A  very cool thing happened a few weeks ago thanks to working for Scenestr. A call went out for people to interview a lead cast member from Aladdin – The Musical. Our Arts/Comedy Editor had already written a fantastic review of the show and so I was lucky enough to get the gig. So the next day on the 28th of February Karen and I went to see Aladdin – The Musical at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, an unusual occurrence for an interview since the magazine had already reviewed the show. I’ve seen some great shows in my day Les Miserables, Wicked, Avenue Q and The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Aladdin is a feat in live theatre, there is no other way to put it. Maybe the stories of those shows speak to me more but for sheer energy, pizazz and spirit you won’t find anything that wants to entertain you more than Aladdin. Moving props, forget it – moving sets, fight choreography, dance ensembles, glittering jewels and treasures, jokes and pyrotechnics galore and yes one beautifully moving magic carpet ride. Simply put, if Aladdin comes to your town – it is the show to see.

I went by now knowing I would be interviewing Gareth Jacobs who has taken over the role of The Genie from American Michael James Scott. Before we went in I was asked if I would like to briefly meet Gareth after the show in anticipation of our interview. After the show as adviced we waited patiently as everybody filed out, a stage hand came up to the row in front of us where two people had stayed in their seats and even a few metres away I could hear him ask “Are you Lloyd?”. “Nah.” was the gentleman’s reply which I think gives us all some advice for what to say when we’re in a similar situation. The stage hand came up to me next and I said yes and we were taken down to a stage door and brought through the wings onto the stage behind the now drawn curtains. On the stage stood Aladdin (Ainsley Melham), Princess Jasmine (Hiba Elchikhe) and Genie (Gareth Jacobs). We walked forward and shook hands with everyone and I introduced Karen to everybody who then shook hands. We were asked “If we enjoyed the show?” of  which we assured them all we had. We then posed for pictures before thanking each other once again as Karen and I left. As we reached the wings we heard the next set of VIPs (for lack of a better term) being introduced. Of course that was a nice thing done to give us a good feeling and part of my job is I like to think to be cool about such things and focus on the work. You can be the judge if I do but having seen the show and enjoyed it I was grateful for the opportunity and pleased to get to share it with my wife. The next day I interviewed Mr Jacobs who was great to talk to and you can read the interview here


Every opportunity with Scenestr has been a privilege and joy that I do not take for granted and have gotten something out of that you can’t put a price on. Some have been highlights and this was one of them. Around about the time of the interview marked a year since my first published post with Scenestr.


Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. This interview was published in print in the April Queensland edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here with the interview on page 44.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken



      1. Each to their own mate. In Ron Burgundy he tells Christina Applegate “Ah San Diego which in the original German means whale’s vagina.” It’s dumb but I just thought of that then. For me Ferrell can do these films that wildly entertain me and others that pretty much bore me and the difference seems to a hair’s breath.

      2. HaHaHaHa. There are moments, like Adam Sandler, where he makes me laugh, but as a whole, I pass. But that was a funny joke about San Diego.

  1. Maybe not something I would go and watch, but fun to read, and great to see you two on stage with the cast members too. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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