AFTER HOURS REVIEW AVAILABLE ON WEEKEND NOTES

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It was Saturday the 9th of March at the Brisbane Comedy Festival, and Karen and I were having a wonderful time. We had arrived mid afternoon on a sunny day, attended a performance of Brisburned@Work for Scenestr which Karen really enjoyed, taken in a session of Queensland Theatresports, run into some people we knew and really had a great time and had our fill of the tasty bar food. Yet the day was not yet over as we descended the stairs that led to the Turbine Studio.

The Turbine Studio a smaller more intimate venue is housed right next door right across the Visy Theatre on the same floor – the river level. Despite seeing some fantastic shows at their more glamourous cousin the Powerhouse Theatre I have to admit I have a soft spot for these two venues and maybe in particular the Turbine studio just because it tends feature shows or entertainers that are building towards something. I saw Nath Valvo at the Turbine Studio when he was big in Melbourne but growing his fanbase here, one of the first performances of Love/Hate Actually, Cassie George in There’s Something About Mary(s), the promising debut of the Grass Is Dead On The Other Side and so as I headed to see After Hours at the same venue it felt appropriate. By choosing to attend I was in on a secret, by staying later I was somehow more hardcore and more genuine than other audiences but little did I realise what a treat I was in for. You can read more of my thoughts here https://www.weekendnotes.com/after-hours-brisbane-comedy-festival/

Afterwards Karen and I headed off into the night to home and bed. It had been a good day spent at the Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019.

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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BRISBURNED@WORK REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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The Saturday before last I was lucky enough to be back on assignment for Scenestr at the Brisbane Comedy Festival. I was there to check out Brisburned@Work, the follow-up to last year’s run away hit Brisburned: Sketch Comedy About Brisbane. While I had not seen the previous show, the premise intrigued me and by all accounts I was in for a treat.

Mark Lombard and his fellow sketch comedians did not let me down, there were plenty of laughs and I almost fell out of my chair when James Tinniswood impersonated legendary rugby league coach Wayne Bennett. You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/brisburned-work-review-brisbane-comedy-festival-2019-20190312 Local readers be aware the show performs this Saturday as well.

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.

We arrived at the Powerhouse mid-afternoon with the sun still shining to check out Brisburned at 4:45pm in the Rooftop Terrace where I have now seen 3 shows at this year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival. From there we got dinner, tucking into the bar food pizzas and chips. The sun went down and we gathered at the Turbine platform in anticipation of the free Queensland Theatresports. Starting at 7:45pm it featured comedy improv performers competing against one another complete with commentators and a referee. In fact Michael Griffin part of Brisburned, was one of the commentators here. As free entertainment it was highly entertaining and the already substantial crowd quickly grew.

We had a wonderful night but it wasn’t over yet. I had bought tickets for After Hours. starting at 10:15pm.

-Lloyd Marken

 

‘THE DUKE’ AND ‘ROBIN HOOD & ME’ REVIEWS AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It is a thrill to be back on assignment at the Brisbane Powerhouse for Scenestr magazine. I took Karen to see The Duke to see on Valentines Day 2019 and the next night we attended Robin Hood & Me. Both are one-man shows from the talented artist Shon Dale-Jones of Hoipolloi theatre.

Seeing both shows in close proximity it is hard not to draw comparisons between the two. The Welshman is playing with narrative structure throughout and engaging with his audiences openly commenting on when something gets a laugh or cause silence. At our performance of The Duke a reaction that seemed to suggest an awareness of what was coming prompted him to remark “I see we have some writers in the room.” He creates an intimate atmosphere where you get wrapped up in the story even if he has been upfront about the fact that some of it may just be a story. The Duke featured a dear old Mum from Anglesey and a bit of whimsy. Robin Hood & Me featured more rage and despair in the performance of Shon Dale-Jones and was more upfront about how the narrative could have been a beautiful lie told to comfort ourselves.

Despite the differences in tone and remembrance of different times, each could conceivably relate to the one person and life especially when you consider that some of it is fantasy. As a sentimental soul I can’t deny my preference for the The Duke and my admiration Robin Hood & Me. Both were really good. You can read my review of The Duke here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/the-duke-review-brisbane-powerhouse-20190215 and my review of Robin Hood & Me here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/me-robin-hood-review-brisbane-powerhouse-20190219

After each which touched upon the less fortunate in our society there were buckets present to receive donations for charities that help those in need. I allow for the possibility that this is a Banksian-level commentary on the theatre going public, middle class guilt and the espousal of art but I think something much more sincere is going on. I think Shon is genuine about his concern for his fellow human beings and he writes pieces of theatre that will engage us to think of others, to donate time and money to charities and in our actions to feel a little bit better about the world.

It is fascinating to wonder which parts of his life really happened but what is definitely real is the emotions he stirs up in us and the values that he asserts are important. That’s real enough for me and I happily put some cash in those buckets on my way out.

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

DEATH OF A SALESMAN REVIEW AVAILABLE ON WEEKEND NOTES

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I was 17 when I first read Death of a Salesman in my senior year of English. Our teacher got to crux of the story when she asked a quarter of us to stand up and advised the rest of us would most likely become unhappy with how our lives turned out. At 17 I remember the disappointment and reality of Willy’s story resonating with me and that it was all too real a possibility to not have your life turn out the way you wanted it too. The idea of that has always stayed with me and grows more real every year.

Watching the play again 20 years later I found new things caught my attention. Willy has a house paid off, a wife who adores him and a friend willing to help. Biff his son is less broken by the revelation of his father as he is confused by his priorities. The tragedy has become more complex and more saddening. At 17 I understood Willy’s dreams, at 38 I know all too well his insecurities but I can also see he has more to be grateful for if he can just get out of his own way. I have no doubt I could see it a different way in another few years. This is a very rich text that continues to speak to us.

Karen took me to see the play last week done by Queensland Theatre and I have been fortunate to have a review of it published with Weekend Notes here https://www.weekendnotes.com/death-of-a-salesman-playhouse-qpac/ Let me know what you think.

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

‘TWO MAN TARANTINO’ AND ‘CLAIRE HEALEY’ REVIEWS AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Friday night and I saw my two final shows at Wonderland for 2018 on assignment with Scenestr, one I was eagerly anticipating Two Man Tarantino and the other Claire Healy: (Get A) Real Job interested me with its subject matter.

The week was one of those weeks that you dream about as a freelance writer, Wednesday night I was on assignment for a preview screening of a movie with one publication and then I was due to see three shows at Wonderland on Thursday and Friday night. They were good shows, all with something to offer it is true but there are criticisms I have. One thing that struck me about both shows that concluded my attendance at the festival this year was how they got better as they went along and finished strongly. I walked out of Claire Healy’s one-woman show late Friday night and felt a little bit better about the movie I’d seen Wednesday, a little bit better about the shows I’d seen at Wonderland that week and a little bit better about life in general. Not bad.

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You can read my review for Two Man Tarantino here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/two-man-tarantino-brisbane-review-wonderland-festival-2018-20181203 and Claire Healy here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/claire-healy-get-a-real-job-brisbane-review-wonderland-festival-2018-20181203

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The five shows I saw at Wonderland 2017 I enjoyed more but I felt with a lot of the shows this year I was seeing artists earlier in their careers taking it to the next level, doing more with less, refining their art and figuring out what they want to achieve. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

At Wonderland 2017 I felt like seeing Nath Valvo gave me an insight into what Melbourne already knew, that here was a comedian about to go national. Love/Hate Actually in 2018 returned triumphantly to Wonderland following a tour that took in amongst other places Ipswich, the Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne and Fiji. Michelle Zahner has taken A Modern Guide to Heroism and Sidekickery to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Who knows where we will see Claire Healy, Anisa Nandaula, Adam Koudi, Kayne Falkiner, Vashti Hughes, Matt Abell-King, Emily Kristopher, Stephen Hirst and Sam Bowden next.

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 Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and now Victoria! every month too.

-Lloyd Marken

 

THE EPICUREAN SHARK REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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My coverage of Wonderland Festival 2018 continues with the third show I was lucky to review for Scenestr magazine this year. This was Thursday night during the second week of Wonderland and I was back in the intimate Graffiti Room. The Epicurean Shark is a one-man stand-up show from the funny Sam Bowden. The title reveals that this is an artist who is thoughtful and pondering some big ideas. I think there is room for growth but I look forward to seeing Mr Bowden develop his work and enjoyed his show.

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You can read more of my thoughts here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/the-epicurean-shark-brisbane-review-wonderland-festival-2018-20181203

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 Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and now Victoria! every month too.

-Lloyd Marken

THE GRASS IS DEAD ON THE OTHER SIDE REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I saw my second of my five shows I am scheduled to review at Wonderland Festival for Scenestr magazine on Sunday afternoon. Following on from going with friends to see Love/Hate Actually on Saturday night I am so far having a fantastic Wonderland 2018. I also by chance ran into Vashti Hughes of Larry’s Odyssey who said they liked my review. A real joy to have had that happen.

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The Grass Is Dead On The Other Side is created by and starring multiple talent threat Anisa Nandaula who amongst other things is a champion slam poet. The premise of the show is particularly strong as two siblings face isolation and displacement following a zombie apocalypse that has all the hallmarks of colonialization, corporate plundering, re-writing history, and national displacement.  There is no limit to how much further this piece could be developed but with very little in means of production here and led by powerful performances the show proved moving. On our way out I ended up behind Anisa and told her “You were fantastic.” and I meant it. Definitely people to watch, you can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/the-grass-is-dead-on-the-other-side-brisbane-review-wonderland-festival-2018-20181127 There were only two shows running on Sunday for the whole festival and both reportedly sold out.

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 Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and now Victoria! every month too.

-Lloyd Marken