It is no secret that I love a night out. Or that Melbourne plays a big part in that love. Sometimes music, a friend and a beautiful voice is what is needed to cut through a long week. That’s where the Spiegeltent and Lior come in.
It is a poorly kept secret that I have yearned to go to the Spiegeltent as it settles itself outside Arts Centre Melbourne each year. Tonight I’m finally getting that chance.
On the first day of Autumn I can breathe out a little as Lior, together with Gian Slater and her vocal ensemble Invenio wash away the working week.
The last time I saw Lior was at a three day festival. It was hot, I had been serving wine to a full spectrum of festival goers in a small tent. I had timed a break to see Lior on the main stage. The beauty of working on a wine stall was I had access to wine, no waiting. The down side, what would appear to be the worlds dirtiest feet. I’ll take a short wait for a glass of wine and the beauty of the Spiegeltent over a festival these days.
The Spiegeltent is weaving its magic at the Arts Centre Melbourne now through to April 21. There are a range of events, including a programme for children and families. I am wondering if I can convince Hubby he needs to come to Jazz High Tea with me. Although I think he would rather see Chef and Sushi Master Shaun Presland in his show Sushi Ragamuffin. Also on the food front, the Macaron Luau, with tips on how to cook perfect macarons, tasting delicious sweets while The Ukeladies croon with Hawaiian inspired tunes. Katie Noonan is another favourite of mine, and her Love Song Circus, exploring the incredible stories of the first female convicts in Australia looks set to be a wonderful performance.
I for one can’t wait. I am hoping The Spiegeltent will weave a spell over my Friday night, and am more than a little happy this time round as I listen to Lior the only wine I have to think about is the one I will be sipping.
The Famous Spiegeltent is on now through to April 21. For a full range of what’s on visit here, and follow along on Facebook.
Disclaimer: I worked with 360 Immerse for the Arts Centre and am duly compensated for my time.
If you were in Melbourne on Wednesday night, you would have seen a city alive with summer. People walking, milling, sitting. Sharing time with friends, family, or alone.
You may have passed a mother and her son. He just about to pass her in height. Walking across St Kilda Road, shooting the breeze, in search of food fit to satve off the constant hunger only a teen child can muster. You may have seen a kid and his first taste of Lord of the Fries, of which, I am told, there is no going back.
There is something special about spending time one on one with a child. As they get older and naturally begin to move away from the constant want of parental and family company it is good to get away from home and the confines of the did you do, are you sure, have you got…
Away from the humdrum of home, tensions seem to loosen and side by side in the car, the street, the theatre, real conversations can be had.
That is the way it was when I took The Blue Eyed Boy to LEO at the Arts Centre Melbourne. He had the pick of three shows to see, and this was his choice. The more intimate space of the Fairfax Studio was perfect for this one man performance. A fringe festival-like show that starts out with some laughs and makes a decent into darker territory. All the better for older children and adults.
The performance delights, engages and challenges perceptions as you watch both the performer and a screen that films his every move. As well as the cleverness and physicality of the performance, there is a depth of character and emotion I was not sure would be there before the show began. That was, for me, what made the performance. Not so much that my perception was challenged, but my emotional response as music, image and Leo himself changed from happy go lucky to an altogethr darker place. And, that he found his way out of that place.
Leo is recommended for children aged ten plus, and although there were younger children in the audience, I do think the promoters got the age right for this performance. The louder music and darker side to the show, which is what really drew me in, is not aimed at younger audience members. For younger theatre goers wanting something a little out of the ordinary Oh Suivant! May be more the show to see.
For my lovely, growing teen and his rather proud mother, this was the perfect show, and the beginning of a great evening in the city we call home. Leo is on now through to January 27th. Tickets can be purchased here.
Disclaimer: I worked with 360 Immerse for the Arts Centre and am duly compensated for my time. I was not expected to write a review of Leo. I did though want to write about my time with my son, and the performance we saw. Just as I would have if not collaborating with an agency.
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…
Earlier this week I was lucky enough to go to the opening of The Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition here in Melbourne. I took with me The Green Eyed Girl and one of her friends. Not your average midweek outing.
There is a small part of me that wants to believe in magic. When the kids were younger it could still be found watching on from the sidelines as they anticipated Santa, wrote letters to fairies and searched through dark windows for signs of Easter Bunny.
It could also be found in books. The suspension of disbelief as words turn to characters, adventures come to life and fantastical worlds unfold. My first encounter with the land of Narnia was as a six year old, having my teacher read from The Magician’s Nephew each day. It was the start of a long yearning to be part of that world. I spent many hours searching wardrobes, on the off chance one would happen to be the doorway to that land. Though I am not sure shutter-doored built-ins in a 1970s brick veneer suburban home really were all that magical. Not from wont of trying.
Imagine then, a typical working week. Imagine sitting in traffic going at a snails pace. A journey doubling in the expected length of time and a clock ticking away from fashionably late to down right rude even contemplating showing up at all late. Picture two excited eleven year old friends, sensing the rising tension from the driver, sitting quietly in the back seat as Melbourne traffic inched forward. A hasty car park, a hurried walking pace and a will that the doors were still open to what we hoped was The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition.
Something happened when we entered the pavilion. There is, it seems, a little bit of magic left after all. The friends pushed through two large wooden doors and found themselves in a wardrobe. In the wardrobe, complete with fur coats. In front of them, a lamppost, surrounded by snow. This is when the excitement really started, for the girls and for me. Instead of seeing the exhibition through my eyes, I saw it through those of two eleven year olds. Costumes from the movies, props, interactive touch screen maps. A chance to lift swords and attempts to lift armour. The right amount of fact and fantasy mixing to create a real sense of magic. My only concern was convincing the girls to leave.
The exhibition is open daily from now until February. Take your children along, and watch for glimpses of magic as you view it through their eyes.
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 been staring at the screen trying to write about the weekend with justice. I can not yet.
I need some sleep, some time to reflect and some sleep. And then I need some sleep.
One of my sisters flew over from Hobart to spend the weekend with me. Needless to say between the two of us it will take at least a week to recover. While words are yet to form, I have images. Thank you instagram.
Fresh ink. A very small new tattoo has found a home on my wrist.
Lipsynch. An astounding 9 hour live theatre experience.
Soccer. A home game, with the good coffee.
My city. A moody Melbourne on the way home from the airport.
You can bet there will be some early nights around here. How was your weekend?
After what seems like an eternity and not long enough all rolled into one, today marks the end of holidays.
As of tomorrow work and school return in one all encompassing collision. A flurry of lunch making, remembering flute lessons, soccer training, homework and trying to have shirts ironed begins. So too does extra days of work for me. For ten weeks I will be taking on more hours. Hubby is also in a very busy phase, so we will need to be a well oiled family machine. Or not. Winging it seems to work for us most of the time.
This past week has been quiet. Both kids were in Tasmania spending time with family. Hubby was working and I had plans to clean the house from top to bottom. I didn’t. It was bliss. The children returned home to messy, floor covered bedrooms, instead of the perfectly neat ones I had planned. I think they were happier that the mess had remained in their absence.
The Hubby and I spent spent some time doing things together, visiting our favourite local Chinese restaurant, trying a new pizza/pasta/grill/come one come all place, heading into the city to see an exhibition and sample yet more food. Melbourne really knows how to turn on the charms where I’m concerned.
So it is with images of Napoleon running through my head, and a vague wondering of just what my city would be like if the French has colonised New Holland, I prepare to return to work. Return to reality. I think I am ready. I think.
Living in Melbourne is something I sometimes take for granted. Our home in the hills is about as far away from the city as you can be and still get away with saying that we live in Melbourne. Weekdays consist of sitting in traffic as I go to and from work, school drop off and pick ups. There are local shops and supermarket visits, roads often travelled and not usually really seen. Familiarity and contempt and all that.
But when I go to the city proper I’m reminded of the beauty of Melbourne. Reminded of the way it hums and lives at all times of the day and night. Reminded that there is life outside my beloved hills. Life beyond commuting and seeings small sections of the city on repeat. I love that people dress as the do – in all manner of styles and statements. Love the colour, the nuance, the hum that is a living breathing city.
Thursday night was one of those I love this place nights. The Green Eyed Girl and I had gone into the city to see the Peony Pavilion at the Arts Centre. It was the Green Eyed Girl’s first experience of ballet, and what a first experience it was. Both of us were in awe of the performance. The stunning simplicity of the scenery, the music, the dancing were all truly magnificent.
At interval as I waited to be served at the bar, an elderly woman stood next to me chatting to the barman with a degree of familiarity. Dressed in understated black elegance, hints if diamonds in her ears, her eyes shone as she told the barman of her joy at the performance so far. “Stunning,” she told him as he passed her two glasses of sparkling wine, “it’s real ballet. Real ballet!” she said as she took her glasses and turned to leave the bar. Her eyes met my girl’s as she passed. Joy was written on her face. Happiness shone from her eyes. And there we were, three different generations, dressed in three different ways, expressing ourselves through our chosen clothes, united by the love of a live performance and the joy it brought us all.
That for me is part of the reason I go to live performances, be it ballet, classical music, comedy, theatre, rock, pop, folk, hip hop… the connection to people through the utter joy it brings. Connected to total strangers through a common love of music, dance, a story, a laugh.
Being in the Arts Centre before the performance began was a time for me to observe, take in, look at the people attending the performance. Families, couples, friends. People young and old. Connected by family, by love, by friendship. Connected to strangers by the anticipation of being part of an audience. The Peony Pavilion has a short season. We attended opening night and the last performances are this weekend. There is however, lots of other things happening at the Art Centre. A quick and free online registration provides you with emails keeping you up to date.
I am hoping to take the family to a performance at The Famous Spiegel Season. Jazz high tea anyone? And I have my eye on Macbeth later in the year. (Though I do wonder how actors get away with using the name of that Scottish play and living to tell the tale.) I have all but convinced Hubby that Opera would be a fantastic date night too.
So, here’s to nights out in the city I love. Here’s to cross generational love of dance. Here’s to dressing up and expressing yourself. Here’s to performances that leave your hands smarting from clapping and your eyes full of joy.
Do you have nights out? Do you love to dress up? Would your choice be comedy, ballet, opera, theatre, music? I’d love to know.
Disclaimer: I received two complementary tickets to The Peony Pavilion.
The holidays have arrived. The weekend was relaxed and easy. Today is the traditional pyjama day and tomorrow we begin doing holiday stuff. Around here we like to keep holidays low key. They are holidays, not tear around like crazy people to everything under the sun days.
Having said that, we do have things planned. I just like to keep some low key days in the mix. I can not stress enough the importance of letting children know that some days it’s OK to do nothing, go nowhere, just mooch around and be.
Today also marks the last long run I’ll be doing before the half marathon (not so much mooching for me!) So, over the next two weeks I’ll be tapering and carb loading. Run less, eat well. Should be fun!
Here in Melbourne it’s grand final week and love or loathe AFL the atmosphere in the city all week is fantastic. We will be heading to the parade on Friday no doubt about that… it does help that our team is in the grand final!
Over the past week we have been writing a list of things we’d like to do over the holidays on a chalkboard in the kitchen. We have all added to it, and will work our way through them. We’ve never done this before, then again, we have not had a holiday at home, by ourselves for over a year! I’m not complaining, it’s great having family and friends stay here, and it’s great to go and stay with family. But it’s nice to be just the four of us too.
I’m wondering though if we will get through our list, or crash and burn. Time will tell I guess. When it comes to holidays, what do you do? Are you moochers, doers, or something in between?