Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: At Last - The Etta James Story

Photo: Chrissie Francis
Thunder and lightning may have been the talk of the town in Melbourne on Thursday night (21st), but inside the packed Athenaeum Theatre Vika Bull and The Essential R&B Band were whipping up a storm of their own.

Electrifying and down right seductive singing by Ms Bull is the centre piece in a narrative concert focused on the life of music’s ‘original bad girl’, Etta James. 
Photo: Chrissie Francis

Bull’s is a supreme voice, charged with passion and underwritten by technical brilliance. It’s only a matter of time before Vika Bull is declared a National Living Treasure. In the meantime, I’m hanging out for the CD release. Continue reading

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At Last: Vika Bull to Narrate Etta James' Story
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Minuscule - Not So Small in Cororooke

The only thing small at Minuscule, is the size of the art work.

In this community art event to be held at Red Rock Regional Gallery in Cororooke, exhibitors are required to complete their piece on a 7inch by 5inch canvas by March 24th.

Canvases are provided with entry forms, and there are primary, secondary and adult categories.

Five hundred artists in Western Victoria will have their masterpiece hung on the walls for six weeks.

What artist wouldn't relish the chance to do that!? Read about it here.

More activity reviews

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013

Well it's on again, and I'm up for it.

The Australian Women Writers Challenge seeks to confront head-on the raw deal female authors in Australia get. The statistics speak for themselves. Never mind the fact women are the ones most likely to read books, and to purchase books for themselves and others. Women writers in Australia (and elsewhere) are far less likely to be reviewed in literary journals and newspapers, or anywhere for that matter, thereby missing out on a significant marketing and publicity tool.

Don't believe me? Read this for the hard cold facts.

Anyhoo, I am pledging to read at least four books by an Australian woman, and review three of them. The reviews will appear on this blog and enjoy links from the AWWC site.

Why not join up yourself? Women and men, girls and boys can sign up, and can register as a 'reader only', pledging your own level of involvement. Visit the AWWC site here.

Off the the shops now to buy I Came To Say Goodbye by Caroline Overington. I'd be delighted to receive your suggestions for my further reading.

Read my reviews from 2012

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: The Trip (Spiegeltent)

You’ve got to wonder. If this is what they get up to at work, what happens when these artists let-their-hair-down!

The Trip is a seductively raunchy affair leaning heavily on in-your-face irreverence. For just over an hour acrobatics, contortionists, drag queens, comic songsters and audience fraternise in an expertly paced performance punctuated by gasps, groans, squeals and laughs.

The languidly liquid limbs of boylesque artist and contortionist David Pereira manipulate themselves in and out of some tight spots, and elastic-girl Marjorie Nantal thrills with antics on a shopping trolley, and later twisting above ground in hung fabric. Stiletto heels are no obstacle for hoop-girl Martine Howard, who makes her contribution without fanfare. Continue reading on Stage Whispers

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

At Last: Vika Bull to narrate Etta James' story (Athenaeum)

Vika Bull (Photo: Chrissie Francis)
When seasoned songstress Vika Bull graces the Athenaeum stage in Melbourne on February 21st in At Last: The Etta James Story, she rejects any suggestion she will be acting.

‘I am just telling the story of one amazing woman,’ Ms Bull told Stage Whispers, ‘and I am very nervous as it is my first time at narrating.’

Twenty-six of Etta James’s songs, backed by an eight-piece band, will feature in the ‘narrative concert’, which tells the story of the soul singer’s life. It opens just over a year after Etta James’ death in January 2012.

‘I am going to try and sing her songs as true as I can,’ said Bull. ‘Of course she was one hell of a singer with her own phrasing and that is very hard to mimic. I have been doing my homework and reading a lot about her - she had a tough life - I can only do my interpretation as best as I can.’
Continue reading on Stage Whispers

Read my review of the 'At Last' World Premiere
Watch Vika Bull singing 'At Last'
More stage theatre reviews and articles

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Concert in Cororooke and River Walk at Barwon Heads

My two latest activity reviews have been published this morning on Weekend Notes, a global site which reviews a wide variety of leisure activities.

A concert by San Franciscan musician, storyteller and published author Kristina Olsen is planned in Cororooke's Carolyn Theatre, as part of her Australian tour. Those in Geelong or Western Victoria can attend her concert on Saturday 16th February. Read about it here

And, not so very far away from Cororooke, my review of the River Walk at Barwon Heads - one of my personal favourite parts of the world. Read about it here

Comments are always welcome.

More activity reviews can be found here.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: The Giraffe's Uncle (La Mama)

Essentially a one-hander, The Giraffe’s Uncle explores the life and person of Les Robinson, an absurdist writer in Sydney’s bohemia scene between the 1920s and 60s. Robinson was infamous for living in derelict houses and caves, writing, fishing and playing his gramophone, and refusing to pay rent.

Following the Sydney premiere in 2011, Kieran Carroll’s thirteenth play, restaged and revised for the Melbourne season, once again features actor Martin Portus who consolidates his return to the stage after 30 years.

Martin Portus is captivating, transporting us on the emotional rollercoaster of Robinson’s existence, his need to be embraced by bohemian colleagues, and his rejection, not of people, but of society.

Playwright Carroll describes Robinson as, ‘ a man of both indolent charm and sad anxiousness’, and as a ‘gloriously imaginative, idiosyncratic, catastrophically humorous and deeply alienated’ writer. Robinson wrote for several publications, but The Giraffe’s Uncle (1933) remains his only published short story collection.

Intuitive singer Darryl Emmerson is a charming addition to the Melbourne show and won me over with his gentle lyricism, and easy manner. So much so, the memory of my old grandfather singing crept into my head. Continue reading

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I, Animal (Melbourne Zoo)
Romeo and Juliet (Royal Botanic Gardens)
War Horse (Arts Centre Melbourne)
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