REVIEW OF HIGH FIDELITY AVAILABLE ON WEEKEND NOTES

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Long term readers may recall one of my first gigs for Scenestr magazine was reviewing a performance of the classic Australian play Cosi by the Beenleigh Theatre Group in 2017. This was followed by reviewing Anything Goes and Lord of the Flies and interviewing the latter’s director Bradley Chapman. Sadly I haven’t been to back to Beenleigh for a while, but over the weekend a last chance opportunity came up to attend High Fidelity on assignment with Weekend Notes.

We saw a Sunday afternoon performance which was in contrast to earlier Friday night attendance but I was pleased to see the cast give it their all and the audience really enjoy themselves. I do have some criticisms about the musical which had a brief run on Broadway but has found a second life in community theatre groups of the world.

I have not read the beloved book by Nick Hornby which spoke to a whole generation and still remains a classic. My best mate Mike recommended the film adaptation from 2000 as one of the year’s best starring John Cusack. I was pretty excited about this since his recommendation for the previous year was the excellent American History X. I am sad to report I was not as impressed but it may be time for a re-look. For me in a lot of ways the musical made certain improvements over the film and I was very charmed by the cast and the spirit of the piece.

You can read my review here https://www.weekendnotes.com/high-fidelity-beenleigh-theatre-group/

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.

-Lloyd Marken

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GIANTESS REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I was back at MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture last week to see Giantess on Thursday night at the Turbine Studio, Brisbane Powerhouse on assignment for Scenestr. Written and performed by transgender stand-up Cassie Workman, it has won numerous awards since its debut. Following Trade by Impromafia, a show I deeply enjoyed and felt privileged to attend, this was a quieter performance that proved touching with its message and the demure but steely presence of Cassie herself. What a wonderful thing it is live in a city where such a festival provides an outlet for artists and attraction for audiences.

You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/cassie-workman-giantess-brisbane-review-melt-festival-20190709

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We took in our surroundings a bit more with the ice-block float hanging from the ceiling as part of the MELT festivities at the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse. We also grabbed the beloved bar snack menu pizzas – pepperoni for me and tomato and basil (margherita according to others) for Karen. While enjoying our pizzas outside on the balcony our possum came by to see if we’d let some scraps come our way. Unfortunately nobody told him/her how seriously Karen and I take our pizza eating.

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

‘TRADE’ BY IMPROMAFIA REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It has been a delight to attend MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture for the first time this year on assignment for Scenestr magazine.

There is a fantastic roster of shows, talks and displays so it was great to attend the latest show from the ever reliable and hilarious ImproMafia.

However this show was a little different from others I have attended and I feel that there was something special in the air that night at the Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse.

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You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/trade-brisbane-review-melt-festival-20190701

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

‘TITANIC: THE MOVIE, THE PLAY’ REVIEW AVAILABLE ON WEEKEND NOTES

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Long term readers will note I’ve seen a few productions of Act/React and have enjoyed their work. For Anywhere Festival this year they have brought back a production they mounted back in 2016 before I knew of them called Titanic: The Movie, The Play.

After checking out Chris Martin’s Claw Machine at Pincadia, Karen and I headed off to the nearby Queensland Maritime Museum to see a late performance of the comedic take on the film.

Unlike their production of Kiss of the Vampire Squid which was performed on HMAS Diamantina last year as part of Anywhere Theatre Festival 2018 this was not a fully improvised production but scripted. It did feature some mainstays of Impromafia and the newly formed The Shadow Collective in the cast so there was lots of laughs had from on the moment developments.

The immersive aspects of the production mean no two performances will be the same and create a real joy in the audience. I thought there was a real charm to the production and following the excellent Love/Hate Actually I expect big things to continue happening for Act/React. Amy Currie and Natalie Bochenski are taking Love/Hate Actually to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year for starters.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had a review I wrote of the show published with Weekend Notes. You can read it here here https://www.weekendnotes.com/titanic-the-movie-the-play-anywhere-festival/ and if you’re local you can still purchase tickets for this weekend if it sounds like your bag.

The Anywhere Festival for 2019 is a marvellous thing that happens in my city and I feel very grateful to have taken in two great shows this year at such interesting venues.

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.

-Lloyd Marken

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

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

DANGEROUS LIAISONS AIN’T YOUR GRANDMA’S BALLET

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Queensland Ballet’s Dangerous Liaisons is sexy and not for the brief simulations of fornication on stage although that certainly proves inspiring, nor is it the sensual costumes made out of rich fabrics in royal colours, and nor is it the finely toned physiques of the dancers present some of them wearing pants so tight you would see less definition if their legs had been painted instead. All these things are sexy as hell but the sexiest thing of all is the attitude present in this text and those who have adapted it.

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Queensland Ballet‘s mantra for the 2019 Season is “Move Boldly” and in this production they have. In the first five minutes we are introduced to widow Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil getting busy with a lover on the coffin of her late husband. From there we meet a wealth of characters from the French aristocracy of the late 1700s living in decadence and luxury. It seems there’s not a lot to do except have your way with people one way or another as per the original novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.

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The text has been adapted previously most famously in 1988 with Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer a film I’ve seen but can’t remember a lot about. My memories of the modern day set Cruel Intentions of 1999 (one of the best years of my life) which moved the setting to New York and high school served me far better although there seemed to be some extra characters I couldn’t recall here.

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Knowing the plot will serve you well in order to keep track of things, after all there’s no dialogue in ballet but the important stuff is clear. Isabelle challenges Vicomete Sebastien de Valmount to win over virginal Cecile Volanges as revenge for the fact that coffin boy Comte de Gercourt is now engaged to her. Well actually that might not be so clear but you get a good sense of who is a decent type, who’s in love, who’s innocent and who’s depraved and how that might change. There’s some sneaky humour and a tragic outcome. You might even surprise yourself with where your sympathies lie.

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Artistic Associate of the Royal Ballet continues his association with Queensland Ballet in choreographing this ballet. Beyond all the bold statements and sexy themes is some first rate dancing. I won’t pretend to know I’m an expert on such things but Cecille’s solo was breathtaking of a fragile unjaded soul expressing the joy of first love. Two couplings in particular were very evocative and on the night we went, Laura Hidalgo as Isabelle utterly owned the world as she strutted across stage in her underwear completely beating down the will of Valmount. Some of the lifts in the partnerships were breathtaking in their fluidity and strength.

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Under the stewardship of Artistic Director Li Cunxin continues to go from strength to strength with the entire team he has with him. If I was not as moved as I was two years earlier with their program Raw the sexiness of their Dangerous Liaisons certainly left me stirred.

-Lloyd Marken