Crucible-featured

The Crucible @ Bella Vista Farm

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Images from Sport for Jove’s revival of The Crucible. Pics by Seiya Taguchi

It was only as I started my car engine to begin the trip to the performance tonight that I realised I wasn’t carrying any tissues. On my wander back to the house, I wondered … would I really need them? THE CRUCIBLE always makes me cry and it is the Elizabeth Proctor character who is the agency of those tears but Sport for Jove’s production is at Bella Vista Farm. Perhaps the open, less intimate space of a barn wouldn’t really translate into the genuine emotion which Arthur Miller’s text brings out in me. In the event, it was lucky that I did go back. Tissues were required but the agency was unexpected.

In the 1692 Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts, Betty Parris, one of the town’s young women, has been struck down with a strange illness which leaves her unable to speak or move. Her friend, Abigail, confesses that the girls have been dancing in the woods with the West Indian servant woman, Tituba. Dancing combined with nakedness and drinking blood seem to have brought this illness on and its symptoms appear to be spreading among the girls. There is talk of witchcraft in the town and the Reverend John Hale arrives with the Malleus Maleficarum to root out evil. Continue reading

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Lovely @ PACT

Jackson Davis has a celebrity crush on Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Davis has harnessed this crush and conceived a funny and entertaining show that draws on many of Hoffman’s film performances.

Brief scenes from many of Hoffman’s forty odd films are shown on monitors and simultaneously performed on stage by members of the ensemble cast. The performances are filmed and also shown on monitors which results in the audience having three concurrent versions of the particular scenario to contemplate. Continue reading

Shoes-featured

Recollect : Shoes @ The Powerhouse

Shoes (pair) Womans Love Leather, Suede, Rubber, Christian Louboutin, designed in Paris, made in Italy, 1991-1996
Shoes (pair) Womans Love Leather, Suede, Rubber, Christian Louboutin, designed in Paris, made in Italy, 1991-1996


‘Shoes are like makeup for the feet’ (Edmund Castillo).

Shoe aficionados rejoice and slide, stumble, teeter, bourree, glide, tango, tap, ooze, march, or run your way to this fabulous exhibition at the Powerhouse.

The exhibition is down on Level 2, near the Strictly Ballroom exhibition, and is the first time that the Museum has used the particular area as an exhibition space.

Shoes can be disposable, comfortable or extremely uncomfortable, bespoke or mass produced. They can be works of art, more like a piece of sculpture than wearable footwear. They can also be specially made for protection (for instance, fire fighter boots) or specially made to help with medical conditions. Continue reading

The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, UK.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea @ The Playhouse

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Hold on to your biscuits! Part of the ‘Kids at the House’ season this is wonderful fun, full of bright, vibrant energy. This is magnificent school holiday fare and is just right for the intended market, young ittlies, who absolutely loved it.

Some kids came dressed in a tiger onesie, quite a few wore a Tiger mask (for sale at the merchandise desk) ,some had their photo taken with the cardboard cutout tiger at the entrance to the theatre, The show is based on Judith Kerr’s wonderful book that has been out for about 40 years about a Tiger (a very polite  yet extremely hungry,, dancing ,energetic tiger!) who invites himself to afternoon tea with Sophie and her Mum and eats and drinks everything in the house, leaving nothing left for supper. Continue reading

Follies Bergeres

Follies Bergeres

the incomparable Huppert
The incomparable Isabelle Huppert

The exquisite Isabelle Huppert reteams with her Copacabana director, Marc Fitoussi in the fabulous FOLLIES BERGERES.

Long married 50-somethings Brigitte (Huppert) and Xavier (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) are prize cattle breeders in regional France. Life is good, but the departure of their children from home has thrown Brigitte’s world into flux, as she perceives herself to be a chattel under the cattle in her spouse’s eyes. A chronic skin condition undermines her perception as being less attractive.

Xavier is more and more bullish about his bovine baccalaureate, and has fallen into that trope of taking Brigitte for granted. Familiarity has bred content and complacency. Continue reading

Handle-It-Banner

Handle It @ The Imperial

Laura Jackson as Jasmine one of the characters in her one-woman show.
Laura Jackson as Jasmine one of the characters in her one-woman show.

It’s not often that I covet wealth but tonight I wish I had a secret stash . I attended a fundraising night for UN Women. 50% of the takings are going to Beijing +20 which aspires to a world with gender equality. It would be great to have a bit extra to give them. Also, as part of the night, I encountered a writer and performer who rose above her surroundings to present a theatre piece of power and relevance. The sort of artist who could also do with some financial support.

The evening was introduced by Brooke Clark, one of the organizers, who spoke about gender stereotypes in her non-urban childhood environment. Her choices were hairdresser or beauty technician. Her eventual choice was to move to a more inclusive environment in the city. Next was theatre director and playwright, Augusta Supple, who discussed social media’s way of rushing people to judgement. “I like this.” And how young women can be validated quickly for posting gender stereotypical pictures, leaving them with no mechanism to understand feeling shit. Continue reading

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Balmain Sinfonia @ Macquarie Theatre

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Balmain Sinfonia Conductor Gary Stavrou speaking to the audience with the brilliant violinist Susie Park and members of the orchestra in the background. Pics by Geoff Sirmai

Throughout 2014, The Balmain Sinfonia has presented concerts featuring collaborations with fine soloists. Its programmes surround the collaborative work with landmark compositions of the orchestral genre. These works have been challenging and substantial and have exploited the orchestra’s ability to convey drama and capture shifts in mood or character.

This final concert for the year was no exception. A near–capacity crowd was assembled in the Macquarie Theatre at Macquarie University for the single performance of this programme on December 7. The large crowd can be said to have been due to the orchestra’s growing membership, its posting out of newsletters, a friendly in-concert rapport with fans and continued provision of a significant soloist playing a well-known work. Continue reading

The Mockingjay Part 1

The Mockingjay Part 1

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

The claustrophobic opening scene of THE MOCKINGJAY PART 1 is an indicator of the close-up story created by director Francis Lawrence in this third in the Hunger Games series. There is no preamble and no indication of what has gone before. This is no issue for the film as most viewers will be familiar with either the books by Suzanne Collins or the previous films. This franchise is a niche market. There is plenty for adults but the work is most accessible for teenagers and the 20 somethings who embraced the science fiction novels.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been rescued from the violent Quarter Quell Games after she defied President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and shot an arrow which destroyed the force field around the games. Her fellow Tribute, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) was left behind and his loss is the basis of the nightmares that are plaguing Katniss as she struggles to heal in the underground buildings below the ruined District 13. Her rescue from the Games was orchestrated by the District’s President, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and the former Game Designer for the Capital, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Continue reading

Paddington

Paddington

stuff the taxidermist
Nicole Kidman plays Millicent, a sinister taxidermist who has her eye on Paddington

Grin and bear it. PADDINGTON is the best teddy bear picture since Ted.

Kudos in the cute and cuddly big screen adaptation of Michael Bond’s beloved creation must go to writer/director Paul King who has not only written a very funny screenplay but assembled a brilliant cast and a superlative crew.

The cast of PADDINGTON is led by acclaimed British talent, Ben Whishaw, who has gone from Keats to Q and is now the voice of Paddington, and what an evocative vocalisation it is, perfectly pitched to the pictorial presentation and emotional characterisation. Continue reading

featured

No Offence But Comedy Cabaret

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Headline performer and noted disability activist, Stella Young, sadly no longer with us

Apocalyptic weather has arrived out of nowhere. I’m wet. It’s been a long day. I’m tired. My friend who got me the ticket has ditched me for some irrelevant event in Bankstown. I’m cranky. NO OFFENSE BUT what the hell am I doing going to a comedy cabaret? I’m not feeling …um …receptive.

Ok. So all the smiling volunteer Project Able ushers are very pleasant. Harrumph. And yes. It’s a great line-up of Sydney talent including trending artists back from overseas. Yeah , yeah. Alright, so it’s a full house and everyone is chatty and responsive and happy to there. Even the wet or tired or grumpy.

Then boom! Rap music! A charismatic artist: thumpy, bassy, and irredeemably excitable. Nothing cuts through a bad mood like bass. Pump it up boy! Continue reading

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FRIDA PEOPLE @ The Sound Lounge

 

Candy Royalle with her backing band Sloppy Joe performing the songs from new album, Frida People
Candy Royalle with her backing band Sloppy Joe performing the songs from new album,

This was a superb night of  high energy explicit poetry and great hip-hop/rap music, challenging and, above all, highly entertaining.

The three warm up acts, which covered the first hour,  included a multitude of inspired poetry pieces.

The  show started with  Gloria Demillo who captivated her audience with her performance.

Anthony Anaxagopou, guest poet from the UK, followed Gloria, delivering hard-hitting poetry, tackling  heavy subjects such as sex, politics, and our place in the world… Continue reading

Mongrel Mouth's Cuurent Event

The Age of Entitlement @ Merchant’s House

Some of the 20 cast of Age of Entitlement

I don’t want to give anything away about THE AGE OF ENTITLEMENT but there is a huge amount I want to say. It is so unique and layered that I want to provide you with a fulsome discussion about the show and what to expect. But any descriptors might accidentally give the game away. Perhaps… working on the assumption that a review is about 250 words long, I could repeat the phrase, “You really, really have to see this show!” 31.25 times.

I’m not sure that will wash with the Editor. So here we go on a journey of vagueness.

The show is playing in an historic mansion, Merchant’s House, in the Rocks. Fine so far, I can say that. It is part of the Rocks’ Village Bizarre Festival 2014 and the Rocks’ Pop-Up Project whose initiative is to activate and re-imagine vacant spaces throughout Sydney. That’s OK too because I nicked it from the program. Continue reading

Wasnt-tomorrow

Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful? @ Sydney Theatre School

The very enthusiastic cast of Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?
The very enthusiastic cast of Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful?

WASN’T TOMORROW WONDERFUL? is an entertaining, fun story of young love with some twists and turns. A collaboration between writer/director Malcolm Frawley and producer Jordy Shea, led to a reviving of Frawley’s 2007 play which was originally staged for Sydney Theatre School students. The play has been revamped for its new cast of 14.

The story is told mainly from the point of view of the bride- to-be Tegan, played with heart and charm, by Josie Walker. On the eve of her wedding Tegan, using a series of flashbacks, and helped by her friends, describes how she arrived at this point in her life. We learn she takes on “lost puppies” and when she hears that Silas, played with true gentleman poise by Stephen Bracken, is being cheated on she has to interfere to save him. Continue reading

AACTA

Russell Crowe’s ‘The Water Diviner’ receives 8 Australian Academy Award Nominations

4th AACTA Awards Feature Film Nominations

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) unveiled its nominees for the Australian equivalent to the Oscar and the Emmy this week, with sci-fi thriller PREDESTINATION, leading the pack of feature films at nine nominations. Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, THE WATER DIVINER, received eight nominations including Best Film and Best Actor. Following with seven nominations is David Michôd’s THE ROVER, which will compete in the directing category, as well as in Best Actor for Guy Pearce and Best Supporting Actor for Robert Pattinson.

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SPECTRE is the next James Bond 007 movie starring Daniel Craig

SPECTRE is the next 007 James Bond 007 movie starring Daniel Craig

SPECTRE is the next James Bond 007 movie starring Daniel Craig
James Bond 007 returns. This week, full details for the latest outing of Daniel Craig as James Bond 007 were announced live from the franchise’s British studio home Pinewood Studios

The upcoming 24th James Bond 007 film will be called SPECTRE. The title was announced Thursday, along with new cast members Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott and Monica Bellucci.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings

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Bulrushes is right. Bushels of bullshit, you’d need the wings of an angel to stay above it.

Christian Bale outplays Charlton Heston as Moses, who led his people into the Red.

Joel Edgerton plays Rameses in Yul Brynner mode, the nude nutted nabob of the Nile, a Pharoah force it, major.

And the revelation: Ben Mendelsohn channelling Frank Thring, those kohl eyes, that delivery. A superb characterisation in a part that’s bigger than the track through the Red Sea. Continue reading

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Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses-inset

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 is for cinemagoers who enjoy dopey male adventure comedies.

Sean Anders is the helmer who also directed Hot Tub Time Machine, one of the raunchiest films I have ever seen. Anders also happens to be the co-writer for the upcoming Dumb and Dumber sequel.

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 reunites the trio of Nick, (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) who together decide to launch their own business. They believe they will make their fortune with their new product, The Shower Buddy, and they get billionaire Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) on board who orders 100,000 products for a cool 3 million.    

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Dirty Dancing- featured

Dirty Dancing @ The Lyric

Kurt Phelan (Johnny), Kirby Burgess (Baby) and Natasha Coote (Penny) in DIRTY DANCING. Pic Jeff Busby
Kurt Phelan (Johnny), Kirby Burgess (Baby) and Natasha Coote (Penny) in the new production of Elanor Bergstein’s DIRTY DANCING directed by James Powell. Pics Jeff Busby

‘I have had the time of my life and I’ve never felt this way before’ sums up my reaction to DIRTY DANCING. This is the classic stage show based on the hit movie of the same name, written by Eleanor Bergstein.

Both the last production in Sydney in 2004, which I saw twice, and the present revival have been unique, very special and faultless.

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Frankenstein-featured

NT Live Frankenstein

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This magnificent, intense, shattering production will leave you reeling, stunned and breathless.

This is a repeat screening of the brilliant 2011-2 production at the National Theatre in London, directed by Danny Boyle,and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor Frankenstein. There are actually two versions of this film, with the two leads swapping roles in the other version.

The production is based on the novel by Mary Shelley about scientist Victor Frankenstein who creates a man from combined dead bodies and then goes on to abandon him.  Shelley’s classic works raises so many big questions,-Why are we here? What is the meaning of life?…
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THE WATER DIVINER

The-Water-Diviner-WINDMILL

THE WATER DIVINER, an epic Australian historical action drama written by Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight, is opening in Australian cinemas this Boxing Day and represents Russell Crowe’s directorial debut.

In World War I, the Gallipoli Campaign, was an awful and notably failed offensive by the Allies, and took place on the Gallipoli Peninsula for eight months from 25 April 1915. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek word “Καλλίπολις” (Kallipolis), meaning “Beautiful City”, and where the Anzac Legend began. Anzac Day every 25th of April, commemorates the date of that military landing at Gallipoli, and remains the most significant day for Australian and New Zealand commemoration of our military casualties and our veterans from all wars. Continue reading