The night of my first assignment for Scenestr magazine 21MAR207. Copyright Karen Marken.

Last Friday I reached a milestone with Scenestr magazine, I have now had 100 posts published with them online or in their printed copies on the street. This all started with a review I submitted to them of Hidden Figures that Karen had won tickets to see. The review was published 23 February, 2017.

Within a couple of months I realised if I wanted to make the most of my opportunities there I would have to put my hand up to do interviews. Despite having done this in the past at university I was still quite nervous when I did my first interview with the stars of Grease: The Arena Spectacular Meghan O’Shea and Drew Weston almost two years ago. Knowing it scared me made me confident it would be truly rewarding and that turned out to be true.

In 2018 there were 50 posts published online of my work, it is doubtful I will match that output moving forward, there are things I am currently pursuing away from Scenestr but I am grateful to continue my work for the biggest street press magazine in the country.

The opportunity Scenestr gives writers and how that flows onto the rest of the print industry is extraordinary. I hope to be working for them for a long time yet.

Of the 100 posts published, 10% were reviews of stand-up comedians and their shows, 29% were theatre reviews, 28% were film reviews, 32% were interviews and 1% were reviews of Cher concerts.

Allow me to indulge in pointing out some personal highlights such as interviewing DeAnne Smith, Ali McGregor, Palace Cinemas CEO Benjamin Zeccola, Gravity and Other Myths circus performer Jascha Boyce, theatre director Row Blackshaw, Cassie George, talking to director Clare Watson about Our Town, an interview with comedian Sammy J, and my cover story with SNL star Michael Che.

Going to the Young Australian Filmmakers Programme at Byron Bay Film Festival and talking to young director Cody-Cameron Brown about Don Ritchie, OAM, introducing my wife to the cast of Aladdin backstage, a dinner with Lauren Weisberger where my friend Karen B was also in attendance at the Brisbane Writers Festival, slugging back premium blended whisky and sliders at the Kingsman: The Golden Circle preview screening, attending the opening nights of the 2017 Cine Latino Film Festival, the 2018 Italian Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival 2018, taking Karen to see Cher last year in concert, having stand-up Tom Gleeson share my review of his show on Facebook.

Some of the best shows I saw were Circa’s Humans, seeing Love/Hate Actually debut at Wonderland 2017England by Tim Crouch at Metro Arts, seeing The Duke by Shon Dale-Jones, Randy Writes A Novel by Randy Feltface, Tim Ferguson’s A Fast Life On Wheels and my first assignment with Scenestr reviewing Queensland Ballet’s Raw.

If you’re been along with me for part of the journey I hope you have enjoyed the ride, I thank you for your support and I hope to continue with you by my side. Two years ago this milestone seemed very distant if even possible and it has been one of the great joys of my life to have had this happen to me at 36 when I was feeling that life was kind of passing me by. I feel very grateful to my editors for their support and knowledge and to all our readers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


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




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 http://scenestr.com.au/arts/aladdin-the-musical-gareth-jacobs-takes-on-the-role-of-genie


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 http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2018/1103-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1103.html#p=45 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