Author: Natalie Salvo

The Lost Supper

Book Review: Taras Grescoe’s The Lost Supper celebrates ancient food, glorious food!

Journalist Taras Grescoe is like the Willy Wonka expert of ancient foods. In his eighth book, The Lost Supper he invites readers along on a journey of pre-imagination to rediscover the lost flavours that our ancestors enjoyed. These flavours looked like they would be extinct…until now. Grescoe fuses together a tome that is part travelogue…

Read More
No Pay, No Way

Theatre Review: No Pay? No Way! Is a funny play that makes much cents!

Sydney Theatre Company’s latest production, No Pay? No Way! may have celebrated its golden anniversary but it feels as relevant as ever. This farce about cost-of-living pressures and a healthy distrust of corporate greed could be about modern Australia- except that it took its inspiration from real-life events that occurred in Milan in the 1970s….

Read More

Streaming Review: The Prince of Egypt is a visual splendour fit for a king

Biblical stories have always been a favourite amongst theatregoers just ask Joseph with his dream coat and Godspell. The Prince of Egypt is no exception. The story – best known as an animated Dreamworks film – also makes for an epic and fun live theatre show, whether you’re watching it on the stage or streaming…

Read More
Mikey Robins

Book Review: Mikey Robins’ latest book considers those dumb and dumber tw*ts from history

Broadcaster Mikey Robins has entertained many audiences over the years with his sharp tongue and trademark wit. The comedian has now written his third book, this time setting his sights on discussing some of history’s finest dolts. Idiots, Follies & Misadventures is another fun romp through the past with Robins as our guide, telling us…

Read More

Theatre Review: Unfair Verona sees Shakespeare meet The Play That Goes Wrong

Romeo & Juliet is a classic love story. It has inspired many different adaptations over the years including Baz Luhrmann’s famous film and the stage musical & Juliet, which ponders what could have happened if Juliet didn’t die. Unfair Verona is another new interpretation, in a style largely cut from the same cloth as The…

Read More

Film Review: We Were Once Kids is a look at those infamous skater teens after they grew up

In the mid-90s a little film named Kids was released. It became a phenomenon that catapulted its stars into the mainstream consciousness. We Were Once Kids is a documentary that looks behind the scenes at the original filmmaking process, while also asking the question, “Where are they now?” Eddie Martin directs this film, which is…

Read More

Film Review: Judy Blume Forever is a fitting tribute to an author who’s never played by the book

Teenage girls the world over would be familiar with author, Judy Blume. The Jewish-American writer has published 29 books and sold over 82 million copies. This includes the famous, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, which has recently been adapted for the big screen and winning fans some fifty-plus years since its release. Blume…

Read More
Bryce Courtenay

Book Review: Bryce Courtenay Storyteller honours one of this country’s most popular writers

Christine Courtenay was married to literary legend, Bryce Courtenay. On the tenth anniversary of his death, she has lovingly written and published a memoir of his extraordinary life. The book looks behind the veil to examine the formative experiences that shaped the famous novelist and raconteur. Bryce famously wrote The Power of One, which was…

Read More
A Pocketful of Happiness

Book Review: Richard E. Grant’s A Pocketful of Happiness is a love letter to Joan Washington

A book about staring down the barrel of a stage four cancer diagnosis could have made for grim reading. But beloved actor, Richard E. Grant brings his likeable nature and positive personality to the unsurprisingly-named, A Pocketful of Happiness. This memoir is a love letter to his darling wife, Joan Washington, and a reminder of…

Read More
Tom Ballard

Book Review: I, Millennial sees Tom Ballard rage against the machine

Comedian Tom Ballard is known for the biting social commentary in his jokes. The podcaster, former Triple J presenter and TV host has never been backward in coming forward with his political views. His new book, I, Millennial is cut from much the same cloth, as he grapples with various important issues and considers the…

Read More
Suburban True Crime

Book Review: Suburban True Crime examines shocking crimes from Australia’s quietest streets

When it comes to true crime Emily Webb is something of an expert. The Melbourne-based journalist is the host of the Australian True Crime podcast along with co-host and fellow author, Meshel Laurie. Webb has also published three books on the subject matter; her latest, Suburban True Crime draws together some of the same cases…

Read More
Werk It

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

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…

Read More

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

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….

Read More

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

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…

Read More
Good Arguments

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

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…

Read More
Tim Minchin

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More
Skin Deep

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

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…

Read More
nigel marsh

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

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…

Read More
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!

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More
Among Us

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More

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

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….

Read More
Not Waving Drowning

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

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…

Read More
The Language of Food

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

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…

Read More

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

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…

Read More
Speaking in Thumbs

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

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…

Read More
Fancy Meeting You Here

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

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…

Read More