Secret River
Inset pic- Shaka Cook, Madeleine Madden and Isaac Hayward. Featured pic- Nathaniel Dean, Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Kelton Pell and Shaka Cook in THE SECRET RIVER. Production photography by Heidrun Lohr.

It is the integral structure of the dramatic form. Inevitably, the various ‘forces’ working away/coalescing within the play will come to a head/a showdown. And so it does, to great effect,  in THE SECRET RIVER.

Convict William Thornhill has been given a pardon by Governor Macquarie pardon and with his young family set up home on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, and begin to make a good life for themselves.

The Thornhill family aren’t able to settle into their new life because a local indigenous tribe, the Dharug people, make claim that the land that they have taken over is part of the land that they own, that they call home. Continue reading THE SECRET RIVER @ ROSYLYN PACKER THEATRE


The Girl King Body

THE GIRL KING is playing as part of the Mardi Gras Film Festival and “by the rusty nails of Christ’s cross” it is an inspired choice by the curators, Queer Screen.  There have been previous filmic incarnations of the story of Queen Kristina of Sweden but this Finnish film delves deeper in the sexuality of the lesbian icon who only reigned 10 years before abdicating in 1654.

Kristina is Queen from the age of 6 and 2 years later is torn from her crazy, grieving mother and her embalmed father to be trained to be the ‘greatest Lutheran monarch in Europe.’  Her mentor is Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna who dresses her as a boy and encourages her in kinglike ways.  Philosophy and languages, sword fighting and riding.  So complete is his control over her that he will call her ‘daughter’ on her Coronation Day. Continue reading THE GIRL KING


00 mc - Brendan Hay - CRUELLO DE VIL 01 Debbie Neilson-1 02 AlexandraChambers FANGIRL medium  low res 03 Anna Canillas-1 04 Double Trouble by Cardistry 05 BOYS BOYS BOYS-1  low res 06 Being Betty LR-1 07 Rosie Rivette  low res 08 SongsForSarahConnor low res 09 Lady Cool2 10 A-Man-and-his-Organ-  low res 11 Thao Thanh Cao-1 12 Melody Beck-1  low res 13 Kay Armstrong BIKE image 1 14 Girls on Tap-1  low res

Production photography by Sylvi Soe, and displayed in performance order.

The Short + Sweet Cabaret Gala Final took place last Sunday evening at the swish inner city  cabaret venue, the Slide. in front of a huge sold-out audience. Master of ceremonies Mr. Cruelo de Vil (Brendan Hay) cleverly entertained between acts.

- (1) Diamonds Last ForeverDebbie Neilson is magnificent as Marilyn Monroe, and Luke Reeves is the spy, James Bond 007. Yes Debbie speaks exactly like, and sounds exactly like MM as she sings “Diamonds Are Forever” wearing a beautiful red and diamonds gown. Debonaire spy arrives and dances to the music of the “James Bond Theme”. However they are both on secret missions to kill each other. Debbie dances and sings “My Heart Belongs To Daddy”, “Everyone Talks” and “I’m Through With Love”. Clever storyline, beautifully paced and in a unexpected surprise twist, MM gets her man. Delicious audience favourite.

- (2) Fangirl – Now wearing a beautiful blue tardis gown, Alexandra Chambers is super fangirl Stephanie Sparkle and sings her unique stalker story via familiar tunes with comic lyrics. She takes a deep and meaningful look inside Fangirls Anonymous (FA) where she is in the process of recovering from her stalking obsession for Jenna Coleman (Clara - the companion on TVs Doctor Who). Featuring ‘Girl Crush’ and ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ with the performance generating lots of laughs from the clever story and lyrics. Guitarist: David Macaulay.

- (3) Dear DiaryAnna Canillas, at the age of thirty, re-discovered her deliberately long forgotten 1997 Catholic high school diary. Using imaginative song lyrics, with humour passion and warmth, she detailed in song the diary contents, all about friends, being in and out of love, and many many things that needed to be forgotten. She dedicated her fresh version of lyrics for “Nine the Musical – A Call From the Vatican” and “Willy Wonka – Pure Imagination” to her long lost crush Dylan Andrews. Accompanist: Dave Collins on the piano.

- (4) CardistryLucas Itrawan and Ash Hodgkinson are DOUBLE TROUBLE as the two boys from “Cardistry” and are just fourteen years old, and already are seasoned professionals on the Australian entertainment circuit. Crowned Australian Junior Magic Champions at the age of twelve, then starred in their own sell-out show at the 2015 Melbourne Magic Festival. Craig a volunteer from the audience, using random colours, hand coloured a gigantic sketch of their black and white JOKER CARD, to which the magicians produced a deck of colour 52 JOKER CARDS that exactly and precisely matched the random colours. Superb magic entertainment. Short+Sweet Magic+Comedy winner of ‘Best Magic Act 2016’.

- (5) Boys Boys BoysEmma Nicolazo is the woman who freely admits to being an atypical Virgo, and always obtains a unique trophy from each and every new lover, just before she disappears through his front door. All the trials and tribulations of a troubled young woman, constantly looking for a good time with lots and lots of young men. Majestically funny and full of joy, plus wonderful entertaining dialogue and lyrics, all about her multitude of failed relationships. Danny the Cheater, received a dose of her versions of “Who’s That Girl” and “The Language Of Love”. Accompanied on the piano by Matthew Jonathan Ogle. Perhaps you were thinking “serial murderess”, however she just collects insane quantities of t-shirts.

- (6) Being BettyJulianne Sisinni is a beautifully dressed, very hip 1960s secretary, telling her psychiatrist all about her relationships and her very complicated life in song, from the comfort of a gigantic red-coloured egg-shaped chair. Songs included “Im Hip Not Square”.

- (7) Mrs Rivette’s Wild Night In – delivered a female-fantasy laden comedy burlesque starring Rosanna Nadine Cramer. The programme suggests you should expect to see a whip fetish using “the cat o’ nine tails”. Instead a total of nine fluffy tails have been sewn onto a child’s cute fluffy toy cat. Everything is not quite correct, especially with pearls in the wrong place, and this cute and clever take on female burlesque drew gasps from an appreciative audience, with the denouement gaining lengthy applause.

- (8) Songs for Sarah Connor – Starring Alistair Tomkins as THE TERMINATOR mix-tape cabaret style, with very entertaining new comedy lyrics sung to very familiar music, played on the piano by accompanist Dom Woodhead. With songs from Gershwin to Radiohead, all with new comedy lyrics, laugh-out-loud-funny starring THE TERMINATOR on electric guitar. Singing new versions of “Yesterday” and “There’s Always Tommorrow” and there were those unfortunate deaths of everyone named “Sarah Connor”. This was an audience favourite.

- (9) Tales From The Psyche WardLady Cool sang her new playlist, delivering clever storytelling comedy lyrics direct from her personal Psyche Ward, whilst playing her electric ukulele, generated lots of laughs. With its many superb original songs, we quickly learn about “Dating A Vegan Man”. Her previous show was “Conversations With My Shrink – so many problems so little time”. Lady Cool vividly over-shares, all about her life, love, family, by telling raw honest tales of her psychological battles from the inside of the white walls.

- (10) A Man and his Organ – organ player, Ben Palumbo sang an excellent mash-up of well-remembered french language songs, all whilst playing his accordion. Ben has a classically trained voice, with a unique falsetto extension. Comedy based around the classic French song “Deshabillez Moi” (undress me), and with some help from the audience, and there was unexpected male burlesque, as Ben removed layer upon layer of his clothing, as he talked and sang.

- (11) APPROPRIATELY INAPPROPRIATEThao Thanh Cao delivered dry, self-deprecating and female politically incorrect comedy. Vietnamese born, and originally a boat-person, she delivered perfectly paced, a quite unique and very refreshing female based comedy, and easily got away with discussing sensitive issues, without using decorum and tact. All her detailed explanations created constant, laugh out loud comedy, and her methodology included situation based humour. When you see outdoor public sex, just get up close and ask politely “Do you mind if I watch?”. When your dog eats your school homework, eating the dog prevents a repetition. Her parents live with her, and she keeps her elderly parents under her control by asking them “Do you want to visit the Nursing Home?” Short+Sweet Magic+Comedy Winner of ‘Best Comedy Act 2016’.

- (12) Unsung: The Voices of Rita Hayworth – Rita Hayworth from the Bronx to Hollywood, that everyone always remembers as Gilda, lived a full life with passion and many dramas. Hear the complete range of each of the stunning voices of the many ghost singers, who sang in each movie for non-singer Rita Hayworth, the screen goddess with undeniable sex appeal. Singer Melody Beck, accompanied on the piano by Benjamin Burton, performed many of Rita Hayworth’s well remembered songs.

- (13) BIKE - Kay Armstrong in character as BIKE, fabulous cabaret entertainment, Australian Style. Unfortunately she lost her voice, and was unable to perform at the Gala Final.

- (14) Girls On Tap – Stage-filling performance with seven of the best of the best tap dancers performing clever routines with an unexpected fast costume change. This sparkling cast delivered joyful high energy dance routines, which easily won The People’s Choice Award 2016. Cast: Laura Scarfo, Peta Anderson, Siobhan Shibby Parker, Maria Costa, Georgia Shae Anderson, Natasha Window, Sally Hare.

The team of judges had a very difficult task choosing the winners as all the performances had a lot to offer. Here is the published list of winners:-

Best Cabaret Show – Melody Beck in Unsung: The Many Voices of Rita Hayworth

Best Female Performer – Anna Canillas in Dear Diary

Best Male Performer – Ben Palumbo in A Man and his Organ

People’s Choice – Girls On Tap

Professional Encouragement Awards- 

Week One – Martin Charles in False Gods

Week Two – Maddison Hegarty

Week Three – Christian Cavallo in Boy Wizard

Week four – Olivia Cianci in Dirty Martini






The inimitable Lynn Collingwood at a recent kids telethon in Perth.
The inimitable Lynn Collingwood, at a recent kids telethon in Perth.

Players in the Pub has been a labour of love for TV and theatre legend, Lyn Collingwood since 2009.

Talented and experienced actors and directors present rehearsed readings of new, classic, rediscovered or uncovered works in the intimate and relaxed environs of a public house

With past tenure at the Toxteth, Harold Park, and Roxbury hotels, Players in the Pub has been a great ingredient of the Glebe cultural scene. Next week sees the Players in the Pub start its 2016 season upstairs at a new venue, The Friend in Hand, a pub long associated with poets and players. Continue reading PLAYERS IN THE PUB FIND A FRIEND IN HAND



The consequences of climate change impacts in a very real and intimate manner in 45 YEARS, the latest virtuoso film from Andrew Haigh, the director of the wonderful, WEEKEND.

The Broads, England, green and leafy and majestically shot in a wide screen establishing shot, is the home of Kate and Geoff Mercer, and their German Shepherd, Max.

Kate is preparing for their 45th wedding anniversary to be celebrated on the coming Saturday when a letter arrives from Switzerland for Geoff on the Monday. Continue reading 45 YEARS


SG with musicians in sun


The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) is offering an all strings program for its first concert of the year.

The program includes two well known pieces, Dvorak’s String Serenade and Tchaikovsky’s String Serenade. These pieces will be complemented by Australian composer Daniel Rojas’ fresh and vivacious piece Little Serenade for Strings.

Artistic Director of the TMO Sarah-Grace Williams will be the Conductor and she is very excited about the program, “Starting the year with a powerful string program is something we’ve wanted to do for some time. It sets the tone of intimacy while bringing out those joyous and passionate emotions which we love to inspire in our audiences.  This is a beautiful way for TMO to launch into what is going to be a huge year for the orchestra. We’re sure audiences will love this vibrant and sumptuous program.” Continue reading TMO PROMISES AN EVENING OF PURE STRING BEAUTY


Packemin - West Side Story - Grant Leslie Photography

This version of Bernstein’s much loved ‘opera for the people’, first performed in 1957 was an impressive, passionate production.

The audience got to relive again the great dark scenes- the fighting scenes, the attempted rape of Maria, the brash, humorous scenes- Gee, Officer Krupke, and the very romantic scenes- such as the scene where Tony and Maria first see each other across a crowded room at the gym- One Hand One Heart .

Drugstore owner Doc and Officer Krupke try to act as father figures keeping the peace, (with echoes of the Duke and Friar Lawrence in Shakespeare’s play), but tragically fail. Continue reading PACKEMIN PRESENTS WEST SIDE STORY @ RIVERSIDE THEATRE PARRAMATTA


Treasure Island

A rollicking night of high adventure, action and pirate treasure, not to mention voluminous quotes from the Bard is a great way for the Castle Hill Players to kick off their 50th anniversary year.

Based on the classic novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Ken Ludwig’s adaptation, well directed by Jeremy Johnson, has added a few touches to the original. Ludwig frames the action as Jim Hawkins’ memory of the fateful treasure hunt. He also adds a complex backstory in which Jim’s Shakespeare-loving dad had a dubious connection with Long John Silver, a device that enables Jim to see the pirate as being akin to a surrogate father, with the two of them swapping quotes from the Bard. Continue reading CASTLE HILL PLAYERS PRESENT TREASURE ISLAND @ THE PAVILION THEATRE


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Production photography by Tracey Schramm

The great Spanish poet and writer Federico Garcia Lorca said; “A society that does not help or discourages theatre, if not dead, is dying.”

Thankfully, in Australia we live in a vibrant society that supports theatre and seeing the excellent work that continues to come out of the Australian Theatre For Young People (ATYP) is nothing short of inspirational.

The ATYP’s current production THE VOICES PROJECT: ALL GOOD THINGS, directed by the very experienced Iain Sinclair features a collection of monologues written by some of our talented young playwrights explores the theme of departure, presenting ten different ways of saying goodbye. Continue reading THE VOICES PROJECT: ALL GOOD THINGS @ ATYP STUDIO 1


Barber 2HR
Paolo Bordogna as Figaro. Production photos by Keith Saunders.

Opera Australia’s production of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE which first appeared in 1995 makes a joyous and energetic return.

The environs of the Dame Joan Sutherland theatre are themed with displays of paraphernalia relating to the traditional barber trade. In the popular culture of our time, full of images of moustaches and slick male grooming, this event design and production styling resonates well.

The musical treat in store is indicated by conductor Andrea Molino’s extremely clean and crisp rendering of the overture with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. The music has a colourful and character-filled momentum with enjoyable knife-edge shifts in nuance. The equally sensitive fortepiano accompaniment contrasts nicely with fuller orchestral textures is as it allows the characters to hatch their plans in recitative. Continue reading OPERA AUSTRALIA PRESENTS THE BARBER OF SEVILLE @ DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND THEATRE


TheWhaleProduction shot3 (1)

The normally lean fare presented at the Old Fitzroy has gone the way of the world with its Super Size production of THE WHALE by Samuel D. Hunter, a tale of morbid obesity and Mormonism.

In a squalid apartment in Idaho with drab dabs of nautical décor – a fish tank, a painting of a lighthouse, louvre blinds redolent of a ship’s sails or fish gills – English tutor, Charlie, is slowly eating himself to death.

Suicide by stuffing is his response to the death of his lover, Alan. Alan’s sister, Liz, pops in from time to time to aid and abet his catastrophic calorie intake.

Moribund and housebound, Charlie makes money by mentoring students on line. The study of Moby Dick takes a prominent focus, specifically one essay that seems to have resuscitative power. Continue reading THE WHALE @ THE OLD FITZ THEATRE


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Throughout the history of Japan cherry blossoms have been a symbol of life, death and rebirth.

Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase’s latest film, AN, from a script written by Kawase based on the book by Durian Sukegawa, explores these themes in modern Japan. Kawase wants us to think about how life—its pulse and energy—exists within societal and architectural structures governed by straight lines. Kawase has always been interested in how people and chaos can play out despite the conformity of their surrounds. That’s not to say the characters Kawase presents are wild characters—they are quiet and unassuming. They speak when they have to—which is usually out of need—and reveal their chaotic inner-lives through small facial movements. Continue reading NAOMI KAWASE’S ‘AN’

Convict Footprints at the Farm- Through the Years @ Bella Vista Farm

Convict Footprints at the Farm- Through the Years

Keith, still young but obviously beaten, is a Digger just back from the horror of jungle warfare in Borneo. He stands stock still and still in his khakis, as he stares vacantly out of his upper window, his slouch hat loosely at his side. From what we know of him, his palpable sadness might be somewhat soothed by serenity of this view. In the fading daylight, Keith seems to be searching in the northern vista for the Seven Hills of his childhood. We the viewer, stand in silence too among the ghosts of this house. Then, a faint noise. A dragging, almost human sound is ascending the polished mahogany staircase. Keith is a statue and unalarmed. And the echo fills the quiet.

CONVICT FOOTPRINTS @ THE FARM: THROUGH THE YEARS is immersive theatre at its best. Using a large amount of the national treasure of Bella Vista Farm, the niche small-audience production ranges about the whole site from the period mansion and gardens to the out buildings of cow bales and horse walks, slab built and shingled roofed, exploring and explaining the ownership of the farm from 1830-1940. Continue reading Convict Footprints at the Farm- Through the Years @ Bella Vista Farm


An Yvonne Rainer work simply called 'Butts'.
An Yvonne Rainer work simply called ‘Butts’.

Screening as part of the Mardi Gras Film Festival this is a fascinating and informative documentary  examining the life and complex works of Yvonne Rainer.

Dance fans and those interested in the history of film and performance art especially pertaining to New York artistic life from the 160’s to now will be enthralled. Feelings Are Facts is also the title of Rainer’s book published back in 2006.

Rainer- perhaps most famous for her “NO “ manifesto- is an American dancer, choreographer, writer and film maker- her work across these assorted fields is often defined as ‘Minimalist’ and regarded as challenging, experimental and confronting, and seen as pushing the boundaries of what can be defined as  Art.

Over the course of her career, Rainer has choreographed over forty works. She is perceived as having revolutionised modern dance, created what later became known as performance art, and changed the basic principles of experimental filmmaking- all during a time when women were largely ignored in the art world. Continue reading FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER



 Cross media collaborations across states and countries are not that common and it is great to  find an instance where it works and in this case on many different levels and senses.

THE SCENT OF PAINTING brings together the artist Alesandro Ljubicic, the Sydney-based florist, Mr Cook; the Brisbane-based perfumer, Damask Perfumery, and the bespoke scarf manufacturer Kmossed, from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Alesandro Ljubicic uses his oils sculpturally, the scale and texture draws the viewer in wanting to approach and touch. When this is combined with the floating sensuality of the scarves, the perfume plus the comprehensively creative floral arrangements, beauty pervades.
There are still life floral paintings on stretched linen and gestural colour studies on birch boards. The exhibition features some 25 works on linen and 30 colour studies.

Ljubicic draws inspiration from a diverse selection of florists both nationally and internationally. For this exhibition, he has collaborated closely with floral designer Sean Cook.

A Magnolia theme was selected as it offered a wide colour palette. Ljubicic has placed his own interpretation on the floral arrangements, including rearranging the placement before applying his sumptuous paint. Often on a white background which makes the colour even more vibrant, but occasionally very dark blue backgrounds subdue the tone.

To complement this new body of work, Ljubicic, for the first time, has also created a unique magnolia infused scent and limited edition, hand-made scarves printed with his artwork. The scent from Damask Perfumery had several different versions before the final one was selected.

Alesandro Ljubicic summed up, “In essence I am creating a multi-layered experience that provokes all the senses. This new body of work moves beyond the canvas to explore new creative forms that the audience can interact with in an intimate way.”

The viewer may wish that one could walk through the gallery in a mist of Magnolia scent draped in the limited edition scarves.
This exhibition features truly beautiful, accessible and sensual art and made for a very memorable experience.

THE SCENT OF PAINTING is on exhibition between the hours of 11 and 5 Wednesdays to Saturdays at the Michael Reid Gallery, 44 Roslyn Gardens, Elizabeth Bay until the 27th February.

SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2016 TOP 80 WEEK 5 @ Depot Theatre

01 A Thousand Grain of Sun (1 of 1) 02 Divorce Fantasies (1 of 1) 04 Joanna (1 of 1) 05 Train Lines (1 of 1) 06 Slow DAting (1 of 1) 07 Someone to watch over me (1 of 1) 08 The Dissolution Mask (1 of 1) 09 Chemistry Test (1 of 1)

Production photography by Sylvi Soe, and       displayed in performance order.

Some weird, some strange, but nevertheless this week has nine very entertaining short pieces.

1. A THOUSAND GRAINS OF SUN – Beautifully written dialogue, well cast and perfectly directed drama. Two winter swimmers meet on a beach, each has suffered a recent loss, and gradually discover how very much they have in common. ITC: Bare Bones Theatre, Writer + Director: Judith Duncan, Cast: Lachlan McWilliam (Leon), Penny Berkemeier (Finn)

2. DIVORCE FANTASIES – Comedy at its best, that gets very strange, very quickly. Okay she invited him back to her place, and to be turned on, she needs to relive the anger issues of her divorce. He agrees, then the divorce lawyer arrives, followed by the woman that he had an affair with, and then the child of the marriage tells all. So much went wrong so very quickly, with an unexpected twist at the end, that explains all. Writer: Elena Burger, Director: Guy Verge Wallace, Cast: Alannah Robertson (Avery), Challito Browne (Adam), Luke Davis (Craig), Stephanie Beck (Marcia), Hannah Pembroke (Celia – the child). Continue reading SHORT AND SWEET THEATRE 2016 TOP 80 WEEK 5 @ Depot Theatre


The Poor Kitchen Actors Katrina Rautenberg and Randa Sayed Low Res

Domestic abuse, corruption, criminality, quick bucks versus sustainable planet are just a few of the issues reflected in what is a surprisingly enjoyable play.

The play is set in Italy where everyone knows, “the anarchists are crazy, but better than the fascists”. Australian big-city Elle unexpectedly inherits an olive farm in Italy. She knew nothing of her father’s family before she arrived, and is seeking to make a quick buck before returning to Australia. Everyone appears to be stringing her along, often with humour, making the flashbacks to a violent past all the more brutal.

Daniela Giorgi, writer/producer, skilfully crafts this cross culture and class drama into an intriguing commentary about how little the characters really know about each other.

The play sees five characters interact in a rustic rural  kitchen and form a loosely held together community under constant threat of breaking apart. Director Paul Gilchrist keeps the action flowing well.

Rebecca Mills’ set and costume design are appropriate, interesting and not too sparse. Liam O’Keefe manages seamless flashbacks and the passage of time through lighting shifts.

Whilst the actors are not Italian, authenticity is conveyed by all. In particular, Randa Sayed as Anna shows the quick changes of range of emotions including suspicion, disgust, pleasure, hope, anticipation, joy and secretiveness. Each character needs to ‘please’ Elle to get something from her.

With the many ideas and issues covered, achieving balance could have been a challenge. At times the message of sustainable agriculture may feel a bit over-emphasised to city audiences, but in all else Daniela has achieved a good balance.

Wolves are referred to in the play and Anna finally wishes Elle ‘In Bocca al Lupo’, meaning ‘In the Wolf’s Mouth’ or ‘Good Fortune’. It is a metaphor for coming out on top in the face of a difficult or challenging situation.

This was an enjoyable, satisfying, thoughtful production.

Daniella Giorgi’s THE POOR KITCHEN is currently playing at the Old 505 Theatre, Newtown until the 6th February.

Please note- The venue is in an old building and accessibility may be an issue for some.


SisterGeorge- second

“They are going to murder me.”

G.bod Theatre follow Queen Bette, their sold out and critically acclaimed show about Hollywood icon Bette Davis, with this updated version of the iconic 1960s play by Frank Marcus.

In Marcus’ play  Sister George is a beloved character on a popular BBC soap opera, a cheerful nurse who bicycles about the countryside singing hymns and doing good. In private life, June Buckridge the actress, is a swaggering, foul-mouthed, alcoholic in a long-term relationship with Alice ‘Childie’ McNaught.

A dip in listener ratings sees the possible end for Sister George. In their tiny London flat, “George” and Alice attempt to pick up the pieces of George’s broken world – unaware that other outside factors are about to blow both their personal lives apart. Continue reading G.BOD THEATRE PRESENTS THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE @ KING STREET THEATRE


Jane Eyre-second

The latest in the marvelous NT Live screenings, this epic, sprawling production, some three and a half hours long,  is a co -production between the Bristol Old Vic and the National Theatre. The production originally was even longer and the Company spaced it over two nights.  For its transfer to the National in London, director Sally Cookson has adapted and abridged it to fit into one evening.

This is an extraordinary vivid, compelling and gripping production that is faithful to the great Bronte classic. For those unfamiliar with the book, the story is as follows- Impetuous , passionate orphan Jane Eyre ( here played by Madeleine Worrall), coldly rejected and stifled by her relatives, somehow survives her appalling childhood to find unexpected freedom when she arrives at Thornfield Hall to be meet with acceptance, family and an ally in the master of the house, Mr Rochester (here played by Felix Hayes).However appearances are deceptive , and Jane soon unearths sinister secrets within the walls of Thornfield… Continue reading NT LIVE PRESENTS JANE EYRE



Those Great Divas- Judy Garland,Barbra Streisand,Liza Minnelli and Bette Midler – will be landing in Sydney in time for this years’ Mardi Gras festival.

They are come to us via the talents of Velma Vegas & The Vaguettes  who will be performing their cabaret show in the smooth,swanky surrounds of the Seymour Centre’s Sound Lounge.

Taking in the early burlesque and bathhouse influences of Liza and Bette, and the classic torch song and show tune stylings of Barbra and Judy, it looks like it will be a great night of cabaret. The evening will also feature rarely seen video footage of the divas in action as well as  excerpts from  interviews.

Through his performance singer Jackie Vance- stage name- Velma Vegas  will wax lyrical about his beloved stars, chatting through the show, revealing truths about the stars that some may not know…

Joining Vance on stage will be Dan Holland on piano, Stan Valacos onbass, and Tim Bradley on drums.

The SCREAMERS production of JUDY!BARBRA!LIZA!BETTE! These Are Names We Shan’t Forget! at the Sound Lounge will plays at the Sound Lounge on the 12th, 19th and 26th February at 8pm.



Talented young Opera singer Catherine Bouchier will be performing at the Valentine's night concert.
Talented young Opera singer Catherine Bouchier will be performing at the Valentine’s night concert.

Pacific Opera, a young artists company proving a platform for the opera stars of tomorrow, is presenting a Valentine’s Day Opera Concert at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney.

On the most romantic of days opera lovers will have the opportunity to swoon in the embrace of Eva Kong, Catherine Butcher, Michael Butchard and many of the Company’s other talented alumni as they perform a romantic program conceived by Simon Kenway, the renowned orchestral and operatic conductor and the Artistic Director of the Company.

Tickets are just $30 for adults, $25 concession and $20 students.

Performance starts at 4.30pm on Sunday 14th February.

Book your tickets at

Pacific Opera is the Young Artists’ opera company, producing fresh, vibrant opera with a twist, delighting audiences and providing a platform for the stars of tomorrow.

Pacific Opera is a not-for-profit opera company which offers an integrated program of professional development and performance opportunities to young, emerging opera singers under the supervision of industry experts.  We are a national, “one of a kind” company with a unique focus on growing the number and quality of new and innovative performances available to young opera singers


Inset pic- Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. Featured pic- Alexander Ekman. Production photography by Peter Greig.
Inset pic- Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. Featured pic- Alexander Ekman. Production photography by Peter Greig.

It’s just over three weeks until the first previews of Sydney Dance Company’s CounterMove, from Thursday February 26 at Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay.

The Sydney Dance Company is inviting the public to attend a sneak peek/preview of the production at the Company’s first FREE Work in Progress event for the year to be held at 6.30pm on Wednesday February 24 on the Roslyn Packer Theatre stage.

This exclusive event held during the final days of preparation for the season provides a unique glimpse of the behind the scenes action in the making of CounterMove. Continue reading SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY PRESENTS ITS FIRST FREE WORKS IN PROGRESS EVENT @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE



This dynamic, passionate production is a somewhat abridged, striking version of the ever popular Verdi opera that tells the tragic love story of Violetta and Alfredo. LA TRAVIATA is the first production by Opera Projects for 2016.

In this version it is all seen through the eyes of Count Germont’s grandson, who acts as the narrator and frames the story as he discovers his grandfather’s diary and regrets how he wrecked the happiness of his son Alfredo and Violetta.

The very handsome Tama Matheson plays the narrator, he is also the show’s director, unearths the diary and reads it to us, thus setting the scene and telling the story. The diary is read to us in English, the opera sung in Italian. Matheson sometimes struggles to be heard over the orchestra – especially in the opening section – nevertheless he is very impressive. Continue reading OPERA PROJECTS PRESENTS LA TRAVIATA @ THE INDEPENDENT


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An anomaly is something that deviates from the common, and Charlie Kaufman’s ANOMALISA deliciously deviates from the common concept of animation.

ANOMALISA is Charlie Kaufman’s second feature as director, following 2008’s superb and underrated  Synecdoche, New York,  and seventh as a writer, with screenplays that include Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

ANOMALISA is an intricate psychological tragicomedy told using stop-motion puppets, for which he’s teamed up with animator Duke Johnson. It’s a marriage made in movie heaven. Continue reading ANOMALISA


Brooklyn 2

BROOKLYN is a charming film which balances a motley and very entertaining collection of characters with a lovely, sentimental story. Nick Hornby has come up with a strong screenplay from Colm Toibin’s memorable novel. Director John Crowley delightfully recreates the worlds of Brooklyn and Ireland in the 1950′s.

Saoirse Ronan plays the main character Eilis Lacey, a young lady who leaves Ireland for a job and a new life in Brooklyn. She meets and falls in love with Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen), a young man from an Italian background. Her connections in Ireland still have a gravitational pull and this dilemma provides difficulties for her which she has to resolve. Ronan’s character’s journey is a rich one, starting out as meek and fragile and coming out confident and strong.

Continue reading BROOKLYN

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