Category: Announcements

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REVIEW: ARTEFACT THEATRE COMPANY’S “PROOF”

“Proof” marks the second time this year where I’ve had the privilege of attending the debut performance of a brand new company and, to put it plainly, once again Melbourne has gained yet another strong platform upon which to promote and showcase groundbreaking theatre. The company, Artefact Theatre, derives its name from the idea that “powerful theatre leaves something behind with an audience, buried deep within their minds”. With “Proof”, Artefact have produced a deeply relevant, striking and moving piece of theatre that is sure to meet their goals and stay with their audience for a while yet.

The script itself by David Auburn has an incredible amount of appeal, and lends itself effortlessly to Artefact’s core philosophy. Dealing with the themes of family, loss, sacrifice, depression and ultimately survival, Proof’s greatest strength is that it quickly centres in on its characters. The show is quite cathartic in the way some of its themes are unapologetically confronting, but never dealt with in bad taste. Regardless of how serious the show sounds, make no mistake; it is very funny. Director Emily O’Brien-Brown has achieved the perfect balance of comedy and heartbreak to produce something very special indeed. Read more …

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REVIEW: Babirra’s “Mary Poppins”

Mary Poppins is perhaps one of the most iconic, yet simultaneously underrated musicals of our time. The story of a family who, despite appearances, are thoroughly unhappy and the magical nanny who brings them together is one that has touched the hearts of many people all over the world. It is the beauty and warming nature of the Banks’ journey as a family that forms the heart of the production, which Director Chris Bradtke has brought to life in Babirra’s first show of 2016 playing at the Whitehouse Centre this week.

When casting a character whose brief includes being “practically perfect” in every possible way, a number of challenges arise. However daunting the task, Babirra have managed to hit the goldmine with Stephanie John who provided a performance that effortlessly met the expectations set by such an iconic character. For the entirety of the show’s duration, John captured the perfect balance of sternness and charm that is so integral to Poppins’ personality. Vocally, John never showed any sign of fatigue or exhaustion and produced a performance reminiscent of Julie Andrews’ original portrayal. Angelo De Cata’s portrayal of Bert was a standout as well, though did seem a little inconsistent at times. There were a few short moments in the first act where De Cata struggled, however his infectious energy and heightened enthusiasm for the role did well to disguise any difficulties. Read more …

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REVIEW: Burning House’s “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”

Despite always being quite a strong fan of Shakespeare’s work in reading, there have been many moments over the years where I’ve struggled to fully connect to staged interpretations of his work to the same level as I had when reading and studying it privately. “Coriolanus” to me has never been one of Shakespeare’s “greats”, and despite seeing it performed twice in the past, it rarely managed to leave an impression. All these factors considered, it was with an open mind that I attended Burning House’s performance of “The Tragedy of Coriolanus” last week. Without question, what followed was one of the most intimate and rewarding theatre experiences I had ever been a part of.

After months of seeing shows performed in back alleys and hotel rooms (as great as that was), it was slightly refreshing to be back sitting in the rows of a more orthodox audience space, looking down upon a proper stage in an established theatre…however conventional the setting was, Burning House’s usage of it was anything but. Having the cast sitting visibly around the area while they were not on stage is a bold move – but an incredibly original and fascinating one. Somehow, my experience was not impacted, nor my suspension of disbelief ‘shattered’ by the staging – instead it was almost more enchanting then usual; watching the actors sit motionless, go through their costume changes before stepping into the space and becoming their characters so completely. Every aspect of the show and every movement carried out by its actors was incredibly stylized and choreographed, leading to an end result that felt remarkably polished.

Read more …

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How many reboots do we really need?

After 130 years of film-making, has creativity plateaued?

Welcome to the world of remakes, reboots, spin-offs and unnecessary 30-years-later sequels. Recently, we have all noticed the sheer number of reboots being pumped out by Hollywood. Just in case you haven’t, let me present: Jurassic World, Zoolander 2, The Mummy, The Karate Kid, Man of Steel, Godzilla, Star Wars VII, The Jungle Book, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Mad Max: Fury Road, Creed, A Good Day to Die Hard, Vacation, The Amazing Spider-Man, Star Trek and Doctor Who. Read more …

The death of Genius Reg Grundy!

In a sad turn of events, the man behind the hit series Neighbours, Prisoner and The Young Doctors, has died at the age of 92. His name is Reg Grundy. As a background, Grundy had started his career by developing the radio adaptation of Wheel of Fortune, which then came to TV in 1959. After that, he then opened his own company known as the Grundy Organisation, which purchases game-show formats and then transformed them to fit the local Australian culture. His wife Joy, 68, is an actress and author who lived with him in Bermuda for more than three decades. According to his friend Alan Jones, who said on 2GB radio on Monday, “Reg Grundy has passed away in the arms of his beloved wife Joy, on their Bermuda estate.” What a tragedy it is to loose a talented and genius man who created a legacy of hit TV-series which will carry on through the shows such as Neighbours. He was an expert at selecting the best US game shows and converting them in to becoming successful and huge on Australian television. He introduced game shows such as Wheel of Fortune, and Perfect Match in Australia. Another show that he is very well known to have brought about on Australian television that attracted huge audiences was the show, Family Feud. What makes Grundy different to other TV producers is that he would pick shows that were doing OK and turn them into hits. Also, the CEO of FremantleMedia Australia, Ian Hogg said that Grundy was a national treasure and that as an icon he will be missed. In addition, the words of Nine Networks reporter Richard Wilkins, he described Grundy as a classy, elegant, and dignified man who had started as a host and then went onto becoming and absolute pioneer with his skills in developing ideas and creatively re-creating shows. The news that Grundy had passed away emerged on Monday, the morning after the annual Logie awards night had taken place. May his soul rest in peace. What can be done now is to keep hope that there will be more people in the industry that aspire to be like him and create shows as flamboyantly as he did.

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Sunday penalty rates: without them what would the incentive be?

As an individual that works in the retail sector on a part-time basis, it is true that there is no real difference between working on a Saturday or a Sunday. If anything, it’s more beneficial compared to a Saturday, getting to work an hour less, and getting a lot less foot traffic since Sundays are perceived to be a family day. Yet these penalty rates have always existed, compensating people for providing their services outside of the usual 9 to 5, Monday to Friday frame of business hours. Would it really be in the economy’s best interests to remove such a benefit to employees? Read more …

Madonna still the Queen of music, or has time moved on?

As exciting as Madonna’s return to performing in Australia sounds, it is unexpectedly terrible to see the increase in ticket refunds. Madonna has decided to do her concerts in Australia after 25 years, which is quite big news. Although she has been facing trouble because of her lack of timing. An example includes the case in Adelaide, where half the people attending the concert had become furious to the fact that they were told she would be performing much later than expected, around 1:00 am instead of 8:30 am, and so one of the fellow attendee said “Madonna should have respected the fact that we have work tomorrow.” Therefore, the producers had told the furious crowd that if they wanted refunds they can do so, after which half of the audience asked for refunds. Numerous fans had titled her late timing as “rude” and this has caused a large impact on her credibility as a performer. Another mishap that had happened on stage was when she accidently revealed a girl’s breasts on stage and saying “She’s the kind of girl you just want to slap on the ass and pull”. What sort of message is Madonna trying to put out there? She used to be the queen of reinvention, but that was when she was young, now as age comes its time for a more sophisticated look, according to an article written on The Sydney Morning Herald by Andrew Mercado, who address what his concern to the fans that attended her Brisbane show on March 18. Read more …