Author: Natalie Salvo

Werk It

Sydney Festival Review: Werk It will have you asking, “How’d they do THAT?”

January 16, 2023

Sitting in the audience at Werk It you’d be forgiven for rubbing your eyes and questioning what you’d imbibed prior. The 60-minute show performed by Circus Trick Tease was pretty much all killer, no filler. This was a crazy array of jaw-dropping stunts and circus artistry with lashings of sass and innuendo. As you walk […]

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Sydney Festival Theatre Review: Girls & Boys will leave you thinking long after you’ve left the theatre

January 8, 2023

Girls & Boys is a one-woman play that had its Australian debut at the Adelaide Festival last year. The name can be deceiving given it is a rather quaint one for a story that packs a lot of punch. Across 110 minutes, we hear one woman’s story of how her picture-perfect life and marriage unraveled. […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Frida Kahlo: The Life of an Icon brings flowers, colour and fruit to Oz, oh my!

January 5, 2023

If you’re going to The Cutaway at Barangaroo make sure to wear some flowers in your hair. As part of Sydney Festival, this will host A wonderful and immersive exhibition about Mexican artist and icon, Frida Kahlo. The result is a dazzling array of kaleidoscopic colours as we walk through a powerful homage to this […]

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Good Arguments

Book Review: Good Arguments is an educational look into the art of debating well

December 18, 2022

If anyone knows how to argue with finesse it is Bo Seo. The journalist and author is a two-time winner of the Debating World Championships and a former debate coach. In his debut book, Good Arguments, he distills many of the lessons he learnt over the years so that we may know how to debate with […]

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Tim Minchin

Digital Review: Tim Minchin: Back delivers on the old songs, new songs and f**k you songs

December 11, 2022

Chameleon comedian and musician, Tim Minchin has had some busy years working in theatre and on films. After an eight-year break away from live touring, he returned to the live stage with his show, Back, only for Covid-19 to hit. Filmed live at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in the UK, Back is a clever blend […]

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Book Review: Life & Death Decisions is an action-packed look at modern medicine

November 25, 2022

Dr Lachlan McIver has had an extraordinary career. An Associate Professor, he has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and the World Health Organisation, specialising in tropical diseases and rural medicine. Life & Death Decisions takes readers into high-stakes environments: natural disasters and civil war zones where the term ‘life and death decisions’ really counts. This […]

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Theatre Review: RBG: Of Many, One reminds us how far we’ve come and how much we stand to lose

November 13, 2022

Make no mistake, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a bad-ass. The late US Supreme Court Justice didn’t get a name like ‘The Notorious RBG’ for standing in the shadows. This feminist icon is the inspiration for the new Sydney Theatre production RBG: Of Many, One and is a truly inspiring show. Heather Miller is incredible in […]

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Skin Deep

Book Review: Phillipa McGuinness’ Skin Deep is a detailed look at one large complicated organ

November 11, 2022

We all have it. But how much do we know about it? Writer and publisher, Phillipa McGuinness offers us a comprehensive text about skin in her latest book. Across twelve chapters, she covers many different topics in what can feel like a tad dense read at times. This is a well-researched book and McGuinness is […]

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nigel marsh

Book Review: Nigel Marsh’s Smart, Stupid & Sixty is like a frank chat with a friend

October 27, 2022

It was twenty years ago that many of us first saw author Nigel Marsh at play. Back then Marsh was the self-proclaimed “Fat, Forty & Fired” corporate type whose career had derailed. Many people could relate, so he followed up his debut with Fit, 50 & Fired Up. Another decade on, and he comes to […]

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The Most Important Job In The World

Book Review: The Most Important Job In The World shows that parenting really can be a giant motherload!

August 25, 2022

Gina Rushton’s debut book, The Most Important Job In The World, explores a simple question where the answers are anything but. The award-winning journalist goes on a deep dive to ask whether we should be parents. The result is something that will resonate with both parents and non-parents alike. Writers are often told to write about […]

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Theatre Review: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is dynamism and intensity personified

August 14, 2022

Audiences watching Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde either know the drill or at least have some concept of what happens. But it’s a testament to Kip Williams and the Sydney Theatre Company that this production bedazzles and surprises. This is a rendering that is brimming with so many different layers, that it […]

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Among Us

Taiwan Film Fest Review: Among Us is an intimate look at the daily lives of those on the spectrum

July 28, 2022

They say if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. Director, Lin Cheng-Sheng’s latest film certainly confirms this by offering up the stories of four young men who are on the spectrum. The result is a touching fly-on-the-wall documentary. Cheng-Sheng is no stranger to this particular subject matter. In 2010 […]

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Book Review: Janine Mikosza’s Homesickness is a searing look at displacement and trauma

July 14, 2022

For many of us, home is where the heart is. A safe environment and the epitome of ‘homely.’ But, for Janine Mikosza it was more complicated than that. In her memoir, Homesickness, she explores the many childhood homes she lived in before turning eighteen. Mikosza has previously published essays and short stories. She brings some […]

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TV Review: This is Going to Hurt is hilarious, dramatic & pain-free

July 1, 2022

There aren’t many shows that can successfully straddle the lines between comedy and drama. But This is Going to Hurt is not most programs. The British dramedy based on Adam Kay’s memoir will dazzle audiences with its sharp writing, humour and pathos. Ben Whishaw stars as a young doctor working for the National Health Service. […]

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Not Waving Drowning

Book Review: Not Waving, Drowning is a timely and informative look at Australia’s mental health crisis

June 27, 2022

Issue 85 of the Quarterly Essay is a timely one. The Trauma Cleaner’s Sarah Krasnostein offers a well-researched and insightful look into Australia’s mental health care systems, and its intersection with other institutions. The essay draws upon extensive research and first-hand case studies with vulnerable individuals who fell through the system’s cracks when they should […]

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The Language of Food

Book Review: Annabel Abbs’ The Language of Food is a tasty look at female friendship

June 24, 2022

The Language of Food is a book with a tasty premise. It is based on the true events involving cook book author Eliza Acton, a woman who inspires chefs to this day. With its strong female characters working hard in a male dominated world, it is one that will appeal to fans of Natasha Lester’s […]

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Film Review: Pil’s Adventures is a courageous romp against evil

May 31, 2022

Pil’s Adventures is an animated film set it he medieval city of Foggyborough. At its heart is a strong, little heroine orphan girl named Pil. She embarks on an adventure with some unlikely friends for a warm underdog makes good, slapstick comedy. Julien Fournet writes and directs this animated film. It is the third feature […]

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Speaking in Thumbs

Book Review: Mimi Winsberg’s Speaking in Thumbs proves modern love is confusing

May 18, 2022

As a psychology graduate and serial online dater the premise of Speaking in Thumbs was appealing. A psychiatrist – herself a fellow dater – dons the best friend cap to decipher text messages and uncover what is REALLY being said. It’s a great idea, but I found it difficult to relate to this, as some […]

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Fancy Meeting You Here

Book Review: Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus’ Fancy Meeting You Here is a quirky and ‘poppy’ rom-com

April 19, 2022

Many readers will be familiar with Melbourne authors Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus thanks to their wonderful debut novel, The Book Ninja. The clever pair have now written their third book, another contemporary rom-com with a fun twist. Fancy Meeting You Here has some of the intriguing elements from their stellar debut; however, its execution […]

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Film Review: Happening makes it impossible to turn away from an important issue

April 16, 2022

Living in 2022 it is easy to take reproductive rights for granted. But as Happening shows, it wasn’t long ago that this wasn’t the case. This film serves as a timely reminder of how tortured a situation could become when a woman finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy. It’s a difficult and devastating situation that […]

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Book Review: Beetoota-isms offers up a funny look at some true blue ‘Straylian sayings

April 1, 2022

The Beetoota Advocate is as proudly Australian as a Southern Cross tattoo. They are full of national pride and lay claim to Australia’s oldest newspaper accolade. Those playful minds behind a publication that has fooled actual news outlets have released a new book called Beetoota-isms. It is a kind of companion piece to their previous […]

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Film Review: It Snows in Benidorm is nothing but quiet drama

March 20, 2022

Viewers are likely to know Timothy Spall even though he’s no household name. The actor is famous for his many character roles such as Mr. Turner and in many supporting roles. In his latest film he plays an everyday man in what is a quiet and slow-burning drama. The film is written and directed by […]

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Ciao Bella

Book Review: Ciao Bella! sees Kate Langbroek and family celebrating la dolce vita

March 9, 2022

Many people have living abroad on their bucket list. Australian media personality, Kate Langbroek is one of the few people that can say that she and her family have done it. In Ciao Bella! Six Take Italy she offers a travel diary about the two years her family (husband, Peter and their four children: Lewis, […]

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Film Review: The Father of the Cyborgs follows a charming doctor-turned-mad scientist

February 27, 2022

Dr Phil Kennedy initially seems like such a quiet and unassuming character. The maverick neuroscientist was born in Ireland and spent time working with the homeless before moving to the U.S. But as the film, The Father of the Cyborgs shows, that is really Dr Kennedy during the daytime. After hours, he has experimented with […]

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Film Review: Hot Money is an entertainingly grim look at future armageddon

February 27, 2022

Once upon a time financial literacy involved little more than individuals hitting up their local bank manager for a mortgage. These days the global financial system is a confusing web of interconnected elements: shares, derivatives, energy and taxes. Hot Money is a documentary that aims to demystify this complex subject matter. Susan Kucera directs this […]

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Sweat shows social media is about more than just ‘The Look’: Europa! Europa Film Festival Review

February 24, 2022

In Polish-Swedish film Sweat, audiences meet social media influencer Sylwia. Fit, pretty, and young, Sylwia (Magdalena Kolesnik) motivates her 600,000 followers to work out and be healthy. But this dramatic character study is about more than just a pretty face; it’s a subtle look at the opposing forces between our public and private personas in […]

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A.rtificial I.mmortality will thrill & shock viewers with tech’s possibilities: Transitions Film Festival Review

February 19, 2022

Welcome to the post-biological world. We’re not there yet but we soon will be. Scientists, innovators, engineers and other experts foresee a time where humans could transcend immortality through technology. The answers lie in machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics. It’s a place where we could download our memories to ensure our “essence” lives on […]

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Film Review: Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street is a nostalgic look at all those sunny days

February 7, 2022

For most people, the opening chords to Sesame Street theme song “Sunny Days” will bring back a surge of memories. Sesame Street recently celebrated its golden anniversary, and was a staple for many growing up. The revolutionary kids’ show has already inspired many documentaries, including Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days and the puppeteer-focused […]

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How Decent Folk Behave

Book Review: How Decent Folk Behave sees poet, Maxine Beneba Clarke holding a mirror up to recent events

January 26, 2022

The last two years have been tumultuous ones and have left people reeling. You can either dwell on the hopelessness of it all, or try and seek out the light. Poet and writer, Maxine Beneba Clarke does both of these things, but mostly the latter, in her fourth poetry collection, How Decent Folk Behave. This […]

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Puff Piece

Book Review: Puff Piece sees John Safran asking & answering tobacco’s burning questions

January 19, 2022

John Safran is no stranger to stirring the pot. In his third book, Puff Piece, he asks and answers some of the burning questions aimed at Big Tobacco. The result is an enjoyable read that’s full of his trademark humour and is a clever examination on some ethical grey matters. Many readers will perhaps be […]

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