I can safely say winter is wearing me down. Even on the warmer than usual days. Hibernation is all good and well, but sometimes even I have to admit there is more to life than soft pants, uggs and so bad it’s good reality TV.
I’m sure many of you feel the same. Nothing makes me change out of my less than socially acceptable clothing faster than live performances. My love of theatre is no secret, and living in Melbourne means there is always lots on offer. I don’t think I will ever get tired of going to the theatre. Even being in a foyer pre-show is something I love. Dance and song warm the heart almost as much as good ducted heating.
When I was offered the chance to see two upcoming shows I jumped at it. Nothing says Ha! Take that winter! Like a night out.
Hot Shoe Shuffle, featuring some of my favourite 1940s songs, including Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off, is performed in the tradition of Broadway musicals. It is one of the longest running multi-award winning musicals ever to be produced in Australia.
Stomp began way back in the 90s. Since then it has been encouraging people of all ages to bang on pots, rubbish bins, buckets… pretty much anything that can make a noise.
To say I can’t wait pretty much sums it up. Luckily for you I have double passes to each show to give away. I’d say that’s just the ticket!
First up: Hot Shoe Shuffle. I have two double passes to see this Broadway style show for Friday 9th August at 8pm at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. Each double pass is valued at $210
Next up: Stomp! For this fast paced all action, no voice show I have two double passes for Tuesday 20th August, 8pm performance at Comedy Theatre. Valued at $158 for each double pass.
That’s eight tickets in total.
The fine print. To be in the running to win a double pass, leave a comment below telling me your perfect night out. Be sure to say which show you would prefer to go to – Hot Shoe Shuffle or Stomp! You will need to be in Melbourne on the dates of the performances. Tickets are for the dates and times specified only. Each winner will receive one double pass. Entries close Wednesday 7th of August at 6pm, at which time comments to this post will close. Winners will be notified by email.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is a partnership with Cavanagh PR. I have been compensated for my time, receiving tickets to each of the shows mentioned in this post.
It is a well known fact I am a terrible singer. Terrible. Even four year olds I teach give me a look as if to say really? Do you have to? My own children also get very eye-rolly when I sing along in the car, or at home. I often have song lyrics in my head, and there can sometimes be a disconnect between brain and mouth. Realising too late I’m singing what appears to be random lyrics out loud in supermarket checkout lines.
This is why the Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music is such a good night out. A Mecca for all the people who just want to sing along and not be told to SHUSH! Home for the out of tune, the in tune, the I know all the words please let me sing people. Who knew there were so many of us.
Last year was my first foray into this event. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I wondered if people really would sing all the words. If people really would get into the spirit of the experience, or would I be a lone singer in a sea of naysayers. Or should that be naysingers. I needn’t have worried. As soon as Maria come on the screen and the well known music swelled, the whole audience began to sing.
What followed was a great night. The group behind us seemed to be having their very own high notes sing-off. Others had a knack of perfectly timed sneezes and comments; usually frowned upon in theatres, at Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music, they brought laughs instead. This is movie going like no other. There were cheers for Julie Andrews, wolf-whistles for Christopher Plummer, hissing at the Baroness and booing at the Nazis. And the moment when Maria and the Captain finally kiss? Why it’s accompanied by a theatre of simultaneous party poppers sounding as their lips touch, naturally!
Due to popular demand (a lot of which may be mine) Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music returns to Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre for three performances across two dates. Friday 16 and Saturday 17 August.
Watch the movie on the big screen with song sub-titles incase you don’t know every word! Dress up and take to the stage yourself in the pre-movie parade. The talented Chelsea Plumleyreturns to hosting duties to guide the audience through this unforgettable show and tribute to The Sound of Music.
You know you want to go. And now you have the chance. I have one double pass to give away for Friday 16th August. Show starts at 7.30 pm, State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne.
To enter, leave a comment below telling me what song you love to sing along to. From the Sound of Music, or any other song. If you could like my facebook page, that’d be great too.
Entries close Friday 26th July at 6pm. Comments to this post will then be closed. Winner notified via email.
Sing-A-Long A-Sound of Music
Venue: Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre
Dates: Friday 16 August 2013 at 7.30pm and Saturday 17 August MATINEE at 1.00pm and 7.30pm
There are some things that I just will not say no to. Some things speak to my heart more than others. This is why I am breaking my own blogging rule, posting about an event and having a giveaway while another one is still running. Let’s call it a Flash Friday Giveaway with Heart shall we?
In just one weeks time, on Friday December 14th two of my most loved things will come together for one night at Hamer Hall in Melbourne. Great music and a lot of heart and soul.
The Key of Sea, brings some of Australia’s finest (and some of my own favourite) musicians together with Australian-based musicians from refugee/asylum seeker backgrounds. Collaboration, music and voice. Read more…
I am a bit of a sucker for perfume. Growing up when Mum had an empty bottle, I’d prize the lid off and fill it with water, mixing any hint of fragrance left and using it.
As I got older, I ran the teen gauntlet that is aerosol body spray. I am certain if you lit a match anywhere near my room the whole house would have gone up. Something I am now re-living with my own daughter.
Congratulations to the winners Lucy and Fiona. Both have been emailed to be notified.
Some books, some stories stay with you forever. The Chronicles of Narnia are like that for me. As a child I spent many hours in my parent’s wardrobe just in case the back finally gave up its magic and let me into the woods I was sure were at the back.
Some of the books were read to me by teachers, others I read myself. There was also a BBC TV series to watch. My own children have loved the books and the recent movies as well. Some stories cross generations and capture imaginations for years and years. I love when that happens, families sharing their love of stories.
You can imagine then, how excited my household was when we first discovered there was to be a Chronicles of Narnia interactive exhibition. The Green Eyed Girl had talked about it every day since she discovered it was coming. That’s a lot of talking.
The exhibition has interactive hands on experiences, as well as costumes from characters including The White Witch and the Pevensie children (I so wanted to be Susan when I was young.) Exhibition goers will be able to create their own mythical creatures featured in the films.
Authentic props, costumes and set dressings are on display, and as I have been told every day for a few weeks now, there is an interactive frozen waterfall.
There is also a recreation of the study where C.S.Lewis wrote the books. I may linger near this display for longer than is necessary.
Whether it is the fantasy, the mythical creatures, the characters or the writer of these classic adventures himself you love, there is something for everyone at this exhibition. I can not wait to go.
Now for the really good part – you can go to! I have two sets of passes to giveaway. Each set has four tickets, valued at just under $60 for Saturday 24th November. The exhibition is at Pavilion Waterfront, Docklands Ave, Docklands, Melbourne.
To be in the running to win one of these passes, leave a comment below telling me about your favourite childhood book.
Entries close TUESDAY 20th November at 6pm. At which time comments on this post will be closed. Winners will be notified via email. Please contact me via return email with your address so tickets can be posted to you.
Do you remember how it felt as a child to listen to a story being told? How it unfolded in your imagination, whole worlds being created from the words the storyteller spoke? I do, and even as an adult I love the magic of it.
Storytelling is an art form. Not all of us can do it well. If you were to ask me, I’d tell you the best storytellers are the people who still have some of that childhood magic. Are still able to unfold an imaginary world and bring it to life with nothing more than their voice.
Many a childhood interstate car trip was held together by audio cassettes in my family. Wind in the Willows, I am sure, I could still recite to this day. My own children were often lulled to sleep with audio books on CD. There is not a Roald Dahl story they do not know. And while I love that when we travel now both children have headphones and iDevices to keep them occupied in the back seat, there are still audio books. I’ll also admit to a love of late night radio and a weeknight book reading. Although I am often asleep by the time the reader says their last words, being as it is 11.20pm by the time they finish.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about a one man show in Melbourne this Christmas. Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol. This is a true storytelling event. Phil Zachariah brings to life the characters and story of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In his later life, Dickens himself gave reading of this well loved book, and indulged in amateur theatricals. In this recreation, Phil Zachariah takes on not only the character of Dickens himself, but those of the story. The characters Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet to come, have been created for this production using Charles Dickens’ original prompt copy, which includes directions in the author’s own hand writing.
As an aside, this year marks the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth. Celebrations are taking place worldwide and this unique local production, after performing each Christmas for the past ten years in Melbourne, is now touring the world to rave reviews.
If there’s anything I love more than my city at night, it is my city at night during Christmas. I am, if you like, the anti-scrooge. There is something magical about warm, not yet dark evenings of Melbourne City. I often invent reasons to be there during December. Now I have an actual reason.
The combination of storytelling, Christmas and Melbourne is too good a pass up. I miss good storytelling and cannot wait to see this performance. But you don’t have to miss out either. I have a family pass of four tickets valued at $160 to the opening night of Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol to giveaway.
So, if you will, or can be in Melbourne on Wednesday 5th December at 6.30 pm then this is for you.
To enter please be sure to like my facebook page, and leave a comment on this post, or on facebook - just click on the giveaway tab on the page, telling me about your favourite part of Christmas.
Entry will close WEDNESDAY 21st of November at 7pm. At this time comments on this post will be closed.
Winners will be notified via email on Thursday 22nd November and will have until Sunday 25th November to contact me via return email or tickets will be re-drawn.
Disclaimer: I received a family pass of four tickets to the opening of Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol.
I have childhood memories of excitedly going into Melbourne city for events. The ballet once, a circus, an orchestra, even the museum, housed in its former building where I marvelled at Phar Lap in his glass tomb. Excursions to the city with family and friends were something I relished.
A common thread in all these city adventures was building site scaffolding. Sometimes the walking through it is a clearer memory than the end destination. The city always had some building going under repairs, construction or remodelling. For the child me there was something thrilling about walking under the scaffolds. Boarded building sites plastered in posters, overhead planks with light seeping through, metal poles echoing the clanging sounds of the city. I wanted to stop, look, read the posters. Yet people always walked through in a matter of fact way. Seemingly unaware of the metal and ply encasing them.
I would run my hand along the poster wallpapered ply. Wrap my small hand around the cool metal at pedestrian crossings. Secretly breathe a sigh of relief when we were out from under them; my imagination fuelled with thoughts of being crushed in a grisly death under collapsing steel and wood.
Perhaps it was wondering what was under wraps that I loved about a scaffold covered building. More than likely it was wanting to see what was behind the boards. The delight at finding a crack in the covering offering up a slice of the goings on was what I wanted. A stolen glimpse into what was for a girl of four or five an unknown world.
I still get a thrill walking through city scaffolding. It brings with it a glance back to my child self and a sense of excitement my city offered then and now.
For the past two years Hamer Hall in the heart of Melbourne has been undergoing some serious refurbishment. I have watched on in curiosity and with a sense of excitement. The small child in me wanting to walk under scaffolding. The older me wanting to know what the end results would be. Just last weekend I peered through the scaffolding to the new foyer, lit up and almost ready for action. It is now all but finished and next week the wraps come off, marking the grand opening of a refurbished Hamer Hall and new entertainment precinct. With bars, restaurants and public spaces.
Opening celebrations begin with concerts at Hammer Hall Thursday 26th and Friday 27th July and continue with a variety of free events over the weekend when Hamer Hall, Theatres Building, Sidney Myer Music Bowl and surrounding public spaces host a series of celebrations. Free events for the whole family include roving musicians, public art spaces, dance, exhibitions, and light shows across Arts Centre buildings in the evenings. A full line up of opening weekend events can be found here, with more detailed information here.
As part of the opening season at Hamer Hall there are a series of exclusive concerts and performances over the coming months. Not only will I be heading to the free public opening weekend events with the family, I will also be attending one of The Czech Philharmonic concerts. Performing Sunday 26th and Monday 27th of August The Czech Philharmonic are world renowned. Thanks to 360 Immerse PR I also have a double pass to give away to the Monday concert.
Here are the details: The giveaway is for a double pass to the MONDAY 27th AUGUST performance of the The Czech Philharmonic.
The concert is being held at Hamer Hall in Melbourne.
Concert begins at 8pm
If you love classical music, have wanted to learn more or experience something new, this is the night for you.
To be in the running, make sure you’re a facebook follower then leave a comment below telling me about some of your early childhood memories of seeing a show, going to a museum, movie, circus etc. Please don’t comment for the giveaway on facebook – they don’t like that sort of thing, and I’ll need to delete the comment. (I didn’t make the facebook rules, but I am trying to follow them.)
Entires close on Wednesday the 1st of August at 8pm. Comments on this post will then be close.
Winner will be announced on Thursday 2nd of August on the blog and be notified by email.
Double pass winner will have until Sunday the 5th August to contact me via reply email before tickets are redrawn.
Disclaimer: I received a double pass to the Czech Philharmonic from 360 Immerse
Images used with permission
*comments on this post are now closed. Winner announced Thursday 2nd August.
And the winner (chosen by the Hubby) was Shelley. Congratulations.
In our family there is one thing the kids know Hubby and I will never say no to. Something we are suckers for ourselves. Books.
We are a household that reads. A lot.
When we moved from Tasmania, the removals company gave us the standard ten book boxes. I rang and asked for more. Three times.
When The Blue Eyed Boy’s year seven teacher commented that he always finds it hard to get his boys to read, we may have been those smug parents who smirk a little. As I write this, the Green Eyed Girl is buried in a new book from her school book club.
Reading is such a joy, whether you are doing it yourself or reading aloud to others. The love of books is something I really wanted my children to have, and I am grateful they do.
One of the best ways to teach children to read is to read to them, and let them see you reading. Simple as that. And while I am a lover of classics, and have read them to my kids, I am happy for them to read just about anything. Reading is reading is reading, and in all honesty, as a parent and a teacher, I see nothing wrong with comics, catalogues or magazines as reading material. Better to be reading anything than not reading at all.
A few weeks ago Hinkler Books sent a parcel for The Green Eyed Girl. A tailor-made package just for her. Before the night was out she had begun reading Tiger Lily, by Maeve Friel. She was also making a list of ingredients so she could bake macrons. (Sadly the oven had died, so the macarons are yet to be made.) What I loved about Tiger Lily was that the main character spent time looking for adventure. In the process she read classics including Little Women, Treasure Island and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Adventure found in the pages of books. You can’t go wrong with that premise! As a bonus, The Green Eyed Girl now thinks having a mum who blogs is a good thing.
It’s a good thing for you too. I have a pack of Hinkler books valued at around $100 to give away. The pack will be age specific for your child. How good is that!
To be in the chance to win, leave a comment below and tell me what your favourite book is.
Entries will be open until Friday 22nd June at 5pm when comments on this post will close.
Australian entires only.
Book giveaway winner will be announced on facebook and twitter, as well as notified via email.
Winner will have three days to reply via email with their address or the pack will be redrawn.
Don’t you just hate it when you go to a movie and someone eats their popcorn too loudly? Even worse, takes an age to open a packet, rustling up a noise storm in the process? Or is that just me? I admit that when it comes to movies I’m the silence is golden type.
There is however, one exception. Music. A good song in a movie makes me want to sing along. Make that movie a musical and it’s all I can do to keep quietly sitting in my seat. Music is made to dance to, and sing to, often at the top of your lungs with gusto and questionable pitch.
Apparently that kind of shenanigans is frowned upon in cinemas. Party poopers.
With this in mind you can imagine my excitement when I saw The Sound of Music movie was screening at the Arts Centre. Wait, it gets better, the Sound of Music A Sing-a-long. That’s right, sing-a-long!
You don’t even need to remember all the words, because as the movie is played on the big screen, the words come up along the bottom. Could it get any better?
Well, yes dear readers, it could. Many audience members glam it up in costumes from the movie. I know! Walking, talking, singing brown paper packages tied up with string, lonely goat herds, Maria… the Apls.
You can imagine how excited I was to read this. Now imagine how excited I am to have tickets for the Friday performance. I. Can. Not. Wait.
Now, here’s the best bit of all. All you musical sing-a-long lovers get a chance to go too. That’s right, I have four tickets to giveaway. Split into double passes. So two lucky people will win a ticket for themselves and one for a sing-a-long loving friend. Double passes are valued at $104 each.
The catch? You need to be in Melbourne on Friday 20th July for the 7.30pm show at the Art Centre State Theatre. Vocal cords at the ready, costumes optional.
For a chance to win, leave a comment below telling me what song you just have to sing along to and why. Entries close 8pm Friday 8th June when comments on this post will be closed.
Winners will be announced on facebook and twitter and notified via email on Tuesday 12th June. Winners will be given three days to respond to claim tickets. After this time, tickets will be redrawn.
It is altogether far too hard to choose clips from Sound of Music to sing-a-long too. Just one does not seem enough. Now, I dare you to not sing-a-long, and not spend at least the next twenty minutes watching clips from the movie.
Disclaimer: I received three double passes from Cananagh PR for this giveaway. One double pass for myself and two to giveaway.
Edit: The double passes have been won by Kirrily Whatman and Liz Halley! Winners were chosen by my mother in law, to ensure impartiality.