We’ve all probably done it. Pressed the intercom key release indiscriminately, thinking the caller is someone expected.
That’s what Rana does, expecting her husband as she prepares to take a shower.
The upshot is a devastating seismic incident, a potent aftershock to the earthquake that begins THE SALESMAN, this years recipient of the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.

This Iranian bombshell explodes into an exploration of a couple imploding. School teacher Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and his wife Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) need new digs when their home is devastated by an earthquake.

The couple are also actors in an amateur Tehran production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and a member of their troupe arranges for them move into a new apartment, until recently occupied by a mysterious young woman. Continue reading THE SALESMAN



The Alliance Française French Film Festival will return to Palace Cinemas throughout March and April with a host of contemporary movies and documentaries exemplifying the very best of France’s vibrant film industry. 

Brimming with highlights, the 2017 event will present 45 films, unveiling the artistry of renowned directors ranging from Emmanuelle Bercot, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Nicole Garcia, Benoît Jacquot and Mia Hansen-Løve, to Philippe Lioret, Martin Provost, Jérôme Salle, Bertrand Tavernier and Roschdy Zem.

Helming the Festival for the first time, Artistic Director, Philippe Platel, has assembled a brilliant programme encompassing romance, adventure, comedy, historical tales, thrillers and dramas, that will be showcased across 10 aptly named sections, incorporating many Australian première screenings. Continue reading ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2017



Featured image: Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams and The Metropolitan Orchestra. 

This concert of two very well known ‘Masterworks’ brought TMO back to the stage in fine form for its first ‘Met Series’ concert of 2017. A warm and appreciative audience eagerly awaited the chance to hear Sibelius’ Concerto in D Minor for Violin and Orchestra followed by no less than Brahms’ mighty Symphony No 1 in C minor Op 68.

Joining TMO as soloist for the second year in a row was Anna Da Silva Chen. Her powerhouse performance was fresh and commanding in nature. Da Silva Chen is constantly developing as an athletic and thoughtful virtuoso.

The first movement reached out to us with a clean and crisp approach. TMO, as led by Sarah-Grace Williams, made the most of all opportunities to enhance rhythmic complexities, melodic development and successive levels of dramatic mood.

There was thankfully no over-interpretation nor self-indulgent over-playing from this soloist. Bravura passages added throughout the first movement by Sibelius to showcase the violin as much as possible were rendered with prodigious depth of strength but avoided awkward heaviness.

A delicate song-like restraint and no-nonsense rendition of the concerto’s famous opening was a real highlight. This approach was not fussy and immediately drew us towards the soloist and to the qualities of the featured instrument Sibelius was able to promote.

Da Silva Chen’s respect for a stable melodic architecture alongside dazzling and fluid virtuosity continued into the second movement. Here, a beautiful pursuance of line and intricate collaboration with the orchestra made for some fine moments.

The energy and character needed from soloist and orchestra to bring this concerto to a close was on offer during the final movement. A lithe, elevated display from Da Silva Chen and a gutsy, well punctuated dealing with Sibelius’ challenges from TMO earned both a standing ovation.

Following interval, TMO’s version of Symphony No 1 in C minor Opus 68 was interpreted with clear and direct Brahms like Romanticism

Conductor Sarah Grace Williams preserved momentum throughout the sprawling movements and the composer’s wish to present deep emotion on a large scale but not let unnecessary sentiment compromise the security of structure and direction in music.

Effective choice of tempi especially enhanced the flow of the opening and final movements. The iconic timpani part known by fans of this work was well performed here. Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams kept the reaching nature of the Andante sostenuto second movement at a level of gentle poise as Brahms’ shifting patterns of tone colours moved smoothly about. The result was a hushed, hypnotic, forward moving  bulk of calm.

A highlight of this symphony’s agile interpretation was the sunny pastoral interlude which the third movement embodies. Fine playing from the winds, especially the clarinet theme, transported us to a gentle and well-balanced place.

Challenging rhythmic complexities and Brahms’ manipulations of orchestral textures were well-handled in this interpretation and they also rocketed the work to an exciting conclusion. The flow of developing ideas and changing colours were presented with easy eloquence in the final movement as it had been previously.

The successful juxtaposition of two giant Romantic period works was a bold programming choice. It was one which definitely paid off, cementing TMO’s ‘tour de force’ status in the local music scene very early in this year’s musical calendar.



IN DIFFERENCE, part of FORM Dance Projects ‘ 2017 and also linked to the current Mardi Gras festival, is a challenging, at times confronting  work, dazzlingly danced by a tremendous cast, that challenges our thoughts and preconceptions in regards to  LGBTI marriage and (in) equality.

Craig Bary, with his co-creators and performers Kristina Chan, Timothy Ohl and Joshua Thomson, has devised a show that represents two real life couples, one of heterosexual and the other of homosexual orientation.

This work, through a series of ordinary and extraordinary everyday life moments, explores how we interact and express ourselves no matter what our sexual orientation is.

The bleak scaffolding set is shifted and rotated by the cast, allowing for fluid scene changes .Karen Norris‘ lighting is often shadowy and ominous. Eden Mullholland‘s soundscape thrums, beeps and pulsates, and includes songs as well as voice overs of various incendiary speeches about LGBTI marriage and equality. Continue reading IN DIFFERENCE : DANCE ME TO THE EQUALITY OF LOVE


Being in the Mardi Gras Parade?  One word … chafing.  Maybe too words … sore feet.  Possibly three words… rain and drizzle.

So why do it?

This is what my photographer friend and I set out to explore in the 3 hours we were wandering in the float assembly area before the off.  I know why I do it.  Despite the weather, forgetting the very tender balls of my feet this morning and in spite of a wet weather plastic uniform which would simply not behave and stay away from exposed skin!  I march with the SES because it is an inclusive organisation that welcomes all people and who helps anyone in the community who needs us. Continue reading SYDNEY MARDI GRAS PARADE 2017 : A GREAT CELEBRATION


Marketing consultant, management guru and author Simon Sinek, is back in Australia for his latest speaking tour.

In a press conference that was held at the Melbourne Convention Centre ahead of his sold out Start With Why Leadership forum, organised by The Growth Faculty, that also includes Sydney and Auckland, Simon, a former advertising executive, told the media crowd that he was thrilled to be back in Australia and New Zealand for the 3 day engagement. Leadership consultant and executive coach, Peter Docker, will also be joining him in the all-day event that includes speeches, workshops, networking lunches and training development seminars. Continue reading SIMON SINEk MAKES LIGHTNING SPEAKING TOUR TO AUSTRALIA


This is the final week of Top80 S+S heats. Festival Director Wayne Tunks has made good use of the wall of props on display each week, and finally someone found a magnificent use for the shovel. Selected superb theatre pieces, for you to pick and vote for your two preferred plays out of the twelve plays this week. Interesting message pieces, and emotionally moving themes with rap chess prequel, drama, comedy, time travel, true love, chance love, and a resonating vibrator challenge.

Week Eight Plays: March 1-5 (Wed – Sun @ 7.30pm)

(1) – The Bridge

ITC Presented by Mega Theatre Productions

Written by Jayaprakash Kulur / Directed by Sreejith Gangadharan

Cast: Sreejith Gangadharan, Nithin Balakrishnan

The Bridge
The Bridge

A guard enforces NO fishing on bridge. Drama entirely spoken in unintelligible gibberish (spoken in a meaningless nonsense language that no one understands) eventually the fisher-person teaches the guard how to fish.

(2) – Judgement Days

ITC Presented by Mockingbird

Written by Carl J Sorheim / Directed by Chris Baldock

Judgement Days
Judgement Days

Short story comedy monologue, starring Nick Steain. Audience participation and comedy one-liners, as cocaine driven humour becomes drama, along his journey of discovery towards his redemption. Continue reading SHORT+SWEET 2017 TOP 80 : WEEK EIGHT @ THE DEPOT THEATRE



Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi’s  feature film, THE SALESMAN, winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, tells the story of Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), actors playing the roles of husband and wife in a Tehran production of Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.

They are also husband and wife off-stage, sharing an apartment that is devastated by an earthquake.

Forced to move, a tragic incident changes their lives in ways they could never have predicted.

THE SALESMAN has been described as a powerful social critique that touches on themes of family, gender, and the chilling psychology of vengeance.

The film will be released nationally next Thursday, March 9.

The double passes offered with this post have been won.



Kate Mulvany IS Shakespeare’s Richard III. No need to read any further. Get your hands on a ticket now as they will become collectors’ items and in 5, 10, 20 years’ time when people speak of Mulvany’s performance, and they will, you will want to say you were there. Bell Shakespeare and Kate Mulvany bring RICHARD III spine- tinglingly alive at the Sydney Opera House.

Why Shakespeare’s Richard III? Since his carpark exhumation from the remains of Leicester’s Greyfriars Church in August 2012, the legacy reconstruction of the last king of the House of York, last of the Plantagenet dynasty is part of the zeitgeist. That man is not Shakespeare’s man. When he wrote it, Will was an early-career, jobbing actor and writer: politically and financially bound to sponsors. Sponsors like the Stanley Family who appear to great credit in a play designed to flatter one reputation by destruction of another.

In this 400 year old text, the Duke, Protector, King thereafter who must be brought to life is physically ‘misshapen’ and emotionally driven to ‘stand upon the hazard of the die’. Mulvany and Director Peter Evans have interrogated this, the second longest of the canon, and found in it the caustic humour and the slimy charm that allows real insight into the mind of this villain. Without the blood and gore implied and with delicious licence to secretly enjoy the malicious machinations of the unreconstructed Richard. Continue reading BELL SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS ‘RICHARD III @ THE PLAYHOUSE


Accompanied by a stunning 24-piece orchestra lead by the iconic Musical Director John Foreman, Trevor Ashley is returning to Sydney Opera House on Thursday, March 2, this time at the Concert Hall, with his acclaimed two-act show, DIAMONDS ARE FOR TREVOR, celebrating Dame Shirley Bassey’s 80th birthday in what will be the official curtain raiser for the 2017 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Nominated for three Helpmann Awards (Les Miserables, Fat Swan, Diamonds Are For Trevor) Trevor Ashley says that, The Shirley Bassey songbook is full of incredible songs, and I can’t wait to sing many of them again on a special night.”

With dazzling costumes designed by Academy Award® winner Tim Chappel, and armed with his trademark humour and unrivalled set of lungs, Ashley will perform dozens of Shirley Bassey hits as he takes you on a tour of her life – complete with feathers, flash and frequent diva tantrums.

Doors to the Concert Hall open at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm.

Tickets are on sale now through



Jacinta Gregory is a musical comedienne and manic depressive.

Every day she busily juggles life, love, depressive illness and being a WOMAN in the modern world/big city/Newtown.

See her show to find out. It will be a night of live music, painful laughter and hurtful truths.

Jacinta is crumbling…in fact you will see her Jacintegrating, in the funniest possible way, at the Fusebox Theatre at 7 pm on 11th March.



Born on an April Monday afternoon under the sign of Aries, soul and rhythm and blues singer Madison McKoy grew up in rural North Carolina, the youngest of 10 children.

Like many music lovers of his generation, Madison has a passion for the emotional and uplifting songwriting styles of great artists such as Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Sade, Janet Jackson, Seal and of course, Stevie Wonder.

These influences are reflected in Madison’s original compositions; some of which are included in his album releases — 10TH CHILD and DEEP WITHIN. Continue reading MADISON MCKOY BRINGS SOME GREAT RHYTHM AND BLUES TO THE FACTORY THEATRE


Directed by Phil Grabsky this is an autobiographical exploration of the great Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s life based on his voluminous correspondence  (over 2500 letters). The letters are mellifluously, eloquently read by Henry Goodman and in the background there is a dreamy soundscape including compositions by Satie.

Many of Monet’s works, over a hundred, now scattered around the globe, are luminously photographed in closeup so we can see the swirling brushstrokes.

The film features glorious view of favourite Monet locations including Paris and Giverny and we can see the changes that have taken place since Monet’s time. Continue reading EXHIBITION ON SCREEN : I, CLAUDE MONET

Scottish Comedian Craig Hill – Up and Coming! @ Sydney Comedy Festival

Hot on the heels of last year’s sell-out show, Scottish comedian is coming back to Sydney to perform in the upcoming Sydney Comedy Festival.

A kilty pleasure, Craig Hill is a Scottish comedian, TV presenter and actor known for his cheeky, irreverent and camp act.

Craig Hill will be performing for one night only at the Enmore Theatre on Friday 28th April at 8.15 pm. Tickets are $34.90.

For more  about Craig Hill – Up and Coming!, visit

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After a delicious afternoon tea we were treated to a magnificent concert by the Streeton Trio, part of the Prelude in Tea series of concerts held at the beautiful Independent Theatre.

The concert was given the umbrella title The Vienna Congress.

Before the concert began violinist Emma Jardine set the program in context, explaining the turbulent times of the period and the dominant influence of Napoleon Bonaparte. She advised that the program explored the complex musical situation in Vienna, the capital of European music at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Two decades of great cultural ferment saw the Vienna Congress (1814/1815) as the turning point between the ideals of the Enlightenment and those of the Restoration. What took place was a radical change in the social role of music, which was no longer used as an instrument of awareness and knowledge, but instead became ‘the opium of the masses ‘ and proved useful in disguising the harsh reality of post-Napoleonic and post-Enlightenment society. Continue reading PRELUDE IN TEA : THE STREETON TRIO @ THE INDEPENDENT THEATRE


This Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) production of Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST, two years in the making, and well directed by Gregory Doran, will probably be remembered for two main things- its amazing use of the latest technology for great special effects and, after twenty years, the return of Simon Russell Beale to the RSC stage, playing the role of Prospero.

Brimson Lewis’s multi layered set is the huge decaying spine and ribs of a broken, sunken ship while director Gregory Doran and designer Stephen Brimson Lewis, working with actor Andy Serkis’  Imaginarium Studios, have developed a series of grandiose images — from terrifying hounds of Hell to charming landscapes and striking underwater images – that add to events rather than distract from them.

The lavish, elaborate masque Prospero conjures up to bless the marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand featured vibrant colours, astonishing costumes, three singers, several dancers, peacock tails and stylised landscapes. Continue reading RSC : THE TEMPEST : LIVE FROM STRATFORD- UPON – AVON


ARTEXPRESS is an annual series of exhibitions of exemplary artworks created by New South Wales visual arts students for the Higher School Certificate examination.

For the thirteenth consecutive year, ARTEXPRESS at the Armory will be presented at Sydney Olympic Park, every day from Tuesday 28 February – Tuesday 25 April 2017 (inclusive).

With FREE daily entry between 10am-4pm at the Armory Gallery, ARTEXPRESS at the Armory 2017 is the largest of all metropolitan ARTEXPRESS displays, showcasing the works of 59 young artists from schools across New South Wales. Continue reading ART EXPRESS @ THE ARMORY GALLERY SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK


Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss is coming to Sydney in May to perform at this years’ Sydney Comedy Festival.

Sloss has built up quite a portfolio of work having sold out 9 consecutive Edinburgh Fringes and tours extensively throughout UK, Europe, Australasia and USA. His many TV appearances includes Sunday Night at the Palladium, Russell Howard’s Good News, and six appearances on Conan. In 2016 he  had an 80 date UK and Europe tour as well as making his New York debut with a successful season at the Soho playhouse, followed by a 3 month tour of Australia and New Zealand.

MZA Artists & Century Entertainment is bringing him back to present his show, SO?… what else is new…?! on Saturday 6th May at 9.30 pm at the Enmore Theatre.

Tickets are available to purchase online- For more about Daniel Sloss: SO?, visit
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In Carlo Goldoni’s SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, Truffaldino is hungry. Truffaldino is always hungry. While working for one master he decides to double dip and work for a second master just to satisfy his everlasting hunger.

Meanwhile, the lovers, are betrothed, meet, fight and more importantly love. Where there is love, there is food and where there is food there is Truffaldino. Performed with the traditional mask used in the Commedia dell’arte style, this production is sure to please all who love comedy and slapstick.

Starring Ben- jamin Newham as Truffaldino, Bianca Bonino as Pantalone, Mark Power as Doctor, Marcella Franco as Beatrice/Federigo Rasponi, Daniel D’Amico as Florindo, David D’Silva as Silvio Lombardi, Ali Aitken as Clarice, Pasqualino Arcuri as Brighella and Gianna Di Genua as Smeraldina.

Directed by Maria de Marco
Mask Coach: Bianca Bonino & Ben- Jamin Newham
Production design: EMU Arts
Producers: EMU Productions and Fools In Progress Inc. Theatre Company

Where: KING STREET THEATRE – 644 King St & Cnr Bray St, Newtown.
(Entrance on Bray St, Above the South End Café)
Date: 14 March – 25 March, 2017
Tickets: $35/ $30/ $28 for group bookings of 10 +/ $22 School students
Time : Preview Tuesday 14th March 2017.
Opening Night 16th March, 2017.
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ 7:30pm
Wednesday school matinees @ 10:30am 15 & 22 March, 2017
Age: 13+
Audience: 100 seats.

For more about The Servant of Two Masters, visit

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EIGHTH BLACKBIRD send you to musical seventh heaven with their Musica Viva set which includes the world premiere performance of a work by home grown composer Holly Harrison.

Named from a Wallace Stevens poem that talks about lucid, inescapable rhythms, EIGHTH BLACKBIRD is a sizzling sextet originally hailing from Ohio celebrating twenty-one years performing new works that defy easy classification. True to say, there’s no pigeon-holing the EIGHTH BLACKBIRD.

The program for the Musica Viva Tour combines pieces they have worked on in recent seasons with music from two of their recent recordings, one of which, Filament, won them their fourth Grammy. Continue reading MUSICA VIVA PRESENTS ‘EIGHTH BLACKBIRD’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL



At the heart of this classic Michael Gow play AWAY sit the stories of three troubled, vulnerable wives/mothers.

Natasha Herbert plays Coral. Coral, along with her husband Roy, tragically lost their son in the Vietnam war. (The play is set in Australia in 1968). Since the loss, she has slid deeply into depression, which has put great pressure on her marriage to school headmaster, Roy.

Coral is an eerie, dark role. I have seen the part over-played in productions; Herbert’s performance is measured and well conveyed. Continue reading MICHAEL GOW’S ‘AWAY’ : AN AUSTRALIAN CLASSIC IS REVISITED


JASPER JONES is a gem.

JASPER JONES is based on the best-selling Australian novel by Craig Silvey. The novel has received broad critical acclaim and commercial success including being short-listed for the prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2011 and short-listed for the Australian Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2010.

Pic opens with schoolmates Charlie and Jeffrey debating the attributes of the super hero, and how Spiderman is an urban superhero who would be out of his comfort zone in their small, rural town.

For Jeffrey Superman and Spiderman are the supreme embodiment of a superhero, but for Charley it’s Batman, whose super power is not supernatural like the kid from Krypton, but courage like the caped crusader.

Courage is at the forefront of JASPER JONES, and author Craig Silvey has courageously adapted his novel with Snowtown scribe, Shaun Grant.

Idle banter about bantering idols and childish choices like “Would you rather wear a hat made of spiders or have a hand with fingers replaced by penises?”, give way to more pressing matters when Charlie answers a midnight summons from town outcast, Jasper Jones.

Charlie accompanies Jasper to a billabong where the body of a 16-year-old girl, Laura Wishart, hangs from an eucalypti tree. She was Jasper’s girlfriend, his only friend, and now she is dead. Charlie immediately wants to contact the police but Jasper is adamant that they cannot, as he will be blamed because he is Aboriginal and explains that he already knows who is the killer; it’s Mad Jack Lionel, the town recluse and former abattoir worker who is rumoured to have slaughtered a woman several years ago. Continue reading JASPER JONES


In the lead up to Lent and Easter we are very privileged to have the Brandenburg’s glorious performances of Handel’s THE MESSIAH, enthusiastically led and directed by Paul Dyer with the magnificent Brandenburg Choir, four soloists and a striking, very unusual and effective staging by Constantine Cosi.

Handel’s Oratorio on the life of Christ is divided into four ‘scenes’ : Darkness to Light , The Dream , Shame and Mourning, and Ecstatic Light.

THE MESSIAH follows the story of Christ from birth to crucifixion and resurrection, but it also examines Israelite history, exploring the prophets who preceded the Messiah (especially Isaiah) and looks forward to the birth of the Church. There is no single dominant narrative voice and little use is made of quoted speech.

The Orchestra, seated on a slightly raised platform, was in luminous form, and played with a warm, elegant tone on their period instruments – extra horns and drums were incorporated where necessary. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN BRANDENBURG ORCHESTRA PRESENTS HANDEL’S MESSIAH @ CITY RECITAL HALL


The opening song, Mic Conway’s version of Nostalgia’s Not What It Used To Be, set the tone for some reminiscing about the characters and content of the innovative satirical show, The Gillies Report.

The nature of politics has changed considerably since the eighties when the The Gillies Report was in its heyday. Max Gillies reminisces about these changes and explores the characters he lampooned with a series of slides, stories and famous speeches he made in character as some of politicians of the seventies and eighties.

Gillies opened with a serious discussion of how a just society is based on mutual respect, power must be restrained and how lucky we are being Australian. He mentioned how a certain modern world leader is in territory beyond satire and deserves to be re-incarnated as himself.

He then went through some very funny slides of himself as various political characters, talked a little about the background and then performed speeches he had made as these characters when they were active in politics.

Gillies started with Billy McMahon and his notorious telephone calls, followed by his portrayal of Bob Hawke, a highlight of the evening. Other politicians portrayed and satirised included Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth and Graham Richardson, discussing the wunderkind Paul Keating.

At the intermission the audience were invited to write questions on a card for Gillies to consider. Gillies noted a recent phenomenon where the word Trump has been written on the cards and he posited that the world is so bemused and befuddled by the new American President to the extent that it is hard to think of appropriate questions.

He then continued by talking about how he studied the mannerisms and traits of politicians before he went to create their persona and then go on to impersonate them. His journeys to find the core attributes to focus on with Don Chipp and Malcolm Fraser made for captivating anecdotes.

He also thanked his writers from over the years, Don Watson, Patrick Cook and Guy Rundle and acknowledged the significant contributions of make-up artists, prosthetic fabricators and special effects artists.

Gillies  had some engrossing responses to questions about how the various politicians responded to his performances.

Gillies closed the show with a sketch of a doddering John Howard in his dressing gown, settling in for the night and talking about Jeanette, his childhood and the jokes of the Methodists.

ONCE WERE LEADERS : AN EVENING WITH MAX GILLIES is playing the Glen Street Theatre, Belrose until Sunday 26th February.








Since 472 BC when Aeschylus created dialogue by adding ‘the antagonist’ to what had only been chorus and ‘the protagonist’, theatrical representations of human impulses have most often been expressed as discussion.

MEMBER has only one man on stage. He is protagonist and antagonist, speaker and listener, inner thought and outward expression. There is, however, further discussion taking place behind him in the shadows of the tiny black stage, where a clamour of voices has contributed to this extraordinary work. Artists, common people and the recounting of those involved are all alive in the yellowing spotlights.

And in the tinny bip of heart rate monitor which assaults in the darkness to open the show. Continue reading FAIRLY LUCID THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS ‘MEMBER’ @ BLOOD MOON THEATRE

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