Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf, 3006.
Event Review: By Maxwell M. Lyons
Melbourne is home to an abundance of festivals and conventions year-round. From general pop-culture and anime, to magic, tattoos, board games, and even drag (queens), no matter your fancy chances are there is an event to wet your hobbyist appetite. Even amongst the largest of these, however, few stand up against the prodigious PAX AUS.
For the uninitiated, PAX (originally Penny Arcade Expo) is a series of gaming culture festivals involving tabletop, arcade, and video gaming. Celebrating 15-years since its inception, PAX now boasts six massive annual events, with PAX AUS (Melbourne) being the sole exception to its American-centric locale; the others emanating from Washington, Massachusetts, Texas, & Pennsylvania.
PAX AUS is touted as Australia’s biggest video gaming event and it’s hard to argue the contrary, taking over the entire Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, including the wharf stretching its riverfront. For three days straight the centre is transformed into a glistening hub of all things gaming culture, featuring concerts, panels, tournaments, cosplayers, exhibitor booths, brand showcases, game demos, Freeplay spaces (tabletop, PC, console/handheld, and VR inclusive), and merchandise stores. There is so much to see and do it is impossible to fit it into a single day.
What sets PAX apart from other similar-natured events is its emphasis on being community-focused, with nothing on the show floor restricted to media-only access; everything must be playable, interactable, and/or accessible to all who attend. In the same vein, this year’s event dedicated an entire showroom to PAX RISING, an enormous showcase of some of Australia’s best indie game developers and projects.
Of course, every major gaming platform still had a notable presence. Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo all showed off some of their respective up and coming titles, including MediEvil (PlayStation), Gears 5 (Xbox, PC), Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Switch), and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Cross-Platform). Likewise, on the hardware side was all the leading brands you’d come to expect (Intel, AMD, Logitech, SteelSeries, Corsair, etc.) showing off their monitors, peripherals, accessories, and technologies.
Some of my personal highlights from the event include getting to play a handful of some of the latest and best AAA and indie titles (namely ‘Biomutant’, ‘Unpacking’, & ‘God of War’), the presence of THQNordic advertising their soon to be released ‘Destroy All Humans’ reboot (unfortunately, there was no playable demo), and the retailer ZQRacing with their incredible comfortable gaming/office chairs; an investment I imagine I’ll be making soon before long.
PAX AUS 2019 was incredible! It truly is an event like no other and I’m already elated at the prospect of returning next year. Highly recommended!
Catherine McClintock: Please and Thank Yous NEW website review by Katherine Kelly photos: Stuart Buchanan
“Please and Thank Yous” – Melbourne Fringe Festival Catherine McClintock The Rattlesnake Saloon Sunday 15 September 2019
As women, we were brought up to be nice and polite; to never swear; speak when we are spoken to – and all the rest. Catherine McClintock, originally from Winnipeg, Canada, was definitely was raised in the art of “Please and Thank Yous” - being “nice in the Canadian way”. She devised this show to dispel these myths once and for all.
“Please and Thank Yous” commenced with a recorded introduction by one of her children, which sounded cute. Catherine appeared as a warm and bubbly person dressed in trakkies and pink trainers.
She gave an honest and raw account of herself and how she viewed the world.
Her husband and children were part of the narrative where she described her husband as hairy - but she still loves him.
Food was another topic with definition of a deconstructed sandwich being a salad.
Other topics were her masturbating dog and accidently “breastfeeding” her father.
She mentioned social media and countless articles such as “You are cleaning your house the wrong way”, or “10 steps to do things right” all designed to induce readers to conform to impossible standards.
It was a very unique show which I feel will do very well at The Adelaide Fringe in March 2020.
INTERNATIONAL CHARITY BALL NEW BY SHARE ME A DREAM website review by Anthony Wayne
Building upon the success of their annual Rio Carnival Ball, Share Me A Dream Australia held their very first International Charity Ball on Saturday 5th October 2019. A spectacular night of colour and fun celebrating culture and diversity – it was everything I have come to expect from attending the organisations many events!
Share Me A Dream Australia are a not-for-profit organisation based in Melbourne, dedicated to raising money through their many local charity events to fund community projects in the Philippines. Since being founded in 2011, they have raised in excess of $50,000 Australian dollars. Definitely no small feat! The funds raised are allocated to various medical, educational and emergency relief missions in the Philippines.
For the past two years, I have been supporting the events organised by Share Me A Dream Australia. What stands out the most is the wonderful culture and hospitality from the diverse community who attends – the event organisers, the venue staff, the photographers, and all of the guests. The event brings together so many beautiful people for the common purpose of raising money for charity and making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Upon entering the Melrose Reception Centre, I was instantly flooded with the biggest welcome from the ushers and other guests arriving. But the hospitality received goes beyond all the friendly smiles I received. The community who attend openly welcome you to become one of them, and I never feel like a guest, but rather a part of the family. Just like the theme of the event, the culture is about belonging and celebrating diversity. I have always been made to feel like I belong and treated with respect. Absolutely everyone is welcomed and made to feel at home regardless of differences. The event attracted approximately 200 people and whilst notably smaller than their main Rio charity ball, it certainly did not dampen the spirits of the passionate crowd.
The fun filled night featured dancing, live entertainment, a full three course dinner and unlimited drinks. The hosts on stage - John Cubelo and Bernadette Galbally (Rio Queen of the Night 2019) were a fantastic duo who kept me entertained throughout the night. DJ Pros provided the great music and lighting that got the crowd on the dance floor. A conga line even formed on the dance floor at one point in the night! The highlight of the event was the international parade competition where both females and males wore outfits inspired by their favourite country. There was also the chance to win amazing raffle prizes – all generously donated by the sponsors. The major prize was a return trip to the Phillipines.
Thank you to the Terry Kane – President of Share Me A Dream Australia for the invitation to attend and congratulations to the team on the debut of your new event.
For more information about the organisations events and projects, check out its Facebook page or website www.sharemeadream.com.
Major sponsors: My Travel Solution LK Travel David Pleydell Photography
Other sponsors: Happy Hut Restaurant Jane Costales Tayler Auto Services John Cubelo
Performers: Dazzling dancers with their Interpretative Dance - choreographed by Lalaine Diez, Lilly Nerido Menzie, Suzette Vergara, Paping Hitchcock, Annie Butler, Elna Deocampo and Ben Hitchcock. African Dance - Gracieuse (Grace) Amah Caribbean Carnival Vibes - Bernadette Galbally and Dianne Latin Dance - by Melvin Diez Production
Media to cover the event Bohemian Rhapsody Club and Magazine team: Natasha Marchev Marchev, Robert Wilson and Anthony Wayne
Philippine Times - Jason Cordi
Photographers: David Pleydell Photography Happy Medium Midel Santos
Trophy Sponsors: Mayanne Pritchard Elvie Mills Lee Leng Kon
Cultural Costume Judges: Lynn Banson Florida Bridgman Mike Honey Roy Carbungco Rogen Eulatic
Female Cultural costume competition: Kyla Brack - Winner Wendy Toring - 1st runner up Rose Chen - 2nd runner up
Male Cultural costume competition: Winner - Ivan Paul Demavibas
BTS photos: Natasha aMarchev
MRS ASIAN PETITE AND GRANDMA AND KIDS SUPERMODEL GRAND CORONATION NEW BY THE FACE OF AUSTRALIA PAGEANTRY website review by Max Lyons / Sam Bell photos: Max Lyons BTS: Natasha Marchev / Misha Marchev video: Misha Marchev/ Natasha Marchev / Hakam Soufan
Event Review: By Maxwell M. Lyons
On Saturday, September 28th, Bohemian Rhapsody were graciously invited to attend and cover the luxurious showcase of Mrs Asian Petite & Grandma & Kids Supermodel Grand Coronation at the lavish Melrose Melbourne Conference & Reception Centre, run by The Face Australia Pageantry.
With the mission statement “Where Beauty Begins and Dreams Come True”, The Face Australia continues to exemplify their growing commitment to motivate, cultivate, and inspire everyone to be the best version of themselves, providing tools, resources, encouragement, and motivation to help them reach their full potential in modelling and the world of International Beauty Pageants. This event was no exception.
The event as a whole was sophisticated, well-executed, and highly enjoyable. Every last detail had been scrupulously planned, leaving but minor uncontrollable blemishes on an otherwise spectacular experience. Once the show began, it was a non-stop frenzy of beauty, elegance, and luxury radiated from the lush models and accompanying showrunners. Glitz, glam, and class abound the stage as contestants donned thematic outfits of ‘Havana Costume’, ‘National Costume’, ‘Resort Wear’, and ‘Evening Gown’, with categories for each titular demographic; Mrs Petite 2019, Grandma Supermodel of The Year 2019, and Kids Supermodel of The Year 2019. Complementing the programme was a delectable four-course meal serving only to add to the already palpable satisfaction of all in attendance.
My only gripe with the evening was its runtime. Though advertised for a 7pm start, the show commenced shortly after 8pm; an irritably common trend for events of this nature. Whilst minor, it was one only exacerbated by the extensive length of the evening’s proceeding; an extra hour would have been a valuable asset with the show running close to midnight, especially when children are a requisite inclusion.
Noteworthy appearances and roles were those of the vivacious MCs, Rowena Hansen and Lora Love, helping to carry the show, and judges Paul Hickman (contemporary dancer/choreographer), Victoria Vezzzano (renowned designer), Lucy Lurita (boutique garment designer), Celeste Billinge (international model & TV personality), and Maurice Rinaldi (international fashion/celebrity photographer) who had the extraordinarily challenging task of narrowing down and crowning the very best amongst the night’s talent.
And the winners are… *drumroll*…
Mrs Asian Petite 2019 – Hazel Lowe Grandma Supermodel of The Year 2019 – Cecilia Byrne Kids Supermodel of The Year 2019 – Gwen Ashley Patiag
A massive congratulations from all of us here at Bohemian Rhapsody.
Overall, it was a lavish and enjoyable event for all in attendance, fashion guru or otherwise. A special thanks to Choy Symes and her team for their dedication and professionalism, and for welcoming us to celebrate such a monumental occasion. Further adulation goes to each and every participating contestant for their efforts.
Photos from this glamorous event can be found on our website or via our Facebook page.
WONDERLAND THEATER PINOCCHIO NEW website review: Nicole Stenton photos: Glen Wilson
Earlier this week my kids and I watched the Pinocchio pantomime. My kids had been to a pantomime earlier this year, so knew what to expect whereas this was my first time but definitely won’t be my last. It was nice to treat the kids to something a little different on the holidays.
When the curtains first opened, you were drawn to the set, that, while nothing over the top was bright and inviting and the cast had the kid’s attention right from the beginning. All of the actors played their parts well, however a special mention needs to be given to the characters of Foxy & Kitty Meow. They were a huge hit with the crowd and kept us captivated and laughing in all of their scenes. My son was lucky enough to be chosen to go on stage to help with one of their tricks and thought it was the best thing ever. It was also great when all of the children in attendance were invited on to the stage to help sing the Alphabet song. Speaking for my own children, they said it was the best part of the show, although my daughter then changed her mind and said the best part was after the show when she got a hug from Kitty Meow.
I can’t finish this review without giving a special mention to the talented gentlemen who was responsible for the music and sound effects. One person being responsible for all of this would have to be extremely good at what they do. Overall, it was an enjoyable day out. I wouldn’t recommend it for children under 5 as it was a little long, even with an interval. Primary school aged kids though would be sure to enjoy it.
ROYAL MELBOURNE SHOW NEW website review by Nicole Stenton
The Royal Melbourne Show or as we call it in my house ‘Show Day’ is a fun, jam packed day out for the whole family. This year our family of three went with two other families, so with three adults and seven kids in tow off we went.
Upon arriving at the show, there was a mix up with our entry tickets however the staff at the gates were extremely helpful and quick to solve the issue which was a positive start to our day. There is so much to see and do at the show and it caters for all ages and budgets, so our goal for the day was to see and do as much as possible and we exceeded that goal.
We started at the car park entrance and slowly worked our way through ride areas, Jurassic World, multiple pavilions, wood chopping, show bags, more rides, animals and free entertainment until we reached the other side.
The rides are positioned perfectly throughout the show. Closest to the entrance we used, were all the rides for the younger kids, this area is jam packed in the morning, however on our way back to the car it was almost empty so where possible I’d recommend visiting after the fireworks. More in the middle of the show grounds, were rides suitable for the older kids who were still too small for the thrill seeker rides. This is where we spent a good portion of our day as there were rides and carnival games that catered to all of the children in our group who ranged from 5 to 12 years old.
One massive and positive change this year was the show bag pavilion has been moved to a more central location. We walked in without the long walk and barriers they’d had in previous years and could move around stands with ease. It actually made what has previously been a stressful time trying to keep your kids close by while having to battle the crowds a smooth experience.
If you are on a strict budget, there is still plenty of free activities for the whole family. There was a Jurassic Adventure with a pavilion full of life sized, moving dinosaurs that was extremely popular with the kids. The animal displays, especially the pig petting although it had a long line were also one of our favourites on the day. The channel 7 main stage drew big crowds throughout the day, with Consentino being a big hit, amongst many other acts and performances. And who can look past the fireworks display? The seating fills up pretty quickly so get there early if you’d rather not stand.
Overall, it was a tiring (we spent over 10 there) but fun filled day that will be talked about for weeks to come. Anyone thinking of going, I highly recommend it. If you prefer to stick to the cheaper alternatives of workshops, entertainment and hands on activities, jump online before you go so you can plan your day in advance.
Venue: National Gallery of Victoria 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne.
Website: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/kaws/ Event/Experience Review: By Maxwell M. Lyons
The National Gallery of Victoria has been home to some of the world’s greatest exhibitions as of late, from the breathtaking showcase of M.C. Escher’s works in collaboration with Nendo Design (ESCHER X NENDO), to the life’s work of innovative pioneer Alexander Calder and his iconic mobile sculptures. The most recent exhibition on display, KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, continues to uphold this standard, showcasing over 100 works by contemporary American artist Brian Donnelly — aka: KAWS.
KAWS is one of the most prolific artists of his generation and has taken the world by storm with his playfully sombre style. Encompassing an adept multi-disciplinary skillset, his body of work encompasses an expansive range of creative facets from the worlds of art, fashion, and design. KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness showcases this magnificent and diverse oeuvre with an extensive array of KAWS’ works from the last 25-years, plus a selection of newly commissioned works; including a 7-metre bronze COMPANION sculpture entitled ‘GONE’ (2019). This exhibition is the first of its kind in Australia for KAWS and historically one of only a few exhibits of this magnitude worldwide.
KAWS’ artworks are characterised by an emphasis on vibrant colour and strong linework, often subverting cultural motifs through the reappropriation of pop culture icons, such as Mickey Mouse, The Simpsons, The Smurfs, Snoopy, and SpongeBob SquarePants; the emblematic ‘X’s inscribed on the hands and eyes are key marks of KAWS’ aesthetic. From paintings to murals, sculptures, street art, and design work, KAWS infuses each artwork with a lively palette and form, juxtaposing themes of fragility and darkness with a playful aesthetic full of humour, hope, and benevolent optimism.
Accompanying the main exhibition is KAWS: PLAYTIME, a convivial interactive exhibit for kids (or even young at heart) that brings KAWS’ characters to life, introducing young audiences to concepts of friendship and compassion. Through the creation of unique characters (guided by KAWS’ own creative approach), each child’s artwork can be incorporated into the exhibit’s overarching narrative and shared online, proliferating the core message of companionship through social media engagement.
For those looking to delve deeper into KAWS as an artist, come December, an accompanying publication will be made available for purchase. This book will feature an overview of KAWS’ diverse career and detailed documentation of his intricate and ever-evolving artistic practices. Additional installation documentation of the NGV exhibition will also feature, including a situating essay by exhibition curator Dr Simon Maidment and a specially commissioned essay by renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood.
KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness will be on display from September 2019 – April 2020 at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). This is an exhibition worth experiencing.
COOK AND CO CONCERT: SARNIA DREAMING NEW website review by Katherine Kelly
Sarnia Dreaming Cook & Co. David Williamson Theatre, Prahran Thursday 12 September 2019
Cook and Co, a Chamber trio, specialises in “turning traditional chamber music upside down”. The trio’s aim is to bring chamber music to audiences in a more relaxed, informal setting. Unlike conventional chamber music concerts, no programs were available until the end of the performance. The business model differed in that there was no charge to the audience, who were free to pay what they wanted to.
“Sarnia Dreaming” featured well renowned pianist Janis Cook, previous principal pianist with the MSO; MSO Principal piccolo player Andrew Macleod; and MSO Principal Contrabassoon Brock Imison.
Sarnia, the Latin name for the Channel Island Guernsey, was the theme for this performance. Guernsey which possesses a French influence, is situated off the coast of Normandy, and enjoys a temperate climate with mild winters and warm summers.
Bernard Blestel, a former “Sarnian”, described the Island’s history and features, including the German occupation and the 1940 evacuation of the Guernsey children to England on the “Batavia” – a journey which took 24 hours on very rough waters. Changing images of Island depicted numerous scenes covering the wartime occupation and peacetime. Other images such as colourful fishing boats, cornflower blue skies and dramatic seascapes effectively blended with the music.
Throughout the war years, food was an extremely scarce commodity causing inhabitants to rely on innovative means of sourcing food, including the use of potato skins.
The Island was host to many renowned visitors over the years including Maria Callas, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.
Guernsey also attracted composers - some whose work was showcased in this concert. British composer, John Ireland (1879-1962), a regular visitor to Guernsey, was inspired by Guernsey and his compositions reflected the Island’s uniqueness. His “Piano Sonata (c1920), 2nd movement – Non Troppo Lento”, began with a series of chords, increasing in intensity. It possessed a dreamlike quality with some parts being reminiscent of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”.
His “Island Spell (1912)” contained a series of arpeggios creating a rippling waterlike effect either from a brook or the lapping of water by the shore at low tide. It increased in tone and intensity at high tide followed by the fade at low tide.
“Sarnia: In a May morning (St Peter Port, May 1940)” was sublime with some parts resembling the wartime hit “I’ll be seeing you” - a dreamy counteraction to war.
Canadian composer Robert Farnon (1917 – 2005) was a long-time resident on the Island. He composed “Journey into Melody” (1948) a well-known jazzy, evocative piece, beautifully performed by Cook, Imison and Macleod.
The program ended with the “Piccolo concerto (1998) 2nd movement – Air” by the prolific Melbourne composer Barry McKimm – an aficionado of Sarnia. McKimm, a jazz and classical trumpet player with over thirty years with the MSO, has composed a diverse range of music over many years. The second movement of the Piccolo Concerto had a beautiful haunting “Celtic” sound, enhanced by the superb playing of Andrew Macleod. Cook’s exquisite piano performance gave a supportive base like sound.
Congratulations to Janis Cook for her performance, compilation and organisation of this program; to performers Brock Imison and Andrew Macleod; and to narrator Bernard Blestel.
photographer, Alex Colcheedas
Moira Finucane's Rapture: Art vs Extinction NEW website review by Max Lyons
Website: https://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/wp2016/event/the-rapture-chapter-ii/ Event/Experience Review: By Maxwell M. Lyons
The next chapter of Moira Finucane’s The Rapture brings with it the fierce theatrics of its predecessor, infused with an alluringly provocative yet confronting reflection of humanity and its self-destructive environmental practices. The Rapture Chapter II: Art vs Extinction (90-minutes, plus intermission) takes the viewer on a journey interwoven between a harsh dystopia and an even harsher reality, though where these two landscapes cease to overlap is deliberately veiled. Whilst a memorable experience, be forewarned: this is not a show for the faint of heart or theatrically uninclined.
From its harrowing overture to convivial closure, the show progresses in waves of elaborate character portrayal; an endless flurry of juxtaposing personalities from half-naked punk warrior to maleficent ice queen, with the occasional interject by Finucane herself. Each persona brings with them their own stories and experiences from which their performance emanates, be it the enduring gender inequality of the modern world, the pervasive damage of artic climates and ecosystems (heaven forbid we forget the KRILL), or the eradication of historical cultures and sacred land through unsustainable practices (notable the Northern Territory’s abundance of fracking procedures).
True to her background, Finucane expertly blends a cornucopia of genres and mediums, including but not limited to comedy, drama, burlesque, opera, and cabaret. Accompanying her throughout are singers Mama Alto and Piera Dennerstein, pianist Rachel Lewindon, and the honourable singer/songwriter and water protector Ray Dimakarri Dixon (a Mudburra man from central Australia who is both witness and victim of said aforementioned cultural loss); all commendable in their own right.
Though somewhat confronting at times, the intimate theatre environment in which the show takes place adds to the experience, with velvet draped cabaret tables surrounding a crucifix catwalk stage, tied together with an overhang of installations and a subtle atmospheric fog. The in-house bar (open prior-to and following the performance, plus intermission) adds a nice amenity as well.
To its fault, the show’s enigmatic nature makes for a memorable night of theatre, though ultimately at some expense of the dialectic discourse it attempts to cultivate; it is all about truth. Finucane’s fervour is commanding and at close the pieces of her performance come to reveal an enveloping motif, though unfortunately, the journey to get there is shrouded in undue artistic veil. An enjoyable performance, nonetheless.
Photos from this event can be found on our website.
NICA: HARD SELL website review by Kieran MvNamara photography: Kieran McNamara
Hard Sell - NICA Hard Sell is the NICA 3rd Year students circus variety showcase hosted by Mitch Jones. The circus showcase provides an opportunity for the students to demonstrate the skills after nearly three years of training and mentoring by the teachers. The production provided a great opportunity for the students to perform their acts. As well as the variety of acts, this show was hosted by Mitch Jones which allowed the audience to be entertained between the students performances without detracting from the students. I enjoyed the MC as it gave me an opportunity to switch focus so that I could enjoy each student perform.
The students were a part of the MC performance and were used as light-hearted props to add a sense of fun to the evening. There were a variety of acts with Tro Griffiths on Straps, Hannah Richards and Cassia Jamieson performing Duo Acrobatics, Jessie Carson on Dance Trapeze, Thomas Correia on Slack Wire, Lindsey Bowyer on Aerial Loops, Aleshanee Kelso and Maui Ryan performing Duo Acrobatics, Chanel Phelan with Ball Manipulation, Georgia Webb on Roue Cyr, Fara Mir on Tightwire, Eric Quast on Roue Cyr, Nicole Pienaar on Aerial Hoop, Stephanie Pick as a Clown, Easa Min-Swe on Rope, Will Anton on Roue Cyr and Stephanie Benson performing Handstands. Although there were two duo acrobatics acts and three roue cyr acts, the acts themselves were very different and entertaining with different costumes, lighting and music.
I really appreciate the strength, control and grace of the various acts and enjoyed them immensely, I especially enjoyed Stephanie Pick performing her clown act as she used her body and facial expressions and provided a fun act with some simple props and a skeleton. It's also wonderful to watch a performance at NICA as the audience understands and appreciates the skills in performing each act and that enhances my enjoyment as well when they applaud each skill.
Unlike other NICA student showcases I've attended, the audience was seated on three sides with a raised stage. The costumes looked wonderful and for some of the aerial acts, the lighting provided more of a silhouette which added to the effect of showing off the strength and grace of the performers. The costumes, lighting and music were different between each act to distinguish them from each other.
This was another excellent NICA student showcase and I always enjoy their performances. I feel lucky to be able to see them just before they go out to begin their professional careers and I wish them all the best in their careers and hope to see them perform in other shows. I strongly recommend going along to the NICA student performances to enjoy very talented and well trained professionals whilst also supporting the work of NICA and their teachers in training the next group of professional circus performers. This was another enjoyable performance with variety, skills and talented young performers demonstrating their skills and a very enjoyable night of entertainment.
SESAME STREET CIRCUS SPECTACULAR website review by Christopher Stenton
In case you didn’t know, people who review events, such as the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular, get free tickets to attend. I’m not sure I would’ve otherwise attended; I had doubts about the quality of the recreation of the much-loved Sesame Street characters, and of the circus itself. BOY, WAS I WRONG! This Circus Spectacular was amazing!
First of all, all the characters, including: Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Bert, Ernie, Grover perform with their original voices, and each have just the right amount of stage time to balance the circus out, making it easily entertaining to adults, little kids and big kids, like me. I must sadly admit to not knowing what happened to Big Bird, but a hip-hop version of Cookie Monster made up for it in my mind!
There was no faulting the circus performers themselves, hailing from many countries around the globe, the acts were carried amazingly and professionally, with great music and lighting effects. I really don’t want to give any of the finer details away, as the revealed surprises were awesome, but the degree of difficulty on many of the acts did have my jaw on the floor, in between constantly repeating ‘Wow!’.
This event really is worth the price of admission, and some. You should definitely take your kids and go. If you don’t have any, take your niece / nephew / grandkids, or even just grab your neighbour’s kids and go! (maybe get permission first!). I don’t like clichés, but this event really is for all ages, in fact, I’d just about recommend adults attending on their own to see it.
Do yourself a favour! When was the last time you went to the circus?
NGV: CIVILIZATION, THE WAY WE LIVE NOW website review and photos : Natasha Lukin
“CIVILIZATION THE WAY WE LIVE NOW”
The NGV monumental photography exhibition by 140 international masters of photography, represented by their more than 200 works.
This exhibition is about photography as a presentation of both - normality and complexity of contemporary civilisation in which we are living now.
More than 140 international photographers from Africa, North and South America, Asia and Europe, including our fellow Australians, depicted in their photos our life journeys in the worldwide environment.
Their photography mirrors and reflects different ways of how people around the world manage their 21st century existence. More than 200 works were selected to represent our current civilisation times.
We - as humanity - are facing huge challenges in political and economic developments, in climate change and diminishing natural resources. At the same time there is a big potential too for positive adjustments and changes.
At the heart of this exhibition is an attempt to identify and share human experiences. That is about how we live, work, play and learn. And also how we shall manage living together in peace and harmony in spite of cultural, material and psychological differences.
As Isobel Crombie, Assistant Director, Curatorial and Collection Management, NGV, said on the opening of the exhibition:
“In current global situation where we still have many diverse civilisations on different continents and in different corners of the world the idea and need for the all-planetary civilisation is emerging”.
The exhibition occupies eight exhibition halls and rooms and the variety of presented works is staggering.
The “Civilisation the way we live now” international photography exhibition’s details: Where: NGV Australia, Federation Square When: 13 Sep 19 – 2 Feb 20 Hours: Open 10am–5pm daily
camera: Natasha Lukin editing: Hakam Soufan
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME website review by Natasha Lukin / Natasha Marchev
I was lucky enough to visit and see THE BEAUTIFUL GAME musical currently playing at the Chapel Off Chapel in South Yarra.
The Beautiful Game is the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber (composer) and Ben Elton (writer) about a group of young people growing up during the famous times of "the troubles in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1969". They are common, normal people who face the exceptional situations.
The title The Beautiful Game refers to football and yes, the plot is centred on a local football (soccer) team. The musical focuses on the male who is trying to overcome the violence in the local community. He experiences problems related to politics, ethnic issues and religion. In the nutshell, the Catholic team has one atheist player whose name is Del. Del's family is Protestant and his coach Father O’Donnell is a priest. The story concentrates on the events and situations that take place between the major game players trying to solve the problem of interethnic and interfaith conflicts. There is a assurance to follow a glorious career as a professional footballer and the young man dream of nothing but good looking girls, love, training and the game. There are both humor and compassion bend together in the plot, the situations are heartbreaking and funny.
Being a music lover myself I understand a lot about this art genre. I have to admit that Webber is one of my favourite composes. He geniusly chooses the model of Irish polka (rila) in this musical. The rhythmic whimsicality and variable size inherent in this genre embody the game principle of composition. Due to its musical and expressive features the theme of rile arranged with the use of rock instruments becomes the "leitmotif" (the major music movement) of the game in this musical drama, developing in the scenes of football matches. Webber's solution is the winning one by all means. We get engaged in this "game" and we totally get transformed feeling "belonged" to what takes place on the stage. We become part of the game taking place in front of us.
To say that this musical is triumphal is to say nothing. Not only we fall in love with the music but with the characters of this marvelous production.
A bit of History: the musical appeared on stage first 20 years ago but it feels so modern as its problems, ideas and high social values talked about on stage will never fade. It is simply one timeless masterpiece. The history always repeat itself, the situations repeat themselves too. The problems are not only related to Irish community and the conflict in 1969 but it is rather familiar in relations to many communities and countries around the world.
the cast is stellar indeed and includes: Stephen Mahy as John and Stephanie Wall as Mary. Joining them are Nicola Bowman, Des Flanagan, David Meadows, Ellie Nunan, Samuel Skuthorp, Oscar Tollofsen and Sam Ward.
About the production: The Beautiful Game is not a "big, expensive musical show", it is not complex but rather simple in its scenery. It has more like a chamber, individual / personal manner of delivery that we can see in this production. There are also no rich decorations nor there are any "technical twists" present. It takes all of the attention to the beauty of the music and its balanced story line.
It was Webber's last musical but I would not say it was one of his "forgotten" musicals. There are so many familiar melodies I heard in it.
It was an unforgettable experience for me personally. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to see it.
I recommend everyone to see this fabulous production: The Beautiful Game is brilliant, stirring and rather disturbing musical. I left the theater and I had an urge to write and talk about. It has a powerful story and a phenomenal music. With the right cast performing at its best it makes the whole experience indelible. Thanking Bohemian Rhapsody Magazine for the wonderful opportunity.
The Beautiful Game (Manilla Street Productions), at Chapel off Chapel, as reviewed by Alex First
Set at the height of The Troubles in Belfast, The Beautiful Game is a powerful and affecting musical that reveals the impact of the turmoil on members of an Under 21 soccer team and their partners.
We are talking the years 1969 through to the early ‘70s when political and religious violence has engulfed the community.
It is a story of heartache and pain … when young people can’t simply pursue a carefree life as others around the world can.
The Catholic team, coached by a passionate priest, has one atheist player who comes from a Protestant family and he is ostracised as a result.
The outrage is led by a venomous competitor who is a rising force in the tumult.
In the second act, the IRA casts a huge shadow over proceedings.
The Beautiful Game – a reference which some say was popularised by Brazilian star Pelé – is dramatic, comedic and even romantic.
I quickly warmed to it despite the heaviness of subject matter that underpins it.
The two leads in this Australian premiere season (it debuted on London’s West End in September 2000) are sensational.
2016 Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts’ graduate Stephanie Wall has a beautiful, strong and mellifluous voice. She owns the role of Mary.
Versatile performer Stephen Mahy brings maturity and power to his doomed character arc. His “John” falls hard for Mary before things take a deeply troubling turn.
The other key players among the 22-strong cast also do an excellent job.
Ellie Nunan is particularly feisty as Christine, who is attracted to Del (Sam Ward), the peace-loving Protestant I referenced earlier, banished from the team by ugly brute Thomas (Des Flanagan).
I also appreciated what David Meadows brought to his role as the pragmatic priest, Father O’Donnell, who is desperate to talk sense into his young charges.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music is crowd pleasing and populist, very easy on the ear … as realised by nine musicians under the stewardship of musical director Daniele Buatti.
The story and lyrics by Ben Elton have great impact.
Producer/director Karen Jemison is to be commended for bringing the production to Melbourne. The show makes good use of simple props and Sue-Ellen Shook’s choreography (most noteworthy in the football final) is another feature.
Plaudits too to the lighting design by Jason Bovaird and sound design by Marcello Lo Ricco.
The Troubles may seem a lifetime ago, but in truth hatred between religions and cultures has certainly not gone away and The Beautiful Game puts a human toll on it.
It is playing at Chapel off Chapel until 29th September, 2019.
Pic credit: Jodie Hutchinson
AFFORDABLE ART FAIR website review and photos by Katherine Kelly
Affordable Art Fair Sunday 8 September 2019 Exhibition Buildings
Last Sunday, I visited the Affordable Art Fair, a haven for buyers and sellers of modern art. The space contained of rows of booths separated by aisles. The variety of art was enormous from paintings, to sculptures and other media. At the back of the space there was room for the children to advance their artistic talents. Apart from Australia, there were representations from galleries from the United States, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, and Belgium – just to mention a few.
Due to the enormity of this fair, I was only able to showcase a handful of booths.
Cooee Art – Bondi www.cooeeart.com.au Cooee Art Gallery is Australia’s oldest Indigenous art gallery, presenting the finest Australian Indigenous art at art events in Australia and overseas. Kapi ngangkali tjukurpa / Storm cloud story – 2019 – acrylic on canvas
“When we go outside, we see that cloud coming with rain When it’s a really dark one, it’s going to be a storm with big rain.” Langaliki Lewis Langaliki is an emerging artist who works with paintings and ceramics. Her evocative work depicts enormous swirls of different colours of blue with dots adding a greater definition to the clouds.
Retrospect Galleries – Byron Bay www.retrospectgalleries.com
Retrospect Galleries in Byron Bay is a prominent contemporary Art Gallery. It is best known for its promotion of ground-breaking and visionary art works and their artists. Retrospect tours nationally and internationally to numerous art fairs.
Alberto Sanchez, a resident of Byron Bay and Madrid, is a photographer and multimedia artist. He travels the world with his camera, capturing city landscapes. To create the cacophony that represents today’s modern urban life, he creates other colourful images on top of the photographic images, before sealing the works with resin. His image of King Street Bridge, Melbourne is below.
Manyung Gallery Manyunggallery.com.au Manyung Gallery has been running since 1968 with galleries on the peninsula and Malvern. The gallery has a diverse range of art forms: paintings, sculptures, wire formations such as one of the Abbotsford Skipping Girl.
I was very taken by the art work of David Hinchcliffe, especially his impressionistic interpretations of Flinders Street Station, St Paul’s Cathedral and Pelligrinis in Bourke Street (below).
State of the Arts Gallery –Hong Kong
Since 2003 State-of-the-Arts Gallery has been instrumental in organising numerous exhibitions and participating in Art fairs worldwide. Marti Bofarull’s work caught my eye. With the use of mixed media including pieces of newspaper Bofarull captures an innovative skyline of Manhattan.
Trans Tasman Artist Collective
In this booth I found a number of very striking works of seascapes by New Zealand artist Angela Maritz. Angela uses a freeform approach by applying brushstrokes onto the canvas whilst singing. Her work is based on the feelings that she has at the time of painting. The results were some of the most dramatic seascapes that I have ever seen.
SOVEREIGN HILL MUSEUM AND AURA SHOW website press release: David Chavez, Helena Muñoz Balbontin, and Francisco Javier Lugo Delgado
We are at the Sovereign Hill Museum walking through the streets of its historical establishment. We get immediately transported to another era with its confectionery stores and sweets taking one photograph after another, surrounded by yummy food and other products displayed and sold at the museum. The shops provide their various services and are perfectly designed to fit the time travel experience offered by the open air venue. The actors complement that atmospheric and unforgettable walk of ours.
The walk starts from a small avenue where you can find a blacksmith, which offers an extraordinary performance representing the ancient way of working with metal and forging. Right in front of us is the photography area that offers its amazing service adding to the vintage style of the times passed. The museum is full of historical details telling us precisely everything about the world, the craft and the people at that time. Something that impresses me and my friends is the park with its detailed production. It is all worked out and shown to the observers with the smallest possible detail: be it the window or the wheels of the old vehicle.
The museum staff have the hardest task though of maintaining the magic we see: from the actors in the streets walking by to the ones in charge of selling the products, they are kept within the immaculately written script giving us a touch of immersion to the whole experience.
We move further and finally reach the end of the streets... It is now time to go and watch the show... The AURA SHOW.
The Aura show can be watched at night and it attracts many people. The cinema is full and there is no free space inside. This show is the world famous. It is all about the history and it tells us in a very original way the history of the people from parts of Australia. The artistic approach is absolutely impressive: projections, colors and even special effects - they all give life to the event that both children and adults can enjoy.
We had a wonderful time . Both, the museum and The Aura Show are indispensable for any traveler coming from overseas and not only. The Australians love, respect and cherish their history. It is for everyone. There is no way not to enjoy this journey that I reasure you will be in our minds for a long time. For me personally: I finish my day with a big and warm smile on my lips and I want to come back to this place once again.
ZELMAN SYMPHONY : VERDI REQUIEM website review by Natasha Lukin
Messa da Requiem, a unique masterpiece by Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi, the most famous Italian master of musical drama, created his Requiem as the only one composition written not in the opera genre.
That is a massive, the most theatrical embodiment of the traditional church funeral service.
It’s a challenge for musicians, a choir and soloists, to perform such dramatic composition that lasts for about one and a half hour.
So, that challenge was taken by Melbourne Bach Choir and Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra. The Melbourne Town Hall had been chosen as premises for this performance, which was in good harmony with the music. Melbourne music lovers appreciated this choice as the classical magnificent building is good match for Verdi brilliance.
The Requiem was conducted by Rick Prakhoff, who formed the highly successful 170 voice Melbourne Bach Choir in 2006, now in its 13th year. And he is also Zelman Symphony’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor.
Four soloists that required for the Requiem, were opera singers of higher calibre. They were: soprano Helena Dix, who previously performed that party with the London Philharmonic Orchestra; mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Dark with multiple awards won during her career; Paul O’Neill, leading tenor for many operatic roles and Adrian Tamburini, bass baritone with international reputation who did nt once performed with Zelman Orchestra.
Requiem as a very complex and versatile creation dedicated to the poet and writer Alessandro Manzoni. His death affected Verdi deeply as the composer truly respected the personality and work of Manzoni.
Verdi wrote: “I am deeply saddened by the death of our Great Man! I will come to visit his grave in order to offer something to honor his memory.”
That ‘something’ became Messa da Requiem.
This grandiose monument was the memorial service, first performed on the anniversary of the death of Manzoni on May 22, 1874 in the Milan Cathedral. A few days later, Requiem was repeated with great success at the La Scala theatre, and then in Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg and other cities of Europe.
The audience at the Melbourne Town Hall – as it is typical for Melbournians – reacted to the performance with attention and appreciation.
The final part with a theme of a heroic, strong-willed character, sounds like a hymn to courage and the strength of the human spirit.
The concert was concluded with a huge round of applauds.
Chiquinha Gonzaga - Her legacy Part of series: Jazz in the Salon Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Trio Corta-Jaca website review by Marina Skliar
Chiquinha Gonzaga - Her legacy / Part of series: Jazz in the Salon took place on Friday 30 August 2019 at the Primrose Potter Salon at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
It was a great tribute to a wonderful and colourful composer, pianist and conductor, Chiquinha Gonzaga.
The pioneer in her own rights who against the family and what’s right to do in those days started her career as a composer and was a bright example for many and all.
The concert was magnificent in all ways: music sound was reminding us of happy birds sinning in nature. It was not only calm and smooth with lots of sunshine but also was full of peace and tranquility many of us search and hardly can find in this modern world.
The performing trio played as one well tuned unit.
It was so united and so beautifully coordinated as if they were birds of one musical nest.
Would love to see more of Trio Carta Jaca in the future.
I loved the playing Brazilian jazz by De Sem Com a vilda, who would have thought that the teenagers have written such a historic sound of music.
It was an absolutely inspiring music for any age. Such music teaches us to be better and lighter in life. It is a great and deep relaxation music.
TOP MODEL WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA NSW STATE FINALS 2019 website photos and review: Neil Chand video: Hakam Soufan
We all waited in anticipation to see the new faces on Top Model Worldwide Australia NSW Finals this year. It was a really exciting time for everyone: the models. the judges, the media and those who prepared the models to look even better than they were . The contestants all looked absolutely stunning. It was very hard for the judges to select the best of the best. Though the finalists were there soon on stage welcomed by the guests.
The Finalists: @kateedicksonn @kelenashton @alex_ruygrok @gema_oo
There have also been two wildcard finalists selected from the NSW Final to compete in the National Final! The first lucky contender was @ella_cox_03. The second NSW wildcard was @toby_knight