SEAL: AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED

SEAL returns to Australia with his orchestra for the STANDARDS tour.

TEG DAINTY announced today that British soul legend SEAL will tour Australia in March and April 2018 with his orchestra in support of his tenth studio album STANDARDS.

This stunning live show will feature Seal performing some of the greatest jazz standards and swing classics ever written and the hits he is known for such as ‘Kiss from a Rose’, ‘Crazy’ and ‘Killer’.

Thrilled to get back to Australia after 3 seasons as a coach on The Voice, Seal said “I am so excited to return to Australia, having only been away for such a short while. This time I will be bringing with me an orchestra to perform tracks from my new album ‘Standards’ as well as my more familiar music from over the years.  Get ready Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide for these shows, it’s time to party!”

Paul Dainty, President and CEO of TEG DAINTY said today, “Seal is known for unforgettable live shows, seeing him perform the classics and his hits with an orchestra will be an unforgettable music event not to be missed.”

In a career spanning over three decades, with over 30 million records sales worldwide and a string of Grammy, Brit and Ivor Novello awards along the way, Seal continues to shine as one of the world’s brightest music stars.

STANDARDS  brings the glamour of Old Hollywood straight to the present. It is a natural successor to his series of soul records, made a decade ago which sold over 5 million copies around the world. STANDARDS  hears Seal’s signature, velvety warm vocals bring classics to life made popular by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone plus many more.

SEAL will be in Sydney : Friday 30 March 2018, ICC Sydney Theatre

http://ticketek.com.au

For more information about SEAL and STANDARDS visit

http://www.seal.com

TROPFEST ANNOUNCES NEW INDUSTRY HUB

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES – FEBRUARY 11: Despite the heat a healthy crowd gathers to enjoy the Tropfest short film festival on February 11, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

TROPFEST ANNOUNCES NEW INDUSTRY HUB, NEW PARTNERS AND ADJUSTED DATE!

Tropfest Australia, supported by foundation partner CGU Insurance, today unveiled plans for TropNest, a groundbreaking creative hub for filmmaking, collaboration, workshops, screenings and events in Western Sydney, thanks to a new partnership with Melrose Park urban developers – PAYCE.

Young emerging filmmakers from around Australia will be invited to apply for a limited number of spaces at the Nest, where they will work rent free — with no strings attached — on their film and television projects.

Heavy-hitting media partner YouTube Australia will also join forces with  Tropfest in 2018, when the ‘main event’ returns to Parramatta Park on an adjusted date of Saturday 17 February 2018 as part of a broader week of excitement and celebration of all things independent film and culture.

TropNest will pop-up in early 2018 in Melrose Park in Sydney’s West, with a long term plan for the Nest to become a permanent addition to the urban renewal project taking place in the brand new suburb.

In 2018, Tropfest will be live streamed around Australia and the world for the first time ever thanks to YouTube Australia. As part of the grand prize, Tropfest’s winning filmmaker will also get to visit the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, as well as attend a film immersion course and undertake a ‘week of meetings’ with agents, studio executives and other industry professionals courtesy of the Motion Picture Association.

To top it all off, Australian production house Kennedy Miller Mitchell has once again pledged $10,000 cash to the competition’s winner.

Tropfest will also continue multiple year partnerships with CGU Insurance, Parramatta Park Trust, City of Parramatta and Western Sydney University – which hosts the incredibly successful TropTalks series, a gabfest that takes place in the week leading up to the Tropfest ‘main event’.

As a Tropfest foundation partner for the third consecutive year, CGU Insurance resurrected Tropfest in 2016 after an abrupt cancellation, helping to ensure the success of the festival and the many small businesses that participate in the event.

CGU Insurance also strongly supports Tropfest’s effort to increase inclusion this year by encouraging entries from filmmakers from all backgrounds who bring a unique perspective and shine a light on the contribution that cultural diversity makes to our communities.

For more information about TROPFEST 2018 visit

https://www.tropfest.org.au/

https://www.facebook.com/tropfest

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

Follow us down the rabbit hole for a madcap ride! ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been reinvented with a unique Australian flavour and will have children and adults alike whooping in delight.

For over 150 years Alice in Wonderland has captured the imaginations of children all over the world, and now returns in a fresh, exciting and all new Australian adaptation for the whole family.

Lewis Carroll’s whirling, fantastical masterpiece is faithfully and beautifully recreated as a nonstop, madcap theatrical adventure for the whole family. See the classic kids’ tale in an all new Australian adaptation by multi award-winning playwright Mary Anne Butler, starring Dubs Yunupingu as Alice.

As part of Sydney Festival, this wonderful show, from the producer of the critically acclaimed and immensely popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar, will have its world premiere at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, 5-27 January 2018

For more about Alice in Wonderland – a theatrical adventure for the whole family, visit http://www.aliceinwonderlandlive.com
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SONY SUMMER MOVIES IN CINEMAS SOON

THE STAR : Opens in cinemas November 30

This image and banner from STAR
© 2017 CTMG

In Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

Cast: Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer with Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE : Opens wide in cinemas December 26

JUMANJI ©2016 CTMG

In the brand new adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, starring an all-star cast – Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan – four unlikely friends get sucked into the perilous world of Jumanji, and are transformed into avatars with unique skills. They’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in Jumanji forever…

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Bobby Cannavale, Rhys Darby

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME: Opens in select cinemas December 26 with Sneak previews December 23 & 24

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
©2016 CTMG

WON – Audience Award – Melbourne Int’l Film Festival

Nominated – Best Feature Film – Berlin Int’l Film Festival

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman.

It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman, a precocious 17- year-old young man, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia.

Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father, an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella, a translator, who favour him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart.

One day, Oliver, a 24 year-old American college graduate student working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendour of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois

For more information visit:

http://www.sonypicturespublicity.com.au

OLD 505 SEASON 2018 ANNOUNCED

OLD 505 SEASON 2018 

 https://old505theatre.com/performances.html

5 February – 17 March 2018FRESHWORKS 

FRESHWORKS is a short, sharp season of experimental and new works returning for the fifth year. FreshWorks provides experienced artists an opportunity to test out new ideas and young artists an opportunity to work with 505. This year 505  will present six one week seasons plus the new FreshWorksFEMME a season of feminist work, talks and readings by young theatre makers.
6–11 February 2018: JACK DATA

Written and directed by RUTH BELL

A one act comedy set in the not to distance future. On Alice's 31st birthday her worried parents present her with Jack Data. Jack is the 'perfect man' robot, with reproductive options.
13–17 February 2018: LOVE ME

Written by JOSEPH BROWN

Love, Me is the story of a group of friends in their early 20’s who are attempting to have their first Christmas away from their families. Disillusioned and finally out of the comforting confines of tertiary education, they’re ready to take on the world, just like their parents did when they were young. But it’s a different world now, one that they’re not ready for, and that’s not ready for them. Over the course of a blazingly hot Australian Christmas, the group attempt to start their adult lives and create traditions of their own, but the walls of secrecy surrounding them are starting to tumble down into a sea of bargain bin shiraz and cold turkey gravy.
20–24 February 2018: BEAST.BELLY.BEAST

"Two Men. Two Friends. Two Soldiers. Two Lost Souls – In, and Out – of the Belly of the Beast."

Inside the minds of two men suffering from PTSD, the play itself distorts Time, Place, Events, Structure, Perception.

"What is it to live with trauma?

What is it to with anxiety, but try and keep it together?

What is it to not quite be able to move on...?

What is it to 'live' in confusion?

What do relationships mean anymore? - What holds meaning? - Who/What am I...?"

All this in a fast paced, dramatic, darkly humorous, fractured barrage of entertaining scenes that are (broken) windows in which to glimpse the heart, mind, soul, fears, destruction, pain, wants, desire, hope, forgiveness, innocence, guilt, greed, shame – and, a game of darts...
27 February – 3 March 2018:  CAGE

By Jordan Shea and Directed by Shae Riches

Cuong, Bryce and Ryan turn up in Thailand for three very different reasons. They meet in a sordid little place in the city, where they disrespect the country beyond recognition. As the three negotiate their way through a firestorm beyond their wildest imaginations, a rite of passage joy ride turns into a nightmare.
6–10 March 2018: SATELLITE

By Laura Turner and Cloe Fournier
13–17 March 2018:  RUDY & CUTHBERT

Directed by Ellen Cressey

After meeting on Skype in the ‘Steve Martin Teaches Comedy’ Masterclass, Rudy & Cuthbert decided to throw away their $120 Lifetime Access subscription and combine forces to form the dynamic duo… Rudy & Cuthbert. Having modelled themselves on the greats, they have crafted a partnership to interrogate modern life.

Hot off a string of sold out runs on the West End, Broadway, and Anzac Parade Rudy & Cuthbert are eager to bring their unique style of comedy to The Old 505.

Made redundant by the Sydney lock out laws, witness two brothers - not of blood - but of art, try to make a life for themselves in the Sydney housing market. Watch as they negotiate Ikea furniture, mentos packets, and their own crippling shyness.

Rudy & Cuthbert are a new pair of clowns whose portrayal of a mundane move into the adult world is a rallying cry for warmth and forgiveness in a time racked with mistrust and the internet.

21 March – 7 April 2018:  HOME INVASION

By Christopher Bryant and Directed by Alexander Berlage

An obsessive Paula Abdul fan, June, auditions for American Idol in an attempt to impress her hero. A young girl named Sam enters a relationship with her mechanic, Anthony, and cultivates a dangerous obsession with brutally confronting his wife, Carol. Carol, meanwhile, has reoccurring dreams in which a ghostly Jon Benét Ramsey visits her, prophesying about the future.

Equally disturbing and humorous, Home Invasion explores celebrity infatuation and our culture’s obsession with the relentless mediatisation of violent acts, weaving together three incidents from real life.

9–22 April 2018: RAPID READS

Dino Dimitriadis and Apocalypse Theatre Company

Following the success of 2017’s season, Rapid Reads is back at the Old 505. The festival will showcase the newest work from Australia’s most contemporary emerging playwrights, who will be paired with and mentored by some of our best established writers.

This year, Rapid Reads will include a series of panels, discussions and networking nights for a two-week joyride of new work.

2–19 May 2018 : REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN.

Presented by House of Sand. By Alice Birch and directed by Charles Sanders.

“Each scene …begins with deconstruction and proceeds into detonation.” – Ben Brantly, of the Soho Rep production

REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN.Alice Birch tears apart the language, structures and ideas that keep feminism and women trapped inside a patriarchal system, and presents a rallying cry for a new feminism; to work outside the system and re-redefine the way we think about womanhood.

Packed with intelligence, humour and wrenching social commentary, Revolt will be a punch in the face wrapped in a satin glove.

“The siblings’ ability to move us, to cease our attention and connect with our emotions, without the use of anything remotely formulaic or conventional, is evidence that a purity of intention and an instinctive acuity are at play here…Eliza and Charles Sanders are important artists who give us an alternate view of the world.” – Suzy Goes See, of Pedal & Castles @ Sydney Fringe Festival 2016

 

22–26 May 2018: THE BRIDE OF WAR

Presented by Sekrit Projekt

Co-created & performed by Hannah Cox, Caitlin West, Pierce Wilcox

THE BRIDE OF WAR is a feminist response to Shakespeare’s Henry V, turning that epic of war and nationalism into an intimate study of patriarchal power, told through music, dance, visual art and Shakespeare’s greatest writing.

29 May – 9 June 2018:  TWILIGHT and  MUT

Presented by Motimaru Dance Company (Berlin)

TWILIGHT

Around 100.000 years ago, when Homo sapiens emerged on this planet, the initial embryonic human art emerged in the dark cave, where eyes cannot see. What they were seeing with their inner eyes was the depth of our unconscious. This must be the universal principle of human art.

Social systems and technological advances have changed society over years, but our human nature has never changed. This is why primitive arts could give important influences on great artistic experiments of the 20th century, such as Cubism or Surrealism.

We are living in a society where our innermost nature is deeply buried. Modern science relies on the intellectual rationale based on mathematics and language, and overemphasizes the information perceived by the eyes. Yet it misses direct physical experience and divides the world into separated pieces.

Human is human, animal is animal, I am I,you are you…Even in the dance scene, where body is the main media, productions can be reduced to merely intellectual concepts or movement patterns, which can loose the profound experience of the body itself. In the modern era we are missing deeper experience of body and mind, the power to explore and reveal the unconscious. In its depth, the world is not separated but connected freely. Human is animal, life is death, I am you.

Twilight questions the fundamental purpose of human art, and searches for a new dance method to walk down the stairs towards the depth of our being through the subtlest movement within.

MUT

How often do we read news without having an idea of the depth of that reality? We are used to hear such news, throw away the newspaper and continue the daily life as always. But if the newspaper could take life what would we see?

About nowaday’s domination, manipulation, cultural and religious conflicts, woman and human rights, shifting from personal to public news, this piece is a collective solo that includes stories from many women of different countries and cultures that come to be taken as icons and represent the contradicted faces of our society. MUT means mother/courage/mutilated/mutual/multiracial.

The piece encourages new actions toward transformation and dignity.

13–30 June 2018: AIR

By Joanna Erskine

The dead don’t talk back. Until now.

Annabel sits in a dark radio studio, hosting the graveyard shift. Single and introverted, she spends her nights reading the death notices to a silent audience. One morning while on air, the station phone rings. When Annabel answers, she unwittingly unleashes the grief and secrets of an entire community, desperate to connect with the past.

From writer Joanna Erskine (K.I.J.E., Boot) and director Anthony Skuse, comes this black and bittersweet comedy about death, grief, holding on and letting go.

3–21 July 2018 : ROOMBA NATION

Presented by Hurrah Hurrah. Concept & director Alison Bennett

Pippie is a curious character. She makes friend’s with cockroaches, cuts her own hair and generally makes up her own rules.

Until Pippie discovers that she is the carrier of a medical anomaly. Alone in her ward, Pippie comes to realise that things are serious. Isolated from her world of crooked comforts, Pippie befriends what ever she can…including a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner.

Roomba Nation takes us on a journey of realisation and the acceptance of a fate that befalls us all. Its dreamlike world asks us to consider the delicate balance of improved quality of life and solitude that our modern conveniences can bring.

After the critical acclaim of Trade in 2017, Hurrah Hurrah bring you this beautiful new work that will make you laugh and then break your heart.

1–11 August 2018: HELL’S CANYON

By Emily Sheehan.  Directed by Katie Cawthorne

“Sometimes there are things you can’t forget about, even when you try. They just pop into your brain outta nowhere. Walking home, or in line at the canteen, or when we were making out before. It smacks you right in the face. Right outta nowhere. I don’t know what’s so wrong about remembering.” – Hell’s Canyon

Caitlin and Oscar are hiding out in a motel in the middle of the Australian outback. No one knows they’re there, and seventeen-year-old Caitlin won’t tell fifteen-year-old Oscar why she’s running. They’re out of money and the only thing they have on them is a rare and valuable graphic novel, Hell’s Canyon. But Oscar doesn’t want to sell it. Not for this. Not for anything.

HELL’S CANYON is a play that celebrates everything magical about being a young person, the tenacity of teenage friendship, and our ability to transcend tragedy by reaching for the sublime.

HELL’S CANYON was developed with the support of Playwriting Australia at the National Play Festival, and in the National Script Workshop.

14–18 August 2018: THE NOSE

Presented by The Bloomshed (Melbourne)

Created and performed by Elizabeth Brennan, James Jackson, Tom Molyneux

A CEO is crying in front of a mirror. A severed nose is lying on the floor. There are inspirational quotes plastered everywhere – WE CAN ALL BE HEROES – just make sure you don’t stop producing.

Disparate narratives collide around the missing appendage; a psychotic, hallucinatory journey as people start falling to pieces. The Nose is an attempt to locate the systems that exploit our bodies.

The Bloomshed creates new things by cannibalizing the old – The Nose is the company’s latest attempt to consume a classic, written by an author who starved himself to death. This is agit-prop political theatre raised from the dead and zombified. Like everything else, The Nose is a rotting corpse, animated, moaning and stumbling around for your pleasure.

“James Jackson is Kafkaesque without any of the boringness of Kafka” – Sometimes Melbourne

21 August – 8 September 2018 : THE GRAND ILLUSION

Directed by Kate Gaul

“On the 6th of July, 1988, I lost my mother. I don’t mean she died. She vanished. Which was suspicious, as my father was a magician. A club magician who never quite escaped the Legions and Rotary circuit. But maybe he outdid himself just this once.”

The Grand Illusion transports the audience into a world of hocus-pocus and the desire to believe. Our guides are a detective, a celebrated author, and a mystic on the threshold between the living and the dead. Oh, and the greatest showman on earth, the incomparable Harry Houdini.

10–30 September 2018: SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL

The Sydney Fringe Festival is the largest Independent arts festival in NSW. presenting over 350 productions in over 50 venues across Sydney every September.

Featuring over 2000 artists across over 900 sessions the Sydney Fringe Festival shines a light on the best local Independent artists Sydney has to offer, uncovering hidden cultural gems, highlighting secret venues and encouraging audiences to explore the city.

The Old 505 Theatre will again present a cutting-edge program of Australian works across four jam-packed weeks. Stay tuned for program details in mid 2018.

 

2–14 October 2018: I AM A LION

By Liz Hobart

A haunting and beautiful thriller.

Cinematic and fast paced story telling featuring physical theatre and beat poetry. A mother’s son is arrested, accused of being a serial killer. Can a person be forgiven for the sins they did not commit, but created?

16 October – 10 November 2018: FRESHWORKS FEMME

Presented by Old 505 Theatre

Bringing together some of Sydney’s fiercest young female theatre makers exploring new works, new ideas and how they view the world today. This inaugural edition of FreshWorksFEMME presents three week-long productions and a week of play readings, talks and forums.
16–20 October 2018 : BEFORE LYSISTRATA

Story by Ellana Costa & Michaela Savina

Aristophane’s Lysistrata paints a picture of women at the end of their tether. With Athens and Sparta in a seemingly endless war, the women of both states take from their husbands the one thing neither of them want to live without. Sex.

Before Lysistrata explores the role of women in politics and the place of feminism in the world. It offers two types of women, both devoted to their causes, and each stronger than the armies of Sparta and Athens combined. Each fights to cement their place in global politics while staying true to their values. Exploring gender in politics, the role and nature of democracy and the heart, beauty and tragedy of both the Right and the Left, Before Lysistrata examines the humanity and failings of each side in the hope we can come together for the greater good.
23–27 October 2018: (W)REST

Presented by The Adelphi Experiment

The Adelphi Experiment is an all-female contemporary performance collective celebrating sisterhood throughout all ages and stages of life. Exploring the rich cultural heritage of our diverse communities, we use performance to amplify the voices and stories of girls' and women’s lives.

“Being busy all the time has become a badge of honour – albeit a heavy, awkward, uncomfortable badge that doesn't go with any of your outfits.” – Alison Hill, The Huffington Post
30 October – 3 November 2018: WHOSE UTERUS IS IT ANYWAY?

By Georgina Adamson and directed by Eve Beck

“What happens when an IUD, HRT and STI walk into a bar?”

Have you ever wanted to take a peek at the privatest privates of complete strangers? Have a squiz at their naughty bits? A geez at their ganders? Well now you can! Four people have made appointments here at the reproductive health clinic and will now compete to receive their treatments. Our contestants are Mary the nun, Michelle the wine-mum, Lila the millennial and our dark horse Tom. What prizes will they receive? Maybe an IUD? An STI? An abortion? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

WHOSE UTERUS IS IT ANYWAY? is the waiting room gameshow where contestants must compete to receive their treatment. It’s a game of reproductive health and the ‘contestants’ will be fighting it out to receive an IUD, Hormone Replacement Therapy, an STI test and an abortion- all in front of a live studio audience! Our Host will guide the contestants through a series of trials and tribulations, making sure to keep things interesting. In between challenges, the personal lives of the contestants will be put on display- but don’t worry, it’s all information they gave the doctor.

13–24 November 2018: BLAME TRAFFIC

Directed & written by  Michael Andrew Collins

Alice is cut off every day after work by the same Mercedes. One night, she decides to follow the Mercedes home. She follows the car again the next day, and the next. She becomes obsessed with the car, and its driver, Khalid. She follows him until, one day, he disappears. Alice slowly forgets about him; months later, she sees the Mercedes again.

Blame Traffic is a story about chance, forgiveness, and blame, told through 5 characters, and 4 stories.

28 November – 22 December 2018: ALL MY SLEEP AND WAKING

Written by Mary Rachael Brown and directed by Dino Dimitriadis

‘I am not saying I don’t wish him peace but he should run through those pearly gates of heaven. If he walks, he’ll get caught for something.’

As a father’s death approaches, three siblings struggle to reconcile with their differing experience of the same man. Conflicting memories, rusted on family habits and arguments about who will do what at the funeral all create distraction from the painful truth. Parental love isn’t always fair. And keeping score on family history is a dangerous game.

In a special and rare move, Mary Rachel Brown revisits and rewrites her first play; an ode to the complexity of forgiveness and a searing and unflinching look at family, love and duty.

DVD GIVEAWAY : COMPLETE SERIES ONE AND TWO OF ‘THE WINDSORS’

THE WINDSORS (Complete Series One & Two) will soon be available in Australia.

THE WINDSORS is a fictional comedy soap opera, following the imagined lives and loves of a family, with big comic characters loosely based on Wills & Kate, Prince Harry & Pippa Middleton, Camilla & Charles, and various other royals.

The Windsors are a royal family divided:

Prince Charles (Harry Enfield) dreams of ruling Britain but Wills (Hugh Skinner) just wants to be ordinary, to fly helicopters and mingle with the people.

Kate (Louise Ford) is proud of her humble origins and wants to find her role, but Camilla (Haydn Gwynne) is plotting to destroy Wills and Kate to get power for herself.

Meanwhile, Harry (Richard Goulding) might be in love with Pippa (Morgana Robinson) but has a new girlfriend, Meghan Markle (Kathryn Drysdale).

Beatrice (Ellie White) and Eugenie (Celeste Dring) want to make it as women in business.

Fergie (Katy Wix) is partying like it’s 1982, and all of them are being terrorised by their joyless puritanical aunt, Anne (Vicki Pepperdine).

The Guardian called it “riotous hilarity” and wondered if ‘They’ were watching.

Thanks to Acorn Media Sydney Arts Guide is  offering 10 lucky readers DVD box sets to Seasons One and Two of the hilarious UK series THE WINDSORS. 

Email your details to editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com with WINDSORS in the subject line by COB Friday 24th November.  Only winners will be notified. One last note:  the DVDs don’t arrive in Australia until 6th of December!

WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY: KEN DONE IS TAKEN OVER

Today is WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY and there’s been a takeover!

 UNICEF Australia’s Goodwill Ambassador, Ken Done, is helping with the celebrations for the anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child by allowing a takeover of his studio.

This year the focus is on Article 12 – Respect for the views of the child, which stipulates; When adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account.

For the first time Done has allowed a group of children, seven-year olds, to take over his studio and I had the opportunity to speak to him and two of his charges before their artwork goes on sale at a gala dinner this evening.   This activity is one of a range of high-profile kids ‘takeovers’ that UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Organisation, has been facilitating across the globe in the lead up to World Children’s Day. The aim is to raise the profile and voices of children in places and spaces where they may not usually be seen or heard.

Georgia’s painting.

Sini Wallace and Georgia Cummings from Plunkett Street Public School have each created one of the 40 cm x 40 cm panels which will be displayed together as one large scale artwork.

“We wanted it to work as collection” says Done.  “We were looking for consistency and cohesion, so I drew a circle, a face as a starting point.” He knew that the kids would make it their own from there.  Children paint with optimism, he explains.  Nice things: sun, flowers, water.  “We wanted to celebrate the lucky (sic) of being here. “

The famous artist has seen the other side.

Done has had a nearly 30-year relationship with UNICEF since he was asked to decorate the UNICEF Pavilion facade for Expo 88 in Brisbane.  “They asked me to be the first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and I just said yes.”

As part of this role he has visited and worked in difficult places.  “In the camps there are children who draw images of war and other things, not because they have read a comic with it in but because they have lived it.”   While not known for his darker work, (“95 % of my work is beauty, colour, optimism”) Done expresses his passionate belief that “getting it out”, even when there a few resources and he and the children draw with a pointed stick in the dirt, is beneficial.   He references his 2012 exhibition which had images of dreams, drowning and death after a difficult period in his life.

But colours abound today as we chat in his vibrant gallery at The Rocks.  And it’s not just his iconic style that brings the light, Sini and Georgia are thoroughly enjoying themselves!

When I spoke with them I began by asking  about colour.  Georgia is a pastel girl.  “I just added lots of white” she explains.  Sini is more figurative and describes her painting as “a yellow opera house, a red flower, a purple butterfly.”  She goes on to explain that “Ken helped me mix the colours on a piece of paper.”

Sini’s Painting

Done tells me that giving the kids strong primary colours to start with was a further way of having the individual panels work as a collection.  He knows that their imagination will take them off on their own visual and imaginative journey.  As it has for him since he was their age growing up as an only child in a country town.  “If Mum asked me about a birthday party I was at, I would draw it rather than explain.”

When Done spoke about the takeover  its clear that, for him,  visual communication,  a painting , is “half a question”. So I was inspired to ask the girls the other half. What, I asked them, do you want your paintings to say to the children of the world?

Georgia responds immediately,

It’s a person on an adventure, not giving up.” 

Sini takes a little longer to get her message exactly right …

 “Don’t be afraid.”

 

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.au/

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

For information about Ken Done, UNICEF Australia’s Goodwill Ambassador , visit    http://www.kendone.com.au/news.php?s=unicef

 

 

 

the NUDE: PHILLIP PIPERIDES EXHIBITION

Phillip Piperides exhibition ‘the NUDE’
Photo Denver Mottau

Phillip Piperides’ exhibition titled the NUDE  is focused around the studio model who carries a presence with their pose. His sculptures are an expression of how he sees, and continues to view the human form, not merely to recreate the pose, but to bring it to life.

Originally from Cyprus, Phillip has travelled the world in early years gaining facets of experience in Greece, Italy, Canada US and England. With modelling, casting and finishing, he controls every step of the process of bronze sculpture creation, conveying the voluptuous richness of the human flesh. Continue reading the NUDE: PHILLIP PIPERIDES EXHIBITION

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL

As a young boy I was besotted with the television show, The Samurai.  I was eager to follow Shintaro, Tombe the Mist, and the adventures of the Iga ninjas. It was an entrée into an exotic and esoteric world of swords, star knives and stunning acrobatics.

Small screen samurai was superseded by big screen samurai, with epics like Seven Samurai and Ran. The latest in fantastic samurai spectacle is BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL and it’s a stunner.

Takuya Kimura stars as Manji, a highly skilled samurai  cursed with immortality by a witch in the woods who introduces bloodworms into his system.

He thinks he’d be better off dead as he’s despatched his sister’s lover an act that has driven her out of her mind. To make matters worse, she is killed by bounty hunters after his head. But the universe wants him alive so he can wreak revenge on behalf of Rin, who reminds him of his deceased sibling. Continue reading BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL

SEDUCTIVE DECEMBER CONCERTS: Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra


 Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra presents its final concerts for 2017 with SUITE SEDUCTION , a program of Debussy, Westlake and Mozart treats – each one irresistibly seductive!

Opening the program is a delightful work by Debussy, bubbling with Parisian sparkle and brilliance. The Petite Suite is perfectly charming, flirtatious and elegant: the delicious entree to this delectable selection!

For this concert, the WPO welcomes star guitarist Matt Withers (of Guitar Trek fame) to perform Nigel Westlake’s chilling ANTARCTICA SUITE . Composed originally for the film of the same name, this stunningly beautiful work fuses the romanticism of the guitar with the precision of a classical orchestra to capture the diverse and enigmatic landscapes of the southern continent’s dramatic, frozen landscape.

Matt Withers

Matt is an ambassador for Australian music, a well-established teacher, performer and mentor for musicians globally. He has performed with esteemed artists including William Barton, the Carl Pini Quartet and various national orchestras whilst maintaining strong commitments in the leading Australian chamber music groups Guitar Trek (alongside Timothy Kain, AM) and the Brew Guitar Duo. Matt is also proud to have performed, recorded and commissioned Australian works and his commercial albums appear on on ABC Classics (Australia) and Soundset Recordings (USA).

The final work is Mozart’s passionate and stormy Symphony number 40 in G minor. Its driving rhythms, dark harmonies and intricately weaving textures create a soundscape of intrigue and mystery, while simultaneously an elegant and refined work of art, perfect in form and structure.

The WPO is delighted to also welcome to the podium for the first time, the masterful talents of conductor John Buckley. John has enjoyed a long, successful career spanning thirty five years as a conductor, multi-instrumentalist, adjudicator, clinician and music educator. John has been the Music Director of the Corrective Services, NSW Band Music Director of both the Sydney Wind Symphony and the Wind Symphony at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, an active clinician and adjudicator for the Sydney Eisteddfod, Engadine Band Festival, and the NSW School Band Festival.

Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra – SUITE SEDUCTION, Works by Debussy, Westlake and Mozart will play:

Saturday 2 December 5:30pm St Columba Church – Corner Forth & Ocean Streets, Woollahra

Sunday 3 December 2:30pm St Francis of Assisi Uniting Church – 436 Oxford Street, Paddington

Artists: Matt Withers, guitar | John Buckley, conductor

Book online www.Ticketbooth.com.au or call 0411 150 567

More information visit  http://www.wpo.org.

ASYLUM: PERSONAL RESPONSES/ POLITICAL POWER

ASYLUM is ‘big picture’ theatrical thinking.

Use the word refugees at an end of year office party and you may well have a host intervene to warn you off. “No politics, it’s Christmas!” Stick to something safer.  Family perhaps?  Some people fail to see the danger in the domestic.

Craig is one of these guys.  A petty bureaucrat, he interviews, assesses and makes recommendations concerning asylum seekers.  He’s an apparatchik with power and his controlling, rule-riven thinking is also apparent in the chaos of his family life.

Craig is not the only creator of chaos.  A might-be-lying young man is accused of menace, Jason.  A might-be-lying Lebanese seeker is applying for compassion, Hajir.  There’s a green police constable trying to objectively interrogate, Christine.  And the quintet is completed by a chaotic woman who appears to be lying to herself, Vicky.

The two thematic strands of ASYLUM come together slowly.  The use of multiple colliding, staccato and parallel conversations in the early part of the play engages the intellect to work out what and who is connected.  Once the connections drop into place, the emotions kick in.  Then something very interesting and personal happened to me.

I’m not young, I’m riddled with arthritis.  The chairs are hard, it’s a small, bare space in an art gallery, it’s hot, I’m awfully close to the people beside me.  Seriously uncomfortable.  Engaged and interested but alert for indications of a finale.  Increasingly agitated and desperate for freedom.  It’s not till I bolt and hit the fresh night air that I twig what is going on here.  It’s a pretty mild uncomfortableness really isn’t it?

Empathy. Individual responses and reactions.  Perhaps for me, prejudices and dispassion in focus. Observing and listening, I see each audience member touched differently as they chatter and confer while leaving the space.   Not just by the intelligent and driven text by Ruth Fingret or the focussed, close up performances of the cast but the director Richard Hilliar has gently nudged each viewer’s thinking forward by providing theatre that works on multiple levels.  A personal experience for sure but not Artaud, not violent, not reactionary. Or scary.  ASYLUM has a narrative that holds and closed in staging that confines.

However, it wouldn’t work if it was just directorial conceptualisation and excellent writing.  The cast (Joshua McElroy, Katherine Shearer, David Woodland, Eli Saad, Hanna Raven) are formidable.  Perhaps a little too loud too often which affects the emotional impact of the two climaxes but that is a small gripe.  Their command of the physical, their cohesive expression of text and an emotional range that brings the required truth to their characters puts the personal in a political story.

And make no mistake … ASYLUM is politics.  Big picture politics painted with intimacy.

Brave New Word’s ASYLUM continues at the Comber Street Gallery in Paddington until 25th November.  For more information visit:

http://bnwtheatre.com.au/index.php/asylum/

SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE IS ON PANDORA, AUSTRALIA’S WEB ARCHIVE

PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive, was set up by the National Library in 1996 to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications/websites.

Australia’s national library  is committed to preserving selected websites of lasting cultural value for long-term access by the Australian community. In 1996 the Library set up Pandora, Australia’s Web Archive.

Only a relatively small number of websites are assessed as being significant enough for PANDORA and Sydney Arts Guide is proud  to advise that it is now to be included in the Archive. Continue reading SYDNEY ARTS GUIDE IS ON PANDORA, AUSTRALIA’S WEB ARCHIVE

OMEGA ENSEMBLE : RAVEL IMPRESSIONS @ CITY RECITAL HALL

Above : Catalin Ungureanu – violinist for the Arensky Piano Trio No 1 in D minor and  the Ravel String Quartet in F major

‘Ravel Impressions’ at City Recital Hall was the final concert from Omega Ensemble in its 2017 Virtuoso Series and for all concert series in the year. Whilst celebrating the trio and quartet genres from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, Omega Ensemble presented an entertainment which was consistently stylish and elevated. Once more their programme allowed a demonstration of the talented virtuosi at Omega’s disposal. The chamber music skill on display soared with constant class into the artistic stratosphere.

The first half of the concert juxtaposed a Russian piano trio from the late Romantic period with a more well-known clarinet trio written by Mozart in 1786. The concert’s second half consisted of a joyous reunion of a piano trio by Gabriel Fauré and the famous string quartet by his pupil Maurice Ravel. This concert also paid homage to teacher-composers, as both Arensky and Fauré were prolific music educators of their time at the St Petersburg and Paris Conservatories respectively. Continue reading OMEGA ENSEMBLE : RAVEL IMPRESSIONS @ CITY RECITAL HALL

UTS BACKSTAGE : LILLIAN HELLMAN’S ‘THE CHILDREN’S HOUR’

For its final main season production of the year, UTS Backstage revisited an old classic, American Jewish playwright Lillian Hellman’s THE CHILDREN’S HOUR.

Hellman’s play premiered in the 1930s and was radical for its time in its depiction of a lesbian relationship.

The setting is a country town boarding school. Two female school teachers, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, have formed a close relationship, building the school’s reputation and importance in the local community. Their feelings turn/transform into more than friendship.

Their relationship is exposed by Mary Tilford, an enormously bratty schoolgirl who ‘dobs’ them into her grandmother, Amelia Tilford, who then ‘rings the alarm’ in the community. The 1930s weren’t exactly a great time in regards to enlightened thinking around the whole issue of same sex relationships! Continue reading UTS BACKSTAGE : LILLIAN HELLMAN’S ‘THE CHILDREN’S HOUR’

AUSTRALIA DAY COMMITTEE FORMED BY PLAYWRIGHT JONATHAN BIGGINS

Photos by Chris Lundie

AUSTRALIA DAY playing at the New Theatre is a lot of fun.  That could be it.  That could be all I need to write.  “Go and see it. It’s a good comedy!”

Ah but …. I love an “Ah but” moment in the theatre.  Jonathan Biggins doesn’t write in one dimension, he’s not a single noun kind of scribbler.  Few national treasures are and AUSTRALIA DAY is a whole mess of naming words.  All of which add up theatrical storytelling of the finest, most entertaining, kind.

We meet the Australia Day Committee of the small fictional town of Coriole, including a mayor with aspirations to be on the ticket for the House of Reps.  Cushy job in Canberra would be nice and Bryan Harrigan is a man with an eye for the main chance.  As is Helen.  She’s a member of The Green Party and pretty green.  Robert is the chair and often umpire. Maree is the CWA rep and Wally is a leftover from the days when men ruled empires and could say and do as they liked.  At their first meeting for next year’s events, there are concerns in committee about how the changing population of Coriole is affecting the traditional way of celebrating a national day.  Enter Chester.

Chester is the school rep by default  on the committee.  He’s a teacher and from an Asian background.  That means Chinese to Maree and Wally, it’s a tough room!  Lap Nguyen gives us such a fun character here.  Self-deprecating, amused beyond belief at the rest of this committee, not above baiting their prejudices and guilelessly positive.  Chester is beautifully written of course. Continue reading AUSTRALIA DAY COMMITTEE FORMED BY PLAYWRIGHT JONATHAN BIGGINS

CHRYSALIS: MIDNIGHT FEAST THEATRE COMPANY

Jes Vandrempt, Mark Inwood, Georgia Cooper All photographs by Prudence Upton

Type in ‘inspirational’.  Right click.  Pull down synonyms.  Stimulating Stirring Rousing Moving.  Well … that’s bullshit.  These artists exhibit no desire for that kind of spurious platitudinous response.  These are performers whose work has an urgency to be respected for their message, the artistry of their thematic expression and the craft with which it is created.

I have been to see CHRYSALIS.

It’s Midnight Feast Theatre Company and the cast combines the talents of professional actors with high support need individuals. And it’s a bloody revelation.

It is blood, after all, that humanity has in common.  It pulses through all of us indiscriminately, be that puncture or transfusion.  The overarching symbolic cohesion of this production is in the use of red wool to bind us all together. Written by Stephen Sewell, Emily Dash and Warwick Allsopp (Emily and Warwick also perform) and with sterling direction from Kylie Harris, CHRYSALIS combines vignettes, songs and storytelling in a medical setting with a beating heart of verite  theatre.

 “A protest inspired by true events in the lives of ensemble members with significant disabilities who feel they have been mistreated and ignored by doctors and institutions.”  

Glenn (Glenn Turnbull) is not just the central figure whose wheelchair is upstage for the whole production.  Glenn is one of us.  He watches … not just his cast mates and their performance though.  His acuity as an observer is tuned further out than that. He watches us watching.   The program notes indicate that in the devising of CHRYSALIS, he was keen to explore how he is often ignored.  That is not the case here.   Glenn is an arresting presence and his words, spoken as voice over to close the show, make one want to know more of this young man.  An argument over a beer about his choice of footy team might be a good start.

Glenn’s impact is also due to the excellent performances of the cast around him.  Paul Mulgrew does a terrific job as the doctor.  Paul has power and expression in his voice as he has the doctor’s clinical indifference just right.  Yet he mitigates the dispassion with explaining about the doctor’s 14-hour shift.  Jude Bowler as the Paramedic has a much tougher gig, though, because she has the most obnoxious and repellent of the dialogue.  It’s teeth grinding stuff, made worse because it is based on the lived experience of some of this ensemble.  She’s really good at being shitty.    Warwick Allsopp and Mark Defy in support are equally institutionally negligent and dismissive.

One of the true delights of this production is Sarah Armstrong.  She, like most of the cast play several roles but her Nurse Isabella in these early scenes is such a lovely creation.  Her vivid expressions and complete engagement in the role are stellar.  And the way Sarah shows Isabella’s outrage at the other nurses’ behaviour is clear and present acting of the best kind.  She lights up the stage every time she appears.

As does Georgia Cooper.  Georgia arrives on stage after a beautifully elucidated meditative music piece (Kylie Harris, Jes Vandrempt, Nick Lewis) performed with Tibetan bowls, stark white lighting and costumes, supported by a soundscape gently under to add to the aural beauty.    Georgia shimmers and not just because of her sparkly costume.  It is the spark and fire of her storytelling that really gets you.  Comic lines delivered with a sense of infectious fun hypnotise us into travelling to a new destination with her.  A place of perspective.

That is a rich place for a singer of style and passion.  Nina Salece is a star from her “Where is Love?” song to the way she directly engages with the audience during the big numbers.  She is absolutely charming and has a killer smile.  There is  some recorded music in the show but there are also live music makers Frankie Bouchier and Rob Gist, (Composer Robin Gist) to keep the work flowing.

Nic Gell, Heath Ramsey,Glenn Turnbull Photo: Prudence Upton

Speaking of killers, T Man (that’s Tarantula to the uninitiated) is played by Heath Ramsay and he is just cracker as he eyes off the crowd looking for his next meal.  It is the gruesome and the gothic interpreted with glee.  Heath’s work is the first part of a really interesting sequence where insects struggle for torturous supremacy over Glenn who has been left … just left.  Each of the ensemble here work so well together.

With Robert Mockler as a commanding Lord of the Flies, the tension is palpable.  Frankie Bouchier as Cockroach, Nick Gell as Fang, Mark Inwood as Rotten, Paul Mulgrew as Clifton, Odile Le Clezio as Bop, Nick Lewis as Gus, Jes Vandrempt as Stinker are a formidable group.  With their unified, characterful movement and techie headgear, the group create a great fear in the audience about what they will do to Glenn. “Eat humans”, is the chilling cry and an eerie green light predominates as fly buzz on the soundtrack makes it all pretty yucky.  Again, I would point out that this is lived experience for these performers.  No wonder their work is so passionate.

Jude Bowler, Glenn Turnbull Photo: Prudence Upton

Passion is all around in the next sequence when sex and disability are referenced.  Here the audience is inspired into clapping along to ‘Devil Gate Drive’ leading into some wizarding fun with straws and a cleaner with a broom to get Glenn’s discarded clothes off the floor.  Nick Lewis is a dab hand with a broom, we saw him before the show where he was intent on his work and completely in character.  Now we see him kick it into high gear with ‘You’re the Voice’.  Pump it up man!!!  He has some serious moves; his dancing is awesome and he is soon joined by the rest of the cast for a thrilling and emotional section.  A real high point but there is more to come.

The last few scenes of the production belong to Emily Dash as Amara, Erica Halvorsen as Glenn’s Guardian Angel and Emily Marks as Caterpillar/Butterfly.  Drawings are displayed, there is an interpretive dance expressing the sheer love of movement to music and a monologue delivered with an unparalleled emotional intensity as the themes and the red wool are drawn together.  The world needs “… the beauty you create.”

Type ‘beauty’.  Type ‘theatre of relevance and power’.  Type ‘performances of skill and belief’.   Right click.  Pull down synonyms. There is only one … Midnight Feast Theatre Company’s production of CHRYSALIS.

For more information about CHRYSALIS or Midnight Feast Theatre Company visit

https://www.midnightfeast.com.au/

MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL : OPENING TONIGHT!

After much anticipation, MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL is finally arriving! A joint co-production by the Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures, the show is opening tonight at the Roslyn Packer Theatre.

A stage musical adaptation, brought to the present day by writer PJ Hogan, the show is being directed by Simon Phillips and features original music by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall, along with the original beloved Abba numbers. The show is exclusively playing Sydney.          Continue reading MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL : OPENING TONIGHT!

HEATHERS THE MUSICAL @ THE FACTORY THEATRE Marrickville

 

 

HEATHERS THE MUSICAL provides multiple insights into the bullying, assaults, intimidation, violence and gun ownership of American senior high school students at Westerberg High. Beautiful misfit loner Veronica Sawyer, is wonderfully played with great gusto by Julia Hyde, when she finally succeeds in joining the school’s elite and cliquey trio of beautiful young women, THE HEATHERS.

Veronica falls deeply in lust for Jason Dean (J.D.), played by Stuart Prime, the very dark, mysterious and dangerously sexy new bad boy at the school. Julia Sophie Liela is undeniably menacing as the elegant Queen Bitch, Heather Chandler.

Unremittingly entertaining musical with biting lyrics plus murder and mayhem galore, and is based on the cult 1988 Hollywood movie HEATHERS starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.

Directors Kyle Stephens and Liviu Monsted have wisely cast three very brightly voiced women as the Three Heathers. Thought-provoking teenage revenge musical contains frequent confronting adult themes and easily blends its enthralling young-adult drama with caustic sharp humour.

We finally meet the mean girls, these three bitches, Heather Duke, Heather McNamara and led by Heather Chandler. They are HEATHER I and II and III fully displayed in all their glory, hunting down all the nerds who are their easy prey, in the school jungle.

Mood enhancing lighting choices, and the intimate staging and brilliant set design were all exceptional. The realistic-looking dynamite bomb with timer, plus the explosion pyrotechnics helped make the evening extremely memorable. The young ensemble cast perfectly delivered Laurence O’Keefe’s and Kevin Murphy’s lyrics, with never-ending enthusiasm and intensity, making for an awe-inspiring great night out.

This is a bargain night out, as tickets are only $30 each, concession $25, plus booking fees.

Beautifully staged in an intimate theatre space, and with a superb young cast, this enthusiastic HEATHERS was magnificent and a very entertaining night out.          Continue reading HEATHERS THE MUSICAL @ THE FACTORY THEATRE Marrickville

VIOLENT EXTREMISM and OTHER ADULT PARTY GAMES @ The Depot Theatre

 

Fascinating savage slice of political and social commentary via comedy, with generous surreal dialogue, provides violence bordering on farce. Exhilarating murder-thriller romp, satirical comedy equally filled with both wit and wisdom, and delivers unexpected twist after twist, and absolutely packed with riveting humour. Fascinating and intriguing theatrical experience, often profound and beautifully fluent acting, the story unfolds with great wit and superlative comic timing.

Two reality television stars, the husband and the wife,  together they are the perfect married team when on television.   However they are both actors reading their lines and faking it. Their televised married life is not real, every word spoken is written for them.

Robert Kelly (Thomas Pidd) and his wife Tamara Kelly (Eleanor Stankiewicz), attend an informal morning meeting with a twitter-famous neo-nazi teenager. These two reality television stars will do and say almost anything to protect their good name and their television jobs, including manufacturing a terrorist siege, to hide each deliberately accidental murder. Outstanding performances from a strong cast, however NIDA graduate Eleanor Stankiewicz yet again delivered a very memorable role on her journey to be Australia’s next Cate Blanchett.

Suddenly they have to be impulsive, make real-world decisions, and inventively decide when to murder each victim. They cleverly blur the lines of their reality, by altering the crime scene to frame other persons with their compelling forensic evidence. 21st century hypocrisy, and the continuing war on terror, continues to be fuelled by unjustified fear and hatred. This show deliberately provides clever political conversation starters. You and your friends will be talking about this show for many hours.

Continue reading VIOLENT EXTREMISM and OTHER ADULT PARTY GAMES @ The Depot Theatre

CORIOLANUS: ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

Photos by Helen Maybanks
© RSC

This updated production (it is set now, or perhaps in a possible near future) as directed by Andrew Jackson emphasizes the politics and bloody battles. It is beautifully spoken and a play of contrasts: this is a production where patricians wear dinner jackets, the plebeians wear hoodies and the tribunes are as sleek as TV presenters. Political speeches are contrasted with whirling violent battle scenes .
Jackson’s version of CORIOLANUS opens with a forklift truck shifting bags of corn away from the ordinary denizens of Rome. It is staged with some thrilling lighting effects and some bloody battles and some blistering , tense wordy political scenes in the Forum.

Stark grey metallic grille shutters rise and fall throughout the whole play as scene dividers. They are coolly neutral and suggest a life completely different to that of Coriolanus’. To indicate Rome and the forum there is a statue of a rearing horse, Volumnia’s palace is graced by a refined statue of Venus. The public marketplace is indicated by steel seating and podiums that rise from the floor. Interior scenes have curtains to soften the lines.

To summarize the complicated plot : Caius Martius forces open the gates of the city and joins the leader of the Roman army, Cominius, to defeat Tullus Aufidius, commander of the Volscian army. In recognition of his great deeds, Caius Martius is renamed “Coriolanus” . Yet the common people turn against him for his arrogant attitude, and he ends up seeking refuge in exile with his old foe Tullus Aufidius, who was previously defeated, but not killed.Together they plan to attack Rome, but at the last minute Volumnia makes Coriolanus repent his treachery, and a peace treaty is speedily worked out between Rome and the Volscians. Tullus Aufidius kills Coriolanus for his duplicity.

Sope Dirisu as Coriolanus is distinctly ‘other’ from the outset.He is portrayed as a valiant ,worthy warrior General of the army leading to many victories , but proud and arrogant , unsympathetic as well as being a real Mummy’s Boy .He regards himself as above the common people , who he despises and is awkward when running for office ( uncomfortably wearing the cloak of humility and white cap) as consul or indeed with any dealings with ordinary men and women.

Volumnia , Coriolanus’ mother is played very strongly by Haydn Gwynne . Tough and manipulative , fiercely intelligent she is elegant , proud and aristocratic, and advises her son carefully as she cannot rule in her own right .The famous pleading for Rome scene is intense and gripping, tightly performed.

Coriolanus’ wife Virgilia , tall cool and patrician , overly dominated and intimidated by Volumnia , was elegantly played by Hannah Morrish.

Menenius, genial, complacent and urbanely avuncular, is terrifically played by Paul Jesson , seemingly unaware that there is festering revolt beneath the surface mask of everyday life in Rome but revealing himself to be very brave in a crisis and a sharp negotiator.
Aufudius leader of the Volscians is brilliantly portrayed by James Corrigan . His scheming Aufidius, shows that it is possible to combine the art of a master swordsman and gracious formal diplomacy. When Coriolanus appears at his house in Antium he is stunned and disbelieving then thrilled . Is he in fact double crossing Coriolanus ?There Is also much hinting at a possible ‘bromance’ developing between Aufidius and Coriolanus and the murder of Coriolanus is quite shocking .

Cominius , who we first meet as commander of the Roman army is excellently portrayed by Charles Aitken.The two tribunes Brutus and Sicinius here portrayed by women Jackie Morrison and Martina Laird are strongly presented. The first half in particular seethes with tension and rage in the forum scenes.

A cold ,sharp brutal and violent production excitingly staged with a terrific cast .

Running time – allow 3 & ½ hours including interval. Includes short behind the scenes ‘making of ‘ documentaries and interviews during interval.

Screenings of the Royal Shakespeare’s Coriolanus are at selected cinemas 18-19 November 2017 and at Riverside Parramatta 25-26 November 2017

https://riversideparramatta.com.au/show/coriolanus-3/

ANGELS INSPIRATIONAL ALBUM: LAUNCH PARTY

ANGELS, the original studio cast recording released from Broadway Records, celebrates the Australian album launch with an exclusive event at Northern Beaches Christian School in their performance space known as “Manhattan City,” on Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

The event will be opened by Hon. Anthony Roberts MP, Minister of Planning & Housing and Special Minister of State, and will feature live performances from “ANGELS” by album creators with top Australian musicians and worship leaders from C3 Church Global.

The inspirational songs from this original musical are brought to life by a star-studded cast of Tony nominated and award-winning Broadway performers including two-time Tony Award-nominee Laura Osnes, Tony Award-nominee Robert Cuccioli, Tony Award-nominee Josh Young and Alan H. Green.

Featuring music by Ken Lai, and book and lyrics by Ken Lai and Marcus Cheong, the album was recorded at Downtown Music Studios & Smash Studios in New York; The Grove Studios in Somersby, Australia; and Ramrod Studios & 301 Studios in Sydney, Australia. This recording features new musical arrangements from David Holmes and album producer Rich Fowler.

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 at 7:30 PM and entry is complimentary with registrations at contact@seraangels.com

For more about “Angels” Australian Launch Party, visit http://www.seraangels.com
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CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS: A WORLD CREATED

Photos: Brig Bee

THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS is playing at the Seymour Centre.  The show is a genre bender for sure… part circus, part love story, part interpretive dance, part musical etc.  And that’s always interesting.  However, what sets this show above many others is the detail of its theatricality.  Written by Graham Coupland with Terence O’Connell as Artistic Director, it is stunningly conceived and faithful in every bodily expression, every costume, every choice of each performer.  Every face and body in character and faithful to the ethos.   I simply loved the cohesion of the world they create and really enjoyed giving myself over to it.

There are some formidable talents in the cast: Aurora Kurth, Anthony Craig, Simon P Storey, Mimi Le Noire, Richard Vegas, Circus Trick Tease, This Side Up, and Hannah Trott.  Yet the lack of showiness was perhaps my favourite aspect.  The tropes of circus were missing … no fail first to show how hard it is, no extreme posing to elicit applause and none of the padding that drove me away from a certain French-Canadian troupe.  Instead we have acts well integrated, with a narrative arc that is not skewed to fit the artist’s’ signature skills.

It’s all there and it’s all quality.  There is strongman, chairs, magic, balances, silks, contortion, high art tumbling, aerial hoop and so forth but there is so much more.  For example, the enchanting singing of well written and orchestrated, story rich songs (music by Platonic) which serve as respite from the pulsing, dynamic, propelling score and improvisational live electric guitar.  As a side note, it wasn’t too loud either … well moderated by an operator who still has his or her hearing!

There’s a sexy fan dance in Yvette Lee’s choreography sure to raise your temperature and a surly prestidigitator who is out to keep the lovers apart in true Gothic style.

The show is meticulously of a period.  It is Victorian Gothic with enough Grand Guignol to transport you to Pigalle.  The costumes are to die for.  Clockwork Butterfly has injected a steampunk influence to make corsets and long skirts and braces and cut-sleeve shirts easy to move in.  But no jarringly modern noisy Velcro or other anachronistic elements.  Feathers and lace and brocade in rich colours matched by the simple but effectively used lighting rig.

There is a huge range of colours available to lighting designers in modern fixtures but designer Jason Bovaird has keep a pure palette of moss green, Reckitts crown blue,  open white and bloodletting red. And they don’t need a whole heap of smoke either.  Very subtle use.

I really enjoyed THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS.  And I can highly recommend it.   I just can.

THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS is playing at the Seymour Centre as part of their Spring Tour until Saturday.  For more information visit:

https://www.carnivaloflostsouls.com/

NATIONAL LIVE MUSIC AWARDS: PARTIES ANNOUNCED

First lineups revealed for national

NLMAs Parties! 

The National Live Music Awards are thrilled to announce the first lineups for all eight events happening around the country on Thursday, 7th December 2017.

Free tickets to all events – bar the invite-only Melbourne gala – are available now through Oztix at NLMAs.com.au/tickets. Guests who forget to RSVP will be required to donate $5 to Support Act on the day for entry. Coin donations will be encouraged at all events, with every cent going to the great charity.

Full lineups and set times will be revealed over the coming weeks. RSVP to the Facebook events at https://www.facebook.com/nlmas17/events/, or sign up to the mailing list at NLMAs.com.au to enjoy up-to-the-minute news.

All performances are LIVE sets unless otherwise mentioned.

.Canberra – Smith’s Alternative (Free!)

The Ansah Brothers /Betty Alto/ Glitoris (DJ SET)
…and more to be announced!

Sydney – Leadbelly (Free!)

Happy Axe (ACT based nominee Emma Kelly)/ Ani Lou (Tasmanian Nominee)/ Maddy Jane (Tasmanian Nominee)
Sarah Belkner
Plus a very special Keynote from Lindy Morrison
…and more to be announced!

Plus a live stream from Melbourne – Grace Darling Hotel hosted by Home and Hosed’s Dom Alessio, the night will feature live performances from Charm of Finches, Yeo and Party Dozen, the incredible new project featuring nominee Kirsty Tickle with Jonathan Boulet. Plus the night will feature a very special live tribute to The Peep Tempel, in collaboration with Girls Rock! Melbourne.

To see the 2017 nominees visit:

http://www.nlmas.com.au/nominees/

A few fun facts about the 2017 National Live Music Awards:

Gender Balance: A whopping 63% of the artists nominated in the national categories, and 51% in the State/Territory Categories, are either female or are a group led by a female vocalist.

Strong Indigenous representation, with nominated artists including Electric Fields, Kardajala Kirridarra, Dan Sultan, The Lonely Boys, Tjupi Band, Eleanor Dixon, Yirrmal, William Barton and A.B. Original.

Gang of Youths lead the nominees with 6 nominations.

Julia Jacklin, Amy Shark, Camp Cope sit right behind with 5 nominations.

All Our Exes Live in Texas, Stella Donnelly and the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival all have 4 nominations

To find out more :  https://www.facebook.com/NLMAs17/

MONTY PYTHON’S ‘SPAMALOT’ @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE

For a fun-filled night of silliness, cross-dressing and belly laughs you can’t go past Bankstown Theatre Company’s production of MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT.

The show’s original 2005 production was a Broadway hit, winner of three Tony Awards, including a Tony for Best Musical.

Billed as, ‘A new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail,’ MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT is a sassy, irreverent parody of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

King Arthur has been given a quest (by God) to search for the Holy Grail, a quest that is fraught with hitches, treating the audience to a smorgasbord of classic Python sketches including: I’m not dead yet, the killer rabbit, the Black Knight and the Insulting Frenchman.

Fear not, Lords and Ladies! There is no need to be well-versed in the 1975 film to enjoy the almost two hours of singing, dancing, gags and outrageous situations. Continue reading MONTY PYTHON’S ‘SPAMALOT’ @ BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE

COMMON GOOD AT MAAS: PART OF 2018 SYDNEY DESIGN FESTIVAL

COMMON GOOD
Design exhibition exclusive to Powerhouse Museum
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) will open a major contemporary design exhibition on 2 March 2018 to celebrate the 20th SYDNEY DESIGN FESTIVAL  Curated by and exclusive to the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, COMMON GOOD explores design trends in Australia and neighbouring regions and the positive design-lead responses to social, ethical and environmental challenges.
 
“Design practice is constantly evolving, reacting to the challenges of its time. With COMMON GOOD we examine the place of ground-breaking designers from our region in shaping solutions for our future society,” said MAAS Director and CEO, Dolla Merrillees.
 
MAAS is pleased to be working with a new generation of socially-engaged designers from Australia and Asia, to both display and acquire works through this exhibition.”
 
“The Asia-Pacific is our creative commons. This exhibition is an opportunity to broaden our lens to explore the work and practices of a new generation of designers who are boldly taking action to affect positive change and influence long-term sustainability in our region,” said exhibition curator, Keinton Butler.
 
COMMON GOOD  surveys contemporary design practices from Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Designers from a range of disciplines and countries are profiled, including leading international designers and architects NendoStudio SwineBijoy JainJo NagasakaKwangho Lee and WOHA, as well as globally recognised local designers Ken WongLucy McRae and Henry Wilson.
 
The exhibition is framed by five themes that address increasingly complex challenges including housing affordability, waste management, population pressures and technological obsessions. 
 
Life Cycles explores emerging sustainable design practices in a reference library of design materials, including those made from industrial and agricultural waste. Award-winning Japanese designers AMAM demonstrate how algae and agar bio-materials can be used in packaging that could ultimately replace non-biodegradable plastics. The Life Cycles resource library will be made available during and beyond the exhibition, contributing to the education of emerging designers. 
AMAM research shell waste in Ishinomak
 Return to Craft profiles contemporary designers preserving cultural heritage through collaborative projects with artisans, craftspeople and manufacturers. Crafts such as woodworking, enamelware, ceramics and weaving are being given new relevance when worked by technologically driven designers. For instance, South Korean designer Kwangho Lee is reviving the ancient practice of Ott-chil high-gloss lacquering in projects such as the New Armor stool. Such projects bring fresh attention to otherwise forgotten traditions and can contribute to the survival of centuries-old crafts.
Kwangho Lee
 Connected Experiences demonstrate the ability of technology to generate social awareness and influence personal behaviour. In an exclusive commission for MAAS called Watermelon Sugar Wellness Lab, graphic designer and visual artist Pamm Hong invites you into an immersive installation where your online behaviour is transformed into a personalized virtual organism, providing a health check on your digital engagement habits.
 
Community Engagement explores projects that address social integration and poverty in the face of rapid urbanisation as well as international development initiatives and fully integrated, collaborative design concepts.
 
Design Fictions considers the role of the designer in shaping our future. Through their speculative and critical design projects, designers are questioning and debating the possible social implications of our scientific and technological developments, through carefully staged fictional scenarios. The Rare Earthenware project by Unknown Fields is the result of an expedition to Inner Mongolia, in which toxic mud was taken from a radioactive rare earth tailings lake and used to craft a set of ceramic vessels into the shape of highly valuable and recognisable Ming dynasty porcelain vases. Each vessel is sized in relation to the amount of waste created in the production of three items of technology: a smartphone, a laptop and an electric car battery cell. Such projects shape our patterns of excessive consumption and waste into powerful statements.

 

Unknown Fields
Picture: Toby Smith
COMMON GOOD opens as part of the Sydney Design Festival, an annual celebration of design with over 100 events at venues across Sydney from 2 – 11 March 2018.
For more infomation about COMMON GOOD or the 2018 SYDNEY DESIGN FESTIVAL visit

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