INTERVIEW WITH ‘CLUEDO! THE INTERACTIVE GAME’ DIRECTOR XANTHE JONES AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It has been a while since I’ve done an interview for Scenestr magazine due to a variety of reasons. Thankfully it was a delight to get back in the saddle for them and interview theatre director Xanthe Jones.

Saying Jones has multiple talents does not even remotely do her justice.

She wrote and directed Cluedo! The Interactive Game and is also the Artistic Director for Brisbane Immersive Ensemble which produced the show.

We spoke just after they had their preview night where she had stepped into the role of Miss Scarlett at the last minute.

Talking to her was a pleasure as she described genre tropes, having fun with the audience and what she tries to impart with her work.

You can read my interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/brisbane-immersive-theatre-gives-cluedo-new-life-20190510

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets.

They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

This interview was published in print on page 38 of the Queensland issue for May 2019.

You can read a digital version of the printed Queensland edition here http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2019/1117-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1117.html#p=39

-Lloyd Marken

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RAVEN ON LIVE REVIEW AVAILABLE AT WEEKEND NOTES

 

 

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Game of Thrones is the one show I can’t miss when it is on and more and more it feels like the end of an era. Is there any other show where the next day work colleagues rush to discuss with each other, some slouch scampering away to avoid spoilers because they missed it last night. People watch on their tablets and phone in their lunch breaks to see it as soon as it hits midday Monday morning Australia time. This is the last of the water cooler shows, something that has infected the pop culture so much that there is common ground amongst fandom. As we fall more and more into echo chambers and niche markets Game of Thrones is the closest thing we have to a unifying thing. In America it rates 17 million viewers but per captia that’s nothing compared to the well over 1 million Australians who tune in one way or another.

With such a community of fans its no surprise to find that a whole cottage cheese industry has sprouted up around it of recappers, predictors and reviewers. Even I had my own humble go at it for Heavy Magazine on the eve of season 7 in 2017. There’s plenty to recommend Emergency Awesome on YouTube gets over a million views over night going over in detail the previous episode and predicting what may come. My regular haunting place on YouTube Screen Junkies News (now Fandom Entertainment) have their own recap show Watching Thrones featuring the ever talented Roth Cornet and co.

Yet when it comes to Australia, one woman reigns supreme and that is Mother of Kittens Natalie Bochenski. Her written recaps have been published nationally and she has developed a podcast where she recaps with her fellow writer Stuart Layt.

Recently on assignment for Scenestr magazine at the Brisbane Powerhouse I saw a sign indicating a live recording of the podcast. I first found out about Bochenski when I saw her perform in ImproMafia’s Lord of the Thrones two years ago. I’ve seen a few of her shows since then and always been impressed by her talent – this was a no brainer.

So following the all important and action packed Battle of Winterfell episode I headed back to the Powerhouse last Tuesday to see the live recording of the Raven On podcast. We were located in the Mary Mae’s bar which is the one of the last places at the Brisbane Powerhouse I hadn’t been to before. You can read my review here https://www.weekendnotes.com/raven-on-game-of-thrones-recaps-mary-maes/ or download the podcast here https://soundcloud.com/girlclumsy/raven-on-s8e3 . By the way Karen gets mentioned at one point during the podcast at around the 32 minute mark.

Weekend Notes are a growing online magazine with a wealth of contributors based out of several cities across the United Kingdom, Australia and New York. Articles are leisure related and can include a wide variety of subjects from rainforest hikes to cultural festivals, from what hot new play is on at your underground theatre to a ultra trendy eatery. Writers are paid for their work based partly on how many views their articles get so please feel free to stop by and show some love.

This is my tenth post with Weekend Notes following reviews for Woman at War at BIFF 2018, Ash is Purest White at BIFF 2018, Arctic at BIFF 2018, Chasing Smoke (one of the best shows I saw last year), King of Thieves at the British Film Festival 2018, On The Basis of Sex, Death of a Salesman by Queensland Theatre in 2019, After Hours at the Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019, Heartfelt High by ImproMafia at the Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019 and now Raven On: Live by Natalie Bochenski and Stuart Layt.

-Lloyd Marken

LONG SHOT REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I count myself very lucky that just over a quarter of my published work for Scenestr magazine has been film reviews. The work continues a little over two years since I first submitted my Hidden Figures review and it was accepted. The latest film I got to review was the romantic comedy Long Shot starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen.

You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/long-shot-review-20190423 Charlize Theron is absolutely crushing it as a movie star at the moment elevating everything she is in. Consider in just the past couple of years she has given us Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde, Tully and now this.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

JOHN BIRMINGHAM: ON FATHER IN CONVERSATION WITH PAUL BARCLAY REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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My father is the greatest man I know, strong, dependable and smart. He is the rock of our family and a giant I stand in awe of. Long ago I came of age and saw that he was just a man like us all but he remains someone I deeply admire and cherish. He will turn 75 this December and as a family we savour the time left together, it gives me some peace to know that my parents became grandparents last October, they have earned that milestone and time was running out.

Time ran out for author John Birmingham and his family a little while back and the result for John was six months of depression. When he came out of it he wrote On Father and knowing him by reputation I sought a chance to see him talk about On Father at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the series Writers+IdeasScenestr made it possible and you can read my review of what I saw here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/john-birmingham-on-father-in-conversation-with-paul-barclay-review-brisbane-powerhouse-20190417

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

HELLBOY REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It was a privilege to be on assignment for Scenestr again to review a movie. This time Karen and I went to a critic’s screening in Gold Class at Chermside cinemas. We were given complimentary drinks and popcorn as well and I got to write a film review.

I saw the original in 2004 with Ron Perlman and was fairly blasé about it, having enjoyed the previous film from Guillermo del Toro – Blade II. I’ve heard good things but never got around to the sequel The Golden Army or reading any of the comics but they’re quite admired. I suspect true fans will be elated and disappointed in equal measure by this reboot. You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/hellboy-review-20190411

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

 

 

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH DR KEVIN LARKIN AVAILABLE AT QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

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Where I currently work, I have been given the occasional opportunity to interview some remarkable people. During the middle of March I spoke to Dr Kevin Larkin who was recently awarded the 2018 Australian University Teacher of the Year. Dr Larkin has a passion for teaching, even at a young age he has always sought out new challenges and considered the bigger picture. Yet no matter how far reaching his work becomes, it remains centred around the individual relationship between teacher and student and how to get the best out of that.

It was privilege to speak to him and you can find the published interview here. Getting to do this work at the Queensland College of Teachers affords me the opportunity to learn from experienced and talented writers.

Teacher stories highlight the profession and promote the achievements of some great individuals. In their individual experiences are examples we can all learn from.

You can read many more inspiring stories on the QCT website.

-Lloyd Marken

TIM FERGUSON’S ‘A FAST LIFE ON WHEELS’ REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Following ImproMafia‘s Heartfelt High on Tuesday night we next made plans to catch up with some friends on Saturday for the last round of After Hours and of course if we were going to do that then we decided we would attend Queensland Theatresports Championships the same night at 7:45pm. So on Saturday 23MAR2019 that’s exactly what we did. There were no pepperoni pizzas or chips with aioli though beloved they remain. We went up to the balcony and chatted with an airline employee from Hong Kong before the show began. I still marvel that this show is for free and it adds so much to the festival. One team, BCF, we’d seen compete two weeks earlier once again they were great as was everyone.

 

Afterwards I got some lemon, lime & bitters and sat down with Karen killing time. I ran into the talented sketch comedian Mark Lombard who confirmed with me that I had written the review of Brisburned@Work for Scenestr. He thanked me for the review and I congratulated him on the show. I enjoyed the exchange. You see performers around all the time at the Festival and I never quite know what to do but Mark did.

As we got closer to the time for After Hours our friends arrived and we went outside to the river to meet them. I talked up the highlight reel aspect of the first After Hours we saw but noted it could be different tonight and boy am I glad I added that disclaimer. We descended to the Turbine Studio that night and saw something more akin to what I was expecting the first time. Some comedian came out snorting and rubbing his nose before referencing he’d been drinking. Another felt he was dying and referenced that a fellow comedian Demi Lardner was laughing at him backstage while this happened. I don’t know if anybody was trying out rawer or edgier material for this particular show but if not, they were hardly conservative acts. Also with the festival wrapping up there were no cabaret shows trying to sell last show tickets, just comedians plying their trade. We saw Demi Lardner (energetic and brash – totally owning her set), Matt Stewart (the nicest and one of the funnier people on the night), Tom Ballard (the biggest name probably there that night and a solid closer although even he seemed to note there was a lot of anger in his bit). Blake Freeman (who does the kind of gross awkward humour that makes you nervous but kind of gets away with it because there’s something so likeable there). There were two more and I liked them but their names escape me. Dusty Rich was of course on hand to compere and came away the winner of the night doing some audience interaction with a big unit named Cammo. The only thing funnier for me was Ballard explaining where smashed avo comes from.  We stole off into the night again certainly having experienced an After Hours not as good as the first one we saw but still remaining a show we would be eager to see next year. In fact a strong had been made to see if more than once every year!

That left my assignment for Scenestr magazine the next day over at the Ithaca Auditorium in Brisbane City Hall at 5pm. If you’re of a certain age you know of the Doug Anthony All Stars, they were just before my time but I saw some old The Big Gig episodes on Foxtel in the 90s and heard them whispered about in awe. One member Paul McDermott became a big deal to me with a little show called Good News Week which was of my time.

A relative of mine had MS and I saw her fight it for two decades. I took part in the fundraising Moonlight Walks for MS along my city’s river in 2007, 2009 and 2010  thinking about her and many like her. Some of them taking part in the walk.

You see Tim Ferguson has MS, he’s 55 and he’s in a wheelchair. He was diagnosed in 1996 and went public in 2010. That was nine years ago when he walked with a cane. Diagnosis means one thing in terms of how things are going to end but that one thing is coming for us all. There was something deep and shared in Tim’s show. There was a little boy talking about his Dad, a rebel apologising, an young man passing on wise counsel, a sick man proving his virility, an old man looking forward to the future. I told Mark Lombard on Saturday night that Brisburned@Work was Karen’s favourite show at the festival and I was telling the truth. On Sunday night we left the auditorium and Karen turned to me and said “I have a new favourite.”

You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/tim-ferguson-review-brisbane-comedy-festival-2019-20190326

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

That concluded Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019, I had been on assignment 4 times with Scenestr, once for Weekend Notes and seen all up 11 shows. It has been quite a month and I feel really blessed and I thank you for coming along for the ride.

-Lloyd Marken