamie xx, visual artist Olafur Eliasson and choreographer Wayne McGregor collaborated to produce a contemporary ballet with the same name. Premiered at 2015 Manchester International Festival, the production travelled through Europe since and landed on Melbourne Festival 2017.
Ballet ’Tree of Codes’ operated on a deep metaphysical level impossible to describe by words. It must be experienced! How would you dance a story embodied in a book existing under the laws of sculpture? How would you transmit the tangibility of artist’s book through bodies? Wayne McGregor’s phenomenal choreography and the dancers’ marvelous performance made it happen. Absolutely disorientating environment created by Olafur Eliasson questioned the sense of reality even more. At times, it wasn’t clear enough if there were mirrors on the stage or two couples of dancers. And of course, music… Patterns and rhythms that set the tone for everything happened on the stage and carried audience away to the land of pure imagination where the gravity laws do not exist.
To sum up, I have the only thing to add: this was a magnetic and bewitching performance beyond all potential expectations. The genius of those involved caused such a visceral reaction that it’s impossible to forget!
EUREKA: CLIMB AND DINE website review by Hakeem Farid
On October 18 I arrived to the most impressive Melbourne's building called Eureka Tower. It was 1130am when I reached the destination just on time not to miss the start of the race to climb the building. I was also very much surprised that the athletes were more enthusiastic than me to climb up the building. The view from the above was very impressive when we reached the top and looked at the city lying in front of my feet. It felt like a bird in the air, it was one incredible feeling. I still had time to take some very beautiful pictures to capture the climbers' enthusiasm. My soul was filled with joy and happiness. I took the pictures of many faces that were part of this race whose faces were also very happy. I also saw that flight of the free bird in the sky in the climbers' eyes. They were on the top and I was on the top of my happiness . I am so glad that I can share these pictures of the city of Melbourne with all the readers now.
COOK AND CO: IN THE MANNER OF AUSTIN website review by Dina Gavrilova
Connection 3. In the Manner of Austen By Cook & Co.
Great Britain. Regency era. As whatsoever relatively remote in time, nowadays it seems the Golden Age. Era of elegancy and wittiness, education and morality, when playing pianoforte was indisputable virtue, speeches were exquisite and no Facebook as a distraction. Music sheets whether printed or hand copied were must-have (some entertainment was required for long winter evenings after all). And of course, every respectful family had a collection of them. The Austen family left behind nearly 600 pieces of music in eight volumes owned now by The Chawton House Trust.
It is a common knowledge that Jane Austen was an accomplished musician. Beethoven and Haydn were her contemporaries. However, her musical preferences inclined towards the songs and dances popular at that time. Some pieces of her choice became classical, some been left in obscurity. To remind us of them ‘Connection 3. In the Manner of Austen’ was called upon.
Cook & Co. united magnificent performers to create a genuine aura of Jane Austen’s era: Alannah Guthrie-Jones, Julie Nihill, Daniel Carison, Joseph Janusaitis and, of course, Janis Cook herself. Divine harp and velvet baritone exquisitely complemented extracts from letters and excerpts from ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’, whereas graceful dances brought visual enjoyment. The precision and confidence of every single move and note simply enchanted.
In essence, it was an absolutely captivating performance and the perfect way to fall in love with Jane Austen’s world even if you’ve never been her admirer.
MORE UP A TREE website review by Stuart Bpuchanan photo compilation: Stuart Buchanan soundtracj: Natasha Marchev
Moreup a Tree Jim White, Claudia de Serpa Soares, Eve Sussman The Substation, Newport
For those who have not been to the substation before, it is a wonderful space with both gallery and performance spaces. It is housed in what used to be a large electricity substation - thus the name Substation. Parking is plentiful, and it is easily accessible by public transport.
Before attending the show we had been told that we would be able to walk around all sides of the performance area, but that did not turn out to be the case. We could only sit on one side of the performance. On entering the area, there was a mirrored area front of us. Not a big surprise, but interesting to look at the audience around you - something that is usually avoided. It was clear that whatever happened would occur behind that mirror.
As the start of the show, the mirror effect began to fade and there sat Jim White behind the drums. Big hair - big man. His drumming was slow and rhythmical. Soon Claudia begins to dance. The dancing changes throughout the performance but is almost always performed with a lot of energy. The dancing becomes mesmerising and at times is frenetic. She does not appear to interact with the audience, but to be dancing for herself and the drummer. It is hard to know whether she can see theaudience or not - whether she has a mirror image of herself dancing or not. The role of the audience is uneasy and uncertain. Do the performers know the audience is there? Do they care that the audience is there? Are they just self absorbed and performing just for the joy of working together? The lighting changes from time to time, and once again there is a partial or full mirror looking back at the audience. Looking at the audience in those moments showed people rapt in the performance. In their own spaces just enjoying the performance in front of them. Almost annoyed that they could not see the performance.
Since childhood, I have been in awe of mirrors where the images just keep reflecting back on themselves and appear to extend into the distance. This was just an additional perspective for me on a great event. I was sorry when it finished and just wanted encore after encore.
It was a wonderful performance that I would recommend to anyone. The energy of both performers was amazing.
VARDOS CONCERT. NEW ALBUM LAUNCH: PALAZZO PARTY website review by Dina Davrilova
Vardos Album launch
On Friday 13th very fortunate and devoid of superstitions Vardos launched their new album ‘Palazzo Party’. Three charming ladies performed as passionately as only possible to imagine: they played, sang, danced and joked. In short, they’ve done everything to sweep the audience off its feet. It was almost irresistible to sit and just watch. And many literally couldn’t. Couples of various skills, age and nationality did an ardent czardas.
Another amusement brought guests who were wearing traditional folk costumes. They came and the light breeze from the Old Europe swept across the hall. They started to dance and here you are, finding yourself in a local tavern somewhere in the middle of Transylvania.
But what’s the secret ingredient of the evening one might ask? How Vardos made all this happen? Here is the answer: the scope of a talent is determined by the capacity to create a universe, atmosphere which would draw a spectator out of reality and captivate in a new one. That’s exactly what’s happened there. Absolutely everything was in sync: the venue Spotted Mallard with its whimsical and eclectic interior, lively and invigorating music by Vardos and kind-hearted audience. All bits and pieces of the puzzle came together to create a perfect gypsy universe!
COMEDY HYPNOSIS ANDY VENING SHOW website review by Carolyn Newall
Comedy Hypnosis Show The Melba Spiegeltent (The Melba Spiegeltent - 35 Johnston St ) Andy Vening’s comedy is the type I like best: witty, ironic, understated and exquisitely timed. I found myself thinking about this during his show on Friday night. It was not flashy, there were no visible or audible theatrics yet I was riveted. This was all the more surprising in that he was playing to a depleted audience.
There were fewer than 20 people in the audience and for a show that is heavily dependent on audience participation this was clearly going to make things difficult. That Vening was able to adapt and maintain pace despite this was remarkable. He certainly deserved a larger audience.
Vening was promoted as a hypno-comedian and it is clear early on that he has a sound background in clinical hypnosis. There were none of the over-the-top hypnosis tricks that we often see depicted in film, rather the much more realistic unconscious behaviour modifications associated with hypnosis as a treatment. Likewise, the comedy was neither forced nor crude, Vening is just a funny man and I laughed a lot.
There were 8 chairs on the stage when we entered and it was a struggle in such a small audience to get even the 5 volunteers that Vening had to work with, clearly a larger audience would have given him more scope. He had to work very hard, though you would not have known that if you hadn’t noticed the extra chairs. The 5 volunteers were very different and there is no doubt that Vening’s understanding of psychology allowed him to make the most of the variety of personalities. I did try to work out why I was laughing at some points but eventually just gave up and delighted in the surprises.
The venue was perfect for a show of this type. My only experience of a spiegeltent prior to this was the one erected down at the St Kilda foreshore. I thought that one was pretty awesome and loved the mixed seating options and the intimacy. This one however is much more famous. The Melba Spiegeltent was built in Belgium in 1910 and travelled through Europe providing a performance space for legends like Edith Piaf. When it arrived in Australia in 2006 it acquired its current name in honour of Dame Nellie Melba.
The Melba Spiegeltent made its Circus Oz debut in January 2011 and has had many iconic performers pass through its doors. That it is considered a ‘tent’ in any way boggles my mind as it appears as sound a structure as many houses I have seen. One of the team on the evening assured me that it was now permanently in place.
It may be late in the day as far as the Fringe Festival goes, but as the warmer summer evenings make a welcome return I encourage you to seek out these two things: an Andy Vening show and any show at the Spiegeltent. Carolyn Newall
AFFITCHES AT ALLIANCE FRANCAISE MELBOURNE: TALK WITH BRETT ROSS website review by Dina Gavrilova
As a part of ‘Affiches’ exhibition (which Bohemian Rhapsody Club was happy to cover) at The Alliance Francaise de Melbourne the special event took place - talk with Brett Ross, the owner of The Letitia Morris Gallery.
When it comes to posters there are always certain questions and prejudices pop up. Is this an art if posters have practical purpose? Why posters called ‘original’ if they are a number of impressions? And how all this correlates to the fact that posters are not actual handmade pieces but technical production is involved?
To answer all these questions and even more this talk was called upon. As a highly competent art dealer Mr.Ross gave a great insight into the world of French posters, their design and production. Specially for this event the exhibition was complimented by a few Art Nouveau, Art Deco and contemporary posters giving an overview of this genre’s development throughout the 20th century.
If all the above sounds too academic for you then it should be mentioned that French charm expands on everything! And even these professional topics were wrapped by magnificent allurement of gallerist’s personal stories and impressions. Take just the story regarding legendary auction house Drouot which is to die for!
Having said that, it is just as fair to add that the talk was interesting and enlightening with a glimpse of humor and elusive nostalgia for ingenious beauty of the past.
BEATLEMANIA ON TOUR website review by Irina Ivanova
Beatlemania on Tour
Last weekend the magical Athenaeum Theatre was full of people rocking to the sounds of Beatlemania on Tour – the live tribute show to the famous foursome from Liverpool.
The story of the British boy band was revived in the chronological manner and supported by photo and video fragments recreating the atmosphere of the era. There were plenty of the favourites played that evening. I guess with the two-hour performance the Beatles nostalgia had a chance to be completely satisfied. People happily popped off their seats to do some hippy shake.
The performers (Zac Coombs as John Lennon, Cameron Charters as Paul McCartney, Ben Harper as Ringo Starr and Brent McMullen as George Harrison) are from different parts of Australia and have been together as a group for about three years. They bring on a talented impersonation of the world-famous musicians with great vocals and musical accompaniment. Cameron Charters has even learned to imitate McCartney’s trademark left-handed guitar-playing.
Beatlemania plays in authentic costumes, going through several changes, with replica instruments including guitars, Yamaha keys, harmonica, and a drum set with the legendary Beatles logo, which totally set the scene.
The performance started showing Beatles as an in-house band at the Star Club in Hamburg where they were playing some covers like Please Mr Postman, Hippy Hippy Shake and Rock n Roll Music. Gradually it traced the evolution of the group from its early years to their gigs in the UK and big concerts in the USA, and to the experimentation of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and their White Album.
After Beatles’ first success in England they went on tour around UK with Roy Orbinson and other celebrity artists of that time. That’s when they played I Wanna Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, and With Love from Me to You, the latest taking number one in the charts in America.
In 1964 the Beatles performed Love Me Do, Eight Days a Week, She’s Got a Ticket to Ride, and Baby You Can Drive My Car. Then in 1965 they rocked the New York's Shea Stadium with Help, Money Can’t Buy Me Love, and It’s Been a Hard Day’s Night.
Listening to the Beatlemania playing all-favourite Yellow Submarine, Oh Bladi Oh Blada, Come Together and Back in the USSR I’ve got all carried away and forgot the fact that there were not the real Beatles in front of me.
For all the ladies in the audience the group performed Lady Madonna, and finished off the show with triumphant All You Need Is Love. However, the audience wanted more, even after the two-hour show! So, the artists played Get Back as an encore, and Hey Jude – singing and clapping a Capella.
The next stop for the Beatlemania on Tour is New Castle, then Sydney and Gold Coast and then off to South Africa. With the music that surely stood the test of time, this is a must-see show for all Beatles fans!
THE SONGS OF JESSE ADAMS website review by Carolyn Newall
The Songs of Jesse Adams What if Jesus was a rock-star in 1970s Melbourne?
Written and Directed by :Marcy Paynter
The real Aussie country boy from the 70s who was following his musical dream was the great Peter Allen, and the musicals about Jesus which we loved were Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. Perhaps it was unfair of me but that was the standard, the level of complexity that I was looking for when I attended Gateway Promotions Theatre Company’s The Songs of Jesse Adams, as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Adapted by Marcy Paynter from a novel by Peter McKinnon who had adapted it from a musical he wrote in the late 70’s, the musical has the potential to be interesting. I was hoping for a lot, which is always problematic. Certainly there were interesting moments as the familiar Melbourne sounds and cultural icons wound their way into the well-known Jesus story. Paynter has done a commendable job, but I would just rather the promotional material didn’t talk about the concept of adapting the Jesus story to the 70s as if it was a new thing.
THE GREAT PRETENDER website review by Dina Gavrilova
What a wonderland Australia! It is possible to find here a unique mix of things which do not match each other but will work out quite well at the end of the day. The same could be said in regards a performance ‘The Great Pretender’ as a part of Fringe festival.
The program presented by Max Riebl included seemingly incompatible parts: classical guitar music and Johann Sebastian Bach, greatest hits by Morrissey, Queen, Elvis and falsetto voice. Can you imagine more inconceivable blend than Bach’s composition in the middle of Judy Garland’s ‘Over the rainbow’ followed by Gregorian chant? Nevertheless, the whole combination did work out! The only unsuitable thing was falsetto voice which did not correlate in any possible way neither with presenter’s appearance nor with music itself.
Overall, it was an interesting, eccentric and surprising experience proved that impossible is possible sometimes.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to review this terrific act that was called Gospolation. What an experience. It was wonderful. The beautiful, lively , and very talented choir was amazing. We were treated to an hour of glorious harmonies from the choir. Solo singers displayed their talents with their unique style and excellent voices. Along with my companion we were captivated from the beginning to the end of the performance. The versatile cast members, sing and dance and showcase their exclusive brand of music where western harmony is integrated with some african rhythms. Hymns and hip hop styles come together in their extravaganzas , remixing some of their favourite tracks. Gospo was created to incorporate various passions including music,education, people and understanding of people, through the gospel choir experience. Charmaine Jones-Devasagayam is Director, conductor , arranger and composer. She leads this phenomenal choir travelling to various locations throughout Australia to showcase this youth of today and celebrate with a wide and diverse audience. Charmaine is a multitalented lady who has a background in Jazz and has devised the gospel experience after her own music experiences and journey . Its a terrific opportunity to view something spectacular, and so lovely to hear. Great to see the youth teens, and in one or two numbers , being joined by some children. It was a true joy to witness this show. I would highly recommend seeing this choir preform. Their details are: The Gospo Collective gospo.com.au
THE EXOTIC LIVES OF LOLA MONTEZ website review by Nadia Pleshkova
September brings Melbourne and its visitors one of the largest independent arts festivals, Melbourne Fringe. With over 440 events, it is considered to be the festival of risks. Simon Abraham, the Creative Director and CEO of the Melbourne Fringe states: “For our artists, Fringe is a safe space perfect for experiment and discovery…” And some of the “experiments” will stay in your memory for a long time, no doubts.
Caroline Lee is one of the huge talents out there you can come across. She is a performer, theatre-maker, writer, audio-books narrator, the Artist in its full and authentic sense. She has also developed a strong reputation for her works in one-woman shows.
One such show would have a special aspect to Caroline’s heart. “The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez” is the show about the complex, vile and mysterious performer back in 19th Century, who travelled and acted all over Europe, Australia and USA. Lola Montez was not an ordinary person and dared to be brave and live a full life. What makes it so special for Caroline to play her character is the fact to be Lola’s descendant herself. This burlesque cabaret style drama immerses the audience into history of Australia and mysterious events of the adventurous Lola with a powerful effect of Caroline’s ability to keep your attention fixed.
The winner of numerous acting, writing awards, Caroline Lee is the name to keep your eyes and ears open for.
TIVOLI THEATER: SLEEPING BEAUTY website review by Jeanette Russell photos: Glen Wilson
Thank you for the opportunity to review the Sleeping Beauty Pantomime. My young companion really enjoyed herself. I could see and hear that the rest of the children were thoroughly entertained also. The cast were professional, and versatile in their various roles. It was a lively and fun atmosphere as the children were made to feel part of the performance. I recommend this colourful and exciting pantomine.
Carole Ann and Terry Gill started the The Tivoli theatre Pantomimes. They began their journey in children's theatre in 1974 and have covered some 250 productions. Over the time they have employed many actors singers and dancers. Who have included big names Patti Newton Ken James Shane Bourne Rosie Sturgess Collette Mann and Darryl Sommers just to name a few. Clinton Barker became Artistic Director in 2015 and he brings over 15 years of experience to the musical theatre at Tivoli theatre.
For sleeping Beauty the details are as followsSleeping Beauty Tivoli Theatre. Children's Theatre/Children's Pantomime/Live Theatre/all ages Between Monday 25 September 2017 and Saturday 7 October 2017LOCATIONST JOHNS CHURCH HALL 5 FINCH STREET, MALVERN EAST, VICTORIA 3145 CONTACT DETAILS / BOOKING OPTIONS Susie Palmer Tel: 0428 397 767 Email: email@example.com
AHEAD OF VARDOS NEW ALBUM LAUNCH CONCERT website review by Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: Vardos CD By Bryanna Reynolds
Bohemian Rhapsody Club were lucky enough to have a sneak peek listen to the brand new CD of the band VARDOS ahead of their upcoming album launch. BRC will also be covering the launch so stay tuned for more information.
From the very moment the music begins, you are taken to a land far away. The music is very gypsy like and this is probably the reason why you are transported into another world.
The very first time I listened to their music was on the CD player of my car whilst driving at sunset. It was breathtaking. Being able to listen to the gorgeous voice of VARDOS and the majestical vibes they were emitting as a collective really transported you.
Whilst VARDOS are situated in Melbourne, Australia there is also a chance of catching them whilst touring internationally. They have previously toured across Europe, Scotland and New Zealand.
If you ever get a chance to see the band in real life, I would definitely recommend them. The best part about them is that they do travel and you can even book them to play at your next wedding, party, celebration or event.
MARGINS OF PERSUASION website review by Dina Gavrilova
The Margins of ‘Persuasion’
One of the latest Jane Austen’s novels ‘Persuasion’ endured a great deal of adaptations both on TV and in theatre. Marking 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death the director Sharmini Kumar presented her version implemented on the premises of No Vacancy Gallery.
Separated after an imprudent engagement a few years ago Anne Elliot (Jacinta Scadden), the daughter of a baronet and naval officer Frederick Wentworth (Jonny Kinnear) meet again. Their feelings still exist but burdened by injured vanity and class rigidity. Sympathetic friends and relatives enrich the situation.
It is extremely hard to add something new to such a classical piece but the director gave it her best shot. The audience were invited to sit on chairs forming a square with spare stools in the middle of each side. That was the only set up for a play. Actors used the space within and outside the square immersing everyone in the atmosphere of 19th century’s family affairs. Sitting down on spare stools every now and again and addressing a speech to a spectator they caused a bit of confusion at the beginning but brought some amusement all the way.
In sum, it was a very nice production of the solid classical novel which still gets an appeal. Every detail and movement during the play was thought-out and mature.
THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS website review by Dina Gavrilova
House of Mirrors by Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney
One looks in a mirror hundred times a day: in a bathroom, in an elevator, passing by shop windows etc. But have you noticed that split second which takes you to prepare before a glance? We always expect to see a certain reflection, the perception of ourselves. And what happens when we run into an unexpected reflection? We do not recognize ourselves because that’s not what’s been expected. However, that’s exactly what other people see… Our real faces with true emotions which are usually been hidden from ourselves so diligently… House of Mirrors allows one to go on this journey of self-discovery due to an absolute abruptness.
Apart from that, Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney created the great amusement for everyone. Classical idea of mirror labyrinth implemented magnificently. Thoroughly calculated space includes myriads of reflections without any tricks, just pure geometry. Every turn (you will find one after a few failed attempts) challenges your sense of reality. And of course, be prepared to meet a ghost somewhere along the way! However, don’t be too scared, you’ll escape after a couple hours… just bear in mind – no panic!
All in all, whatever reason to choose, this installation is a must-see on Melbourne Festival. Butterflies in the stomach are provided!
AFFICHES A FRENCH GRAPHIC DESIGN EXHIBITION 2017 website review by Dina Gavrilova
Affiches: a French graphic design exhibition
Advertisement... Can you imagine your life without it? It is so familiar and habitually to see vivid pictures everywhere. Try to stop sometime in the middle of a busy street and to count signs. How many? 10? 20? But are they actually different nowadays? Are there any which could’ve taken your breath away by their beauty, elegance and total comprehension at the same time?
The more valuable an exhibition ‘Affiches: a French graphic design exhibition' at The Alliance Française de Melbourne curated by The Letitia Morris Gallery. It presents original prints created by the well-known French artists of post WWII period. 1950s-1960s was the time of high-end arts in the service of mass market. Straightforward ideas summed up in an exquisite shape.
The name of Bernard Villemot is tightly associated with term ‘classic French advertisement’. Pithy images, bright colours and the Matisse-like elegance that’s what determines the style of his artworks the most famous of which were produced in the collaboration with Perrier and Bally brands.
The second significant artist represented on the exhibition is Raymond Savignac. His art pieces are different in style but not the quality. Fulfilled by witty humor and inexhaustible optimism they are the graphic embodiment of Chaplin’s movies.
Another artist is Rene Gruau. Inheriting Art Nouveau style and aesthetic he applied it to fashion illustrations. His career included collaboration with such ‘high-style’ magazines as Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar etc. One more landmark which should be mentioned in regards Gruau - he took part in creating Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’.
So, if you share values of that era and appreciate the quality of original lithographic posters this exhibition is a must-see! And good news – you can buy any of these gorgeous prints.
COMPLETELY IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE website review by Dina Gavrilova
Completely Improvised Shakespeare by Soothplayers
‘Completely Improvised Shakespeare’… What would be your expectations? Long and serious monologues on a tough choice to make? Classical box set on the stage, sophisticated costumes etc.? A 3-hour play? I hasten to please you, none of this exists at the performance by Soothplayers. Monologues – agile and witty, props – just necessary and sufficient. As a result, an hour of joyful laugh.
However, first things first… To start a show, actors ask audience ‘How would you call a play which Shakespeare could have written but didn’t?’ And going from there the performance begins with all the classical traits: cunning and love, ruthless murders and intrigues, naivete and villainy. Seasoned with acute jokes which turn sometimes into self-irony, the show captivates an attendee in a semi-shakespeare atmosphere with less pathos.
Of course, one might say that sometimes actors lose the thread of narrative or sense of engaging with audience. But given that every improvisation is a challenge, I would say actors accept it with dignity and grace.
So, if you prefer ingenious Shakespeare humor full of fanciful misunderstandings and equivoques, keep an eye on Soothplayers’ performances!
ISHQ KE NISHAAN MUSIC VIDEO LAUNCH PARTY website review: Nadia Pleshkova photos: Erkin Kalayci
on Friday, September 22 at 8 PM - 1 AM at Morocco & Mofo Lounge 157 Greville Street, Prahran, Victoria, Australia 3181 Here in Melbourne, Australia, Friday the 22nd of September brought a launch of the music video that might appear as a true sensation or create furore by Bollywood standards. The most sensual and alluring music video, reflecting a simple nature of a human with his or her desires, has been created. The video truly captivates your whole mind and touches all your senses. Party Squad Entertainment & Di Ai Productions presented 'ISHQ KE NISHAAN' music video. The Launch was done in a true Bollywood style with black and red colours of the night and dressed to impress gorgeous women on the red carpet. Amna Irshad is the Creator, the power behind the idea of the video. She is the woman that is worth speaking loudly about. Pakistan born who now lives and works in Australia has an attractive and passionate appearance about her. With the outside beauty comes the intellect as well. She herself supervised the whole design project, from concept visualisation, picking up her own cast, editor, cameraman and MUAH to create this music video, the idea of which she has been carrying for the last 15 years. The Launch night was a divine event in a magical, semi-lighted Moroccon style lounge with champaign and the middle eastern finger food to get you into spirit. Everyone waited in anticipation of being shown the video. The beautiful participants- models and actors from the video, were invited to the stage and granted gifts and thanks. Speeches and photographs to follow as a must part of the Launch party. And a party it was! The expectation from watching the video was fully satisfied and made all feel like celebrating the success. Belly dancer, hula hooping girl have left almost nobody to itch to get to the dance floor. I absolutely loved the fact that so many men were lacking barriers in joining in the moves of the Bollywood music. We wish Amna good luck and success in this project to take it to the next level.
The unity of the writer Tim Firth and the director Peter Snee brings us the funniest and saddest “Calendar Girls” play performed by the outstanding cast. It is based on a true story of Angela and John Baker. When back in England during late 1990th Angela looses her husband to the Leukaemia, nobody is able to foresee or predict the phenomenon about to arise. John Baker was loved and respected and as a hobby he used to grow sunflowers to give the seeds away to his friends. His loss assured the women of Yorkshire WI (Women's Institution) to proceed with their idea of creating an alternative charity calendar of nude local ladies. Tim Firth himself spent 40 years holidaying in Yorkshire and coming from the family where all women were a part of WI, was naturally drawn to write about these creative and brave women. Initially the girls were planning to raise funds to buy the coach to the local hospital and for the then-named leukaemia research and have a calendar dedicated to John’s memory. The effect of the calendar was expected to last 3 weeks. However the outcome, to these days, results in over £3 million being raised for their charity! The storytelling of real "Calendar Girls” is superbly presented. The friendship, support and strive of a few women lead to a beautiful and inspiring creation. You can follow the journey of emotions of all "Calendar" participants throughout the show at Anthenaeum theatre until October, the 7th.
FULL METAL JACKET website review by Jeanette Russel
Thank you for the opportunity to review this act. Willem Richards I found was really engaging. A very entertaining and inventive comedy act. I recommend going to see it.
There are many short stories of different and interesting characters that are combined in one set that included some clever costume changes and colourful personas that were displayed to us by the performer.
Multifaceted characters left me laughing and surprised. The audience was drawn in and asked to participate. The show was very humorous and amusing.
Willem has starred at the Melbourne Comedy Festival earlier this year and is a son to a famous tennis dad which two of his previous shows were loosely based on called "Bringing Out The Cheeseboard" in 2016.and last year's Fringe Festival act "Polish Tennis Dad". We still see references to tennis in his current show.
At this years Melbourne Fringe Festival he is the one man star of the show in "Full Metal Jacket And Other Impractical Fashions".
Really appreciate the opportunity to review this fantastic play. Put on by redfox 3 it was based on the play written by Yasmina Reza, which has won Tony and Oliver Awards. The production was hilarious and thoroughly entertaining. Actors were superb, in the show. An amusing and delightful time was had. The artistic director Justin Stephens, has directed many production with great results. He is a founding member of Redfox3 an independent theatre company. It runs in the Yarra Valley Victoria. Justin has won many awards for his works and enjoys showcasing local talents, involving new technology as well as using the more traditional techniques in his plays. The play is the story of two lots of parents who decide to get together to sort out an argument that their two sons were engaged in. The comedy begins with these two couples meeting. From a reserved beginning in their conversations, and polite niceties this get together becomes hysterical as they start to drink alcohol and look to lay blame on their children's interactions. Highly amusing and very funny were the antics of these parents. Professional and excellent acting kept me captivated from the start to the finish of the play. Excellent work by all involved. Thank you.
HISTORY HISTORY HISTORY website review by Bryanna Reynolds
REVIEW: History, History, History by Deborah Pearson By Bryanna Reynolds
Bohemian Rhapsody Club were lucky enough to attend History, History, History a performance show as a part of the Fringe Festival at the venue The Substation in Williamstown, Melbourne, Australia.
The performance from the beginning made you feel like you were inside someone's living room, hearing tales from family members. It was so beautiful to be a part of and experience in real life.
Deborah Pearson invites you to a classroom sort of setup with a desk she sits at and talks to you with a projector screen alongside her.
The space is very simple with the audience sitting in bleacher like formation and Deborah sitting at the front presenting to you. Imagine like a university lecture, but more creative and funky. The bricks of the venue made you feel like you were actually in the film she was talking about.
The talented Deborah talks to the audience and explains the movie we are all watching together actually features her grandfather. Throughout the performance she explains the life her parents and grand parents led and how she became a Canadian.
The whole performance was both entertaining and informative. Deborah makes history fun and more people need to experience her magnificent storytelling.
If you are a fan of performance theatre and looking at theatre in a different perspective than History, History, History is a show you want to see. Make sure to see Deborah’s show the next time she is in town. This is one you don't want to miss.
BK OPERA: LA VOIX HUMAINE website review by Dina Gavrilova
‘La Voix Humaine’ by BK Opera
If you decided to spend a night listening to opera but a classical one is too oppressive for your sense of taste then you are very welcome to visit BK Opera. Project designed to focus on the ‘bare bones’ of opera avoiding the usual pomp and to give an opportunity to enjoy the pure core of opera - beautiful musical performance. It brings opera straight to your heart! Stage is just one step away from audience’s reach turning a spectator into an observer, a weightless ghost sharing a lifetime on the stage with singers.
Francis Poulenc’s ‘La Voix Humaine’ chosen for the production is based on an original one-character play by Jean Cocteau. Love affair ended after five years… she still loves him and blames only herself… the very last phone conversation with Him… The whole range of woman’s despair who nearly lost the hope.
Conceived as a monologue it is implemented in a smart way perfectly serving the purpose. There are four different singers performing quarter parts one after another in separate rooms. Thus, audience was given an opportunity to watch variety of interpretations instead of just one. Everyone can choose the favorite one but astonishing performances by April Foster and Adelaide Greenaway won’t leave anyone indifferent. The decorations are a bit unusual: nothing left of the gloomy bluish room with white furniture, supposed by Cocteau. Everything is decorated in different shades of pink with enormous number of stuffed toys which doesn’t quite match the nature of this opera. However, the performance is so mesmerizing that all the gaffes remain out of sight.
All in all, it is a very enjoyable performance definitely worth experiencing which will broaden your horizons and leave you with the feeling that one more life was lived tonight.
AUSDANCE : 2017 AUSTRALIAN DANCE AWARDS website review by Dina Gavrilova
The 20th Annual Australian Dance Awards ceremony was held on 24 September at the Arts Centre Melbourne.
It was hosted by Yana Alana and Benjamin Hancock who made the night fulfilled by exuberant jokes and fun. The awards were complimented with a variety of dance groups featuring performances by The Australian Ballet, Stephanie Lake Company, Yellow Wheel, Murmuration, Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company, Raw and Rugged Dance Crew and Djirri Djirri Dance Group.
The Hall of Fame was replenished with the name of Noel C Tovey AM. The Lifetime Achievement award went to Helen Herbertson.
Personal award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer got Benjamin Hancock for his work in The Dark Chorus by Lucy Guerin Inc and for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer the award went to The Australian Ballet’s Principal Artist Ako Kondo for her starring role in Coppélia.
For the second year running Bangarra Dance Theatre picked up the award for Outstanding Performance by a Company for OUR Land People Stories as well as Lucy Guerin who accepted the award for her work The Dark Chorus for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography.
Other winners were: Jack Chambers for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre Liesel Zink for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance, Catapult Dance – The Flipside Project for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance The Samaya Wives for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media Liz Lea & collaborators for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance Jennifer Irwin for Services to Dance Kim Walker for Services to Dance Education
MELBOURNE FRINGE: TEA WITH CHEKHOV website review by Dina Gavrilova
‘Tea with Chekhov’ by Key Conspirators
Melbourne Fringe Festival is a treasury of discoveries. Who would’ve thought to find Chekhov’s plays performed at church premises at Footscray? The more interesting it was to watch the debut production of Key Conspirators ‘Tea with Chekhov’. Anton Chekhov was a famous Russian playwright and short stories writer. His humor, satire and irony were revealed through imperceptible movements of a human soul, changes in mood, feelings and attitude.
The performance consists of three short comedies complimented with an elegant and delicious cup of afternoon tea beforehand inviting everyone to such a Chekhov’s atmosphere. Whereas classical box set on the stage promises good quality. These plays are perfect example of 19th century situation comedy full of misunderstandings, subtle humor and subtext. It came as a surprise that even in English, performed by Australian actors all this blend in well.
First part is ‘A Jubilee’. All the staff in a bank prepares for an anniversary except one tired and disgruntled clerk (Hayden Burke) who’s writing a report which is supposed to be read the same day. The scene is made of sequence of interruptions by the bank manager (Stefan Dennis) complaining about his problems, his wife (Anisha Senaratne) overwhelmed with impressions after a trip and random lady (Sarah Hallam) willing to get money on behalf of her husband. Absurdity of the situation exaggerated up to a chaotic extend resolves by the entrance of the high committee… ‘The Boor’ follows up. Grief and sorrow of inconsolable widow (Emma Hayden) who refuses to leave the house or accept visitors ever again had been disturbed by a neighbour (James Harvy) who came to ask for money which her husband apparently owed him. They start a dispute in which no-one is intended to concede. The intensity of emotions leads to a duel. But somewhere on the way both realize that they are in love with each other… James Harvy’s magnificent performance makes this 20 minutes just hilarious! The last part is ‘The Proposal’. Ivan Vassilievich (Pat Moonie) decided to get married on his neighbour’s daughter (Siobhan Connors) and came for a formal proposal. However, drawn into an argument he forgot about the original purpose. Poor health condition stopped this mess for a moment allowing the father (Kevin Hopkins) to bless the couple and the argument resumed with renewed vigor.
All in all, ‘Tea with Chekhov’ is a perfect way to spend an afternoon and enrich your experience in an intellectual comedy performed on a high level.
MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL: VIVE LA ROUGE website review by Dina Gavrilova
‘Vive La Rouge’ by Faff & Sass Productions
Vive La Rouge is a show presented by Faff & Sass Productions. Beautiful songs, glamorous cabaret and sparkling burlesque alternated by a witty entertainer with the touch of French chic. Fun, vivacity and flippancy are provided. Glass (or two) of wine and an hour of meaningless laugh is exactly what one needs at the end of the week. Splendid lighthearted show which ended with cancan dance as genre required!