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the AU review - ARTS: REVIEWS http://www.theaureview.com/taxonomy/term/7520/0 en Theatre Review: The Golden Age - Wharf 1 Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company (Performances Until February 20th) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/theatre/the-golden-age-sydney-theatre-company-tues-until-feb-20 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/2016-stc-the-golden-age-sarah-peirse-by-james-green-3239.jpg" width="640" alt="" /></p> <p>Two young men explore the Tasmanian wilderness in their youth. Francis, a young engineer and his friend Peter, a geologist, have bright futures ahead of them. But when they stumble upon a tribe of outcasts deep in the bush, they enjoy a moment of curious joy before despair.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The tribe are a group of misfits, who speak in a melange of old English patois and gibberish, if they can speak at all. Many of them are deformed or severely challenged, lacking basic skills. After two nights of learning and interaction, Peter is keen to leave the tribe be and move on with their hike home, while Francis begins to take a shine to a young girl named Betsheb. When one of the old men dies, the tribe’s leader, an old woman named Ayr, decides to head to civilisation with the boys and change their history forever.</p> <p>Written in 1985 by Louis Nowra and set before and during WWII, the play is widely regarded as an Australian classic, and a stark commentary on Australia’s colonial heritage, its treatment of the indigenous and our culture in general. Due to its rather large cast (nine actors playing thirteen characters) and epic stage requirements it’s not often performed, but this ambitious production does hit many marks. </p> <p>Direction from Kip Williams is strong, as are performances from Brendon McClelland as Francis, Rarriwuy Hick as Betsheb and Robert Menzies as one of the tribe as well as Peter’s father, Dr Archer, who studies the group when they arrive in Hobart. David Fleicher’s design is sparse but excellent in its simplicity in becoming various locations from the outback to the Western Front, backed up by excellent lighting design by Damien Cooper.</p> <p>The first act is wonderfully intriguing, however the second act rushes through five years of snap-quick scenes to get to somewhat of an anticlimactic ending. While excellently executed, the inclusion of numerous flashes to Francis’ experience at war adds only a little to the story, and only forces more rushing through of plot to get the play finished in under three hours. While it's well performed and directed, </p> <p>it does beg wonder why - in 2016 - it was chosen to remount when there are far more stories of our colonial heritage which rely less on metaphor. However it does raise some very strong themes of our lack of culture as a whole and our ambivalence towards it.</p> <p>----------</p> <p>Performances continue at Sydney Theatre's Wharf 1 Theatre through 20th February. For tickets and more details head <a href="https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2016/the-golden-age" target="_blank" />HERE</a>.</p> <p><I>The reviewer attended the performance on Tuesday January 19th</i></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="636" height="393" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/2016-stc-the-golden-age-sarah-peirse-by-james-green-3239.jpg?1453297867" /> </div> </div> </div> THEATRE SYDNEY ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU SYDNEY THEATRE Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:57:56 +0000 Julian Ramundi 35475 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: The Importance of Being Earnest - Bella Vista Farm, Sydney (Performances through Dec 30th) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/the-importance-of-being-earnest-bella-vista-farm-performances-through-december-30th <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/Earnest%20Production%20Photo%201%20-%20Credit%20Marnya%20Rothe.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="Algernon and John sit on the couch in deep discussion. Photo: Marnya Rothe." title="The Importance of Being Earnest. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Courtesy of Sport for Jove." /></p> <p>Sport for Jove’s <b><I>The Importance of Being Earnest</i></b> opens with perhaps one of the most perfectly choreographed scenes in theatre. Staged within an elaborate house and performed to "Le amour est un oiseux rebelle" from George Bizet’s opera Carmen, we see Algernon Moncrieff (Aaron Tsindos) after a long night of revelry, emerge and move about his house in a daze. His butler Lane (James Lugton) masterfully pre-empts his every move, catching falling glasses and cleaning up around him, perfectly synchronised to the classic tune. And so begins the Oscar Wilde tale of fantasy and farce in Victorian England.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Regarded by some when it was first written as entirely superficial, <b>The Importance of Being Earnest</b> makes a mockery of the institution of marriage and exposes the hypocrisies of Victorian society through the interactions of Algernon, John ‘Jack’ Worthing (Scott Sheridan), Gwendolen Fairfax (Claire Lovering), Cecily Cardew (Eloise Winestock) and Lady Bracknell (Deborah Kennedy). We have two women whose entire happiness in marriage hang on a particular name, two men whose happiness relies on their leading a double life and a mother whose preoccupation with money could be considered an Olympic sport. Perhaps a reflection of the double life the married, yet secretly homosexual, Wilde was living at the time, the play concludes with all secrets out in the open, the couples united, and Worthing’s real parentage is exposed – which makes he and Algernon brothers and subsequently means he is marrying his first cousin.</p> <p>Wilde is intent on conveying serious matters such as marriage and morality, in an entirely trivial way, whereas matters which could be perceived as trivial, such a food and fashion, are presented as essential to the continuation of polite society. The result is an hilarious and fast paced comedy that will have you laughing from start to finish. Special mention needs to be made to the exceptional costume design by Anna Gardiner and the cleverly constructed sets, again the work of Gardiner and director Damien Ryan.</p> <p>Standout performances from Aaron Tsindos as Algernon and Deborah Kennedy as Lady Bracknell, but it is perhaps James Lugton as butler Lane who steals the show. His perfectly timed entrances, ability to catch literally anything his employer throws at him, his calm demeanour and witty one-liners are comedic gold. In particular, the running bell-ringing gag – where Algernon has the uncanny ability to find a bell anywhere – inside a teapot, a pot plant – and when he rings it Lane magical appears, regardless of where they are – was a charming addition to the play.</p> <p>A delight to watch, <b>The Importance of Being Earnest</b> encapsulates the farcical hypocrisy of societal standards and impresses upon its audience a wit and comedic presence so often sought after, but rarely achieved in theatrical adaptations. </p> <p>----------</p> <p>The Shakespeare in the Park Festival, which also features Shakespearealism and Love’s Labour’s Lost, enjoys performances through December 30th. For tickets and more details head here: <a href="http://www.sportforjove.com.au/theatre-festival/the-sydney-hills-shakespeare-in-the-park" title="http://www.sportforjove.com.au/theatre-festival/the-sydney-hills-shakespeare-in-the-park">http://www.sportforjove.com.au/theatre-festival/the-sydney-hills-shakesp...</a></p> <p>Reviewer attended the performance on December 19th.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="426" title="The Importance of Being Earnest. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Courtesy of Sport for Jove." alt="Algernon and John sit on the couch in deep discussion. Photo: Marnya Rothe." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/Earnest%20Production%20Photo%201%20-%20Credit%20Marnya%20Rothe.jpg?1450672027" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS SYDNEY ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Wed, 23 Dec 2015 02:38:54 +0000 Naomi Gall 35419 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: Shakespearealism and Love’s Labour’s Lost - Bella Vista Farm (Performances through December 30th) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/shakespearealism-and-loves-labours-lost-bella-vista-farm <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/love-labours-lost.jpg" width="640" height="322" alt="" /></p> <p>Having attended <b>The Shakespeare in the Park Festival</b> for several years I confess I was disappointed when we were guided to a modern stage instead of the Macarthur house at Bella Vista Farm. Part of what made this festival so unique was its clever and considered use of the farm house and despite the skillful set design, it was missing a certain authenticity. Perhaps the house couldn’t be used for restoration purposes, perhaps Baulkham Hills Shire Council wanted to get more use out of the eye-sore of a stage erected a mere stone’s throw away from the late 1700s homestead of John and Elizabeth Macarthur which forms an integral part of Australia’s European settler history – who knows.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>However, this change of location in no way detracted from the skill of the performers as they presented a double bill of <b>Shakespearealism</b> and <b>Love’s Labour’s Lost</b>. I’ve attended many Sport for Jove productions over the years and I can honestly say I have yet to see one I did not enjoy. Tonight was no exception.</p> <p><b>Shakespearealism</b>, written by Josh Lawson and directed by Lizzie Schebesta, presents a satirical look at Shakespeare’s work through the plays of his lesser known brother Ralph. Set in the same year as <b>Love’s Labour’s Lost</b>, two actors perform Ralph’s latest work for consideration at The Rose. The manager of the theatre, Phillip Henslowe is not impressed with the young playwright’s attempts to break down what he calls ‘the fifth wall’ and presenting ‘real life’ on stage – with a lot of extended pauses. Lasting for around thirty minutes, <b>Shakespearealism</b> focuses on the absurdity of Shakespeare and the theatre in general and how it bears little relevance on real life. The highlight was Ralph’s creation of the word ‘frucking’, a word he insists will become common place in the theatre one day. This was an hilarious opening act for <b>Love’s Labour’s Lost</b>.</p> <p>Perhaps one of Shakespeare’s most obscure plays, condemned by scholars as nonsensical, <b>Love’s Labour’s Lost</b> just happens to be a favourite of director Damien Ryan who fell in love with its convoluted prose as a twenty-one year old recovering from a broken heart. The comedies premise is simple enough, set in the court of King Ferdinand of Navarre, the King and three men from his court swear to dedicate the next three years to scholarly pursuits and see no women. Timing couldn’t be worse as the Princess of France arrives with her ladies to negotiate ownership of the Aquitaine. She is told to camp outside as ladies are not allowed in court. Naturally the men become smitten with the ladies, decide to break their oath, and proceed to construct elaborate poems and present extravagant gifts in an attempt to woo them. Throw in a visiting Spaniard and his guitar playing servant and it’s a party. Literally, in the second act.</p> <p>What sets this play apart from Shakespeare’s other comedies is his portrayal of women and love. These women are not impressed by gifts and pretty words, visibly repulsed at being referred to as ‘fair’. They do not seek the superficial version of love offered by their suitors, nor do they accept it, instead demanding the men take a year to dwell and if their intentions still be strong to come find them and try again. It is truly a case of actions speaking louder than words and these fiercely intelligent, determined women will settle for nothing less. We also see an adaptation on the original by turning one of the King’s men, Longaville, into a woman masquerading as a man. It is a clever and emotive way to bring the current issue of marriage equality into the spotlight.</p> <p>Other brilliant modern twists include a Hannibal Lecter reference, the modern day security guard Anthony Dull, played to comic perfection by Scott Sheridan, Costard’s (George Banders) humorous monologue about ‘remuneration’ and continuous audience interaction which included drinking someone’s wine - ‘This isn’t prop wine’ – and offering to buy a man’s wife and the King (Edmund Lembke-Hogan) selecting an audience member to give him feedback on his love poem before exclaiming ‘oh fruck!’.</p> <p>The musical numbers provide some of the most hilarious scenes but honestly it is difficult to choose any particular part as a standout – the entire play was exceptional. Truly brilliant performances by the entire cast, but in particular Edmund Lembke-Hogan as King Ferdinand of Navrre, Emily Eskell as the Princess of France, Berynn Schwerdt as Don Adriano De Armado, but perhaps the most outstanding was Gabrielle Scawthorn as Longaville. The play concludes on her tear stained face, loss and sadness etched in every tear, for while her comrades may have the chance to marry their loves once the year is done, she cannot, giving this most obscure of Shakespeare’s comedies a rather tragic end. </p> <p>The Shakespeare in the Park Festival, which also features The Impotance of Being Earnest, enjoys performances through December 30th. For tickets and more details head here: <a href="http://www.sportforjove.com.au/theatre-festival/the-sydney-hills-shakespeare-in-the-park" title="http://www.sportforjove.com.au/theatre-festival/the-sydney-hills-shakespeare-in-the-park">http://www.sportforjove.com.au/theatre-festival/the-sydney-hills-shakesp...</a></p> <p>Reviewer attended the performance on December 12th.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="322" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/love-labours-lost.jpg?1450145101" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Tue, 15 Dec 2015 02:05:50 +0000 Naomi Gall 35388 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: Jerry's Girls - the Production Company - Arts Centre Melbourne (Performances To December 6) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/jerrys-girls-the-production-company-arts-centre-melbourne-performances-to-december-6 <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://music.theaureview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/TPC-JERRYS-GIRLS-photo-Jeff-Busby_1542.jpg"><img class="alignnone wp-image-6028" src="http://music.theaureview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/TPC-JERRYS-GIRLS-photo-Jeff-Busby_1542-644x429.jpg" alt="TPC JERRY'S GIRLS photo Jeff Busby_1542" width="640" height="427" /></a></p> <p>What a breath of fresh air for Australian musical theatre. In recent years, we’ve tried to create our own original work but it hasn’t always translated. Well, let me tell you; this one translates. Starring 11 of the industry’s most dazzling ladies comes a show dedicated to celebrating the works of American composer and lyricist Jerry Herman.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><i>Jerry’s Girls</i> is essentially a song cycle but very cleverly put together in a company-devised piece that explores the mechanics of the two-week rehearsal period for a Production Company show. It’s all about gaining that “insider knowledge” we all wish we could be privy to, and to really understand the dynamics between cast and creatives. </p> <p>These leading ladies need no introduction, as together they clock up countless years of stage experience. In saying this, I guess what really made this show unique was their ability to poke fun at themselves and to play to their stereotypes, which, seeing played out was absolutely hysterical.</p> <p>The world of theatre is such a magical place because it allows us to escape our everyday lives and become involved with the characters up on stage. While this show was not the kind of show where you could connect with Herman’s iconic characters, it did allow us to see a more relatable side to some of the industry’s biggest names.</p> <p>Rhonda Burchmore, Nancye Hayes, Silvie Paladino, Christie Whelan Browne, Virginia Gaye, Claire Lyon, Kirby Burgess, Chelsea Gibb, Debora Krizak, Josie Lane and Natalie O’Donnell, along with Brent Hill, invigorated new meanings to some of Broadway’s classic shows including Hello, Dolly!, Mack and Mabel, Mame, Parade, Milk and Honey, and La Cage aux Folles.</p> <p>Notable mention must go to Christie Whelan Browne for her incredibly accurate portrayal of the show’s choreographer Andrew Hallsworth. The resemblance really was uncanny. Also to the quintessential balladeer that is Silvie Palladino; her exquisite performance of ‘Shalom’ was a beautiful change in pace that drew us in from start to end. </p> <p>We also need a moment to take in the sheer brilliance of Virginia Gaye and her newfound place in the Australian musical theatre scene. Her duet of ‘Bosom Buddies’ with Rhonda Burchmore was just divine and showed just how sassy these two ladies are.</p> <p><i>Jerry’s Girls</i> is a clever show that works to the strengths of each performer thanks to the powerhouse creative team that is Dean Bryant, Andrew Hallsworth and Mathew Frank. If you’re looking for an outrageous night at the theatre, then this show will have you belly laughing the whole way through.</p> <p>Performances are on until December 6 but for more information visit <a href="https://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/musicals/jerrys-girls" title="https://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/musicals/jerrys-girls">https://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/musicals/jerrys-girls</a>. </p> <p>The reviewer attended the show on opening night November 21.</p> REVIEWS MELBOURNE ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Wed, 25 Nov 2015 05:30:28 +0000 Kara Bertoncini 35326 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: Ships in the Night #12 - Bar 459, Perth (19.11.15) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/ships-in-the-night-12-bar-459-perth-19-11-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_3292.JPG" width="640" height="480" alt="" /></p> <p>For someone who likes words, spent great swathes of his life reading, and works in a bookshop, I don’t get to literary events and evenings as much as I would like.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>In a bid to rectify this I headed to Ships in the Night; a bi-monthly evening of words; spoken, shouted, screamed, sung or even whispered (though there wasn’t much whispering). Thursday night saw the 12th instalment of the spoken word evening, pretty much the evening’s second anniversary and the last gathering for 2015. Held in Bar 459, a venue that could double for a Greenwich Village literary salon, the evening had an intimate affair; with punters and readers all packed in together. </p> <p>The evening, ably hosted by the wonderfully droll <b>Vidya Rajan</b>, was split into two parts: emerging writers and headliners. With both halves being kicked off with a musical performance. Indeed one of my favourite experiences of the night was watching some of the audiences varying reactions to the musical acts, <b>Sam Atkin</b> and <b>Fingernail</b>, who had two very different styles. Atkins’ immersive and ambient drone music provided quite a beautiful start to the proceedings; there were a few technical issues, but they didn’t really detract from the music. Fingernail on the other hand, definitively had a DIY punk thing going on; it was all a little bit ramshackle, not necessarily my thing, but plenty in the audience seemed to appreciate it. </p> <p>But what of the writers? </p> <p>Well they were a pretty interesting and varied bunch, though I arguably no-ones writing really veered towards mainstream tastes or sensibilities. We had disembowelling, infanticide and “incesticide” in one piece from <b>Dennis Venning</b>, followed straight up with a piece from <b>Patrick Marlborough</b> devoted pretty much exclusively to a characters irregular bowel habits. The third presenter <b>Ashley Ramsey</b> mixed things up a little bit with four shorter poems, which were quite poignant, whilst the first half concluded with <b>Richard Moore</b> reading a particularly erotically charged extract from his novel. </p> <p>Mostly I enjoyed the work on offer, however, I did feel that at times it erred towards feeling a little pretentious. For me it felt there was a push to show how literary of anti-establishment they could be; and occasionally it just felt a bit false. </p> <p>The second half of the evening was devoted to the headliners, <b>Geoff Lemon</b> and <b>Lucy Dougan</b>. Lemon, writer for the Guardian and other assorted publications, probably provided the evening’s highlight with a beautiful and poignant mediation on public and selective grief in the wake of Philip Hughes death. It was just a wonderful piece of writing, performed off the cuff, and it brought the room to silence. He also gave us the innuendo heavy ‘Mianus’ a poem about the Connecticut town, which is pronounced exactly like you’d think. </p> <p>Lucy Dougan was perhaps the most “traditional” poet of the evening; certainly it seemed the most heavily published. The poems she chose to recite were focused heavily on family, on brothers and sisters, both in Australia and scattered around the world. They were all quite touching, and undoubtedly deeply personal. </p> <p>To finish there was Open Mic. Six slots, two minutes, do your worst. To be honest the quality on display during the open mic was pretty impressive; the two that stood out for me were <b>Steven Finch’s</b> fan fiction piece “shipping” the evenings performers and <b>Scott Sandwich’s</b> riffing on Shakespeare’s famous Sonnet XVIII. </p> <p>So that was my first spoken word night. Would I go again? Undoubtedly. Despite my few minor misgivings, it was a fun evening, and something a little bit different, which is always welcome.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="480" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_3292.JPG?1448239737" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS PERTH ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU THE ROSEMOUNT HOTEL Mon, 23 Nov 2015 05:13:05 +0000 Simon Clark 35317 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: My Latin Heart - City Recital Hall, Sydney (12.11.15) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/my-latin-heart-city-recital-hall-sydney-12-11-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/my%20latin%20heart.jpg" width="640" height="382" alt="" /></p> <p>Brothers Slava and Leonard Grigoryan are bound by family and the love of music, proving vital to their success as performers on the Australian stage. Experts in classical and contemporary releases, the brothers have put out six records since 2007. Accompanied by renowned Argentinian-born baritone José Carbó, the Melbournian guitar duo rejoice in a fruitful display of Latin music, performing a wealth of repertoire from their acclaimed 2011 ABC release, <b>My Latin Heart</b>.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The three individuals seem to perform as one, there are no mistakes, and no string flat – everything these men do is masterfully planned and aligned. José’s inspiration for making this concert come to fruition lay in the hands of his Grandfather, who left him his sheet music to a variety of tangos before his passing. Occasionally melancholic and respectively enchanting, José cunningly kept the crowd entertained between breaks, enlightening patrons with some brief history of the works, and the deeper connection between them and him.</p> <p>Angel Place’s City Recital Hall is the most seamless venue for this sort of performance, intimate enough to encapsulate the histories of European composition, but large enough for the resonance to bounce off the walls and embody an atmosphere like no other. </p> <p>Carbó received a series of “Bravo” calls after each song and rightfully so – it still amazes me how a man can so graciously fill a room with a foreign aura only using the power of voice, and holding the microphone well below his chest. Piazzolla’s ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Los pajaros perdidos’ were welcomed with a roaring crowd. ‘Ave Maria’ was followed by a standing ovation after the hair sticking up on the back of the necks of the attendees came to settle. </p> <p>Singing as clearly and as powerfully as Carbó does, it doesn’t come easy. Every few tracks, he would farewell and leave the brothers to their devices, detouring north to some Brazilian works for the crowd to be left in awe, as they dazzle across the fretboard and incorporate a lengthy segment of percussive techniques in Paulo Bellinati’s ‘Jongo’.</p> <p>No performer outshines each other, but the Grigoryans are very well synched, interplaying harmonies and the rhythmic complexities of the tangoes before them, having their familial experience guiding them in harmony. This string of My Latin Heart sees them step up from their slower, more contemporary works, playing pieces far faster and utilising a different pair of guitars. </p> <p>My Latin Heart takes the crowd on a magical journey through Europe, and with José’s sentimental thoughts appearing in between works, provides a deeper and more personal connection between the music and the listener. A real delight to absorb. </p> <p>My Latin Heart was a one night only performance on the 12th November 2015 at the City Recital Hall in Sydney, which the reviewer attended.</p> <p><i>My Latin Heart was a one night only performance on the 12th November 2015 at the City Recital Hall in Sydney, which the reviewer attended.</i></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="382" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/my%20latin%20heart.jpg?1447722299" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU MY LATIN HEART Tue, 17 Nov 2015 01:18:12 +0000 Daniel Lucisano 35289 at http://www.theaureview.com 2015 Sydney Peace Prize Lecture with recipient George Gittoes AM http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/2015-sydney-peace-prize-lecture-with-recipient-george-gittoes-am <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/LoveCityJalalabad_0.JPG" width="640" height="427" alt="Artist George Gittoes smiles at the camera surrounded by the people of Jalalabad" title="George Gittoes, Love City,Jalalabad." /></p> <p>The <b>Sydney Peace Foundation</b> is a University of Sydney foundation that promotes peace with justice and awards Australia’s only annual international peace prize. Established in 1998, and in partnership with the City of Sydney and Singapore Airlines, previous recipients have included John Pilger, Irene Khan and Patrick Dodson. For the first time the peace prize recipient is an artist, filmmaker <b>George Gittoes AM</b>, who has confronted violence in war zones, connected to their communities and used art to subdue aggression.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The evening began with an evocative performance piece that was accompanied by the vocal talents of Hellen Rose, Gittoes wife. Sydney Peace Foundation Chair, David Hirsch, opened proceedings acknowledging that artists often see the world differently to other people and that ‘George Gittoes is no ordinary artist. He’s no ordinary anything.’ Advocating for the innocent victims of conflict appears to be at the very heart of Gittoes practice and as the artist took to the stage to present his lecture there was an overwhelming sense that we were about to bear witness to something extraordinary.</p> <p>‘The thing about art is it’s free – it’s like sunshine.’ Gittoes discussed his experiences in Rwanda, Israel, Palestine, Cambodia and, most recently, in Afghanistan. He spoke passionately about the Yellow House set up in Jalalabad and the people he has met through his work there. His stories are as uplifting as they are heartbreaking, in particular, he spoke of a Muslim woman who had been severely beaten while attempting to assist a Jewish woman and her child to get back to their home. When he visited the woman in hospital he asked her if she saw another Jewish woman in distress, would she help, she replied that while they had taken away her husband and her son, they would not take away her humanity. Gittoes is not a war artist, he views his role, in our increasingly dehumanised society, as bringing us closer to the people in these countries – through his pictures and films he gives them a face and makes them real.</p> <p>A natural storyteller, Gittoes is incredibly humble and self-depreciating when it comes to his exceptional achievements. Having lived such a fascinating life, the audience could have listened to him for hours. With the money he will receive from the Peace Price the artist intends to open a Yellow House in Australia to help educate Aboriginal children and give them every opportunity to reach their potential. </p> <p>I left inspired, eager to evoke a positive change in the world, but most of all I left hopeful. If people like George Gittoes, who have been witness to the very worst of humanity, can still remain positive in the face of such adversity, then what can’t we achieve.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="George Gittoes, Love City,Jalalabad." alt="Artist George Gittoes smiles at the camera surrounded by the people of Jalalabad" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/LoveCityJalalabad_0.JPG?1447221359" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Fri, 13 Nov 2015 13:08:19 +0000 Naomi Gall 35268 at http://www.theaureview.com The Castle Hill Players announce the six plays of The Pavilion Theatre's 2016 season http://www.theaureview.com/arts/news/castle-hill-players-announce-pavilion-theatre-2016-season <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/12017438_1050113118341350_8401277318422973294_o.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="Long shot of the set design which looks like an old attic with wooden beams." title="Recent production The Fall of the House of Usher at The Pavilion Theatre. Courtesy of The Pavilion Theatre." /></p> <p>The official launch of a theatre company's next season can be a nerve wracking time. Attempting to navigate through piles of scripts in an effort to perfectly curate a year of performances that will attract and entertain your loyal audience as well as encourage new attendees is a task fraught with doubt. The <b>Castle Hill Players</b> who run <b>The Pavilion Theatre</b> in Castle Hill have just announced the six plays of their 2016 season. Each play is directed by one of the six directors who help to run the theatre and after they appeared on stage to speak about their play, three of the actors performed a scene in an impromptu and quite hilarious style.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The season kicks off with Robert Louis Stevenson’s <b>Treasure Island</b> (February 5 – 27) which will include a cast of seventeen – quite a large number for the small theatre – and if the reading is anything to go by it will fulfil every pirate stereotype you can think of. Next is <b>The Game’s Afoot; or Homles for the Holidays</b> (April 8 – 30) by Ken Ludwig which is a bit of a ‘who done it’ set in the 1930s. When a guest is found stabbed during a weekend of revelry it falls to the rest of the party to work out who amongst them is a killer.</p> <p>The third play of the season (June 3 – 25) unfortunately had the rights pulled at the last minute so it is currently TBC but director Meredith Jacobs, who has produced some fantastic plays for the theatre in the past, reassured the audience that it will be amazing – whatever it happens to be. Next is Ernest Thompson’s <b>On Golden Pond</b> (July 29 – August 20) which follows the lives of a retired married couple and their grown daughter. This award winning play is guaranteed to be a touching and in some cases familiar reflection on love and family.</p> <p>The romantic comedy <b>Boeing Boeing</b> (September 23 – October 15) by Marc Camoletti follows the life of smooth talking Bernard – and his three fiancé’s – who all happen to be airline hostesses. Set in 1960s Paris, Bernard’s world is sent into a tailspin when his well-orchestrated and timetabled life begins to unravel. The season will end with Jeffrey Archer’s <b>The Accused</b> (November 18 – December 10) where the audience becomes the jury in this courtroom drama set in London. In a surprise twist, the play has two endings and it will be left to the audience to decide if the doctor is guilty or innocent.</p> <p>2016 looks to be a diverse season for <b>The Pavilion Theatre</b> – crime, drama, romance, comedy, fantasy, relationships – all presented with the intense sense of community that encapsulates every performance. This season will mark the theatre’s fiftieth year, no small feat for a suburban community theatre group, especially one with such a close proximity to the new Northwest Rail Link Station. It was encouraging to see some Baulkham Hills Shire Council members at the launch, as well as the Mayor, and hopefully this show of support will ensure the continuation of such an important part of the Hills District. Some of the most outstanding theatrical performance I have seen have been at this community theatre and with over fifty-three roles cast for 2016, I can’t wait to see what their next season will bring. </p> <p>For more information on <b>The Pavilion Theatre</b> and to book head to the website: <a href="http://paviliontheatre.org.au/" title="http://paviliontheatre.org.au/">http://paviliontheatre.org.au/</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="426" title="Recent production The Fall of the House of Usher at The Pavilion Theatre. Courtesy of The Pavilion Theatre." alt="Long shot of the set design which looks like an old attic with wooden beams." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/12017438_1050113118341350_8401277318422973294_o.jpg?1446862958" /> </div> </div> </div> NEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Sun, 08 Nov 2015 14:59:54 +0000 Naomi Gall 35250 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: Sydney Open - Sydney Living Museums (01.11.15) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/sydney-open-sydney-living-museums-01-11-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_6051_small.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="The exterior of Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p>Each year at the beginning of November a select group of buildings across Sydney open their doors to the public. Organised by Sydney Living Museums, <b>Sydney Open</b> allows people access to certain areas that they would otherwise not be privy to and includes exclusive tours and behind-the-scenes access. Planning out your day is essential – with 47 buildings on offer it is literally impossible to see them all – and with tours operating at different times a game plan is crucial.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_6046_small.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="Looking past the fountain at the view from Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="Gardens at Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p>Having participated last year there were some buildings I had already seen, such as the Queen Victoria Building, Town Hall and The Great Synagogue (all of which I highly recommend), so this time around I decided to see Government House, Parliament of New South Wales, The Mint, Lucy Osburn – Nightingale Museum, Kensington Street, The Old Clare Hotel, Mortuary Station and St James’ Church.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_6032_small.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="Close up of dinning setting at Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="Dinning Room at Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p>Highlights were definitely the <b>Nightingale Museum</b>, which I had no idea existed at Sydney Hospital, and is situated in the old nursing quarters. Several rooms are set up as they were when there was the Matron’s office and surgical rooms. Old surgical equipment lines the corridors and photographs of previous staff hang on the walls. The staff were lovely and so informative about the area and it was nice to learn about the history of a building I’d walked by so many times but never noticed. </p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_6080_small.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="An old office desk covered in paperwork. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="The Matron&#39;s office at the Nightingale Museum. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p>I did an organised tour at <b>The Old Clare Hotel</b>, which was the only way to really see inside the building. The hotel is essentially two heritage buildings joined together – the front is the Clare Hotel and behind it was the brewery offices. It is a perfect example of tasteful and thoughtful restoration with aspects of the older buildings preserved and incorporated into the new design. </p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2014.20.50_small.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="A television is on the left, lounge on the right with an old wooden fireplace." title="C.U.B Suite at The Old Clare Hotel. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p>The rooms are elaborate, some even contain the bars from the original pub as side tables, with one of a kind lighting and an overall industrial feel. Perhaps the most impressive is the C.U.B Suite which is housed in what was once the old boardroom. The original floor, walls and ceiling still remain, as does the bathroom complete with urinal. It is features such as this that remind people of the buildings origins and make The Old Clare Hotel entirely unique. The bar is still open to the public, as well as several high class restaurants, so it’s definitely worth sticking your head in for a drink and to soak up the memories.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2014.16.46_small.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="A sin with a mirror above it and white bathroom tiles. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="Original features of the Chippendale United Brewery are used in a rooms bathroom at The Old Clare Hotel. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2014.23.51_small.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="An old bar is used as a television stand in the hotel room. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="A bar from the original building is incorporated into the new rooms at The Old Clare Hotel. Photo: Naomi Gall." /><br /> \<br /> <img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_6102_small.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="Old band posters still hanging on the walls of The Old Clare. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="The old posters from the original pub still grace the walls of The Old Clare Hotel. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p>You have probably walked past <b>Mortuary Station</b>, near Central Station on Regent Street, a hundred times, unaware of what you were passing. Designed by New South Wales Colonial architect James Barnet, the station was built in 1869 and for nearly seventy years was used for special funeral trains to transport mourners and the deceased to Rookwood Cemetery. The Gothic sandstone structure incorporates carvings of stars and cherubs as well as other symbols of an immortal life and remains a reminder of funeral customs of the nineteenth century in Sydney. The station stopped being used in 1938.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2013.14.37_small.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="A Gothic style train station. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="Mortuary Station. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p>I booked in to do the bell tower tour of <b>St James’ Church</b> as my last stop of the day. This involved climbing into the roof of the church and then up two more floors into the bell tower. As someone slightly scared of heights and claustrophobic this was no small feat but entirely worth it to get a glimpse inside Sydney’s oldest church. We were informed of the spire and roof restoration after it had been damaged over time by damp, but the cross at the very top of the spire is entirely original and forms part of the buildings rich history. </p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_6126_small.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="Inside St James&#39; Church. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="St James&#39; Church. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2016.23.54_small.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="Close up of one of the bells in St James&#39; Church. Photo: Naomi Gall.." title="One of the bells in the bell tower of St James&#39; Church. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <p>There really is something for everyone, with both historical heritage buildings and cutting edge contemporary architecture on show. Sydney Open is a great opportunity to get better acquainted with a city that most of us have lived in for years, but haven’t really bothered to get to know. </p> <p>For more information on Sydney Open head to the website: <a href="http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/sydneyopen" title="http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/sydneyopen">http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/sydneyopen</a> </p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_6067_small.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="Close up of a crest with bookshelves behind it. Photo: Naomi Gall." title="Parliament of New South Wales. Photo: Naomi Gall." /></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="The exterior of Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_6051_small.jpg?1446447437" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="Gardens at Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="Looking past the fountain at the view from Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_6046_small.jpg?1446447576" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="Dinning Room at Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="Close up of dinning setting at Government House. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_6032_small.jpg?1446447694" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="Parliament of New South Wales. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="Close up of a crest with bookshelves behind it. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_6067_small.jpg?1446447822" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="The Matron&#039;s office at the Nightingale Museum. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="An old office desk covered in paperwork. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_6080_small.jpg?1446448070" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" title="Mortuary Station. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="A Gothic style train station. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2013.14.37_small.jpg?1446448198" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" title="C.U.B Suite at The Old Clare Hotel. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="A television is on the left, lounge on the right with an old wooden fireplace." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2014.20.50_small.jpg?1446448279" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" title="Original features of the Chippendale United Brewery are used in a rooms bathroom at The Old Clare Hotel. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="A sin with a mirror above it and white bathroom tiles. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2014.16.46_small.jpg?1446448364" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" title="A bar from the original building is incorporated into the new rooms at The Old Clare Hotel. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="An old bar is used as a television stand in the hotel room. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2014.23.51_small.jpg?1446448504" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="The old posters from the original pub still grace the walls of The Old Clare Hotel. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="Old band posters still hanging on the walls of The Old Clare. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_6102_small.jpg?1446448616" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="St James&#039; Church. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="Inside St James&#039; Church. Photo: Naomi Gall." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_6126_small.jpg?1446448818" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" title="One of the bells in the bell tower of St James&#039; Church. Photo: Naomi Gall." alt="Close up of one of the bells in St James&#039; Church. Photo: Naomi Gall.." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/2015-11-01%2016.23.54_small.jpg?1446448850" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Mon, 02 Nov 2015 11:27:25 +0000 Naomi Gall 35231 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: Jurassic Lounge Halloween – The Australian Museum, Sydney (30.10.15) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/jurassic-lounge-halloween-the-australian-museum-30-10-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/Jurassic%20Lounge.jpg" width="640" /></p> <p>In association with The Australian Museum, event specialists The Festivalists have hosted more than sixty <b>Jurassic Lounge</b> events over the last few years, having attracted more than 68,000 visitors through the Museum’s doors. Allowing people afterhours access to the museum collections – without children – and with alcohol and food on offer is a tempting invitation for anyone. I have previously attended Jurassic Lounge but this night promised to be a little bit different with their Halloween special event.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>I have to say I was fairly impressed with the overall effort some people put into their costumes. It made for a great atmosphere and the people watching was at a premium as you moved through the museum’s rooms. On the ground floor the biggest draw card was the Atrium where Dr Jin Huang from the University of Sydney was performing a brain dissection – on an actual brain – animal, not human. This proved to be very popular but unfortunately unless you were standing directly in front, you couldn’t hear anything over the music. This was a great idea but would have been better articulated if the Doctor had been wearing a mic so even if you couldn’t see what was happening, you could at least hear it. This was also the case with Dr Anja Divljan and the bats.</p> <p>Ground floor was also home to the theatre were you could watch a “creepy crawlies” talk and Project 666 – 6 improv teams re-enact 6 horror films from memory in 6 minutes. A great premise, although the execution was a bit hit and miss with some teams being genuinely humorous and others not so much. The warm up improv went on for far too long and by the time the teams were ready to begin their horror film re-enactments most of the room had left. I get it – 666 is supposedly the Devil’s number – but 333 would have potentially provided a far more satisfying outcome. </p> <p>With level one reserved for VIP tickets, I headed on up to level two and into Surviving (Zombie) Australia. This was very clever. The Surviving Australia exhibit was transformed into a scene from <i>Dawn of the Dead</i>, with zombies hiding around every darkened corner. Girls could be heard screaming as you moved through and there was a part of me that was actually a little bit nervous. As you reached the end you were greeted by the biohazard team who checked you received your anti-zombie lolly pop before being allowed to re-join the land of the living. Nicely done. Level two also saw crafts and face painting as well as the always popular Silent Disco.</p> <p>With an approximate 1,000 or so people wandering about I suppose it was no wonder that there were lines – everywhere – and for pretty much everything. With only three bars available people took to buying multiple drinks at a time, often causing congestion in thoroughfare. </p> <p>There will always be a certain element of excitement at being allowed in any museum after hours and events like Jurassic Lounge are doing amazing things to promote these venues to a new audience who might otherwise not have attended. However, often the greatest pleasure is derived from simply enjoying the museum itself. </p> <p>Find out about the next Jurassic Lounge event: <a href="http://www.jurassiclounge.com/" title="http://www.jurassiclounge.com/">http://www.jurassiclounge.com/</a></p> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM JURASSIC LOUNGE Mon, 02 Nov 2015 11:24:38 +0000 Naomi Gall 35221 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: The Cockatoos - Blue Room Theatre, Perth (Performances through November 7th) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/the-cockatoos-blue-room-theatre-perth-performances-through-november-7th <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/JG_BR15045_DR_0922.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="Photo by Jon Green" /></p> <p><i>The Cockatoos</i> is the latest work from writer and director <b>Andrew Hale</b> of <b>Happy Dagger Theatre</b>. Adapted from Nobel Prize winning author <b>Patrick White’s</b> short story <i>The Cockatoos</i> follows the goings on a suburban street in Australia; where under the surface of respectability there are plenty of secrets and dark goings on. Hale and company have delivered a work that is at times poetic, intimate and confronting, but always captivating.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>This hour-long performance will likely leave you with more questions than answers and plenty to ponder over a post-show glass of wine or the drive home. It’s a play packed with symbolism, half spoken truths and more than a few secrets. </p> <p>Suburbia never does turn out to be the happy place those ads try to depict; and the street in <i>The Cockatoos</i> is no different. There are broken marriages, paedophiles in the park at night; and “criminals” in the storm drains, Hale and his cohort have vividly brought that undercurrent to life; exposing the violence and darkness that lurks behind the Australian dream. </p> <p><i>The Cockatoos</i> is the second work I’ve seen by Happy Dagger Theatre, and once again the quality of acting on display was superb, whether working in ensemble, or with the individual actors taking on specific characters. Hale imbues Mick with just the right blend of charisma and world weariness, whilst <b>Nichola Renton</b> gave a nuanced performance as the “tormented” Olive; a woman who has lost much more than her husband. Olive is a character whose portrayal could have erred towards overwrought, but for me Renton got it spot on. </p> <p>Whilst there was plenty of quality acting on display; there was plenty of talent behind the scenes as well; from <b>Tegan Evans</b> lighting, to <b>Will Slade’s</b> score which provided the perfect atmospheric accompaniment. Whilst <b>India Mehta’s</b> set design was minimal; but utterly effective, especially when the full extent is revealed near the play’s climax. </p> <p><i>The Cockatoos</i> is a captivating work; one which sheds light on the underbelly of Australian suburban life; with it’s secrets and extra-martial affairs. It’s a thought provoking piece, and at times confronting; the plays closing moments are not for the faint hearted. <i>The Cockatoos</i> once again finds Andrew Hale and Happy Dagger Theatre onto a winner. </p> <p><i>The Cockatoos</i> is performing at Perth’s Blue Room Theatre until November 7th for more information and ticketing visit: <a href="http://blueroom.org.au/events/the-cockatoos/" title="http://blueroom.org.au/events/the-cockatoos/">http://blueroom.org.au/events/the-cockatoos/</a></p> <p>The Reviewer attended the performance on the 30th October.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="426" alt="Photo by Jon Green" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/JG_BR15045_DR_0922.jpg?1446385165" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS PERTH ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Mon, 02 Nov 2015 10:16:53 +0000 Simon Clark 35228 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: Suzy Menkes in conversation with Collette Dinnigan – Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (22.10.15) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/suzy-menkes-in-conversation-with-collette-dinnigan-powerhouse-museum-22-10-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/collette.jpg" width="640" height="359" alt="" /><br /> <B>Pictured:</b> Collette Dinnigan - Photo by Holly Blake</p> <p>Australian fashion designer <b>Collette Dinnigan’s</b> exhibition <b><I>Unlaced</i></b>, which recently opened at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, marked the beginning of the Centre for Fashion. In conjunction with this exhibition was an in conversation between fashion journalist, critic and Vogue International Online Editor, <b>Suzy Menkes</b> and Dinnigan. I’ve often viewed fashion is Sydney as an elite club I don’t belong to and on this particular afternoon it really did feel as if everyone in the room knew one another, each looking around and speculating on the importance of the person sitting next to them. I’m sure the woman next to me was immensely disappointed.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Over the course of the hour various topics were touched upon – from the intricacy of working with lace, the politics of outsourcing labour overseas and the sheer competitiveness of the fashion industry. Beginning by commenting that she views herself as a ‘fashion suffragette’, Menkes and Dinnigan reflected on fashion during the 1980s and 90s when strong women were beginning to make a name for themselves, Dinnigan included. Having taught herself how to work with lace through trips to the lace houses in France, the designer is known for her intricate pieces which promote the trend of lingerie as outerwear, a trend which, as Dinnigan puts it, ‘gives men permission to look.’</p> <p>The age-old debate of whether fashion is art was discussed and if so, is Dinnigan an artist. She commented that a lot of what she does is decorating in which she is telling a story through colour and texture. The talk became animated as the two discussed whether we’ve become an international world when it comes to seasonal dressing, with all the shows appearing to be trans-seasonal, which both agreed was a bit unrealistic. Menkes biggest piece of advice – never travel with just one suitcase. She also feels as if Australia really should be everyone’s go-to for swimwear fashion – for both men and women – but she insists this isn’t just because she loves the idea of beautiful men wearing very little down the catwalks. Dinnigan talked passionately about helping workers in third world countries and how this responsibility also lies with the consumer making smarter choices when looking to buy that $2 top.</p> <p>As the Vogue International Online Editor Menkes had a lot to say about the incorporation of digital technologies into fashion. While she joked that most fashion bloggers can be dismissed immediately – ‘they don’t have an opinion and they can’t spell’ – many should be considered assets to the industry. Dinnigan clearly favours a more tangible existence, commenting that she is trying to find a balance between the digital and the real world – ‘I love touching things too much but you need both. Our business wouldn’t exist now the old way.’ </p> <p>The talk ended with a lovely anecdote from Dinnigan who recalled the moment back in 2002 when she received a call to say Halle Berry would be wearing her dress to the Los Angeles premiere of <i>Die Another Day</i>. At the time she was in the toilet paper aisle of the super market arguing with an ex-boyfriend about the pattern on the toilet paper. This is what Menkes calls ‘fashion reality’ – the woman who is around the corner from an event madly shoving her flats into her handbag in favour of stupid heels she can’t walk in. </p> <p>----------</p> <p><b><I>Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced</i></b> runs until 28 August 2016. For more information and to purchase tickets head to the Powerhouse Museum website: <a href="https://maas.museum/event/collette-dinnigan-unlaced/" title="https://maas.museum/event/collette-dinnigan-unlaced/">https://maas.museum/event/collette-dinnigan-unlaced/</a> </p> <p><b>For more information on the Centre for Fashion: <a href="https://maas.museum/event/centre-for-fashion/" title="https://maas.museum/event/centre-for-fashion/">https://maas.museum/event/centre-for-fashion/</a> </b></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="359" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/collette.jpg?1445840922" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Mon, 26 Oct 2015 06:22:50 +0000 Naomi Gall 35187 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: Benjamin & Me - Blue Room Theatre, Perth (Performances through October 24th) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/benjamin-and-me-blue-room-theatre-perth-performances-through-october-24th <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/12088196_1809549135938498_8034122147198390914_n.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="" /></p> <p><i>Benjamin &amp; Me<i> is the latest work from writer, director, performer and purveyor of the ukulele, <b>Mark Storen</b>. It’s also the debut show for his new production company <b>Whiskey + Boots</b>. <i>Benjamin &amp; Me</i> is quite simply a feat of storytelling and imagination. A show that is quirky, a little bit silly, but packed full of heart.</i></i></p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The show which initially debuted at the Awesome Arts festival earlier in the month is aimed primarily at a younger audience (8 years and up) and despite moving to a later time slot of 6pm it’s still managing to attract a substantial younger audience. There were at least four or five families there on the night I attended, if not more. </p> <p>Suffice to say like all the best things aimed at kids (I’m thinking Lego and pretty much every Pixar movie ever made) there is plenty here to appeal to the adults in the room; whether they be parents, or as one press release put it, “adventurous adults”. Storen is an adept storyteller, bringing his strange band of characters to life with ease and a funny accent here and there; and whilst it may be not be the most complex story imaginable; there is plenty there to entertain and interest adult and child alike. Be warned though Storen isn’t afraid to tug at the heartstrings so don’t expect an easy ride for Will, the hero of the story. </p> <p><i>Benjamin &amp; Me</i> has all the hallmarks of a great story; there’s good (Will and his whisky drinking ukulele playing Grandma – not to mention Benjamin) Vs. Bad (the wonderful villainous and slightly camp Splinter McGee); it’s got wacky inventions – the first boy-dog operated flying machine - and some great musical numbers. Basically what I’m trying to say is it’s fun and just entertaining. Anything that can keep kids entertained and not fidgeting for an hour has got to be doing something right. </p> <p>It’s only on at the Blue Room Theatre for a few more days so get in quick; but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last we see of the piece. It has all the hallmarks of a show that would do very well at the fringe festivals. </p> <p><i>Benjamin &amp; Me</i> is on now at the Blue Room Theatre with performances through to Saturday 24th October. For more information and to book tickets visit: <a href="http://blueroom.org.au/events/benjamin-me/" title="http://blueroom.org.au/events/benjamin-me/">http://blueroom.org.au/events/benjamin-me/</a></p> <p>The reviewer attended the performance on the 16th October.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/12088196_1809549135938498_8034122147198390914_n.jpg?1445414183" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS PERTH ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU MARK STOREN WHISKEY AND BOOTS Wed, 21 Oct 2015 07:56:58 +0000 Simon Clark 35175 at http://www.theaureview.com Five things we learnt from Breakfast with Peter Garrett http://www.theaureview.com/arts/features/things-we-learnt-from-breakfast-with-peter-garrett <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/IMG_3206.jpg" width="640" height="423" alt="" /></p> <p>Yesterday in Perth, I got to have breakfast with musician, activist and former government minister <b>Peter Garrett</b> as part of a tour to launch his newly released autobiography <i>Big Blue Sky</i>. OK so technically there was a room full of other people there as well... but still...</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Staged by WAM in partnership with independent bookstore Boffins, the breakfast featured an ‘in conversation’ style session with local music journalist Simon Collins interviewing Garrett about his autobiography, his career with <b>Midnight Oil</b> and his political career; before giving the audience a chance to put some questions to Garrett. </p> <p>Here are just a small handful of the things we learnt: </p> <p><b>1. Peter Garrett is not Kevin Rudd’s biggest fan.</b></p> <p>This one isn’t going to be news to anyone who’s been following or seen any of the recent media coverage in regards to Garrett’s autobiography; and not surprisingly proved to be one of the early topics of conversation with Garrett remarking that one of his biggest regrets was supporting Kevin Rudd, over Kim Beazley, in his bid for the leadership of the Labour Party; and that at the time he believed that Rudd had the energy to trouble Howard at the election. Garrett also made clear the respect he has for Kim Beazley, especially after getting to know him better at the backbenches and spoke highly of Beazley’s character especially in his unwillingness to attack Rudd from the backbenches. </p> <p><b>2. Midnight Oil was definitely a rock band</b></p> <p>In discussing the make up of the band, it was remarked by Collins that Midnight Oil was not your typical rock band; that not many bands could get a song about a West Australian asbestos mine to the top of the charts. Garrett suggested that they were always a rock band, that there were guitars, bass and drums; but that the mind of the band was in a different space and that there was also always an element of social justice and activism to their music, noting that they band had been together maybe two or three months when they played their first benefit for Save the Whales. </p> <p><b>3. A Midnight Oil reunion is not imminent</b></p> <p>Sorry to disappoint, but there are no plans for Midnight Oil to reform at present. Garrett did suggest that the band had talked about the possibility of reforming; but that no-one was gnashing at the bit for it; and that any future or potential revival would have to work for all of the band and not interfere with any of the band members other jobs and projects. </p> <p><b>4. Garrett has ideas on how to change Australian politics.</b></p> <p>Garrett when asked what he would do to change Australian politics for the better was quick to reply that he thinks fixed terms of four or five years would help reduce the combativeness of Australian politics. Believing that a fixed term would perhaps foster bipartisanship, whilst the constant threat or anticipation of an election campaign has made Australian politics much more adversarial. </p> <p>He would also improve civics education for young Australians in an effort to make it clearer how the system works and to combat the negative imagery and talk that surrounds politics and politicians. He also pointed out that politics and the different political parties needed to move away from the old style of organising themselves, and to find a contemporary and accessible way to take part in the political process. </p> <p><b>5. Garrett enjoys Australian Hip-Hop</b></p> <p>When asked about what new music he’d been listening to, or who he was influenced by, Garrett whilst making clear he was not intending to single any one band out, remarked that whilst he’d been revisiting his old favourites (as we are prone to do) he’d been enjoying listening to Hip Hop, specifically Australian and Indigenous hip hop; name checking Victorian MC Briggs. </p> <p>Peter Garrett’s autobiography <i>Big Blue Sky</i> is available now from Allen and Unwin.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="423" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/IMG_3206.jpg?1445252474" /> </div> </div> </div> BOOKS FEATURES PERTH ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU PETER GARRETT Mon, 19 Oct 2015 23:42:29 +0000 Simon Clark 35166 at http://www.theaureview.com The Australian Fashion Chamber showcase the works of seven Australian designers in Paris http://www.theaureview.com/arts/news/australian-fashion-chamber-australian-designers-abroad-showroom-paris <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/72dpi-10533435ce-151007_AFC_Day03_05_1644.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="The Australian designers stand as a group for the camera." title="Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber." /></p> <p>The Australian Fashion Chamber has hosted the <b>Australian Designers Abroad Showroom</b> in Paris which showcases the work of seven Australian Designers. Featuring both established and emerging fashion labels including: bassike, CAMILLA AND MARC, Christopher Esber, GINGER &amp; SMART, Michael Lo Sordo, Romance Was Born and STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, designers were selected based on their industry skill, strength of their current seasonal collection and potential success in the international market.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><center><img src="/sites/default/files/72dpi-10531116a5-151006_AFC_Day02_02_468.jpg" width="427" height="640" alt="Three people converse in front of a rack of clothes." title="Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber." /></center></p> <p>The event has been held as a resounding success, having attracted big names in the fashion industry such as photographer Mario Testino and fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell. Australian Fashion Chamber Chair and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Australia, Edwina McCann commented, ‘This is an incredible export opportunity for these designers and has the potential to help expand their businesses globally.’ Exposing their talents to international media and buyers, this is the second Australian Designers Abroad event in Paris, with the hope that such international exposure will provide a platform for local designers to find success in overseas markets. </p> <p><center><br /> <img src="/sites/default/files/72dpi-105331d330-GingerandSmart.jpg" width="427" height="640" alt="A model poses on the stairs in a dress." title="GINGER &amp; SMART. Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber." /></center></p> <p><center><img src="/sites/default/files/72dpi-105326525e-151007_AFC_Day03_02_1206.jpg" width="427" height="640" alt="A model poses in front of a window dressed all in white." title="Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber. Photo: Rodney Deane." /></center></p> <p><center><img src="/sites/default/files/72dpi-1053275260-151007_AFC_Day03_02_1358.jpg" width="427" height="640" alt="A model poses in front of a window dressed all in black." title="STRATEAS.CARLUCCI. Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber. Photo: Rodney Deane." /></center></p> <p>For more details: <a href="http://www.australianfashionchamber.com/" title="http://www.australianfashionchamber.com/">http://www.australianfashionchamber.com/</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber. Photo: Rodney Deane." alt="The Australian designers stand as a group for the camera." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/72dpi-10533435ce-151007_AFC_Day03_05_1644.jpg?1444704895" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="427" height="640" title="Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber. Photo: Rodney Deane." alt="Three people converse in front of a rack of clothes." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/72dpi-10531116a5-151006_AFC_Day02_02_468.jpg?1444705032" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="427" height="640" title="GINGER &amp; SMART. Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber. " alt="A model poses on the stairs in a dress." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/72dpi-105331d330-GingerandSmart.jpg?1444705165" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="427" height="640" title="Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber. Photo: Rodney Deane." alt="A model poses in front of a window dressed all in white." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/72dpi-105326525e-151007_AFC_Day03_02_1206.jpg?1444705336" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="427" height="640" title="STRATEAS.CARLUCCI. Australian Designers Abroad Showroom Paris. Courtesy of the Australian Fashion Chamber. Photo: Rodney Deane." alt="A model poses in front of a window dressed all in black." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/72dpi-1053275260-151007_AFC_Day03_02_1358.jpg?1444705487" /> </div> </div> </div> NEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Wed, 14 Oct 2015 07:19:14 +0000 Naomi Gall 35125 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: Mayhem Chequers Club 1969 - Justice & Police Museum, Sydney (08.10.15) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/mayhem-chequers-club-1969-justice-police-museum-08-10-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/Mayhem_Event_0.jpg" width="640" height="356" alt="" /></p> <p><b>Chequers Nightclub</b> was founded in 1959 by Denis Wong and his brother Keith, originally located in Pitt Street in the basement of The Strand Arcade, it was in the mid- 1960s that it made the move to Goulburn Street. Chequers was Sydney’s most successful nightclub during the 1950s and 60s and attracted the likes of Dionne Warwick, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis jnr, Peter Allen and Shirley Bassey, among others, and for many years it was the place to see and be seen.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><b>Sydney Living Museums</b>, in collaboration with <b>The Festivalists</b>, have created a night of mayhem to commemorate the notorious evening in 1969 when Chicago mobster Joseph Dan Testa was in town and the guest list included "Lenny" McPherson, George Freeman and Milan "Iron Bar Miller" Petrecevic. Held at the Justice &amp; Police Museum, every corner you turn holds something new – a safe cracking room, a pole dancing class, roulette tables and go-go dancers – topped off with an interrogation room where you are enlisted to deal with a snitch who tipped off a police raid on the club. The culmination of the evening was the cabaret show, of which four performances were held over the course of the evening, and included performances by Lola Cherie as Liza Minnelli, burlesque performer Memphis Mae and showgirl Elizabeth Burton describing what her life was like as a performer in the 1960s. </p> <p>While a brief history of the Chequers Club is given by emcee Maeve Marsden, it would have been nice if this had been expanded upon, perhaps having actors presenting the facts as personal narratives and using the screen behind the stage to display original photographs of the club. The greatest response from the crowd was at the amazing tales of Elizabeth Burton, so expanding upon this sense of nostalgia would have been a nice idea.</p> <p>Unfortunately the evening which I attended was incredibly quiet so there wasn’t much in the way of atmosphere. The court room, which housed the roulette table and go-go dancers, was empty when I walked through, not encouraging me to participate or linger. The entire event had more of a strip club vibe then a swinging 60's venue frequented by the who's who of the Sydney social scene. It was like watching a puppet show but being able to see the strings – entertaining, but ultimately lacking in that little bit of magic.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="356" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/Mayhem_Event_0.jpg?1444632948" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Mon, 12 Oct 2015 06:58:01 +0000 Naomi Gall 35072 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: Edward II – The Seymour Centre, Sydney (Performances until 17th October) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/edward-ii-the-seymour-centre-sydney-performances-until-17th-october <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/_DSC9256.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="King Edward II sits on his thrown holding his sword, looking despondent. " title="Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove." /><br /> <i>Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove</i></p> <p>Known for his overreaching protagonists, English playwright Christopher Marlowe’s 1593 play <i><b>Edward II</b></i> presents an account of the deposition of King Edward II by his nobles and the Queen, who resent the influence the King's favourite, Gaveston (Michael Whalley) has in court and state affairs. Although it was never proven that the relationship between the two was romantic, that is how it is portrayed in this Sport for Jove version, as we see the King (Julian Garner) flaunt his lover, uncaring of the concerns from his nobles, his wife and the country.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/_DSC0128.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="The Queen makes an announcement into a microphone with her son and Mortimer." title="Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove." /><br /> <i>Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove</i></p> <p>Demonstrating how excess and passion ultimately end with catastrophic result, the King is coerced into exiling his beloved Gaverston for the good of the country. However, in an attempt to regain some hint of affection from her King, the Queen (Georgia Adamson) makes a promise to have the motion repealed while secretly organising with the noble Mortimer (James Lugton) to have Gaverston murdered. Once his lover has returned things quickly take a turn for the worse with the nobles conspiring to kill him and civil war erupting. The Queen flees with her son to her home in France, returning with an army, people start losing their heads and shit really hits the fan. </p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/_DSC9312.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="The King embraces Gaveston." title="Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove." /><br /> <i>Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove</i></p> <p><i>Edward II</i> presents how personal relationships inevitably infect political outcomes and begs the question – where should the line be drawn between the two. With exceptional performances from the entire cast, in particular Julian Garner as Edward II, it is slightly unknown who you are supposed to favour in this political game of manipulation and deceit. With such a cast of flawed characters where is the hero of the piece - the person we want to triumph? By the plays conclusion you can’t help but feel a degree of pity for the King, as you would any animal treated cruelly, but is it justice? Or does the play highlight that there is no such thing as justice?</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/_DSC8896.jpg" width="640" height="425" alt="The King and Gaveston are confronted by the Bishop of Cantebury." title="Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove." /></p> <p>The minimalist set design is perfect, with the transitions between scenes flawless. There is, ironically, nothing excessive about the play’s aesthetics, with nothing to detract from the skill and power of the performances. A play about illicit desires, deception, loss and friendship, <i>Edward II</i> is gripping and complex, with enough twists and turns to keep you thoroughly enthralled. A harrowing spectacle, the audience was heard to audibly gasp as certain scenes played out, as we bared witness to one man’s spectacular fall from grace.</p> <p><b>Edward II</b> will enjoy performances at the Seymour Centre until October 17th. For tickets and more details, head to: <a href="http://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/edward-ii/" title="http://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/edward-ii/">http://www.seymourcentre.com/events/event/edward-ii/</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="426" title="Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove." alt="King Edward II sits on his thrown holding his sword, looking despondent. " src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/_DSC9256.jpg?1444042759" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="426" title="Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove." alt="The Queen makes an announcement into a microphone with her son and Mortimer." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/_DSC0128.jpg?1444042969" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="426" title="Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove." alt="The King embraces Gaveston." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/_DSC9312.jpg?1444043075" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="425" title="Edward II. Photo: Marnya Rothe. Image courtesy of Sport for Jove." alt="The King and Gaveston are confronted by the Bishop of Cantebury." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/_DSC8896.jpg?1444043176" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU SEYMOUR CENTRE Tue, 06 Oct 2015 00:14:44 +0000 Naomi Gall 34981 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: Disney in Concert: Tale as Old as Time - Plenary, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (26.09.15) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/disney-in-concert-tale-as-old-as-time-melbourne-symphony-orchestra <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/3130-fitandcrop-890x502.jpg" width="640" height="361" alt="" /></p> <p>More typically, when the phrase “fun for the whole family” is established, the “fun” hereafter mentioned normally equates to something entirely too toddler friendly. Here, you would not expect to see Mothers and Fathers, Grandparents and Grandchildren, couples and singles alike, all equally excited in anticipation.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>However, Disney lovers of all ages converged upon The Plenary last Saturday night in hope, as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra geared up to take us all on a magic carpet ride. The two-hour affair was a true extravaganza, exploring the wondrous majesty of Disney films through a musical adventure that l featured nostalgic hits from films like <i>Alice in Wonderland</i> and <i>Fantasia</i>, and explored more recent masterpieces, including <i>Tangled</i>, <i>Aladdin</i>, and <i>Frozen</i>. </p> <p>Indeed, there are few concerts that unite both three-year-olds and eighty-year-olds at the same time. However, for the thousands of people who filled the auditorium a universal joy seemed to radiate from the seats and throughout the foyer. Children were dressed as mini-Elsa’s or Cinderella’s, hands grasping for their Olaf toys and Ariel dolls as they waited for the concert to start. And despite the less obvious signals, the more <i>mature</i>, yet young-at-heart members of the audience were just as incontrovertibly thrilled. </p> <p>I managed to drag my boyfriend along. Much to his initial hesitation, he assured me that he was very much looking forward to it – although, strictly, he would not be caught dead singing along to ‘Do You Want To Build a Snowman’, or anything else for that matter. I had other plans, however; before the show even began, a few audience members even broke out into song, groups of individuals singing recent Disney hits including the famous ‘Let it Go’, much to the intense delight from a few younger members of the crowd. The musicians, who had already started appearing on the stage, almost silently practicing their parts, broke out into rapturous smiles. </p> <p>For even the unseasoned orchestral voyeur, one could tell that this was going to be something uniquely special. </p> <p>Fortunately, patience was not liberally exercised; before too long, the strings heralded the start of the performance, beginning with a sweeping, luxurious medley of classic Disney favourites, including hits from <i>Fantasia, Peter Pan,</i> and <i>Alice in Wonderland</i>. </p> <p>It was sparkling, thrilling, and the most perfect introduction for the dreamlike fairy-tale that was to follow. Here, the Melbourne Symphony’s Associate Conductor, the charming Benjamin Northey, introduced us to a guest quartet of engaging and incredibly energetic musical performers. There was a danger that this concert may have fell into the trap of becoming a little karaoke-esque, or a little too over-the-top. However, the combined effort of these four very distinct personalities made it work, with each performer having the opportunity to shine throughout the evening. </p> <p>Smiling brilliantly just like a Disney Princess, the stunning Juliana Hansen took command of stylistically challenging songs including ‘When Will My Life Begin’ from <i>Tangled</i>, <i>Mulan’s</i> ‘Reflection’, and the villains theme ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls from the well-loved <i>The Little Mermaid</i>. Not to be outdone, Whitney Claire Kaufman was mesmerising as she sang such hits like ‘I See the Light’, particularly shining throughout the <i>Hercules</i> Gospel Medley that rounded off Act 1. </p> <p>Andrew Johnson was animated, making a robust impression throughout his performance of ‘Under the Sea’, his slithery interpretation of ‘Trust in Me’ from <i>The Jungle Book</i>, and his duet of the <i>Cinderella</i> classic, ‘So This is Love’. Full of beaming character and enviable high energy, the rambunctious Aaron Phillips was a true standout, taking on the roles of <i>Aladdin’s</i> Genie, made famous by the incomparable Robin Williams, and then jumping to Lumiere from <i>Beauty and the Beast</i> in the crowd favourite hit ‘Be Our Guest’. </p> <p>The songs chosen to play during the Disney In Concert performance was masterfully curated, showcasing the music from Disney animations. Admittedly, I would have loved hearing something from Mary Poppins or Pirates of the Caribbean, or maybe even an instrumental number from a Pixar film. However, this particular focus is a very small complaint; even within this limited scope, the song choice was still strikingly diverse. </p> <p>Rather spectacularly, the orchestra did not take on the mere role of orchestral accompaniment. As has become expected for the MSO, their usual professionalism and musicality took centre stage, altogether creating something quite marvellous. While some may regard this music not as seriously as the regular symphonic repertoire of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, it was abundantly clear that it took some serious musical gusto to get it right. And get it right, they did; it was all the enchantment of Disney combined into something entirely more life-like and beautiful. The music was vivid, and just as lively as the animations that played out upon the screen, emphasising the essence of characters and stories that words and images cannot convey by themselves. </p> <p>You could hear every bow of the strings, every call of the trumpets. And just when everyone thought the concert had come to an end, everyone remained on stage to perform <i>The Lion King’s</i> ‘Circle of Life’ – much to the rapturous joy of boys and girls, adults and children alike. It was at this point, the boyfriend went against any previous resolution and sand just as loudly as I did. Genuinely, in every sense of the expression, the Melbourne Symphony delivered on a strong performance, never lacking in excitement, vigour, or enthusiasm. This enthusiasm was something that was directly transferred to their audience, who were captivated until the very end. </p> <p>Disney is significant, and here its music has become overwhelmingly important. These songs tell tales of the potential of your dreams and the magic of life; they are about diversity, explain to us triumph over adversity, show us the importance of remaining true to yourself, and the wonder of falling in love. We learn that we are never alone, that we are stronger than we think, and that good always triumphs over evil. Importantly, we discover lots of other lovely things like kissing, beautiful Princesses, and wishing upon stars.</p> <p>These songs are entirely timeless as their animated counterparts, and despite the wide plethora of genres and styles that these songs encapsulate they are universal, never failing to capture the attention of young hearts across the globe.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="361" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/3130-fitandcrop-890x502.jpg?1443670765" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS MELBOURNE ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU MELBOURNE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Fri, 02 Oct 2015 03:23:11 +0000 Anastasia Giggins 34917 at http://www.theaureview.com Remote Control Record announces details of their Dot Dash CMJ party! http://www.theaureview.com/news/remote-control-record-announces-details-of-their-dot-dash-cmj-party <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/remote%20records.jpg" width="640" height="390" alt="" /></p> <p>Remote Control's in-house label <b>Dot Dash</b> is bringing an array of brilliant Australian talent to New York City for the very first time. Remote Control Record's presents The Dot Dash Official CMJ Party featuring <b>Sunbeam Sound Machine</b>, <b>Pearls</b>, <b>Methyl Ethel</b>, <b>Sui Zhen</b> and <b>Client Liaison</b>.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>After a successful party at <b>Bigsound</b> this year, Dot Dash will not fail to bring in the good vibes and hit-makers to Leftfield in New York City on Thursday 15th October. Working alongside acts <b>Courtney Barnett</b>, <b>Dirty Three</b>, <b>King Gizzard</b> &amp; the <b>Lizard Wizard</b> and <b>Chet Faker</b>. Celebrating Dot Dash and its international push will bring a line-up of an ever expanding Australian roster. </p> <p>For more information on the Dot Dash Official CMJ Party head to:<br /> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1066470270052487/" title="https://www.facebook.com/events/1066470270052487/">https://www.facebook.com/events/1066470270052487/</a><br /> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/dotdashau" title="https://www.facebook.com/dotdashau">https://www.facebook.com/dotdashau</a><br /> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/remotecontrolrecords" title="https://www.facebook.com/remotecontrolrecords">https://www.facebook.com/remotecontrolrecords</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="390" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/remote%20records.jpg?1443668988" /> </div> </div> </div> NEWS ARTS: REVIEWS THE AU REVIEW (MUSIC) CLIENT LIASON METHYL ETHYL PEARLS SUI ZHEN SUNBEAM SOUND MACHINE INTERNATIONAL NEWS Thu, 01 Oct 2015 03:10:37 +0000 Candace Magno 34913 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: The Fall of the House of Usher - Pavilion Theatre, Castle Hill (Performances until 17th October 2015) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/the-fall-of-the-house-of-usher-pavilion-theatre-castle-hill-players <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/house%20of%20usher.jpg" width="640" height="339" alt="Madeline and James sit on an old lounge while Roderick hovers in the background." title="Ricarda Emanuel as Madeline Usher and Ben Freeman as James Brookfield. Courtesy of the Pavilion Theatre." /></p> <p>First published in 1839, the Edgar Allan Poe short story <b><I>The Fall of the House of Usher</i></b> is a dark and twisted drama about the ties that bind and the lengths people will go to. Considered one of Poe’s most accomplished works and a perfect example of the Gothic genre, the tale is told from the perspective of the narrator, James Brookfield, who is visiting his childhood friend Roderick Usher at his large estate.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>This adaptation, written by Jack Neary and presented at the Pavilion Theatre in Sydney’s North-West, is set in Boston in 1936 and our protagonist is a successful crime writer from New York. The play opens with Brookfield (Ben Freeman) being interrogated at a Boston police station by Michael Shaughnessy (Stephen Snars) about the recent fire at the Usher mansion and the two bodies found within. </p> <p>The story is told in flashbacks as Brookfield describes the events that brought him to the Usher house and the disturbing and startling activities he witnessed during the three weeks he was there. Even if you are familiar with the original story, there are enough plot twists and seamless alterations on the original to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat. The ending has been completely re-worked with a conclusion that is so disturbing I can’t believe Poe didn’t think of it himself. </p> <p>Credit really needs to be given to the people who worked behind the scenes on this production. Paul Sztelma not only directed the play but also designed the sets and the sound – two elements that are essential with such a dark and emotional production. Another essential aspect is the lighting design by James Winters, which ensured the movement between the past and the present was seamless.</p> <p>For me the real standout performance was Gavin Jamieson as Roderick Usher. Everything about him, from his body language to his facial expressions, just completely embodied the persona of the sickly and anxious head of the house. There is really no other word to describe his performance other than intensely creepy, which is assisted greatly by the outstanding make-up and costume design (Annette van Roden and Gavin Jamieson). Other notable performances are Ben Freeman as James Brookfield and Ricarda Emanuel as Roderick’s twin Madeline Usher.</p> <p><i>The Fall of the House of Usher</i> is a clever and stunningly performed adaptation of the Poe classic that will have you slightly terrified from start to finish. </p> <p>---------- </p> <p><b><I>The Fall of the House of Usher</i></b> will enjoy performances at the Pavilion Theatre until October 17th. For tickets and more details, head to: <a href="http://paviliontheatre.org.au/" title="http://paviliontheatre.org.au/">http://paviliontheatre.org.au/</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="339" title="Ricarda Emanuel as Madeline Usher and Ben Freeman as James Brookfield. Courtesy of the Pavilion Theatre." alt="Madeline and James sit on an old lounge while Roderick hovers in the background." src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/house%20of%20usher.jpg?1443247295" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Mon, 28 Sep 2015 03:10:51 +0000 Naomi Gall 34824 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: Matthys Gerber - Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (Exhibition open until 6 December 2015) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/matthys-gerber-museum-of-contemporary-art-sydney-exhibition <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/mg-mca.jpg" width="640" height="400" alt="" /></p> <p>To seek out the failings of an image seems like a curious choice of action for an artist. But <B>Matthys Gerber</b> is no ordinary painter. The Sydneysider (who has born in the Netherlands and has lived in Denmark) is the subject of a comprehensive exhibition that is currently being staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney. The show is his most extensive Australian one to date and it is something that will challenge and tantalise your visual cortex.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Gerber is very much a post-modern artist who succeeds at appropriating and drawing the best elements out of other individual’s art and music as well as adding his own unique twist to things. The exhibition features 34 of his paintings and one sculpture and these are laid out around a square room with another small interior alcove. It is probably easiest to describe the things that set these artworks apart rather than what draws them together, because Gerber is a dynamic and creative individual who is very experimental with his techniques and approach.</p> <p>The works can only be described as featuring a vast array of contrasting styles. On the one hand you might have a bog-standard textual art piece like “Let It Be Me”, an acrylic on canvas that references a lyric by the Everly Brothers. On the other hand we have works that feature geometric shapes, hard lines and abstraction. There is also his take on indigenous art with “Schoon #2” a tip to Maori art styles while “Bush Flower” looks like an indigenous, Australian dot painting until you release that Gerber has hidden the Frank Zappa quote “We’re only in it for the money” rather cheekily in the background.</p> <p>Numerous things influence Gerber, from popular music to commercial design through to avant-garde works and traditional and indigenous paintings. A frequently recurring theme in Gerber’s work is that of the Rorschach blots (inspired by the inkblot, psychological test) and the doubling up or mirroring of things on the canvas. It is really apparent that this artist is quite happy to take a back-seat and allow the person viewing his work to make their own assumptions and inferences rather than being painfully obvious.</p> <p>The MCA’s <I>Matthys Gerber</i> exhibition is a heady mix of structure and chaos from an artist that can only be described as the ultimate shape-shifter. He challenges you to view things in a different way by offering up works that are full of variances; from the speed of his brushstrokes to colour, structure, shape, etc. <B>Matthys Gerber</b> is a talented artist and his MCA exhibition celebrates his unique and creative brand of experimentalism.</p> <p>----------</p> <p>The Matthys Gerber exhibition is open at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney until 6 December. For more information please visit: <a href="http://www.mca.com.au/exhibition/matthys-gerber/" title="http://www.mca.com.au/exhibition/matthys-gerber/">http://www.mca.com.au/exhibition/matthys-gerber/</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="400" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/mg-mca.jpg?1443408599" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS SYDNEY ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Mon, 28 Sep 2015 02:52:35 +0000 Natalie Salvo 34833 at http://www.theaureview.com Arts Review: SDS1 - Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), Perth (On Tour through October) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/sds1-perth-institute-of-contemporary-arts-pica-perth-23-09-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/sds1.jpg" width="640" height="400" alt="" /></p> <p>‘The Beautiful Game’ is a well worn cliché that is off trotted out when talking about football. It seems to be the best you need to not only have tactical know how; but also have some fleet and fancy footwork and an array of tricks to outwit the opposing team’s defenders – I’m thinking your Christiano Ronaldos and your Lionel Messis. It is from this that former professional footballer and performance artists <B>Ahilan Ratnamohan’s</b> derived his piece <I>SDS1</i>, or so I thought.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>I had high hopes going in to <I>SDS1</i>; and a certain degree of unrealistic expectations perhaps. I think in my head I was expecting a dance inspired piece exploring football to involve more fancy footwork and trickery with the ball. So ultimately I left feeling a bit disappointed; and based on a handful of conversations I overheard in the bar I wasn’t alone in thinking that. I think the assumption by some, myself included, was that there was going to be more footwork and skills or tricks on display. </p> <p>Despite my relative disappointment, I didn’t think the performance was all that bad. There were plenty of elements I did enjoy; the “set” for example; its concrete floors and the glow from green lamps giving it a street football feel. I also liked the repetition of movements, some of which were familiar sights. I liked the gradual building of tempo. You definitely as an audience member got the impression of a match progressing. This progression highlighted not only by Ratnamohan’s perspiration and breathlessness but also the symbolic and almost ritualistic moments where he would apply strapping; both to his foot and then later to this shoulder/upper torso. </p> <p>There were elements of the performance that were quite uncomfortable to watch as well; and I imagine for the audience members that had Ratnamohan’s sweaty face pushed against theirs, uncomfortable to be part of too. I’m still not too sure what this was supposed to symbolise – perhaps this was ‘visceral’ element of the performance. We also got the chance to get quite hands on in the end; getting to take part in our very own pitch invasion; hoisting Ratnamohan into the air; and manoeuvring him around the crowd. Again I’m not sure if there was any great significance to this; other than to maybe try to capture the euphoria of the end of a game; but it was kind of lost on me. </p> <p>Ultimately I found <i>SDS1</i> to be largely enjoyable, good but not great. If anything it’s a bit of a lesson to me not to go into things with preconceived notions. The problem is I’ve seen fancier footwork and ball handling skills in the middle of high profile matches; in the controlled environment of a studio I was expecting to be wowed and it just never really happened. All in all it was an interesting piece, but one that feel shot of the mark for me. </p> <p>----------</p> <p><i>SDS1</i> is being performed at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre from September 29th until October 1st, before travelling to the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst from the 20th to the 22nd October.</p> <p><I>The reviewer attended the performance on Wednesday 23rd September at Perth Insitute of Contemporary Arts. </i></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="400" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/sds1.jpg?1443407161" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS PERTH ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Sun, 27 Sep 2015 12:00:22 +0000 Simon Clark 34842 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: Arms And The Man - Sydney Theatre Company (Performances until 31st October 2015) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/arms-and-the-man-sydney-theatre-company <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/arms-man.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="" /></p> <p>George Benard Shaw’s <b>Arms and the Man</b> premiered on April 21st, 1894 and would run for fifty performances, making it the first of his plays to be a commercial success. Set during the Serbian – Bulgarian War of 1885, the play was designed to destroy the mythical ideal of the romantic soldier hero which was a popular portrayal during the Victorian era. In the opening scene we are introduced to the plays heroine Raina (Andrea Demetriades) who is informed by her mother Catherine (Deborah Kennedy) of her fiancé’s bravery on the field of battle during a cavalry charge.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>She gushes and fantasises about her fighting “hero”, gazing longingly at a photograph of her betrothed before going to bed. Her sleep is interrupted by the appearance of a Serbian soldier through her window as he escapes an impending attack. Captain Bluntschli (Mitchell Butel) is Swiss and a self-proclaimed professional soldier who threatens to shoot Raina if she alerts anyone to his presence. She decides to assist the man and hides him before eventually telling her mother to his existence. Bluntschli appears more interested in chocolate than fighting, leading Raina to call him her “chocolate cream soldier” as she engages in a flirtation and momentarily forgets her betrothed. </p> <p>Several months later, with the war over and her fiancé Major Sergius Saranoff (Charlie Cousins) and father Major Paul Petkoff (William Zappa) home, Bluntschli returns to the house to give thanks for their previous assistance. Once the story emerges of his journey into Raina’s bedroom, Sergius feels the need to fight for her affections despite the fact he has been romancing her maid Louka (Olivia Rose) throughout the entire play. In Sergius we have the caricature of the heroic soldier, willing to fight at a moment’s notice and full of empty sentiment. Yet instead of choosing the apparent “hero”, it is Raina’s chocolate cream soldier who wins out in the end, the man who ran away from battle and hid. Here we see Shaw’s clear deconstruction of the classic heroism ideal, an ideal to which he was vehemently opposed. It is also a play that delves heavily into the hypocrisy of the class system, reflecting the playwright’s socialist principles.</p> <p>While it received mixed reactions when it was first performed, with half the audience finding it hilarious and the rest merely dumbfounded, <b>Arms and the Man</b> is an immensely entertaining look at the classic Victorian perception of heroism. Each member of the cast are comically brilliant in their own right, yet it is when they act together that the magic happens. With beautiful sets and stunning costume design, this is an exceptional version of the Shaw classic. </p> <p>----------</p> <p><b>Arms and the Man</b> will enjoy performances at the Sydney Opera House until October 31st. For tickets and more details, head to: <a href="https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2015/arms-and-the-man" title="https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2015/arms-and-the-man">https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2015/arms-and-the-man</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/arms-man.jpg?1442751349" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE Sun, 20 Sep 2015 12:22:15 +0000 Naomi Gall 34697 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: Between Solar Systems - Blue Room Theatre, Perth (Performances through to 26th September) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/between-solar-systems-blue-room-theatre-perth <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/Intensives-5069.jpg" width="640" height="427" alt="" /></p> <p><i>Between Solar Systems</i> is the latest work from emerging Perth theatre group <b>Second Chance Theatre</b>. Written and directed by <b>Scott McArdle</b> the play centres on the actions of Vincent, the sole survivor of Earth’s cataclysmic sea level rise, or is he? I’m going to try and get through this review without giving away too many spoilers; but there’s no guarantees so read ahead at your peril.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><i>Between Solar Systems</i> is an entertaining and wholly ambitious affair; you need look no further than the sumptuous set design and visual effects to see the level of ambition and drive that McArdle and his team have. That ambition comes across in the writing too, there is a lot going on! – multiple potential back stories, clever little references nestled in the background and an interesting twist at the play’s climax. </p> <p>For the most part McArdle has a great handle on the story despite it’s complexity; it moves along nicely, it never really drags or falters – but there were just a few elements that were a little lost on me, namely ‘the woman’, who’s character I’m still not sure was real or not. I did, however, really enjoy McArdle’s nods to other science fiction; with it’s subtle homages to the Terminator franchise and others; the play even had it’s own Planet of the Apes moment (spoilers!).</p> <p>I enjoyed <b>Nick Maclaine’s</b> performance as Vincent; which for me managed to find the right balance between the cold almost emotionlessness you would expect from someone raised by a virtual intelligence; but also a sense of warmth and humour – there was still a playfulness and childishness to his character that was entertaining to watch. </p> <p>Though for me <b>Jo Morris</b> stole the show and she wasn’t even on stage. I mean who doesn’t love a wisecracking incredibly sarcastic virtual intelligence - Siri on overdrive. Yes there was warmth and humanity about Vi, but for me Morris so successfully captured, and shifted with ease into, Vi’s dark streak; the coldness and emotional detachment. That programmed need to follow pre set directives without any real consideration for Vincent’s feelings. You need look no further than Vi’s reaction to Vincent’s death at the end of the play to see this coldness at play. </p> <p>On the whole I really enjoyed <i>Between Solar Systems</i>; it was entertaining and it was funny, and whilst I felt like there was maybe a bit too much going on story wise, I was hugely impressed by the attention to detail by the creative team; from just little background details that you might easily miss, to Vi’s visuals and the set design; which was perhaps the most creative and best use of the Blue Room space I’ve seen yet. </p> <p>--------------</p> <p><i>Between Solar Systems</i> is performing at the Blue Room Theatre, Perth until September 26th. For more information and ticketing visit: <a href="http://blueroom.org.au/events/between-solar-systems/" title="http://blueroom.org.au/events/between-solar-systems/">http://blueroom.org.au/events/between-solar-systems/</a></p> <p>The Reviewer attended the Opening Night performance on 10th September.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/Intensives-5069.jpg?1442474307" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS PERTH ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU SCOTT MCARDLE Thu, 17 Sep 2015 07:41:08 +0000 Simon Clark 34618 at http://www.theaureview.com Brisbane Festival Review: Fear and Delight - Cultural Forecourt at South Bank (Performances to 25th September) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/fear-and-delight-at-brisbane-festival <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/FD_Image.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="" /></p> <p>As I sit here, pen on paper, attempting to review the enigma that is <B><I>Fear and Delight</i></b> I find myself with a dilemma. For a show shrouded in mystery, how do I review something without spoiling the namesake fear and delight of this whirlwind blur clad in black and white? To divulge too much detail would be a crime against the creativity of the show. Exuding sex, the cast of nine performers tease their talents and physiques to the audience with comedy and quirkiness, all set to an amazing musical backdrop by The Correspondents.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Vocals and ringleader duties are put in the superlatively talented and charismatic hands of Mr. Bruce, with musical direction by his partner in crime, DJ Chucks and beautiful drummer Hannah Madge. The electro swing stylings of Bruce are intoxicating and take the audience down a rabbit hole with no real direction. Standout performer and audience favourite, Spencer Novich played a dark and twisty impish character who injected the show with his original brand of black humor in albeit far too brief moments. Muscles and bare skin were served aplenty, as daring acrobats soared to staggering heights and paraded their fishnet clad bodies, that could only have been carved by the gods, across the stage.</p> <p>Perhaps the one thing missing was a stronger theatrical narrative which intrinsically tied both the soundtrack and the choreography together in a more tangible way. That’s not to say that there weren’t both strong and intriguing elements, despite the fact that the various cogs refused to turn together in a way that you would expect them too. Wildly weird, imaginatively inspired and devilishly debonair, it is a sensory smorgasbord not to be missed. </p> <p>----------</p> <p><B><I>Fear and Delight</i></b> will be performed as part of Brisbane Festival through 25th September. For tickets and more details head to: <a href="http://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/whats-on/fear-delight" title="http://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/whats-on/fear-delight">http://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/whats-on/fear-delight</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/FD_Image.jpg?1442219865" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS BRISBANE ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU BRISBANE FESTIVAL FEAR AND DELIGHT THE CORRESPONDENTS BRISBANE FESTIVAL Mon, 14 Sep 2015 08:38:40 +0000 Lauren Baxter 34549 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: Death And The Maiden - Sydney Theatre Company (Performances until 17th October 2015) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/death-and-the-maiden-sydney-theatre-company <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/DATMProdPhoto1.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="" /></p> <p>It took Ariel Dorfman many years to pen <b><I>Death And The Maiden</i></b>, a poignant and confronting look at the end of the Chilean dictatorship and the beginnings of reconciliation under a new democratic regime. Influenced by events in his own life, the play touches on the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission under President Patricio Aylwin in 1990, whose role it was to examine the human rights violations under the previous Pinochet regime – but only those which resulted in death or ‘disappearance’. Perhaps most significantly, the perpetrators would not be named, with all testimony occurring behind closed doors away from public scrutiny. This brought about uneasy feelings among those who had been brutalised and survived – what justice was there for them?</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>It is this notion of justice that sees the protagonist of <b>Death And The Maiden</b>, Paulina Salas (Susie Porter), hold hostage the man who had assisted her husband when he had a flat tire. Hearing the man’s voice in her home she becomes convinced it is the voice of the same man who had tortured and raped her fifteen years earlier. While her husband sleeps she ties the man up and holds him at gun point. Her husband, Gerardo Escobar (Steve Mouzakis), is a lawyer and at the beginning of the play we learn he has been chosen to assist the Commission with their investigations into previous atrocities. He is clearly torn by what his wife has done, but she assures him she does not mean to kill Roberto Miranda (Eugene Gilfedder), merely put him on trial for the crimes committed against her and many others at his hands. If he confesses, she will set him free, if he does not, she will kill him.</p> <p>It is as if the audience becomes the jury but we are powerless to influence the outcome. While the hostage professes his innocence, even after he confesses, you are torn – is this simply a case of mistaken identity mixed with an overwhelming desire for justice or is it the actions of a rational woman seeking to heal her own soul having been confronted with her tormentor? The depth of her pain, expertly depicted by Porter, is heartbreaking. So much of the play is left ambiguous, including the ending, allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions. Powerful performances are given by Mouzakis and Gilfedder but it is Porter who truly carries this story with her mesmerising portrayal. Ingenious and simple set design combined with emotive lighting and a haunting musical score make <b>Death And The Maiden</b> a play that will make you think and, perhaps more significantly, make you feel.</p> <p>-------------</p> <p><b><I>Death And The Maiden</i></b> will enjoy performances at the Sydney Theatre Company until October 17th. For tickets and more details, head to: <a href="https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2015/death-and-the-maiden" title="https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2015/death-and-the-maiden">https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2015/death-and-the...</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/DATMProdPhoto1.jpg?1442218288" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU SYDNEY THEATRE Mon, 14 Sep 2015 08:13:14 +0000 Naomi Gall 34525 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: Ride & Fourplay - Darlinghurst Theatre, Sydney (Performance until October 4) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/ride-and-fourplay-darlinghurst-theatre <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/Tom%20O%27Sullivan%2C%20Aaron%20Glenane%2C%20Gabrielle%20Scawthorn%2C%20Emma%20Palmer%20%C2%A9%20Robert%20Catto.JPG" width="640" height="427" alt="Tom O&#39;Sullivan, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Aaron Glenane and Emma Palmer. Photo: Rober" title="Tom O&#39;Sullivan, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Aaron Glenane and Emma Palmer. Photo: Robert Catto" /></p> <p>One-act plays can often present a blessing or a curse. When done well, they can be concise, pacey and poignant, and a one-act can present an idea in a setting that’s best for it. <B><I>Ride &amp; Fourplay</i></b> are two one act plays written by Sydney playwright Jane Bodi, with both stories focusing on love – particularly ideas of new love – and they tackle the theme from different angles.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p><i>Ride</i> begins with a couple waking after a drunken one-night stand and attempting to piece together the lost remnants of the night before. The unnamed female (Emma Palmer) tries to work out how she got to a man’s house in Tempe if she was out in the Cross, while he (Tom O’Sullivan) insists he was out in Newtown all night. The couple pushes through an awkward morning after experience, which ends up continuing into the next evening. They get along, but they don’t seem to connect quite enough on stage to see a real spark. Rather than see a potential relationship stem from two unlikely companions making the most of a compromising situation, we’re left with two people seeming to pass the time, though not in a way that’s fearful enough for them to be avoiding going back to their own normalcy. While an intriguing setting, with excellent performances from both, it is probably just a little too long for a one-act, and could end at various points in the script.</p> <p><I>Fourplay</i> on the other hand, grabs for attention quickly, with a sharp and funny story of a relationship shift. Alice (Gabrielle Scawthorn) is a former actor living with Tom (Tom O’Sullivan), who’s about to open a new play. His co-star Natasha (Emma Palmer) is coming on hard during rehearsals, and he’s at a cross roads while his relationship begins to crumble at home. Meanwhile, Alice begins to befriend her odd coworker Jack (Aaron Glenane), and open up to a new life without the stage. The actors perform their dialogue to the audience rather than to each other, with all four on stage simultaneously, and this heightens the dramatic elements to effect. They’re all being watched in some way, while lost in their private worlds, even when communicating with another person. </p> <p>Glenane steals the show as the awkward Jack, while Scawthorn is excellently vulnerable and searching in portrayal of Alice. O’Sullivan and Palmer also shine brightly in an ensemble setting with a strong script and great direction from Anthony Skuse. The set is bare, save for a large angled platform which gives the cast a great use of levels and space to play with, creating a sort of subconscious and fluid hierarchy throughout. It’s great to see Sydney represented on stage in an authentic way.</p> <p>----------</p> <p><B><I>Ride &amp; Fourplay</i></b> will be performed at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company in Sydney until October 4th. For tickets and more details head to: <a href="http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/whats-on/ride-and-fourplay" title="http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/whats-on/ride-and-fourplay">http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/whats-on/ride-and-fourplay</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" title="Tom O&#039;Sullivan, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Aaron Glenane and Emma Palmer. Photo: Robert Catto" alt="Tom O&#039;Sullivan, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Aaron Glenane and Emma Palmer. Photo: Rober" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/Tom%20O%27Sullivan%2C%20Aaron%20Glenane%2C%20Gabrielle%20Scawthorn%2C%20Emma%20Palmer%20%C2%A9%20Robert%20Catto.JPG?1442021102" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS SYDNEY ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Sat, 12 Sep 2015 11:10:57 +0000 Julian Ramundi 34518 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: Latitudes - Blue Room Theatre, Perth (Performances through September 5th) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/latitudes-blue-room-theatre-perth-performances-through-september-5th <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/Latitudes_017_Lo-Res.jpg" width="640" height="360" alt="" /></p> <p><i>Latitudes</i> is the new play from emerging Perth theatre group <b>The Lost Boys</b>, and marks the debut theatrical work from acclaimed screenwriter, film maker and musician <b>Mark Walsh</b>. Directed by <b>Mikala Westall</b> it is a work suffused with ideas of memory and of forgetting. An at times clever, meditative and mesmerising piece <i>Latitudes</i> has ensured that the new season at the Blue Room is off to a strong start.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>With the press release promising to the horror genre to the stage, I was initially quite apprehensive. Horror on stage can so often go wrong; and what should be scary can end up comical; and frankly cheesy. But fear not, <i>Latitudes</i> doesn’t go for the cheap scare, and there is no terrible FX makeup in sight (there is fake blood though); instead <I>Latitudes</i> delves into the psyche; and lends itself more to the more psychological horror typical of the gothic genre. There might be something in the water, but that’s not the truly scary part – it’s the lengths that we will go to forget an event, a trauma, or even a person. </p> <p>Latitudes has three actresses, but for all intent and purposes one character. <b>Tessa Carmody</b>, <b>Jo Morris</b> and <b>Claire Munday</b> each play the same character at different points in their lives; Fifteen, thirty five and and fifty five years old. Each have arrived to a place, which for me seems like a pretty good fit for purgatory or limbo, with no memory of their names, or how they got there. Personally, I found having the same character from different points in their own timeline to be a fascinating story-telling device. For me it allowed the narrative and the underlying drive of the story to be revealed much slower, with little gems of narrative drip fed to audience; with each incarnation adding to the narrative offered by their counterparts, building the tension until it reached it’s squally crescendo.</p> <p>Carmody, Morris and Munday all put in fine performances, each proving their own take on the character at different points in her life. I felt Carmody convincingly brought a sense of naive energy and that innate sense of compulsiveness that seems to manifest in the teenage years, to her depiction of the fifteen-year-old incarnation. Whereas, for me, Morris instead brought a degree of aloofness and assertiveness to her incarnation; there was an element of darkness and grief to her depiction; the significance of which doesn’t become clear until later in the play. Munday’s portrayal of the fifty-five year old incarnation was perhaps the most moving of the performances for me; with its inferences of dementia or memory loss. Indeed all the references to “the white climb” screamed psychiatric facility or aged care home to me. There was just a real sense of fragility and childlikeness about her character; that for me made for compelling viewing. </p> <p>There was much to love about <i>Latitudes</i>, Westall’s direction was subtle and nuanced, a light touch that certainly helped the action flow and develop on stage. Kudos must of course go to <b>Patrick Howe</b> for his clever set design; once again Howe has managed to do wonders with the blank canvas that is the Blue Room; the bubbles may have provided a touch of the B-movie; but certainly provided an atmospheric and suitably gothic inspired setting for the action to unfold. </p> <p>With a clever script, a strong cast, and fine directing <i>Latitudes</i> has a lot going for it; and certainly makes for an interesting and compelling night at the theatre. If The Lost Boys continue producing work of this quality I’m sure we’ll be seeing their name around town more and more. </p> <p><i>Latitudes</i> has performances at Perth’s Blue Room Theatre until September 5th. For more information and to purchase tickets visit: <a href="http://blueroom.org.au/events/latitudes/" title="http://blueroom.org.au/events/latitudes/">http://blueroom.org.au/events/latitudes/</a></p> <p>The reviewer attended the opening night performance on the 20th August.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="360" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/Latitudes_017_Lo-Res.jpg?1440510083" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS PERTH ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU Wed, 26 Aug 2015 02:47:14 +0000 Simon Clark 34160 at http://www.theaureview.com Theatre Review: All That Glitters - Blue Room Theatre, Perth (Performances through August 29th) http://www.theaureview.com/arts/reviews/all-that-glitters-blue-room-theatre-perth-performances-through-august-29th <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/11870710_377331329058155_3121514327217173320_n.jpg" width="640" height="512" alt="" title="Photo by Jamie Breen" /></p> <p>Refugees, asylum seekers and broader immigration have long dominated headlines and political slogans from all parties within Australia, and more recently abroad in Europe and the UK. For many people it is a polarising issue, for Perth theatre group <b>The Last Great Hunt</b> it provided the starting point for new work <i>All That Glitters</i>. A work initially devised as a theatrical response to Australia’s (both its government and its citizens) reaction to asylum seekers, refugees or “boat people” heading for Australia. Director and co-devisor <b>Gita Bezard</b> mentioned in her programme notes that she hoped the play would “provoke a conversation” amongst other things, and I feel it certainly does that; and thanks to the fact sheets placed in the bar and in the foyer, it should at least be an informed conversation too.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>In many respects <i>All That Glitters</i> is a political play; it’s certainly dealing with one of the countries most divisive issues, but it never falls into being didactic or preachy. <I>All That Glitters</i> instead is an irreverent romp that plays with the conventions of theatre as much as it tries to make any concrete political point. It’s all very Meta - a play about a play, or even at one point a play about a play about a play. There were stops, restarts, musical numbers, and tap dancing. It was as the early promos promised – An Extravaganza!</p> <p>It’s all very gaudy and a little in your face with it’s tight gold spandex, glitter and gold streamers combination; but it never fails to get the laugh. Normally at the expense of one of the Hunters, who each seemed to be playing a heightened version of themselves (you’d hope!). All That Glitters is funny and satirical, but also bipartisan in its humour, poking fun at both sides of the political debate; occasionally some of the humour was a touch on the nose – but such is the nature of the topic. </p> <p><I>All That Glitters</i> is a humorous, satirical and most definitely entertaining. Whilst it was perhaps only superficially political, it certainly helps start a conversation, and prompts you to evaluate your own position on the asylum seekers and refugee situation. And there was choreographed dancing to Taylor Swift, what more could you possibly ask for? I mean really!</p> <p>All in all All That Glitters is humorous, satirical and most definitely entertaining. Whilst it was perhaps only superficially political, it certainly achieves its goal in helping start a conversation; prompting you to evaluate or re-evaluate your own position on the situation surrounding asylum seekers and refugees. And there was choreographed dancing to Taylor Swift, what more could you possibly ask for? I mean really!</p> <p>---</p> <p><i>All That Glitters</i> is currently being presented at The Blue Room Theatre, Perth until 29th August. For more information and ticketing visit: <a href="http://blueroom.org.au/events/all-that-glitters/" title="http://blueroom.org.au/events/all-that-glitters/">http://blueroom.org.au/events/all-that-glitters/</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="512" title="Photo by Jamie Breen" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/11870710_377331329058155_3121514327217173320_n.jpg?1439853939" /> </div> </div> </div> REVIEWS PERTH ARTS: REVIEWS ARTS ON THE AU THE LAST GREAT HUNT Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:12:42 +0000 Simon Clark 33998 at http://www.theaureview.com Live Review: Ryan Adams + Jenny Lewis - The Forum, Melbourne (19.07.15) http://www.theaureview.com/reviews/melbourne/ryan-adams-jenny-lewis-forum-theatre-melbourne-19-07-15 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/sites/default/files/2015-07-19_02-RyanAdams_057.jpg" width="640" alt="" /><br /> Photo Credit: Rebecca Houlden</p> <p><B>Jenny Lewis</b>, the former front woman of indie-rock band <B>Rilo Kiley</b>, oozes confidence as she struts on stage. She's wearing a white suit with a rainbow motif while the twinkle in her eye suggests she’s ready to show Melbourne a good time. Lewis and band kicks things off with the Rilo Kiley song, "Silver Lining". It has distinctly pop sound that inspires the five foot tall man in front of me to eagerly bop along. This is preceded "The Moneymaker" and "The Next Messiah", the latter exploring hard hitting blues with a country rock twist to its full potential.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Scattered among the set are a number of Rilo Kiley songs, which are enthusiastically received by the crowd. There are also a number of songs from Lewis' debut solo album <I>The Voyager</i>, produced by <B>Ryan Adams</b>. Solid percussion and harmonies saturate a set that alternates between pop, country and blues. Accompanied only by acoustic guitar and a sea of harmonies, Lewis ends the set with "Acid Tongue", which leaves a wonderful feeling lingering in the air. </p> <p>By now, everyone is practically tingling with anticipation as the roadies prepare the stage for Adams himself. The stage is decorated with a collection of slightly wacky and whimsical props. Amongst the 80s arcade games and a Dr Pepper machine is a stuffed tiger and a cardboard cut-out of a cat. It’s a collection of things that Adams loves, and when he walks on stage drenched in double denim he looks completely at home. He’s accompanied by <B>The Shining</b> who start with "Gimme Something Good", taken from Adams' self-titled album. As the music fills the air, Adams is watched by a sea of upturned faces that silently worship him like a god. Completely obedient, we join Adams as he takes us on a journey into his music. </p> <p>The country fuelled "Let It Ride", moves into the pleading "Stay With Me". This in turn slips into "Dirty Rain", which ignites as a sea of twinkling stars burn behind the band. The atmosphere at The Forum is peaceful yet sentimental as the figures on stage move amongst teal, indigo and green shadows that engulf them. Adams is completely consumed by the music and often flings his head into back bends so low he’s going to need a chiropractor soon. For the most part, his unruly hair veils his face, yet there are moments I can see his features contorting into uncontrollable spasms as he gives everything he has. </p> <p>The gig is punctuated with poetic and confessional lyrics that can easily break your heart. Interwoven with engaging narratives, Adams proves himself a talented wordsmith. This combined with the delicate arrangements and whispered harmonies create songs that are highly emotive and accessible to many. It’s for these reasons that Adams has such a dedicated following. </p> <p>The set list includes a number of songs with new arrangements that move between light and sweet to hard and heavy. This creates contrast and new meaning for much loved Adams classics. In the case of "Peaceful Valley", Adams moves from heavy to light between verse to chorus, playing with dynamics to successfully reinvent the song across a monolithic eight minutes. All the while, Adams' country twang migrates easily from a gentle whine to an all-out shout in perfect sync with the music. </p> <p>But it isn’t all dramatic highs and powerful lows. If you’re after a legit hootenanny, which is a whole lot of hoot, with just a little bit of nanny, "To Be Young" and "Shakedown on 9th Street" delivers. It gets them toes a-tapping and of course after a hootenanny, hijinks are destined to ensure. Hijinks such as when Adams swiftly responds to a mumbling heckler with, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, alcohol’. Or, where Adams indulges in his offbeat sense of humour and improvises a happy birthday song for GiGi the lighting girl. "My Baby Don't Understand Me", a <B>Natalie Prass</b> cover, is the standout of the night. Adams plays acoustic guitar solo and croons so intently you could easily assume that he penned the lyrics. Finally, the night ends with "Come Pick Me Up" and an exceptionally off key sing-along from the audience.</p> <p>Prolific is a word that is often used to describe Ryan Adams. With fourteen solo albums to his name it’s not surprising that the gig lasted for an epic two hours. Yet it was after the gig that I experienced the most exciting moment of my life. On the tram home, I posted a picture of the gig on Instagram. Adams was the first person to like it. All in all, I think I can die happy now.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-insert"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_insert" width="640" height="427" alt="" src="http://www.theaureview.com/sites/default/files/2015-07-19_02-RyanAdams_057.jpg?1437607783" /> </div> </div> </div> MELBOURNE LIVE REVIEWS ARTS: REVIEWS THE AU REVIEW (MUSIC) JENNY LEWIS RYAN ADAMS THE FORUM SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS Wed, 22 Jul 2015 23:30:31 +0000 Kate Katrina 33434 at http://www.theaureview.com