Author: Penny Spirou

Theatre review: Bernadette Robinson mesmerises with star performances in Divas

August 6, 2023

Directed by Simon Phillips, Divas is a captivating journey through time, exploring the (often quite short) lives of the biggest music stars to ever grace stage and screen. There are ten, in fact, each with their own unique personality, connection to music, and outlook on life and love. Unbelievably, there is one star who brings […]

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Mamma Mia

Theatre Review: MAMMA MIA! The Musical, is back and…here we go again!

May 28, 2023

MAMMA MIA! The Musical boasts a coverage of 22 of ABBA’s greatest hits, loved by multiple generations since the super group first stepped on stage in the 1970s. This stage musical, first coming to life in London in the 1990s, has gone on to perform in over 20 languages around the world. It also turned […]

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Theatre Review: Rocky Horror Show’s 50th Anniversary Production does the time warp – again!

February 20, 2023

If you can believe it, it’s been 50 glorious years of Rocky Horror, across stage and screen. It all started in a small 63-seater in London on the evening of 19 June 1973. Since, it has been performed worldwide in over thirty countries and has been translated into more than twenty languages. Of course, there […]

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Theatre Review: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a family-friendly explosion of music, colour, and joy

February 17, 2023

Created by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber over half a century ago, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has returned to Oz for the 2022/23 tour. It was this musical that gave Rice and Lloyd Webber the start in their illustrious careers which continued with theatrical collaborations including Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. For […]

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Lady Sings The Blues

Sydney Festival Review: Working through the power and the pain of women in music with Prinnie Stevens in Lady Sings the Blues

January 16, 2023

Best known as a finalist on the commercial television singing competition, The Voice, Prinnie Stevens is a singer and theatre performer, starring in productions including The Bodyguard and Thriller Live. In Lady Sings the Blues, Prinnie brings her Tongan Catholic heritage to stage and maps out a life and love of strong women in music. […]

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Sydney Festival Review: Antarctica is a true blend of art and science into the unknown

January 6, 2023

Antarctica is a new Australian exclusive opera performed by the Sydney Chamber Orchestra, jointly with The Netherlands’ music ensemble, Asko|Schönberg. It draws its audience in to the endlessness of the southern continent that is Antarctica. As the composers, Mary Finsterer (Music) and Tom Wright (Libretto) intended, the performance “hopes to awaken a vastness of thought”, […]

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Kings of Leon

Live Review: Kings of Leon tear it up on Halloween night at Park Sounds

November 2, 2022

As part of Park Sounds, musicians T. Lopea & the International Men of Mystique played at the Music Box (a pop-up stage near the P1 parking at Olympic Park, closest to Qudos Bank Arena) to add to the atmosphere as patrons started shuffling in for the main event, Kings of Leon supported by The Temper […]

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Your Love is Mine is a tragic Australian romance: A Night of Horror International Film Festival review

October 20, 2022

Your Love Is Mine is an Australian feature-film, focusing on the relationship between two young people in a small country town. Mechanic, Sam (Lester Ellis) and bartender Violet (Senie Priti) fumble their way through each day together in a dead-end town. They embrace each other’s company and talk about the future, hoping for a better […]

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Two Witches is the real deal: A Night of Horror International Film Festival Review

October 19, 2022

Two Witches is a gritty, realistic take on a beloved Halloween subject. Broken up into three parts (The Boogeywoman, Masha, and Epilogue), this witch horror pushes the envelope to some extreme witchy behaviour. As cited in the film, witches eat babies and worship the devil. They do both things in Two Witches and much, much […]

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Zebra Girl brings horror in the form of childhood trauma: A Night of Horror International Film Festival review

October 18, 2022

One of the closing night films at A Night of Horror International Film Festival, Zebra Girl (directed by Stephanie Zari) brings a melancholic yet disturbing story to the table. The film is based on a one-woman play titled Catherine and Anita. In it, Catherine (Sarah Roy) marries an academic by the name of Dan (Tom […]

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Razzennest is an art film unlike any other – A Night of Horror International Film Festival Review

October 13, 2022

Loosely translated to rats nest, Razzennest is unlike your typical horror flick. Refusing to be defined, this arthouse take on the genre offers many layers of meaning to unpack. The premise, an ‘audio commentary’ on a visual art film from director, Manus Oosthuizen, who (along with members of the crew), sit down with film critic, […]

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Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus

Theatre Review: Family-friendly Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus delivers a joyful burst of energy

April 21, 2022

Presented by Circa, Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus has a short stint at the Theatre Royal, adding a cheeky element of fun to the school holidays. The show is a more ‘child-friendly’ version of its adult counterpart, Circa’s Peepshow, which runs parallel in the evenings. The classical composer’s music comes to life on stage as the […]

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North by Northwest

Theatre Review: David Campbell beams in sensational production of iconic Hitchcock film, North by Northwest

March 17, 2022

Before walking into the theatre, the quality of the storyline has already been confirmed as this play is based on the 1959 film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock who brought audiences iconic classics such as Vertigo (1958), Strangers on a Train (1951) and Psycho (1960). Considered the first ‘James Bond’ before there was any, […]

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Jagged Little Pill

Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill musical to re-open the Theatre Royal Sydney in September

May 5, 2021

The Theatre Royal in Sydney is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar refurbishment and to mark its reopening in September, will premiere Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill stage musical. This is the first time it has been staged outside of Broadway. Jagged Little Pill debuted in December 2019 at the American Repertory Theater, however, was closed abruptly […]

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Film Review: Wrong Turn takes a couple of wrong turns and becomes a hodgepodge of horror

February 11, 2021

Wrong Turn appears to be your stock-standard horror which takes a group of young twenty-somethings into a remote rural part of the US for some hiking fun. Although none of it is very fun and absolutely no good times are had. As you might imagine, during the hiking trip, on the Appalachian trail, one of […]

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First Impressions: Netflix series Safe unveils hard truths behind a quaint, gated community

April 23, 2018

Set to hit Netflix soon is Safe – a drama television series set in a gated community where people are not as they seem. The series stars Michael C. Hall of Dexter fame as a father of two daughters, widowed after the passing of his wife from cancer. His character, Tom, juggles his profession as […]

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DVD Review: The Handmaid’s Tale first season hooks you in and keeps you wanting more

March 23, 2018

The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a dystopian future unlike those we are used to seeing. There aren’t any flying cars or amazing technology that you’d assume to see here. There is nothing but solid regression, simplifying life back to its roots. In fact, it appears that everything has gone backwards in the worst possible […]

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Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Theatre Review: The Trouble with Harry is a play full of depth (performances until March 3rd).

February 19, 2017

Based on the life of a transgender person, born Eugenia Falleni, The Trouble with Harry explores Harry Crawford’s struggle to live as a man in the 1920s. The harrowing journey covers issues in gender, abuse, family and crime. Through each emotive character, the audience takes a glimpse into what faces a transgender person in a […]

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Film Review: Ben Affleck’s Live By Night (USA, 2016) is a visually stunning yet slow running 1920s gangster film

January 26, 2017

Based on the 2012 novel by Dennis Lehane of the same name, Live By Night is set in the prohibition era across the 1920s and 1930s. The man at the centre of the story, Joe Coughlin, is played by Ben Affleck, who brought this adaptation to life. He directed, wrote and produced the film, which […]

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Second season of Billions to premiere in February

August 17, 2016

The second season of Showtime drama Billions will arrive on television screens in February 2017. The critically-acclaimed series, which is currently shooting in the New York summer, will see the return of Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades and Damian Lewis as Bobby Axelrod. Rhoades is a US Attorney who continues to battle for ultimate power […]

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Watch Tim Burton take us inside the peculiar world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

August 12, 2016

Tim Burton’s new film, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is based on the best-selling novel of the same name. And this week we’ve been given a bit more insight into the anticipated movie, with a featurette being released, seeing Director Tim Burton take us inside the story’s most peculiar world. Watch the featurette here: […]

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New Australian Comedy Series Little Acorns to star Rachel Griffiths; launches online in September

August 12, 2016

Set in a childcare centre called Big Oak, Little Acorns is a new Australian comedy series that will be available exclusively through YouTube from 1st September. The series will be told in nine parts, running in bite-size 3-5 minute episodes. Written and directed by Maria Theodorakis and Trudy Hellier, Little Acorns shows adults behaving like […]

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The first uncensored trailer for Bad Santa 2 reintroduces us to Willie and Thurman Merman

August 11, 2016

Billy Bob Thornton and his foul mouth are back for Bad Santa 2 – and this week we got our first taste of the film with the release of its first trailer. In the film, Billy Bob returns as Willie, the R-rated Santa, with his equally filthy elf accomplice, Tony Cox as Marcus. In the […]

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Lynette Wallworth’s VR experience Collisions to tell an Indigenous Australian story at ACMI

August 3, 2016

Acclaimed artist and filmmaker Lynette Wallworth will present a virtual reality film experience titled Collisions at ACMI from October this year. The free exhibition will be a part of the Melbourne Festival, and will run at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image from Thursday 6 October 2016 to Sunday 15 January 2017. Exploring the […]

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Australian filmmakers who led the new wave of feminism in the 90s to feature in new exhibition

August 3, 2016

FemFlix is set to open at Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), at the University of Sydney, on 10 August 2016. It will feature an overlooked decade of feminism, the 1990s, that highlighted zine counter-culture, post-punk gestures, and cyberfeminists on screen. It will feature the work of Australian filmmakers who led the new wave of […]

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The first two films have been confirmed for the 2016 Environmental Film Festival Australia

August 3, 2016

The Environmental Film Festival Australia (EFFA), now in its seventh year, is set to return to Melbourne next month. From 29 September, the EFFA will kick off in Melbourne and then tour nationally, covering Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart. EFFA encourages the participation of environmental advocates, film buffs, academics, business people, scientists, government, and creatives, all […]

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Netflix receives worldwide rights to stream American Crime Story

July 28, 2016

Cable’s most watched new TV series of 2016, The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, will come to Netflix in 2017. The series will be available globally (excluding Canada) and will stream all new seasons in the hit American Crime Story TV series. The announcement is the first global agreement between Netflix and 20th […]

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Freddy Krueger himself to appear at Q&A for screening of The Last Showing in Sydney

July 28, 2016

Robert Englund, known for his infamous role as horror supervillain, Freddy Krueger, will be at the Ritz Cinema in Randwick, Sydney for a special Q&A for his new film The Last Showing. The film tells the story of a projectionist (played by Englund) who is made redundant. As it was his life-long career he looks […]

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Netflix acquires exclusive rights to feature film on the Panama Papers

July 28, 2016

Based on the tell-all book by Obermaier and Obermayer, Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the World’s Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money, will be adapted in to a feature-length film. Key members from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Gerard Ryle and Marina Walker, are also on board with the project as […]

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Australia’s international film festival for kids is coming to the Sydney Opera House

July 20, 2016

Little Big Shots is Australia’s only international film festival for kids. It’s currently touring the country and has been announced to take over the Sydney Opera House from Friday 5 August through Sunday 7 August. The weekend event will feature the best local and international shorts, animations and documentaries for children (including some that have […]

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