BETWEEN WORLDS : CAPTAIN COOK’S FINAL JOURNEY CHARTED IN NEW SYDNEY MUSICAL

Featured photo – Blake Erickson and Nic Starte in Between Worlds.

Sydney theatre lovers will have the chance in July to see the first public staged workshop presentation of an exciting new Australian musical, BETWEEN WORLDS.

BETWEEN WORLDS is the creation of award winning Sydney theatre-makers Jason Langley and Michael Tyack, composer Gareth Hudson and writer Nick Higginbotham.

The musical tells a fascinating, little known story, the last journey of the founder of our country, Captain James Cook. The time is 1779 and Cook has sailed to Hawaii where he was received as a returning God named Lono.

Cook began immersing himself in the local Polynesian culture however he was tragically killed one month after his landing in a melee that broke out between the British and the Hawaiians at  Kealakekua Bay. Continue reading BETWEEN WORLDS : CAPTAIN COOK’S FINAL JOURNEY CHARTED IN NEW SYDNEY MUSICAL

I’LL EAT WHEN I’M DEAD : A FEROCIOUSLY FUNNY SATIRE OF THE WORLD OF FASHION

Featured image- Pic of author by Dennis Drenner.

A fission and fusion of fashion and crime fiction, Barbara Bourland’s I’LL EAT WHEN I’M DEAD is a ferociously funny satire of the gloss and goss industry.

Rip the dust jacket from the binding and wear it with pride, you’ll want to devour this delicious banquet of a book in one sitting, gutsing the glorious barbs and bon mots, characters and situations.

Plot thickens, narrative ripens under the impressive prose of Ms Bourland, with this scathing, coruscating and laugh out loud novel. Continue reading I’LL EAT WHEN I’M DEAD : A FEROCIOUSLY FUNNY SATIRE OF THE WORLD OF FASHION

JEANETTE CRONIN’S ‘I LOVE YOU NOW’ @ THE ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE

This was a very different and, in its own way, adventurous  night at the theatre.

In Jeanette Cronin’s play we find a forties something couple whose relationship is on the rocks. They have booked a night in a hotel room in the hope that they rekindle some of the old magic.

June suggests that they do some fantasy, role playing stuff. Straight way I am reminded of Harold Pinter’s classic play on this theme, The Lover.

Leo is up for it. June kicks off by suggesting that he leave the room and come back as Leo twenty years younger.

For the next hour and a half or so we are in the world of play – literally! Most of the time they are playing other characters and situations. For instance – Leo goes with Michelle. June is having an affair with Rob, Leo’s brother. On the side, Leo is also having an affair with Melissa, the nanny. Meanwhile, June is also bonking Helmut, her personal trainer. Continue reading JEANETTE CRONIN’S ‘I LOVE YOU NOW’ @ THE ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE

SPEAKING OUT : TARA MOSS’ CALL FOR WOMEN TO EMPOWER THEMSELVES

Featured photo – Tara Moss signing copies of her book at North Sydney’s Stanton Library. All photos by Ben Apfelbaum.

Model, crime author and public speaker Tara Moss’ empowering and enlightening book SPEAKING OUT, aimed at inspiring girls and women, delivers on many levels. And it begs the question, why aren’t there more books written on this subject?!

In Moss’s forward she says, “Having a voice is part of what makes us human…Language connects us. Our voices connect us. When we are silent or unheard our ideals and perspectives, our needs, our pain and our struggles remain unknown or unacknowledged and for this reason unchanged.”

Moss continues with this line of thought- she “examines the challenges facing women and girls – the external obstacles of silencing, dismissals, bullying and threats of violence, and the internal challenges of crises of confidence…”

Moss focuses on the inequality and the abuse women contend with and suffer from with particular mention and emphasis at the hands of the internet where, “technology is used to shame, bully and brutalise.” Continue reading SPEAKING OUT : TARA MOSS’ CALL FOR WOMEN TO EMPOWER THEMSELVES

CD: ‘CELEBRARE’ – SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC WIND SYMPHONY

Above: CD cover :  Celebrae (Klavier Music Productons K  11215) Featured Image   :   SCM Wind Symphony

The title of this CD,  Celebrare (Klavier K11215) is borrowed from Carl Vine’s orchestral work of 1993, Celebrare Celeberrime : a celebration for orchestra which begins the recording in its fine wind band arrangement form.

This title’s reference to celebration is a perfect theme for this CD. The CD was produced following the centenary of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and live performances by SCM Wind Symphony at the institution’s Centenary Festival in 2015.

The recording, dated 2016, has been mastered with a pleasing bright clarity by Bruce Leek. This celebrates the sound of the school’s quality symphonic wind ensemble. The emergence of this CD also recognises the Sydney Conservatorium’s recent centenary as well as this music school’s efforts towards being at the international forefront of wind band interpretation. Two works on the recording were commissioned by the SCM Wind Symphony and appear as first recordings on this disc. Continue reading CD: ‘CELEBRARE’ – SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC WIND SYMPHONY

THOROUGHBASS OVERTURE AND CONCERTO @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

Featured photo – Guest artist Michael Tsalka on harpsichord.

This was a very charming and delightful concert performed with delicacy and vigour. There was fine ensemble work by all and some dazzling harpsichord playing. Under the direction of Diana Weston we were privileged to welcome the return of Michael Tsalka on harpsichord.The program featured six short works. First we heard the elegant, quite operatic Johann Freidrich Fasch’s Overture arranged by Stephen Yates. This piece was stately yet lyrical and at times very fast paced.

Next was Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto RV 319 arranged for two harpsichords in three movements again arranged by Stephen Yates. The first movement began with a fast and insistent feel, one harpsichord acting like the violin soloist, the other the orchestra in a delightful dialogue between the two.

The second movement was more heartfelt and sorrowful, melancholic and reflective– however this changed to cascading, shimmering, faster, rippling notes on the keyboard taking us through to the third movement. This was an animated discussion between the two harpsichords full of crystalline delicacy and circling rhythms that led to a bright, powerful conclusion. Continue reading THOROUGHBASS OVERTURE AND CONCERTO @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENT ‘MIRACLE’ @ THE CONCOURSE 

Conductor Carol,yn Watson

Featured photo – Guest artist,  Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes

Under the enthusiastic, precise and dynamic baton of Carolyn Watson, garbed dramatically in red and black, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra were in fine form with their latest concert, MIRACLE.

The first work gave the program its umbrella title, being Haydn’s Symphony No 96 in D The Miracle, so called because of the tale of the work’s premiere when a chandelier fell from the concert hall ceiling and narrowly missed the audience!

The first of the ‘London ‘ symphonies, it is in four movements and there were hints of the Beethoven symphonies and some surprises. The work begins dramatically with a strong, crashing opening and emphatic strings. The second movement contrasted with lyrical and stormy sections and had a quite balletic atmosphere full of airy elegance. Continue reading WILLOUGHBY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENT ‘MIRACLE’ @ THE CONCOURSE 

HEATHERS THE MUSICAL @ SUTHERLAND MEMORIAL SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

 

Production photography by Grant Lesley.

This was an unremittingly dark as well as entertaining  musical with Emma Taviani delivering a nuanced and compelling performance as Veronica Sawyer. As many will know this musical is based on the cult 1988 Hollywood movie Heathers starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.

Director Meg Day has wisely cast three perfect, bright voiced women as the Three Heathers.  This was a moving and thought-provoking revenge musical containing confronting adult themes and blends enthralling drama with  sharp humour.

We meet HEATHER I and II and III. Veronica Sawyer is not part of the “in crowd”, and is trying to survive as hunted prey in the school jungle. She suddenly becomes part of the most popular mean girls clique at Westerberg High School, made up of these three bitches: Heather Duke, Heather McNamara and led by Heather Chandler.

Veronica Sawyer decides to get out of the snobby clique that is completely destroying her good-girl reputation and teams up with the new guy Jason Dean (J.D.), and he becomes her sociopathic lover who plots to murder the cliquey students.

The staging and set design were both exceptional, and the huge ensemble cast went to town with Laurence O’Keefe’s and Kevin Murphy’s lyrics, making for an awe-inspiring and extraordinary evening.  

Miranda Musical Society’s production of HEATHERS THE MUSICAL opened at the Sutherland Memorial School Of The Arts ​21-23 ​East Parade​, ​Sutherland on Friday 16th June and is playing until 25th June. The venue is located near the railway station car park.

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director:- Meg Day

Musical Director:- Joshua Ransom​

Choreographer:- Tracey Blankenship

CAST

Veronica Sawyer = Emma Taviani

Jason Dean (J.D.) = Daniel Cullen

Heather Chandler = Tanya Boyle

Heather McNamara = Jess Farrell

Heather Duke = Steph Josifovski

Martha Dunnstock = Elle Zattera

Ram Sweeney = Daniel O’Connell

Kurt Kelly = Jay Cullen

​Ram’s Dad/Veronica’s Dad = Brad Facey

Ms Flemming/Veronica’s Mum = Michele Lansdown

​Kurt’s Dad / Big Bud Dean = Garth Saville.

 

http://www.mirandamusicalsociety.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/MirandaMusSoc/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1571256779564909/

http://sa2.seatadvisor.com/sabo/servlets/EventSearch?presenter=AUMIRANDA

 

 

 

LGBTIQ : OUTSTANDING SHORT STORY COMPETITION

Featured photo credit Viv McGregor.  Outstanding Committee left to right; Sophie Robinson, Alex Greenwich, Gail Hewison, Robert Tate and Teresa Savage.

It’s official! IT’S COMPLICATED is the theme for this year’s OUTSTANDING short story competition.

The OutStanding Short Story Competition is Australia’s premier creative writing event for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer community of Australia and New Zealand and this year’s competition was launched at a low key event in the heart of Oxford Street.

Alex Greenwich, Independent Member for Sydney and long standing supporter, made the announcement last night. With the bit of a tussle he had with a tightly sealed envelope adding to the suspense, eager writers gathered in the intimate feathered and pink chandeliered bar waiting to see where their imagination would take them. Continue reading LGBTIQ : OUTSTANDING SHORT STORY COMPETITION

SUZIE MILLER’S ‘SUNSET STRIP’ @ THE STABLES

 

Featured photo – Simon Lyndon and Georgina Symes. Pic Patrick Boland.

From time to time, a play comes along that fits perfectly well in the psyche – enabling us to relax, enjoy, compare, empathise, sympathise, laugh and brood.

SUNSET STRIP, Suzie Miller’s latest play, empowers its audience. We know that we are not alone and mutual hope is the elixir of well-being.

It is a play about challenge, hope and families struggling with their imperfections whilst maintaining a deep sense of belonging and an unbreakable bond

Miller says of her play, “I wanted it to reflect how we bumble through life with all sorts of challenges, some of which will never be fixed or cured, but which we take on board and battle along with. There are also many funny and darkly ironic moments that come about even when we live with ‘everything going wrong’. I wanted to celebrate this because it is something we have all known and have experienced.” Continue reading SUZIE MILLER’S ‘SUNSET STRIP’ @ THE STABLES

COMING SOON : @HANDEL#SOLOMON @ MARRICKVILLE TOWN HALL

Australia’s most in demand soloists join Leichhardt Espresso Chorus in the wondrous acoustic of Marrickville Town Hall to perform an epic tale of leadership to rival our times.

Performers: Leichhardt Espresso Chorus and Orchestra, Michelle Leonard OAM, Anna Fraser, Brad Cooper, Andrew O’Connor, Morgan Balfour and Nacelle Yeo. Also Simon Ellis on the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ playing the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.

DATE FOR THE DIARY- 
Sunday 2 July 2017 at 4 pm at Marrickville Town Hall.

Prices:
$50 reserved
$45 unreserved
$40 early bird (available until 18 June 2017)
$30 concession

http://www.espressochorus.com.au

For more about #Solomon by Handel, visit http://www.espressochorus.com.au/
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‘FIFTY’ BY MAGGY TONKIN CHARTS THE HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN DANCE THEATRE

This beautifully presented book will be treasured by contemporary dance lovers. Wakefield Press yet again have brought us a stunning medium to large sized coffee table book, in this case the history of Australian Dance Theatre, informatively, eloquently written and with superb photos.

The publication features forwards by both the current Chairman Kim Boehm and Robyn Archer, an excellent index at the back is included, and there is also a handy listing of the various dancers who performed under each of the artistic directors.  The writer, Maggy Tonkin, is a leading writer on dance who resides in Adelaide .

Considered radical, daring and new, Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) is Australia’s oldest continuously running contemporary dance company. Celebrating half a century of innovation in dance performance, FIFTY blends archival research, interviews and magnificent photos to take us from its founding by Elizabeth Cameron Dalman through to the exciting performances that are taking place nowunder the current Artistic Director Garry Stewart.

ADT’s tumultuous history is divided into seven chapters (each of the artistic directors reigns) with a striking portrait of each. The book fascinatingly follows the sometimes quite different paths ADT has taken under the successive artistic direction of Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Jonathan Taylor, Lenny Westerdijk and Anthony Steel, Leigh Warren, Meryl Tankard, Bill Pengelly and Garry Stewart. Continue reading ‘FIFTY’ BY MAGGY TONKIN CHARTS THE HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN DANCE THEATRE

LEXUS AUSTRALIA SHORT FILM PRESENTATION @ DENDY QUAYS

Featured photo- Judy Davis, David Wenham and Nashen Moddley.

During the recent Sydney Film Festival the world premiere screening of the first short films produced under the auspices of the wonderful $200,000 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship took place at the Dendy Quays.

The Fellowship recipients, four  talented Australian writer-directors – Anya Beyersdorf for How The Light Gets In, Brooke Goldfinch for Outbreak Generation, Alex Murawski for Snow, and Alex Ryan for Red Ink – were at the Gala Premiere and introduced their works.

The shorts impressed with their uniqueness and boldness of vision with Alex Ryan’s uncompromising Red Ink being my personal favourite as it depicts a young man who has a devastating psychotic episode at his local supermarket with a terrible outcome. Continue reading LEXUS AUSTRALIA SHORT FILM PRESENTATION @ DENDY QUAYS

SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY UNVEILS ‘MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL’

Featured photo – Maggie McKenna. Pic by James Green.

“Muriel, you are terrible!”

The long awaited announcement of the cast for the Sydney Theatre Company’s big production for the year, MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL, took place at a function held earlier this week at the Bar at the end of the Wharf at the STC.

Executive Director Patrick McIntyre started things off and said that the STC was very excited to put on ‘Muriel’ in partnership with  Global Creatures  and Destination NSW. “The production has generated plenty of interest internationally and is expected to attract a lot of tourists to Sydney.’

Director Simon Phillips was at his  sprightly, witty best as he addressed the audience and introduced the cast who were hidden by a promotional display barrier.

Phillips reflected that he thought that now was a great time to bring back Muriel. He envisaged that Muriel would now take to Youtube and the various social network ‘channels’ available in her bid to achieve fame and fortune.

He was confident that the landmark Aussie film would transition well from  screen to stage musical and made the interesting remark, “the ballad is like music theatre’s close-up.”

Phillips introduced a delighted Maggie McKenna, just twenty years old, who has won the much prized lead role. McKenna reflected everyone can ‘get’ Muriel. She is a true outsider and  dork.’

Writer PJ Hogan, whose career took off brilliantly after Muriel, going on to make a number of Hollywood films including My Best Friend’s Wedding, was on hand to say a few words. “I grew up in the Queensland town of Coolangatta. Long before the movie I nicknamed it ‘Porpoise Spit’. Like Muriel, I was dying to get out of there.’

Joint composers, the ebullient Kate Miller- Heidke and the droll Keir Nuttall also said a few words. The very talented Miller-Heidke said that it had always been one of her dreams to put on a full length musical.

The presentation ended with members of the newly announced cast performing a rousing rendition of one of the show’s big numbers,  Nobody’s Perfect with the catch-cry, “Everything goes in Sydney Town/ When you get to Sydney/ You will finally get to be you.”

This production looks like it will be something very special with the Heslop family being as hysterical  as ever. Justine Clarke will play Muriel’s long suffering mother, Betty. Cast playing other members of the Heslop family include Briallen Clarke playing Joanie, Michael Whalley playing Perry and Connor Sweeney will play Malcolm.

MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL will open on Saturday  18th November and will play for over two months at the Ros Packer Theatre, closing on Saturday 27th January.

http://www.sydneytheatre.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PENELOPE SKINNER’S ‘THE VILLAGE BIKE’ @ THE OLD FITZ

Featured photo- Benedict Wall and Gabrielle Scawthorn in THE VILLAGE BIKE. PIc Andree Vasguez.

This show was a knockout… A strong  drama with good performances and  was well suited to the intimacy of the Old Fitz. 

Penelope Skinner’s play follows the journey of a troubled, sexy and feisty young woman, Becky who has recently become pregnant but is in a nondescript  marriage to John.

John’s blandness  is driving her mad. She is finally having their child but he becomes obsessed by it.  That’s all he talks about. And to her chagrin his sex drive has deserted him. Even the porn dvd’s that he used to hide beneath the bed don’t hold any allure for him. Becky tries the strategy of watching  this porn to win his adulation but fails.

Becky tries to prime her husband’s libido but without any luck. The inevitable happens…if she can’t get satisfaction at home she will seek it elsewhere. She has a sexual encounter with a very odd, charismatic guy called Oliver! And so begins her new, erotically charged life which spins, perhaps more to the point, veers increasingly out of control. Continue reading PENELOPE SKINNER’S ‘THE VILLAGE BIKE’ @ THE OLD FITZ

PATRICIA CORNELIUS’ ‘SLUT’ @ THE OLD FITZ

Oh, the road some people walk down….You kind of know that there is no way this is going to come to any good but alas, one just  can’t stop them…Maybe it is fate or perhaps it comes down to character, how they are made….

In Melbourne playwright Patricia Cornelius’ play SLUT we follow Lolita’s journey through the eyes of her friends. Over the course of many years, from early childhood to adulthood…

Two words best describe Lolita – precocious and daring. She is the first to do and try everything. She is the fearless leader. As the girls say – ‘her life is was so full, it filled ours.’

Lolita hits adolescence with just a smidgen of caution and then a whole smattering of recklessness. Her friends are in awe, well, at first! Continue reading PATRICIA CORNELIUS’ ‘SLUT’ @ THE OLD FITZ

BALMAIN SINFONIA : CENTENARY CONCERT @ THE ITALIAN FORUM LEICHHARDT

Above: Tinel Dragoi performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5 with the Balmain Sinfonia. Featured image: Director of Music for Balmain Sinfonia, Gary Stavrou OAM

This was Balmain Sinfonia’s 100th concert, and the orchestra’s popular contribution to the local performance scene since its inaugural concert in May 1992 is truly cause for celebration.

This milestone Balmain Sinfonia concert included the usual fare of an excited audience, a diverse concert programme and interesting programme notes to help unpack and enhance the works presented.

The evening also offered champagne for all in the crowd and interspersed with the music were tributes by Director of Music Gary Stavrou OAM to founding members of the orchestra.

Audience participation in the form of the signature music trivia or Mystery Music  for the chance to win tickets to future concerts continued to engage old and new audience members alike.

Collaboration between the orchestra and a local soloist again was a feature of this concert. As always it introduced the audience to a great work and an accomplished artist. This concert saw Romanian-born violinist Tinel Dragoi  join the orchestra  on the stage.

In this concert his intelligent and expressive rendering of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5 in A major K 219 was a highlight of the first half.

In particular, the cadenza work was beautifully conveyed by this violinist’s intricate artistry. There was no showy or ingenuine note in his interpretation of the concerto. Instead, a simply elegant and exacting development of Mozart’s extensive musical ingredients and language ensued.

Mozartean drama and a sufficiently sympathetic accompaniment were provided by the smaller ranks of Balmain Sinfonia exposed in this work.

The first half of the concert began with two atmospheric works by the chemist-composer Alexander Borodin. For this celebratory concert, such a choice of composer rang out a keen note of comparison to formidable conductor Gary Stavrou, whose early qualifications were in pharmacy.

We heard Borodin’s descriptive works In the Steppes of Central Asia and the Prince Igor Overture. On this occasion the second work was especially successful in conveying the depth of tone colour and mood necessary for painting Borodin’s fine vistas and characterisations.

After interval the Balmain Sinfonia supplied us with more colourful playing as Dvorak’s Symphony No 8 in G major Op 88 was boldly delivered.

The first movement, allegro con brio, endeared us to Dvorak’s signature evocative and gentle development of musical material.

It also showed off the talents of Balmain Sinfonia in their centenary concert.

Through the remainder of this symphony we were taken on a quality excursion. Firstly, through an expanded adagio, here  well played to portray Dvorak’s unique approach to drama and also the legacy of such slow movements as written by Beethoven.

The orchestra contrasted this movement with a successfully lilting allegretto grazioso third movement and concluded with a fourth movement rich in brass fanfares and here with a well structured delivery of Dvorak’s version of the classic theme and variations structure. As in the Borodin works, there were repeated moments of fine playing from Balmain Sinfonia’s wind and brass choirs throughout this symphony.

Bravo and Happy Birthday to the Balmain Sinfonia for its 100th event. This is an achievement, as is its continued fostering of a firm fan base and team of capable volunteers. Both these are assets in the modern concert-making environment.

Balmain Sinfonia’s next performance on September 23 promises to entertain. It will include Khachaturian, Respighi, orchestra members playing Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Clarinet orchestra, and Mozart’s  Symphony No 25 in G minor K 183, which had its opening feature in the film Amadeus.

 

 

KEDI : THIS FILM WILL MAKE YOU PURR LIKE A KITTEN

Istanbul should be renamed Catstandenobled after viewing KEDI, a purrfectly affectionate catumentary about the feline inhabitants of the pearl on the Bosphorus.

KEDI could be renamed as well. May I suggest, The Mognificent Seven, as Director Ceyda Torun catalogues a septet of cats and their nine lives.

The film begins with a bird’s eye view of Istanbul – or Catsaresonoble – as gulls hover over the Bosphorus, then swoops down to street level to take in the arCATecture. Apologies for the catachresis). Continue reading KEDI : THIS FILM WILL MAKE YOU PURR LIKE A KITTEN

CAN I BE ME? : WHITNEY’S REFRAIN THAT WE NEVER HEARD

Houston , we have a problem.

Nick Broomfield’s documentary about Whitney Houston, CAN I BE ME?, is such a slow burn affair that interest for the general view may well splutter before it ignites.

It begins with the 911 call triggered in response to her unresponsiveness, the emergency call that first alerted the world that Whitney Houston had exited this life at the age of 48.

Over the radio voices, another voice intones that Whitney Houston died of a broken heart. Continue reading CAN I BE ME? : WHITNEY’S REFRAIN THAT WE NEVER HEARD

LONNIE’S LAMENT : A NEW BOOK OF POETRY BY KEN BOLTON

LONNIE’S LAMENT,  the latest collection of poems by Ken Bolton, was recently published by Wakefield Press. Bolton has been a major figure in the Australian poetry and experimental writing scene for decades.  Whilst he says that he writes ‘to keep awake, and amused’, this latest collection is yet another reminder of how wonderful a writer he is.  

This rather small and slim book is in four sections. Most are new poems, some have been published in other collections before. They are incisively written often as stream of consciousness poems.

The pieces are lyrical, thoughtful,  dreamily associative and easily distracting. Bolton reflects on life in ‘difficult times’ and tries to capture how recognize the feeling of changing from one era to another, describing it as being like, ‘a history of the vanishing present’. The poems explore how we define ourselves and how we think we are perceived by others.

There is a great use of the senses in his . Some of the poems are short – only a few lines – others are several pages in length. There are many references to other poets, art, artists, films and books. Bolton’s poems question the meaning and purpose of life and death.

Bolton’s poems with their loose rhythms and sudden shifts jump fluidly between Europe and Australia – mainly Sydney and Adelaide- and there is repeated mention of a favourite Greek restaurant Bolton used to frequent.

The book’s first section consists of three poems.  The opening extended poem 2/12/08A Poem for Philip Whalen meditates not just on Whalen and his work but on Bolton’s father’s World War 2 service. There are references to many artists including Grace Cossington-Smith, the Bauhaus, Rembrandt, Kirchner, and Apollinaire.

 Life is a series of short couplets over several pages reflecting on the brevity of life, the passing of time and the passing of important loves in Bolton’s life.

The Funnies uses comics as a springboard for social comment and analysis.

The book’s second section is entitled September Poems and comprises thirteen poems. Poems range from The Palm , where the exploding burst of fronds and the Ent- like ‘ tree-ness’ of the palm is captured to The Blues which is a meditation on inspiration and travel. Geography is visually and aurally sharp and evocative.

Rooftop Apartment is written with a painter’s eyes and love of detail. West Hampstead captures the feelings brought up when Australians catch up far from home.

The third section consists of five poems. New Way of Worrying is a stream of consciousness poem – should he be worrying about Life? Old friends he hasn’t seen for ages? He observes other people and speculates about what they are worrying about.

It also captures other people he is observing and their possible worries.

Train Tripping has plenty of Australian references and is about eavesdropping on people’s conversations.

September Song is about the writing of a poem with dreams of giving a lecture on poetry.

What’s Best distills images of a flower and the moon. or is a streetlight?, interspersed with reflections on his partner Cath’s writing.

The final section – All New Tunes – opens with Spirits – which jumps between Sydney and Surfers Paradise and Bolton’s favourite Greek restaurant. Drink and the muse are invoked as are the spirits of old friends.

Maybe For You twists standard expectations of gender and identity and looks at ways of reading and comprehending a poem. There are also many musical references too.

30:11;12 concerns stylistic decisions in Adelaide and Fewer Pages is another exuberant yet thoughtful riff on reading, art and dogs.

You would be able to read this book in one sitting but my recommendation is to read/savour only a few poems at  a time, and then have the pleasure of returning to the book at a later time and having another very enjoyable session.

Publisher – Wakefield Press

Category –  Literature – Poetry

Format Paperback

Size 210 x 148 mm

ISBN 9781743054727

Extent 112 pages

Released March 2017

RRP- $22.95.

http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1359

DANIEL EVANS ‘OEDIPUS DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE’ @ ATYP STUDIO 1

‘It’s a horror movie right there on my tv/ And it’s shockin’  me right out of my brain/ It’s bound to get you in/Get right under your skin/Hit you right on the chin/ It’s a horror movie and it’s blown a fuse/ It’s a horror movie/It’s the six thirty news.’ (Skyhooks from the album ‘Living In the Seventies’ 1974).

Australian playwright Daniel Evans play reworks Sophocles classic play into a contemporary setting.

We have an Oedipus who lives in the outer suburbs. Well he did, but as the play’s title states, he has left town, moved on after his dysfunctional world comes apart and he himself implodes.

The stage action takes place after his exit. The style of the play is non-naturalistic; four actors take to the stage and tell us that they will re-enact Oedipus’ story from go to woe by donning various characters caught up in the various situations. By doing so they endeavour to get behind the sensational news, and not only piece together what happened, but to make sense of the horror of it all. Continue reading DANIEL EVANS ‘OEDIPUS DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE’ @ ATYP STUDIO 1

TEN DOUBLE PASSES TO ‘WHITNEY : CAN I BE ME?’

Whitney Houston was a sure thing, or as sure as the music industry had ever seen. A transcendent talent with pedigree and mentorship to match, she was going to be the greatest female vocalist ever. For a time, she was, and then she all-too-publicly fell short.

Documentarian Nick Broomfield and iconic music video director Rudi Dolezal offer a never-before-seen backstage look at the height of Houston’s stardom and trace with penetrating detail the forces that contributed to her shortened career and subsequent death in 2012, at age 48.

Whether it be racism, religion, drugs, sexuality, self-doubt, gossip, rivalry, insufficient training, the demands of parents and the industry, a troubled marriage playing out in headlines, or the inevitable toll those stresses take from so muscular and passionate a singer, the directors leave nothing unturned.

The filmmakers create a picture of a remarkable woman who needed more help than she received and provide an unflinching, gripping, and wholly committed exploration of talent given and taken away, in an era obsessed with how Whitney lived when she wasn’t on the stage.

This documentary, sadly recounting another story of a brilliant but troubled artist, makes for compelling viewing. You  will get your chance to see it when it opens in cinemas next Thursday 15th June.

Editor’s Note : The double passes associated with this post have been won.

 

NT LIVE : ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

Fifty years after its debut Tom Stoppard’s ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, directed by David Leveaux’s, returned to the Old Vic in this marvellous production direcuj. We here in Australia are privileged to see it as part of this year’s  NT Live Series.

Stoppard’s play is an existential philosophical comedy, examining the very meaning of existence, memory and our fear of death.

Against the backdrop of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, two unfortunate minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet’s friends, are now thrust centre stage. As the young double act stumble their way in and out of Shakespeare’s iconic drama, they become increasingly bewildered and out of their depth as their version of the Hamlet story unfolds.

Much attention needs to be paid to Stoppard’s wordy at times convoluted text. In some ways the play has a Becket like Waiting For Godot like feel.  

The set is fluid and changing and includes drapes with a fabulous dreamy Magritte- like cloud print for the opening scenes and sails and kegs of wine for the ship scenes. Continue reading NT LIVE : ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

THAT’S NOT ME

It looks a million dollars but THAT’S NOT ME cost a mere $60,000.

THAT’S NOT ME begins with the picture’s protagonist, Polly, sitting on the toilet clutching an air freshener and delivering an Oscar acceptance speech.

Polly is an aspiring actress, the twin sister of another aspiring actress, Amy. She is a serious minded thespian, biding her time for a shot at stardom working at a cinema selling tickets, popcorn and choc-tops.

When her agent suggests her for a role in the popular soap, Summer Street, she baulks at the idea of playing an albino, perceiving whitening up as repugnant as blacking up.

Amy takes the gig instead, is a success, lands a role in an HBO show and starts dating Jared Leto.

A disastrous trip to LA does little to help matters, but the unbearable situation becomes a little better when Polly discovers that she can use her sister’s celebrity to her advantage to get free clothes, free booze and casual sex.

There’s not a dud note in THAT’S NOT ME thanks to a solid foundation in a script by Alice Foulcher and Gregory Erdstein, and anchored by a winning lead performance by Foulcher and Helmed with an assured hand by Erdstein.

The support casting is impeccable with a mix of the well known and the unknown. Andrew S. Gilbert and Catherine Hill are perfect as Polly’s parents and Isabel Lucas is ferociously good as Polly’s drama school pal, Zoe, who has transplanted to Hollywood and deliciously pays out on the studio who has dissed her.

Andrew O’Keeffe serves up a sparkling cameo as a soap star and the director, Gregory Erdstein sends the self important director caricature into cauterised comic cuts.

Cinematography by Shelley Farthing-Dawe is first class as is the rich production design of Sally Addinsall.

What could have been cheesy has been kept bright and breezy in this very funny film of awkward ambition, shallow celebrity, sibling rivalry and playing the real.

DATES FOR THE DIARY: 

THAT’S NOT ME plays Sydney Film Festival Saturday June 10 6.30 pm at Event George, and Sunday June 11 8.30 pm at The Ritz, Randwick, and Monday June 12, 6.30 pm at the Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne.

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL DOCOS : TWO OF THE BEST

Invariably, the great surprises and sincere sensations of the Sydney Film Festival come from documentary film makers shining cinematic spotlights on our past, present and futures, rectifying the forgotten by elevating remembrance, examining the individual and celebrating the universal.

Two such gems are part of this year’s Festival line up. For some it will be an education. For aficionados it will be an edification. Link Wray, Mildred Bailey, Charley Patton, Jimi Hendrix, and more make up this stomping tribute to Native American musicians who have heretofore gone unheralded in their cultural contribution to world music.

This Sundance winner kicks off with the thumping riffs of Shawnee guitarist Link Wray’s 1950s classic Rumble; the tune that gives the film it’s irrepressible name and sets its fascinating rhythm. Continue reading SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL DOCOS : TWO OF THE BEST

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