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

Titanic

 

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

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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

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

HEARTFELT HIGH REVIEW AVAILABLE ON WEEKEND NOTES

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I have certainly been in full festival mode at this year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival.

Karen and I with her best friend saw Raven On Thursday night 14MAR2019 at the Brisbane Room in Brisbane City Hall. Raven On was a one woman production from Act/React starring Natalie Bochenski making peace with the impending end of the Game of Thrones. As a fan of Love/Hate Actually and Bochenski I eagerly awaited attending. Yet I found the show a little padded out and indulgent, missing the interplay and contrast with a fellow performer. Yet Bochenski remains one of the most entertaining and likeable presences you can find on stage. There were definitely highlights for me including a video of her Nan, a rap recap of the series that I hope goes viral , a gif involving David Bowie and an epic sword fight. Not to mention Bochenski herself, she’s kind of amazing. So I enjoyed it but thought it could have been even better yet despite my misgivings Karen and her friend were adamant it was a great show so there you go. Maybe there was something in the fact that I got excited when a poster for Independence Day appeared whereas they were more moved when Colin Firth’s performance in Pride and Prejudice got covered.

From there that Sunday we saw Queensland Theatresports Championships again at the Brisbane Powerhouse which was even better than last time if that is possible.

Then on Tuesday night I was on assignment for the first time for Weekend Notes to attend ImproMafia‘s latest show Heartfelt High a lampoon of all teen shows form the 1990s. It was a thrill to get to review the show for Weekend Notes and keen readers will observe I’ve seen some shows from those involved with ImproMafia. Lord of the Thrones, Animated! at Brisbane Comedy Festival 2018 and they present Queensland Theatresports Championships. Performers involved are also part of Act/React and The Shadow Collective. It’s fair to say I’m familiar with their work and I’m a fan. Opening night of Heartfelt High did not disappoint but I do hope for larger more boisterous crowds to be in attendance at subsequent shows. You can read my review here https://www.weekendnotes.com/heartfelt-high-impromafia-brisbane-comedy-festival/

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

 

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

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