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

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HELLBOY REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It was a privilege to be on assignment for Scenestr again to review a movie. This time Karen and I went to a critic’s screening in Gold Class at Chermside cinemas. We were given complimentary drinks and popcorn as well and I got to write a film review.

I saw the original in 2004 with Ron Perlman and was fairly blasé about it, having enjoyed the previous film from Guillermo del Toro – Blade II. I’ve heard good things but never got around to the sequel The Golden Army or reading any of the comics but they’re quite admired. I suspect true fans will be elated and disappointed in equal measure by this reboot. You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/hellboy-review-20190411

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

 

 

 

 

TIM FERGUSON’S ‘A FAST LIFE ON WHEELS’ REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Following ImproMafia‘s Heartfelt High on Tuesday night we next made plans to catch up with some friends on Saturday for the last round of After Hours and of course if we were going to do that then we decided we would attend Queensland Theatresports Championships the same night at 7:45pm. So on Saturday 23MAR2019 that’s exactly what we did. There were no pepperoni pizzas or chips with aioli though beloved they remain. We went up to the balcony and chatted with an airline employee from Hong Kong before the show began. I still marvel that this show is for free and it adds so much to the festival. One team, BCF, we’d seen compete two weeks earlier once again they were great as was everyone.

 

Afterwards I got some lemon, lime & bitters and sat down with Karen killing time. I ran into the talented sketch comedian Mark Lombard who confirmed with me that I had written the review of Brisburned@Work for Scenestr. He thanked me for the review and I congratulated him on the show. I enjoyed the exchange. You see performers around all the time at the Festival and I never quite know what to do but Mark did.

As we got closer to the time for After Hours our friends arrived and we went outside to the river to meet them. I talked up the highlight reel aspect of the first After Hours we saw but noted it could be different tonight and boy am I glad I added that disclaimer. We descended to the Turbine Studio that night and saw something more akin to what I was expecting the first time. Some comedian came out snorting and rubbing his nose before referencing he’d been drinking. Another felt he was dying and referenced that a fellow comedian Demi Lardner was laughing at him backstage while this happened. I don’t know if anybody was trying out rawer or edgier material for this particular show but if not, they were hardly conservative acts. Also with the festival wrapping up there were no cabaret shows trying to sell last show tickets, just comedians plying their trade. We saw Demi Lardner (energetic and brash – totally owning her set), Matt Stewart (the nicest and one of the funnier people on the night), Tom Ballard (the biggest name probably there that night and a solid closer although even he seemed to note there was a lot of anger in his bit). Blake Freeman (who does the kind of gross awkward humour that makes you nervous but kind of gets away with it because there’s something so likeable there). There were two more and I liked them but their names escape me. Dusty Rich was of course on hand to compere and came away the winner of the night doing some audience interaction with a big unit named Cammo. The only thing funnier for me was Ballard explaining where smashed avo comes from.  We stole off into the night again certainly having experienced an After Hours not as good as the first one we saw but still remaining a show we would be eager to see next year. In fact a strong had been made to see if more than once every year!

That left my assignment for Scenestr magazine the next day over at the Ithaca Auditorium in Brisbane City Hall at 5pm. If you’re of a certain age you know of the Doug Anthony All Stars, they were just before my time but I saw some old The Big Gig episodes on Foxtel in the 90s and heard them whispered about in awe. One member Paul McDermott became a big deal to me with a little show called Good News Week which was of my time.

A relative of mine had MS and I saw her fight it for two decades. I took part in the fundraising Moonlight Walks for MS along my city’s river in 2007, 2009 and 2010  thinking about her and many like her. Some of them taking part in the walk.

You see Tim Ferguson has MS, he’s 55 and he’s in a wheelchair. He was diagnosed in 1996 and went public in 2010. That was nine years ago when he walked with a cane. Diagnosis means one thing in terms of how things are going to end but that one thing is coming for us all. There was something deep and shared in Tim’s show. There was a little boy talking about his Dad, a rebel apologising, an young man passing on wise counsel, a sick man proving his virility, an old man looking forward to the future. I told Mark Lombard on Saturday night that Brisburned@Work was Karen’s favourite show at the festival and I was telling the truth. On Sunday night we left the auditorium and Karen turned to me and said “I have a new favourite.”

You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/tim-ferguson-review-brisbane-comedy-festival-2019-20190326

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.

That concluded Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019, I had been on assignment 4 times with Scenestr, once for Weekend Notes and seen all up 11 shows. It has been quite a month and I feel really blessed and I thank you for coming along for the ride.

-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

 

DANIELLE WALKER’S ‘MYTHS AND LEGENDS’ REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Following the hilarious Georgie Carroll, I got to review for Scenestr emerging talent Danielle Walker’s new show at the 2019 Brisbane Comedy Festival. We were back in the Rooftop Terrace this time on a Friday and yes Karen and I again partook of the bar food downstairs which included some pizzas. Danielle Walker is an excellent stand-up and you can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/danielle-walker-review-brisbane-comedy-festival-2019-20190307

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

CAPTAIN MARVEL FILM REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Last night I went to a preview screening of Captain Marvel two days ahead of its release date to review it for Scenestr magazine. I have been to all sorts of screenings over the years, long before I got to be a freelance writer, Karen was winning tickets in competitions and taking me along. However until last night I had never been to a preview screening of a Marvel blockbuster. I attended it at the top of the Myer Centre in the Brisbane CBD with other press and social media influencers who had been invited along as well as elite female athletes which was on theme for the story of a powerful woman. We were given lanyards and a free drink from a makeshift bar. The VMAX cinema the film screened in was perfect for making use of big theatre sound. I do think there are things that could’ve been done better in the film but overall I enjoyed Captain Marvel and you can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/captain-marvel-review-20190306

This is coincidentally the 90th piece of writing I have had published with Scenestr and my 150th overall. 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

GEORGIE CARROLL’S ‘TREAT YOURSELF’ REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It is once again a great joy and privilege to attend shows at the Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019 for Scenestr magazine. I went for the first time last year to the 9th Brisbane Comedy Festival where I saw Tom Animated! from Impromafia, Rich Hall, Tom Gleeson’s Sure Thing, and Convince Me! Comedy Debates to review for Scenestr magazine.

First show was last Tuesday night to see Georgie Carroll who I am familiar with due to appearances on the entertaining television program Have You Been Paying Attention? My interest in seeing her though was due to her work as a nurse, as a former wardie I was interested in seeing a comedic slant on the work of hospital staff from someone who knows what they’re talking about.

We were back in the Brisbane Powerhouse which continues to grab my interest with its clever installations and lighting in a setting that evokes so much history. We saw Georgie perform in the Rooftop Terrace which was new since I’ve previously only gone to shows on the two bottom floors. It was a relatively simple room, similar to some others and about the right size for the crowd involved. Still always exciting to go somewhere new and I enjoyed the views.

Georgie was on stage as we entered and made small talk with the crowd in the front. That’s kind of amazing to be that comfortable and ready to go with your audience before the show. You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/nurse-georgie-carroll-review-brisbane-comedy-festival-2019-20190227

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