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










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