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




I loved Back To The Future growing up as a kid, I remember seeing Part II at the movies and how it ended with a cliffhanger. The third movie had been shot back to back which was unprecedented back then so after the ending there was a sneak peak of Part III. I had six months to wait for the next movie and it drove me berserk as a nine year old. I can’t imagine what it was like with those poor kids who were that kind of age when The Empire Strikes Back came out. I used to crawl around the car in my parents driveway pretending I was on a hoverboard calling out Marty and Doc non-stop. My mother helpfully remembers it was Duck that I said which drove her nuts. Fortunately for me she enjoyed the films too especially the first. Tales of time travel and/or ghosts have always spoken to her.

It turns out I wasn’t the only fan of the series which makes sense, since they accumulated something like over a billion dollars three decades ago upon release. One such fan Row Blackshaw is now directing the Australian debut of the recent parody musical of the original film titled  That 80s Time Travel Movie – A Back To The Future Musical Parody. Row Blackshaw is beyond a triple threat there appears nothing this insanely talented woman can’t do. A musician and performer who has done a variety of roles behind the scenes, she has also worked as a nurse and taught special needs kids. I found our conversation really enjoyable as we shared a mutual love of Back To The Future and discussed the importance of empathy which I believe has influenced her path. She was kind enough to share some of what personally defined her and delight with a Doc Brownian yelp while discussing a scene. You can read the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/that-80s-time-travel-movie-a-back-to-the-future-musical-parody-in-brisbane If you’re a local Brisbane reader you should really pop along, it is going to be one heck of a show.

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. A cut down version of this interview was published in print in the February QLD 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/2018/1101-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1101.html#p=34 with the interview on page 35.  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